The Halfling and the Spaceman

A Conversation with H.P. and Jacob Holo

March 12, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 2 Episode 11
A Conversation with H.P. and Jacob Holo
The Halfling and the Spaceman
More Info
The Halfling and the Spaceman
A Conversation with H.P. and Jacob Holo
Mar 12, 2023 Season 2 Episode 11
Janet & Roger Carden

Join us today for a fun conversation with H.P. and Jacob Holo, who’ll be talking about their paths that led them both to have writing careers.  H.P. is the creative  mind behind the Monster Punk: Horizon series, and Jacob is the brains behind The Gordian Division as well as others.  What’s life as a couple is like when both are successful writers?  Find out today!

References and Links:

Show Notes Transcript

Join us today for a fun conversation with H.P. and Jacob Holo, who’ll be talking about their paths that led them both to have writing careers.  H.P. is the creative  mind behind the Monster Punk: Horizon series, and Jacob is the brains behind The Gordian Division as well as others.  What’s life as a couple is like when both are successful writers?  Find out today!

References and Links:

A Conversation with HP and Jacob Holo

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning into the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys In Active Fandom. We are having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. Fans talking to fans. Joining us today are HP and Jacob Holo, who'll be talking about their paths that had led them both to writing careers.

[00:00:27] Halfling: We'll also be talking about life as a creative couple. Where to start. I mean, you guys are interesting. Really just what we've read, you know, in terms of some of your social media and reading about the books that you've written. But Jacob, we're gonna start with you, if that's all right.

[00:00:42] Halfling: We'll put you on the spot. You're a national bestselling author of Sci-fi, and other stuff. Tell us about your background a little bit..

[00:00:51] Jacob Holo: I'm an electrical and controls engineer by degree. I've worked in  automotive, industrial sector for over 20 years at this point. Good grief, . I've been, a fan of science fiction and fantasy since I was a little kid. Kind of got my, start with Star Trek, Star Wars, Transformers,

[00:01:16] Halfling: Hey, transformers, gotta love em.

[00:01:18] Jacob Holo: Oh, basically, every time they come out with a new version of the first movie, the animated one, I have to get it. Been writing, novel length since high school. Very, very bad. Novel length, and sort of incrementally, uh, got better from there, just, you know, kept writing.

[00:01:38] Jacob Holo: You know, I enjoy taking in stories and I enjoy creating and telling stories and I've improved my craft to the point where eventually , David Weber invited me to write a time travel series with him. And one of the things that he didn't know at the time, Is that I had sworn to myself that I would never, ever write time travel. So when David Webber comes to you and says, Hey, let's write a time travel series together, my, my response was, sure, David. I think that's a wonderful idea.

[00:02:22] Halfling: When David Webber says, let's write something, you say, oh, sure,

[00:02:29] Jacob Holo: And, let's see here. Three books, in the series, the Gordon Division series are out. Fourth one comes out in June of this year.

[00:02:38] Halfling: Okay, very good. Very good. Well, HP, we'll turn it over to you. Put you in a spotlight. Same thing. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

[00:02:45] HP Holo: All right, well, I have always been a professional nerd to various degrees. My very, very first job was working at my local library shelving books, and I stayed at the library for several years through college until I decided, hey, you know what?

[00:03:01] HP Holo: I'd like to try to be a teacher. That lasted one year before I decided I did not aspire to that level of saintliness. And I went back to the library to work in teen services for, I wanna say seven years thereafter. So I've worked cumulatively, I've worked in libraries for about a decade ish, and, like Jacob, I have just, I've always liked sci-fi and fantasy and books in general since I was very young.

[00:03:27] HP Holo: And I remember the moment I realized that when I was a kid that I could take these stories I've been reading and then create my own. It was a magical moment. And I remember like the first story I ever wrote, like I wrote when I was, I wanna say first grade or something, and it was really terrible. And in crayon about a bluebird who was afraid of bears or something, and mom put it on the fridge.

[00:03:57] HP Holo: And then after that I didn't really continue writing until I hit, I wanna say fourth or fifth grade. And my first genuine memory of writing is actually associated with abject terror because I was always a teacher's pet. Like I came from an education family. My dad was a teacher, my mom worked for the school district.

[00:04:19] HP Holo: I was known for my good grades. And we had a homework assignment where we had to write our own version of, I wanna say a fairytale. And you know, most students when they get a write a story assignment, it's like, here's a paragraph and. So I go and sit down and start my story, and it keeps going and it keeps going and it keeps going.

[00:04:39] HP Holo: And like I'm really enjoying writing it, but it's getting close to my bedtime. And in my head, my little teacher's pet self is like, oh my gosh, I'm not gonna finish this story. I'm not gonna finish my homework and I'm gonna get in trouble for not turning it in. And I panicked and then stayed up really late to finish it.

[00:04:55] HP Holo: And so that was, yeah, my first terrible memory of writing my future memories of writing were less traumatic. After that, I, Pretty much even to this day, I find that a lot of my writing is inspired by whatever I'm consuming media-wise at the time and around the time my brain really kicked into gear in its writing hobby, was around the time, there was a movie that came out called Quest for Camelot, and I don't You're laughing.

[00:05:23] HP Holo: Jacob Oh, okay. This quest for Camelot. Is probably one of the most terrible animated movies ever made. But something about it just really, really fired the imagination of fifth grade little me. There's a lot of cool elements in it, even if they're not really executed well. And so I really, really got into medieval fantasy because when I was looking for books to read in one of my English teacher's, classrooms, I happened upon the novelization of the movie and just absolutely latched onto it.

[00:05:59] HP Holo: Really got into medieval fantasy soon after that the Toonami block happened on Cartoon Network, and so I really got into anime and at all sorts of things, and the Pokemon and Digimon came out around that time too. And so I got into the Monster Hunting, monster collecting genre and all of those things combined, to make me just wanna explore those kinds of universes more and pivotally.

[00:06:23] HP Holo: I wanna say in the seventh grade, I had a teacher who would assign us stories Every week we would have spelling words and we would have to write a story with the spelling words. And having to write a story every week, really, really showed me how much I absolutely loved writing as a hobby.

[00:06:42] HP Holo: And I feel like I need to go find this teacher, Ms. Diaz, and apologize to her because I would turn in these 10 20 page well epics for a seventh grader . And, and it's just, it's now that I have been a teacher for a year, I understand how much work that was to read a student, to read the work, the 10 page work of a student every week,

[00:07:02] HP Holo: But yeah, ultimately my background is a whole bunch of professional nerd work and being a nerd in general,

[00:07:10] Halfling: Okay, well, you experienced some of those, professional, deadlines early on because take, that first story, you're talking about panicking because you weren't gonna finish it in time. So there you, that was self-imposed deadline. But, there's that deadline, and you've probably been dealing with deadlines ever since when you started your career.

[00:07:31] HP Holo: Yes. Especially recently when I'm churning out books on a book every three month schedule,

[00:07:36] Halfling: Wow. That's, that's pretty incredible. Spaceman, did you have a question for them?

[00:07:42] Spaceman: All right, so we talked a little bit about your background separately. How did you two guys get together and how long have you been together?

[00:07:50] HP Holo: Okay. There are two different versions of this story, 

[00:07:54] Halfling: Oh, oh, 

[00:07:55] HP Holo: Jacob tells the hilarious and romantic one, and I surprisingly tell the really boring one. And so we actually met at a dinner put together by some friends of ours and basically The sister of my sister's boyfriend had a friend who would host dinners and she met Jacob, because they worked in the same circle and was like, oh my gosh, Heather needs to meet this guy.

[00:08:24] HP Holo: He's a nerd. He also writes, got a little Harry Potter scar. They will hit it off. And so she, she was like, Hey, you need to go to this dinner. There's good food and a dude you need to meet. And I like food, man. I like dudes. So , I went and met Jacob and we did hit it off and then, yeah, we just went out for more food and then married very quickly.

[00:08:45] HP Holo: And that's my version. But Jacob tells it a lot better than I do. So you're shaking your head. I see you

[00:08:52] Halfling: Okay. What, what did

[00:08:53] HP Holo: at it 

[00:08:54] Jacob Holo: Jacob.

[00:08:54] Halfling: what? What did she not say? Jacob

[00:08:58] Jacob Holo: Quite, quite a bit,

[00:09:00] Halfling: Uh,

[00:09:02] Jacob Holo: So, um, we go back to December 1st, 2011. friend of mine invites me over. It's like, Hey, we're gonna have food, we're gonna have a movie. Come on. Okay. So I, I, you know, I didn't have anything to do. I come on over and I haven't been told anything. Uh, I find out later that Heather was, you know, prepared ahead of time, Hey, there's gonna be this guy.

[00:09:30] Jacob Holo: I, no one told me anything. They just told me to show up. 

[00:09:33] Jacob Holo: So I show up. 

[00:09:33] HP Holo: Facebook's talked to you beforehand. 

[00:09:35] HP Holo: Yeah. And, so, so Heather shows up and my first thought is like, wow, what is someone this good looking, doing, hanging out with us? Losers, 

[00:09:46] Halfling: Ah. 

[00:09:46] Jacob Holo: And I also, you know, there's like conversations going on and I misheard her. The way I misheard her is that I got the impression that she was engaged to someone. And of course I'm thinking to myself, well, that's just typical. Of course, you know, the beautiful young woman has already, you know, taken, fine, whatever. But what I have misheard was that her sister was engaged, not her.

[00:10:11] Halfling: Oh,

[00:10:12] Jacob Holo: So, you know, we, we get food, we sit down on the couch to watch the movie. And she sits right next to me. I'm like, she's kind of close here. I'm like getting like a, like an engaged feeling here. And it's like, all right, well fine. Sure. All right. Yeah. Sit next to a beautiful young woman, even if she is engaged.

[00:10:32] Jacob Holo: Sure. Whatever. And, you know, I made some sort of comment while like the movie was playing. She's laughing at my jokes. I'm like, I'm really not getting an engaged feel here. And, I just go on home afterward. And I remember thinking, it's like, I wonder if I misheard. And, you know, my friend, the week later he invites me back, Hey, you know, come, come on we're we're gonna have another, dinner in a movie. And Heather was there again. And so I asked her, you know, did I hear correctly that you, you know, you're engaged. Oh, oh, your sister is engaged. Oh, okay. And so, you know, I'm starting to crank up the charm a little bit at least trying what passed for charm from me back then.

[00:11:29] Jacob Holo: And we're hitting it off, and we have watched the, I don't know if we had just dinner or if it was dinner in a movie, but anyway, PR proceedings finished and then we, I think she was parked behind me, so, 

[00:11:44] HP Holo: Trapped you in?

[00:11:45] Jacob Holo: Yeah, yeah, yeah. trap me. And so we both go out to our car and so I, uh, you know, while we're out there, I, I ask her out on a date and she says, maybe,

[00:11:58] Halfling: Maybe,

[00:11:59] Jacob Holo: maybe

[00:12:00] Halfling: maybe.

[00:12:01] Jacob Holo: And, you know, I'm thinking to myself, you know, I've heard maybe enough times. I know what maybe means. Fine. Okay. The charm did not work. All right. And she's talking and she's talking and I'm just barely listening cuz I just wanna go home at this point.

[00:12:17] Halfling: Oh,

[00:12:18] Jacob Holo: And then she says, yay, we're gonna go out on a date. Excuse me. You said maybe Oh, oh. That, that was just a knee jerk reactions. You know, I work at the library and you have like, all these creepers show up and some of us wear fake engagement rings, and that, that was just a knee jerk reaction. Like, okay. All right. I wasn't really expecting all that, but, okay, sure, sure.

[00:12:45] Jacob Holo: And so, you know, we, we set a date for the date and, unfortunately the day after, my dad had a heart attack

[00:12:53] Halfling: Oh

[00:12:54] Jacob Holo: and the day after that, he passed away.

[00:12:56] Halfling: Oh my goodness.

[00:12:57] Jacob Holo: So I went back to Ohio, to be with the family.

[00:13:01] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:13:02] Jacob Holo: And, I've let Heather know and while I was over there I was getting, you know, kind of, Encouraging messages from her and it really felt good.

[00:13:11] Jacob Holo: You know, it was like this bright spot each day is, I would get like the message on Facebook from Heather

[00:13:16] Halfling: Ah.

[00:13:17] Jacob Holo: and we rescheduled our date, obviously because I was in Ohio, for a funeral in the various proceedings and so our date was December 19th 

[00:13:29] Halfling: Mm-hmm. 

[00:13:30] Jacob Holo: and, we really hit it off, and actually got invited over to see her family for Christmas.

[00:13:40] Halfling: Oh, that's serious! 

[00:13:42] Jacob Holo: and you know, part of it was that, I'm here in the area all alone. My dad had just passed away and her family was like, Hey, let's invite Jacob over, give him some, company to be with, which was really great. Just all around. And, so I had plenty of time off the, and we were like seeing each other like almost every day. And, um, Should I go over, uh, Heather? Should, should I talk about New Year's? Sure. It's hilarious. Okay. Okay. . So, so things are proceeding and we go over, uh, uh, a friend's house for New Year's Eve, and, you know that about, I don't know, like 15 minutes before the ball drops, one of the announcers says, oh yes, and that other New Year's tradition, the New Year's kiss.

[00:14:38] Jacob Holo: And so I looked over at her. And she looked back at me and we made eye contact and I'm like, aha. I have received permission. Good, good. Great. And so 15 minutes later the ball drops and I move in and she backs away. And I'm like, oh no. Oh no. I have misread the signals. Back it up, back it up, and I get some sort of weird peck on the cheek,

[00:15:07] Jacob Holo: And then we leave afterward and we get back in the car and I'm like, Heather, I thought, I thought I had permission. And we made eye contact. And what did she say? I forgot.

[00:15:21] HP Holo: I panicked. . 

[00:15:23] Jacob Holo: Well, you 

[00:15:23] Jacob Holo: forgot and then you panicked. Yes. It was like, it was 15 minutes before we had paid eye contact.

[00:15:32] Halfling: She may have just been nervous. It might have just been nerves, chalk it up to nerves.

[00:15:38] Jacob Holo: Yeah. So anyway, um, 

[00:15:41] HP Holo: that's the first 

[00:15:41] HP Holo: dating experience I'd had. So 

[00:15:44] Jacob Holo: and then, so things were progressing and let's see here. I ended up proposing to her less than two months after we started dating

[00:15:57] Halfling: oh well, 

[00:15:59] Jacob Holo: as we, we knew

[00:16:01] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:16:02] HP Holo: mm-hmm.

[00:16:02] Halfling: So how long have you guys been married?

[00:16:06] HP Holo: 10 years as of this past August.

[00:16:08] Halfling: All right, well, congratulations. 

[00:16:11] HP Holo: Well, thank you. And absurdly it simultaneously feels longer than that and not nearly as long as that.

[00:16:17] HP Holo: It's very strange how it affects your perception of time. But yeah, 10 years.

[00:16:21] Halfling: yeah, I, I understand. Of course. You know, the spaceman and I are in it for the long haul. We've been married 35 years or so.

[00:16:29] HP Holo: Oh wow. Yeah.

[00:16:30] Halfling: Yeah, you got guys got a little ways to catch up, but that's okay. You'll get there, you'll get, you'll get there . But, we wanna take turns for each of you to tell us a little bit about what fandom means to you and what would you consider yourself a fan of?

[00:16:47] Halfling: Jacob, you already mentioned, the sci-fi and the fantasy as matter of fact, I guess both of you have that in common, but, other than that,

[00:16:54] Spaceman: Or sci-fi and fantasy together.

[00:16:57] Halfling: yeah. Mm-hmm. Sci five Fantasy together. Yep. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. So whichever one of you wants to speak up first. What are you into? and what does fandom mean to you?

[00:17:09] Jacob Holo: Heather, I've been doing a lot of talking. Why don't you 

[00:17:13] HP Holo: I was waiting for your signal. Okay. . So for me, fandom has always been a really fun part of my life and a place that I found a lot of comfort. And one thing that I really enjoy about fandom in particular is that it is a place where, Introverts become extroverted and contrary to popular belief.

[00:17:37] HP Holo: I am an incredible introvert. Like I managed to fake extroversion really well. But I'm the kind of person where growing up I was very shy and very reserved until I met my tribe. And that tribe was a whole bunch of anime nerds and art nerds and comic nerds and everything, around the time that I started writing.

[00:18:00] HP Holo: And we were all kind of, back then, we were kind of the weird kids but we were a very close knit group of weird kids. And I fit in with the weird kids. And so that was my comfortable space and I've always enjoyed fandom for that reason. I have also, this is more of a recent, thing, but I have really come to appreciate the fan fiction aspect of fandom.

[00:18:22] HP Holo: And the one thing that I really, really appreciate about. Well, lemme let me back up and say, one thing I really like about fandom in general is it's propensity to be creative and to take things other people have created and then go absolutely wild with them. In terms of fan fiction and fan art, fan fiction gets condescended to a lot because a lot of it is frankly not well written, but then it's not meant to be professional quality work.

[00:18:52] HP Holo: It's meant to be fun expressions of something you love. And I love how absolutely crazy some of the imaginings get in that. Just in that branch of fandom, I just, there's a certain unbridled joy to it that is just really endearing. But in terms of the properties that I've always loved, I mentioned before a lot of my sense of fandom goes back to that iconic Toonami block on Cartoon Network, all the anime associated.

[00:19:20] HP Holo: Gundam Wing was, one of my first huge nerd loves, the Tenchi Muyo! Series. I was not a huge fan of Dragon Ball Z back in the day, but now it's one of my favorite things ever. And so there was, there were those, I have always been a huge fan of Pokemon and Digimon and there was a little, another monster collecting show around that time called Monster Rancher.

[00:19:44] HP Holo: That was huge. And I still collect Pokemon and Digimon stuff to this day. Jacob , I actually got Jacob into Digimon recently because the newish card game, that started releasing, I wanna say it, it's probably two years ago at this point. It's a really well designed game and Jacob really, really enjoys really well designed games.

[00:20:02] HP Holo: And so now we collect Digimon cards and spend very adults amounts of money on them. But, but, so those have been my, um, my big fandoms. There's also, I, I would say that the anime fandom is definitely the one I have the most involvement in, just in terms of my online conduct and whatnot. But also, books definitely, Terry Pratchett's Discworld Series

[00:20:26] Halfling: Love it. Love it.

[00:20:28] HP Holo: my gosh, it is hands down. Like if I'm having a bad day, I know I can go pick up some Terry Pratchett and leave both laughing and thinking about some deep thing at the same time. And I just absolutely love that juxtaposition is wrong word, that combination of things. And, um, so there's that.

[00:20:48] HP Holo: I'm looking on my bookshelf now for more inspiration. There's actually, there's another series that it, is, I wouldn't even say it has a cult following cuz it's very tiny, but there's a series by, oh, have I gotta look up? I, I've actually forgotten the author's names. Paul Stewart and Chris Riddle called The Edge Chronicles and it came out, I don't even know how many years ago, but it's just this really slightly. Rough grotesque children's fantasy series where it's all monsters and adventure and very little romance, and it's also wonderfully illustrated. And that series in particular, I went through a period where I, creatively I just ran out of energy. I actually, when, when I first started going to college, I was in art school and my first semester of art school completely destroyed any love of art that I had.

[00:21:44] HP Holo: I just did not enjoy pursuing it academically and stopped drawing, for a long time. And back at that point, like when I was in high school, I wanted to go into animation. So it was like, it was a big deal. And the loss of love in, uh of my loss of love for art also sort of filtered over into my writing.

[00:22:04] HP Holo: And I was just kind of really down about it for a bit. And then I discovered the Edge Chronicle series and something about that series, it just had, it was kind of like Quest for Camelot. It had that perfect combination of things that just made me want to create again. And for that reason, I will forever love that series, but it has a fandom of maybe me and like five people on Facebook

[00:22:25] HP Holo: So if you haven't read it, read it, it's wonderful. But yeah, I know I've missed some things, but I'm a fan of so many things. , it's easy to miss them.

[00:22:34] Spaceman: You know, it's funny, every time somebody mentions, Terry Pratchett, I just want to go Nay king. Nay queen. Nay Laird. Nay Master. We will not be fooled again.

[00:22:44] Halfling: Ands Crivvens! We're not at all Pratchett fans. 

[00:22:50] Spaceman: not a bit.

[00:22:50] Halfling: You know, uh,

[00:22:53] Spaceman: Sam Vimes. Might break down the door for that lie. So,

[00:22:56] Halfling: But you mentioned finding your tribe and just a little personal quick story. When I was in high school, I was one of those that didn't really seem to fit in anywhere. and I was lucky enough to find another group of people that didn't seem to fit in anywhere. And so they sort of formed their own little tribe, so to speak. And ours was, around role playing games, specifically Dungeons and Dragons at the time. But , we also did, uh, mock, I don't know if you're familiar with the S C A Society for Creative Anachronism.

[00:23:34] Halfling: Well, The people that I hung out with, we called ourselves entropy, which is supposed to be controlled chaos. But there was no control about it. It was just, it was ca chaos. But we would ha we would go out into the woods with our fake swords and daggers and stuff and have these, you know, and have these fights in the woods.

[00:23:56] Halfling: And everybody wanted me to pair up with them because I was really good at backstabbing . Um, so , I always got the sneak attack and so people always wanted me to be their partner. But anyways, let's, that's my little find your tribe thing.

[00:24:11] Spaceman: And it's amazing. She didn't become a LARPer..

[00:24:15] Halfling: No, I really didn't. I really didn't. I played a couple of LAPRs, but I'm not really LARPer. But, anyway, Jacob, what about you? what does fandom mean to you and what are you into?

[00:24:27] Jacob Holo: So going up, up through. All the way through high school. I didn't really fit in. And then I got to college and I'm in engineering classes with other engineering students and I'm surrounded by like-minded people. And we had a lot of, common interests. A lot of us, you know, hit it off.

[00:24:51] Jacob Holo: I'd already mentioned, Star Trek, Star Wars, though , I've had something of a falling out and then a falling back in with Star Wars, I have never been so angry at a movie as I was at The Last Jedi

[00:25:07] Halfling: Hmm.

[00:25:08] HP Holo: Yeah. There was a period where Jacob was not allowed to talk about The Last Jedi in our house.

[00:25:12] HP Holo: Like I banned it cuz I got tired of hearing about it.

[00:25:14] Spaceman: Yeah, the Halfling wasn't allowed to talk about The Last Jedi either, so

[00:25:21] Jacob Holo: Um, but, I've been into various types of gaming. I love games, be it, computer games, tabletop games, card games, pen and paper, role playing. I love games, and that sometimes ends up in my writing, more often than not actually . Um, but, uh I mean, Pratchett, yeah, it's not so much of a fandom, but Dune was a huge influence on me as well. The first introduction that I had to David Webber was in Death Ground, in the Star Fire, series, which is actually based off of a game, which I found out later. And it was my gateway drug to David's writing.

[00:26:16] Jacob Holo: Anime. I love anime. It's one of the reasons why, there are a fair amount of big stompy robots that kind of , you know, edge their way into my writing here and there.

[00:26:28] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:29] Jacob Holo: no matter how impractical they may be, , I've gotta have my big stompy robots.

[00:26:37] Halfling: Well, you know, as long as it sounds cool, I mean, that's the most important thing. How it sounds. How it looks. If it looks cool, then hey, uh, well, so that actually brought me to a question. And I had not prepared this question, but it did make me think, how did you actually come about ending up pairing with David Weber?

[00:26:58] Halfling: I mean, you said he contacted you. Were you already writing at the time?

[00:27:02] Jacob Holo: Okay, so this is another story. Oh, I can start and it actually starts in a dark place. 

[00:27:08] Jacob Holo: So it starts, I believe, I don't have, if the dates on this one down quite as well as, when, you know, Heather and I met, but I think sometime in 2014 that's, she was diagnosed with stage one melanoma and Now, fortunately, we, we caught it early.

[00:27:28] Jacob Holo: It was, removed and she had, as part of the excision of the cancer, she also had a lymph node biopsy. So two lymph nodes were removed and they cut through muscle to get to, one of them, I believe.

[00:27:43] Halfling: Mm.

[00:27:44] Jacob Holo: And so she was essentially recovering from like, hernia surgery. And Heather, as you may have noticed, during our brief discussion here is full of energy she does not deal with being cooped up in the house very well. So she was having a severe case of cabin fever now, and this is, I don't know, maybe five or so days after the surgery.

[00:28:12] Halfling: Mm.

[00:28:13] Jacob Holo: At this point, I was still like, if she needed to get up or from the couch or sit down, I was holding out my arm as a support for her to, brace herself with, and also as she would go from, you know, location to location in the house.

[00:28:30] Jacob Holo: And she said, Hey, there's this small convention nearby. We should go to it. I'm like, I don't know Heather. It's like, oh, David Weber's gonna be there. You can get your, copy of in Death Ground signed. Okay, you win So, we head on over and, she's kind of a limping through and I'm, supporting her through it.

[00:28:57] Jacob Holo: And, there was a table set up the. The RMN, David's fan Club were there in force

[00:29:04] Spaceman: God

[00:29:05] Spaceman: bless those guys. 

[00:29:06] Jacob Holo: pardon

[00:29:07] Spaceman: God bless those guys.

[00:29:12] Jacob Holo: And, we had a little bit of time before David arrived, and so we were like talking to some of them. And then David arrived and he was handing out free copies of On Basilisk Station.

[00:29:24] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:29:25] Jacob Holo: And I got in line.

[00:29:27] Jacob Holo: I, got another copy of On Basilisk Station and, got in Death Ground signed. And so then we're hanging out with, the RMN crowd.

[00:29:37] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:29:38] Jacob Holo: and one of them, he's like, oh, oh, you too, write? Oh, you should talk to Sharon, David's wife. And we're like, no, no, we do not need to be bothering David Weber's wife. So they like almost grabbed us and dragged us over to a table and sat us down. And Sharon, sat down with us and we had a conversation about writing and, you know, the kind of far ranging discussion. And she said, yeah, we should have lunch together sometime, you know, you guys pay for lunch, David will talk your ear off.

[00:30:15] Jacob Holo: We're like, okay, we're fine with this. And so, a couple weeks later we had lunch together and that lasted about four hours.

[00:30:27] Halfling: Wow. Some lunch.

[00:30:31] Jacob Holo: Yes, yes. That we were at that table for about four hours. And, you know, when we showed up, at the time, we had self-published two of my books. 

[00:30:45] Jacob Holo: And so we had brought them as gifts, you know, it's like, well, you know, and David had some stuff for us too. So, we were like, okay, this doesn't feel awkward, right?

[00:30:54] Jacob Holo: So we exchanged it and what I didn't know at the time was that, David Weber, a quiet David, you should be nervous about . So, cuz n normally he's, you know, very personable 

[00:31:09] Jacob Holo: person. Um, and we, we'll, we'll very much talk your ear off. And so we're talking to Sharon about various things, and David's very quiet and he's looking through one of my books. And then he eventually speaks up and he starts it like this. He says, you know, that he can tell, I forget exactly his wording, but that some people have what it takes to be storytellers and some people don't. And then he pause and he's got my book open in front of him.

[00:31:44] Jacob Holo: He's got his finger on a passage. I have no idea what passages is, and like my, my, my blood pressure's just skyrocket. It's just like, oh, no, and then he continues. And I can tell that you. Do, and I'm like, oh, oh, And, um, what kind of started from there became a friendship and fast forward a few years, and I had submitted a manuscript to Baen Books and it had been rejected. And so I was talking to David about that and I had asked him, you know, Hey, would you be willing to read that manuscript and tell me where I need to improve my craft?

[00:32:32] Jacob Holo: He's like, oh yeah, sure, sure, sure. And then he got really quiet again, And then he started grinning and he was like, you know what? We sh we should write something together. And that's when he proposed that we, collaborate on what. Became the Gordian Division series

[00:32:55] Halfling: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . That's a great, that's a great story. Now I do have sort of an adjacent question. Do you prefer collaborating or do you prefer writing on your own, and which would you find more challenging?

[00:33:10] Jacob Holo: Well, I would say that collaborations generally are more challenging, but they can definitely be more rewarding, because you have, just the interplay of ideas, having a an outside perspective bringing, different direction. The Gordian Division books, I would never have written those stories together that on my own.

[00:33:40] Jacob Holo: Um, and there are a lot of parts to them that David would not have written on his own. It took the two of us together to craft these stories. And that's while yes, there's the logistics of writing it and of kind of corralling the various ideas. Yeah, there's a lot of work involved in that, but a lot of times there's some pretty awesome payoff

[00:34:05] Halfling: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.

[00:34:07] Jacob Holo: And, I think that for me, you know, writing solo is easier. Cuz it's just me and my outline.

[00:34:16] Jacob Holo: But yeah, collaborating can be a very, and, and has been for, you know, with, with me David and me and Heather. Very rewarding experiences.

[00:34:28] Halfling: Okay. And you're not the first person that has said that, what we have heard from others is that collaborating is both more difficult, but, at the same time. It is more, as you said, rewarding. I think that the challenge and maybe you come across that, but one of the challenges that people who collaborate, seem to face is trying to write in the same voice.

[00:34:54] Spaceman: Building off of that. I wanted to go to HP because I noticed that. The third of the Monster Punk Horizon books are a collaboration between HP and Jacob, and HP is the sole author on the first two books. So HP what of your insights on writing collaboratively with Jacob?

[00:35:14] HP Holo: Well, it's, to be honest, it varies from project to project. We've actually, we've written one other book together too. And my quote unquote first book The Wizards Way, was a collaboration between us in that, I took care of basically all the world building and characters and whatnot, and I had not yet been published.

[00:35:34] HP Holo: I was still learning my craft and the initial draft was a hot mess. Well, fortunately, I married an engineer who is good at planning things and he went through and is like, okay, here's how we can streamline this and make it readable and . So he basically, he went through and we sort of re plotted it together and I ended up sort of structuring it to the informal outline that he did.

[00:36:00] HP Holo: So it was, it was a very weird, um, form of collaboration. Now Monster Punk three has the wholy different story and, in terms of writing with him, it presents its own unique challenges because the two of us have such completely different writing styles and writing techniques. Jacob says that he often says that he doesn't write stories so much as design them.

[00:36:26] HP Holo: And it's a very good way of describing his process because he basically, he writes his outline, he solves all the story problems in the outlining phase. And then I wish , well, most, you know what I mean? It's solves most of his story problems. And then once the outline is refined, he just goes through and puts that outline in prose form and it's very, there's a very strict process to it.

[00:36:48] HP Holo: Whereas back when I was working on, the Monster Punk Horizon series and the Wizard Series, I was very much a right by the seat of your pants kind of person. I like to explore. I like to sort of find the story as I go along, and our early collaborations, , were a little chaotic because of that.

[00:37:07] HP Holo: I've since refined my writing style in what is another very long story. But ultimately the thing that I like about collaboration is that it requires me to think about my own writing in a different way and in some ways helps me detect and analyze weaknesses in my own process. And that's been something that's very educating, about writing collaborations with Jacob. Because you have to be able to work well with the person you're collaborating with, or the project just becomes a disaster. You have to be able to make compromises on things. And if you can't compromise and can't come to an agreement on most of the project, then it's just not gonna work.

[00:37:52] HP Holo: And I do really enjoy trying to figure out the process of making those compromises. Now, monster Punk three actually has a really hilarious origin in that, I was writing Monster Punk one, and it was my first novel in a while, for complicated reasons. But I was working on that and Jacob started reading it and was like, you know what?

[00:38:17] HP Holo: I really like this world and I'm between projects right now. Can I write a book in this series? ? And I was like, sure, go for it. That's more to put out. And so he actually finished his draft of book three before I was done with Book one

[00:38:32] Halfling: Oh wow.

[00:38:33] HP Holo: And basically how we approached that one is I had the basic world set up.

[00:38:37] HP Holo: The Monster Punk Horizon series is very simple and structure. Like every book comes down to, oh my gosh, there's a monster. We gotta go fight the monster. And then, you know, they gaming style, they go and get their armor and get their upgrades and then do what it takes to go fight the monster.

[00:38:54] HP Holo: And so it's a very easy world for him to ride in while I was writing other stuff. So basically he picked his monster and then asked me, can this thing logically happen in the world? Can this thing logically happen in the world? And the monster of punk horizon world is a chaotic world, so most anything can happen.

[00:39:10] HP Holo: And Jacob, yeah. 

[00:39:12] Jacob Holo: So one of the things that, happened as she, okay, so. Heather wrote book one. She wrote book two, and then she started editing book three and adding her own material, which would had always been the intention. And, she mentioned to me, Hey, the, there's this one character and his voice, you know, isn't, quite the same as it is in book two.

[00:39:38] Jacob Holo: I'm like, Heather, there wasn't a book two when I wrote this. Just . Just modify his dialogue. However you want. , I'm fine with it. Just modify it. Just, just tweak it however you want. . 

[00:39:54] HP Holo: That was a fun one. And then there are other projects that we've worked on together too where we followed an entirely different process.

[00:40:00] HP Holo: And I, since this is a fairly G-PG rated podcast, I will not talk in detail about this because my other pen name is, is rather, rather spicy. But with that particular series, even though it's under,, my one pen name, Edie Skye, both of us, it is in many ways a collaboration and basically, Jacob wrote the outlines for that series.

[00:40:21] HP Holo: We collaboratively came up with the world and what kind of story we wanted to tell. But he wrote the basic outlines. They were very skeletal outlines. And then, I went through and took his outlines and wrote the books. And we found that it's our happy medium for collaborations where it's like we do the basic planning, we get the logic of the world done, and Jacob takes care of most of the plotting.

[00:40:44] HP Holo: And then since world building and character writing and just churning out words is my strength. I just go and churn out words, , and it works really well. And I've been able to write a book every three months because of it. So that's a fun way to collaborate too, and is my preferred way at this point.

[00:41:01] HP Holo: But, 

[00:41:02] Jacob Holo: but yeah. So had a lot of fun designing the magic system and the giant Stompy robots for your new series. 

[00:41:10] HP Holo: Yes. It's been a fun one. 

[00:41:12] Spaceman: I can say for a fact that both the Halfling and I are big fans of giant Stompy Robots! 

[00:41:17] Halfling: Mm-hmm. 

[00:41:18] HP Holo: Yes. We're amongst our people! 

[00:41:20] Halfling: Love the the love, love them. Yes.

[00:41:22] Spaceman: Especially ones that turn into like airplanes but that's a side issue and need not detain us.

[00:41:30] Halfling: Well, that's really cool. We've only had one other couple on at this point, the Youngs and, they are a collaborative, well, they, they're not really collab. Yeah, they're not really both writers. She writes a little bit, but he's primarily the writer of the family and she's the artist.

[00:41:49] Halfling: And, it was interesting to hear them talk about their relationship and just hearing them, you could sort of get an idea of what their relationship was like. You can be a fly on the wall in their house. Just have a lot of fun. So I mean, Do you guys ever get on each other's nerves when you're trying to work?

[00:42:08] Halfling: Is there ever a point when you,

[00:42:10] Spaceman: I get on the Halfling's nerves all the time,

[00:42:13] Halfling: not all the time,

[00:42:14] Spaceman: all the time.

[00:42:15] Halfling: well, you

[00:42:16] HP Holo: yeah. I get on Jacob's nerves all the time. In terms of working though, the two of us know that. We both have our own specific processes when it comes to writing, and when we're both doing writing work, we generally try to stay out of each other's way. And I actually have found that, like if he's at home doing stuff, I just go out to a local coffee shop and write and it helps me focus, but also keeps him outta my hair

[00:42:43] HP Holo: And, if he is at home doing writing stuff, I generally try to stay out of the way. And I know what it's like to have focus interrupted and have to struggle to get that focus back and this could be a longer story. So cut me short if I have time.

[00:42:59] HP Holo: But one of the most important parts of our relationship, both as a couple and as writers, has to do with the fact that I have O C D. And the reason why this is so important is because, okay, so I wrote The Wizard's Way and released it in 2016. 

[00:43:17] Jacob Holo: Yeah, I think that's right.

[00:43:18] HP Holo: Yeah. Way, way back. And immediately after I released it, I started working on the sequel and I, at that time, Job stuff allowed so that I could start writing full-time. And so I did. And so I was writing and writing and writing and I just, despite having a lot of time at my disposal, I could not get this story to come together because I had enormous issues focusing and organizing to what we realized was an unreasonable extent and so I eventually started going to therapy to see if I could figure out like what was up with my brain, because we knew it wasn't a typical thing and I randomly mentioned that I checked things compulsively and that was the key for the therapist we were talking to. And I had never considered, and she suggested O C D as a result of that.

[00:44:12] HP Holo: And I had never considered O C D because the stereotype of O C D is that you're really, really organized. You're really, really detail oriented and I am none of those things . And it's like my office is not the office of someone who has stereotypical O C D and it turns out that there are like five different versions of O C D.

[00:44:33] HP Holo: And I had a combination of versions, but one of the troubles for me, I. Was the general idea of obsession itself. And the way it manifested in my writing is that I would get obsessed with certain ideas and would not be able to think about anything else until I wrote them to completion, whether they actually contributed to the story or not.

[00:44:55] HP Holo: And so there was that. There were also, on a practical level, I also had a lot of health related obsessions just due to my cancer and due to various family health disasters and things like that. And once I realized that about my writing in particular, a light bulb went off because I could see vestiges of O C D and everything I had written in the manuscript I just worked on whether it was directionless tangents or general disorganization or whatnot.

[00:45:24] HP Holo: And so I started, going to therapy to figure out coping techniques to handle my O C D. And in the process as I was learning about how to handle it was like, you know what? Knowing what I know about myself now, I wanna reconstruct my entire writing process from the ground up, keeping my O C D related weaknesses in mind.

[00:45:46] HP Holo: And one of my weaknesses at that point was that I would go crazy with world building, whether it's positively affected the story or not. So basically what I decided to do was limit myself to really linear storylines and basically if I ever made a decision while writing, it would have to be something that contributes directly to the plot.

[00:46:05] HP Holo: And if I decided to go on something like a tangent, it could only be a tangent that lasted two or three or so paragraphs and still had to contribute. And that ended up becoming actually two separate projects. The first branch of that project became the Monster Punk Horizon series with its very linear storylines and very simple characters.

[00:46:26] HP Holo: And then Jacob, when I was in therapy, suggested, you know what, why don't I just write some outlines? And you do the writing for it, which is what became the Titan Mage series on the Edie Skype pen name. And both of those, Series were, in terms of my learning how to function with my O C D, tremendous successes.

[00:46:49] HP Holo: I went from not having released any books in years to releasing three books in one year. And then I'm about to release, so actually, let me see. It was, was it three books in one year? 

[00:47:02] Jacob Holo: Yes.

[00:47:03] HP Holo: I released the, yeah, I, I released the first three, Monster Punk Horizon books in one year. And then the following year I released, three Titan Mage books in quick succession.

[00:47:13] HP Holo: And then I'm currently working on the fourth and the fifth will come out. And the ultimate result of learning how OC D affects my writing is that I know exactly how many words I can write in a given amount of time and I can now schedule my writing so that I can produce predictably on a schedule.

[00:47:32] HP Holo: And that has been amazing for my productivity. But yeah, and Titan Mage, especially was a revelation because I basically, whenever Jacob gave me the outlines, it was like mid covid lockdown. So everything crazy. And I had a bunch of time at home cuz you know, I couldn't leave anywhere. And so I was like, what the heck?

[00:47:50] HP Holo: I'll try this experiment. And Jacob had written the first few chapters of that book just to establish the vibe. But I took it and went from not having finished a novel in years to finishing the first Titan Mage book in, I wanna say three weeks. And that was just astonishing, to me and so, I bring up O C D in relation to my writing, quite a bit because being able to put a name to that monster had such tremendous effects on my ability to function, not just personally and daily life, but also to be able to function as a writer.

[00:48:25] HP Holo: But yeah, , so, long story short, I don't actually know why I started telling that story at this point. I can't remember original point was. 

[00:48:33] HP Holo: Anyway. 

[00:48:34] Halfling: I mean, no, that's fine. Because that's one of the things that we wanna talk about is the challenges that writers or other creators face in their journeys. It's not just simply butt in seat there's a lot more to it than that.

[00:48:50] Spaceman: Right. It is Journeys in Active Fandom is what we're looking at. So this is the story of your Journey.

[00:48:56] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:48:57] HP Holo: Oh, and actually I remember what my original point was about focus. I find when I write that it takes me a good 30 minutes to really get into the groove of what I'm writing. And if I'm interrupted for more than like a single conversation exchange, it completely derails me.

[00:49:17] HP Holo: And I need another 30 minutes to get into my writing. And so if you get interrupted enough, it can completely mess up your writing day. And Jacob knows that about me and, I don't think yours is quite a 30 minute block, but I know that it takes you time Jacob to get refocused whenever you get interrupted too.

[00:49:35] HP Holo: And it's such a predictable part of both of our writing processes that we just know not to interrupt each other when it's a writing day and that's actually been a really great part of our relationship in general, just being married to another writer because very often non-writers just do not get the fact that when you're a writer, you need to write and you need, and it's the kind of thing where you have an idea in your head and you have to get it out. And to someone who is not creative in that way, they're just like, why are you so obsessed with this ? And so being married to someone who knows who understands it, occasionally, I've just gotta go in my room and write for three days without human contact.

[00:50:15] HP Holo: Um it really helps to have someone who understands

[00:50:19] Halfling: Mm-hmm. . Jacob, what about you? Are there any specific challenges for you in your writing, and what advice would you or HP offer to people that are starting a writing career? Want to get started? What challenges would they face?

[00:50:37] Jacob Holo: Well, as Heather mentioned, Sometimes I don't even consider myself a writer. I kind of view it as I design the book and then I construct it. And I think, that's pretty different from a lot of how other authors approach a given project. So I wouldn't say that I'm like at the far extreme of the organizational, from planning to pantsing.

[00:51:11] Jacob Holo: But I'm kind of there on close to one of the edges, I think. And I find that particular, method works for me. It's not how I have to write. I have pantsed stories before, but, I'm more comfortable planning things out, knowing where everything is going to go within a given story and trying to do my best to iron out as many of the problems as I can before I write the first sentence. That method's not gonna work for everyone and some people need to kind of join the characters on their journey, so to speak.

[00:51:55] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:51:55] Jacob Holo: Um, I am not one of those people

[00:51:59] Jacob Holo: It's like, you are going to go here. And then you are going to do this and you're gonna like it. . 

[00:52:06] HP Holo: And see, I'm the complete opposite. When I write, my characters kind of inhabit my head, like they're separately existing people. Like, it's weird, if I were not a writer and describe to these characters, people would think I'm insane.

[00:52:20] HP Holo: But it's like I, I'm very much one of the writers where the characters write themselves. Jacob's characters do not write themselves. Jacob's characters do what Jacob tells them to 

[00:52:30] Jacob Holo: Heather, Heather will, will sometimes ask me, it's like, well, well, what does, what does this character sound like in your head? And I'm like, the character sounds like me. What do you mean What are you talking about?

[00:52:45] Halfling: I guess what I'm hearing, bottom line is that each writer has to really try to find what works best for them. And it may take some attempts, trying some various styles. I think that might be something that, new writers might be a little hesitant about trying to find different, you know, sometimes when you're new at something and you do it the first time you think, okay, this is the way it has to be done.

[00:53:10] Halfling: This is the way I have to do it, and they don't think, or they're afraid to go outside that box and see if there's something that might work a little better for them.

[00:53:20] Spaceman: Right, define their own voice.

[00:53:22] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:53:23] Jacob Holo: Now, I will say one thing about people aspiring to write is that you have to write and you have to, to a certain degree, approach it fearlessly because you're not going to start out great. Generally speaking, most people write really bad stuff before they get better..

[00:53:44] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:53:45] Jacob Holo: Occasionally, Heather and I will be at a convention and some of 'em will come up to us and it's like, oh yeah, I'm writing a book too, and, and, I'll respond, oh, well h how, you know, h how's it going?

[00:53:57] Jacob Holo: And it's like, oh, I've, you know, I've written, uh, uh, like 2000 words in the past five years. I'm like, you're not really writing a book, are you? You're thinking about writing . You're toying with the idea of writing. You really haven't committed to writing a book. 

[00:54:17] Jacob Holo: And I don't say that to the person, but I'm thinking it in my head,

[00:54:22] Jacob Holo: And there is certainly a difference between talking about writing a book and making the commitment to taking whatever story is in your head and putting it into prose. And it's a lot of work and writing is a craft and if you don't practice it, you know, if you haven't practiced it.

[00:54:44] Jacob Holo: And like I said before, I've been practicing this craft for, actually, the first really bad story I wrote was in the second grade. But I started writing like novel length in high school. And it was bad but I just kept writing. And for the most part, each novel length story, I, hesitate to call them books, was better than the one that preceded it cuz I was kind of learning something as I went.

[00:55:16] Jacob Holo: And I was also, you know, reading more, I was experiencing good literature, experiencing good stories, learning from those. and eventually I got to the point where, you know like we discussed earlier, David Weber invited me to collaborate with him.

[00:55:36] Halfling: Yeah. Oh, well, HP, I had a question that I was thinking of asking you, and now it has completely gone, Spaceman. What do you got?

[00:55:47] Spaceman: Well, I've checked the azimuth of the telescope and, uh, no All right. 

[00:55:54] Spaceman: One of the things that we ask all our guests to our creators is if there was one thing that you know now that you wish you would've known starting out, what is it? This is either of you or both of you. What challenge or piece of advice or one thing 

[00:56:13] Spaceman: that you could tell your younger 

[00:56:16] HP Holo: I could do a 

[00:56:17] Spaceman: self 

[00:56:17] HP Holo: panel on this. Oh my gosh. So this is for people who wanna indie publish specifically, and I guess to a certain extent it can apply to people who wanna traditionally publish as well. One of my greatest regrets. From when we first started publishing was that we did not release series at first.

[00:56:33] HP Holo: Our first several, stories were standalones and at the time we did not understand the differences between the traditional reading crowd and the indie reading crowd. The traditional reading crowd is accustomed to getting a book a year-ish from its authors, and they're generally very patient.

[00:56:51] HP Holo: The indie reading crowd has been spoiled by authors who can write really fast. And if you basically have to release a series and release it fast to get any traction with indie with indie readers. And, which is one of the reasons why I'm releasing a book every three months now because my sales begin to drop off at that three month, at that three month mark and until I release a new book, and then they, the like, synergy happens and every, all the sales go back up.

[00:57:17] HP Holo: But in indie readers are voracious series readers to the point where some will not pick up a book unless it's in a completed series. And as a result, it took us a while to get off the ground with our indie publishing because of that, to this day of the early stuff we published, the thing we sell the most of is the one complete giant robot trilogy.

[00:57:40] HP Holo: The Serafin Revival series. It's not even the strongest thing either of us wrote, but because it's complete. , it's the thing that sells. And 

[00:57:48] Jacob Holo: But chronologically, it's the first thing that I wrote that we've released. Yeah. 

[00:57:53] HP Holo: And that was something that I had no context for knowing that when we first started publishing, like when we self-published, our process was literally Jacob had submitted the Dragons of Jupiter.

[00:58:03] HP Holo: His first, well, not his first novel, but the first novel that we published. He'd been submitting it around and had a whole folder of rejection letters. And I was like, you know what? Self-publishing is a thing and I've got layout talents and art talents and editing talents. Let's put them to use and self-publish.

[00:58:21] HP Holo: And so we didn't do it by the seat of our pants, but we just kind of jumped in to see what would happen. And it ended very well for us, but it took us much longer to get to the point where we currently are than it would have if I had known certain things going in.

[00:58:38] HP Holo: Hmm. A about the different markets and about series. So that's my main advice. Write series and write them fast. If you wanna do indie publishing,

[00:58:46] Halfling: Ah, that's that. That's

[00:58:47] Halfling: interesting. 

[00:58:50] Jacob Holo: I mean, to a certain degree. Ditto. But I think also, do market research. I wish we had instead of just, writing the stories that came to us to kind of, you know, study what was doing well and it's like, okay, well what do we have that we can benefit from that fandom that would appeal to that same group of people and instead of just sort of throwing out and seeing what stuck to the wall. , which was our first, few years before we, started going about it a little more in a little more structured manner. 

[00:59:27] HP Holo: Mm-hmm. . So when we first started, we only sort of treated it like a business.

[00:59:33] HP Holo: And then there came, was that a point there, there came a point where we were like, y you know what this, if we treat it right, this could be something that actually becomes careers for us. And so a year or so in, we started taking it a little bit more seriously in how we approached the sales aspect of it, because there is to any art to any successful art, there is a huge aspect of business and most of the artists who are starving artists are starving because they haven't acknowledged that art is a business. And that's the thing, like if you wanna be a writer, whether traditionally published or indie published, you've gotta respect that what you're doing is a business endeavor.

[01:00:14] HP Holo: And yeah, you have to treat it as such. That's all I got to say on that.

[01:00:20] Halfling: Well, you're not the first person to mention the business side of it, and what a challenge that can be. And a lot of people just say, you know what? I'm handing this over to a publisher and let them deal with all of that. I just wanna write. 

[01:00:37] Jacob Holo: I agree with you. 

[01:00:39] Jacob Holo: Yes, there is the desire for a lot of creative types that go into their corner and create. But if you're looking for something to be your livelihood, then yes, you have to be cognizant of the business aspect of it.

[01:00:54] Jacob Holo: Absolutely.

[01:00:55] Halfling: mm-hmm.

[01:00:57] HP Holo: One thing that. People who want to be professional creatives today have to keep in mind is that we live in a golden age of entertainment options. It is incredibly easy for people to make, to write their own books, to make their own animations, to create their own art, and very easily put it up for consumption and make it easy for people to access.

[01:01:21] HP Holo: The result of that is that there is a ton of content that people can consume and people are never gonna, like in, at least in this era, you will never be able to just plop something up on the internet and it take off without any marketing effort from you. It's simultaneously one of the best and worst things about this era of publishing.

[01:01:43] HP Holo: Like you have to do some kind of marketing to get noticed. And, occasionally you do have those little ones that take off inexplicably, but I guarantee you that a lot of the overnight successes, are not overnight successes. Like for example, with my Edie Sky pen name, Titan Mage has far away been my greatest success.

[01:02:04] HP Holo: And a lot of people who find that series are like, this person just came outta nowhere and they're amazing and they're overnight rich and all this stuff. And I'm like, nah, I've been doing this for 10 years. This is just the first time you noticed me, and so it's very much the opposite of overnight.

[01:02:23] Halfling: Well, you guys have given us some good advice, I'm sure that our listeners will appreciate it. So, as we're about to wrap up here, what exciting projects do y'all have coming out?

[01:02:34] HP Holo: Have at it Jacob 

[01:02:36] Jacob Holo: All right. I had to ask permission. Before, revealing this

[01:02:43] Halfling: okay.

[01:02:44] Jacob Holo: So, I had to send a text to, to David Weber about this, and he got in touch with Tony Wesoff, who's, if anyone doesn't know, publisher at Baen Books. 

[01:02:54] Halfling: Mm-hmm. 

[01:02:54] Jacob Holo: And she said that, yes, I can talk about this project.

[01:02:58] Halfling: Okay.

[01:02:59] Jacob Holo: I have to specify it is in the early planning stages, but, David and I, along with Tom Pope, will be writing a trilogy of Honorverse novels together.

[01:03:10] Halfling: Oh wow! Wow! That is

[01:03:13] Halfling: exciting. 

[01:03:14] Jacob Holo: For people familiar with the Honorverse, series, we will be, in terms of the timeline, we'll be following the David and Timothy Zahn books, the Manticore Ascendant series.

[01:03:27] Jacob Holo: There's gonna be six books in that series. So our trilogy will be following that and we will be, basically showing the life and times of the great, Manticorian hero, Edward Saganami. And it's both, exciting and thrilling. and terrifying it at the same time,

[01:03:49] Halfling: a little nervous,

[01:03:50] Jacob Holo: Yes, yes, But, yeah, I'm thrilled, , but yeah, that's the big news.

[01:03:55] Halfling: Awesome. Awesome. And what about you, miss HP?

[01:04:00] HP Holo: Mine's not really as exciting as that , but, my current projects, I am finishing up the last two books of the Titan Mage series, and then my next project will be to, finish up the Monster Punk Horizon series. So that's what I've got coming up. Hmm. 

[01:04:18] Halfling: And I just have to say for anybody who loves fantasy and some silliness, you got, you gotta check 'em out. you gotta check 'em

[01:04:28] Spaceman: Monster Punk Horizon is just fun.

[01:04:31] Halfling: It it, it is, it is. So that's great. That's great. Well, We don't have any exciting projects going on. Not really

[01:04:39] Halfling: We're going to some conventions, but, um, you

[01:04:41] Spaceman: No, this is an exciting project.

[01:04:43] HP Holo: has, yeah, this has been fun. This has been

[01:04:45] Halfling: yeah. Yeah. Okay. All right, , so where can our listeners find out about your various books series and find out more about you. If somebody wants, to find out a little bit more about you, where can we find you and your stuff?

[01:05:02] HP Holo: Well, our big hub on the internet is, so you can find information about all of our books and stuff there. But we're also available on, Amazon, all of Jacob's stuff with David is found, wherever good books are sold. But and Amazon are the easiest to access ones, so, yeah.

[01:05:20] Halfling: Okay. All right, well, we're gonna make sure to put that in the show notes. And we wanna thank our listeners for tuning in today and we hope that you have enjoyed and perhaps been a little inspired by our guest, HP and Jacob Holo. So we wanna give you guys a huge thanks for joining us today.

[01:05:39] Halfling: We've had a great time talking to you.

[01:05:43] Spaceman: Yeah, and we've really enjoyed talking with you. Thank you both for joining and this is the Spaceman over and out.