A Novel Idea


I began writing my first novel with my best friend in eighth grade. We imagined ourselves dating, and then marrying, our favorite college basketball players in what could only be described as the ultimate fan fiction. I still read pieces of our creation from time to time and am amazed at how terrible my grammar was back then.

After graduating from high school, I started to write another novel based on the interests of my boyfriend at the time, World War II planes, B-17 bombers in specific. I created a bomber crew, a base for the plane in Europe, and several missions for them to go on. There was, of course, a love story to go along with all of that too. I regrettably didn’t get too far into the process, and I’ve lost most of the details since then.

Once I got married, my stories came in different forms, mostly roleplaying games. I fell in love with making characters and seeing where the adventures would take them. It stretched my creativity and gave me the opportunity to learn about different genres.

My children have adopted a love of reading from both my husband and I, and when they became old enough, I decided that I would write a novel for them. I had just started listening to country music again for the first time since high school in 2014, and an idea for the book sprang out of that. I spent the entire year working on it and was able to give our daughters a copy for Christmas. Even our son got in on things and read the book over and over.

It was the first time I had ever completed a novel, and the feeling of accomplishment was nothing less than addictive. I also took immense joy out of the reaction of my kids when they read the book. Knowing that I had created something that they enjoyed made me want to do it again.

I have known the characters I am currently writing about for many years at this point. Their story has evolved over that time, but the basics have remained the same. Kamryn McKay and Riley Carson have been my friends the entire time and not complained too much as I have reshaped them into the people I imagine them to be. I have been working on their adventure for three years so far, which has developed into two novels, and I am excited to release them as soon as I can. The first book has been devoured by all three of my children, the original target audience, and given a resounding thumbs up. They are impatiently waiting for book number two, particularly my younger daughter, and I am looking forward to seeing what they think about it.

I have been blessed with writing talent, and I’m thankful for every bit of it. I love being able to share it with those closest to me, my children in specific.


About Holli Swank

Holli Swank has been writing for more than twenty years and finds great joy in sharing her deep faith in God through her poems. She is the mother of three children and has been married for almost 18 years. She also loves spending time with her two cats. Holli was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in mid-2013, giving her a unique perspective for her poetry.