2022 Updates

Happy 2022!

I realized, just recently, that I haven’t updated my web site or my blog since…well, since a month before the pandemic really descended upon us.

I’d imagine that’s relatively common for most of us, as we’ve seen our lives demarcated into two specific eras: Before Pandemic, and In the Years of the Pandemic (wish I could write “After”). So many of my normal routines were disrupted, and I’ve found myself trying to reflect upon what I used to do in 2019, and who I used to be, and what I used to enjoy or value. (Even something as simple as going out to eat or going to see a movie…how often did I do that?)

In any case, I wanted to start the new year with a few links to show what I’ve been up to. Yes, I’ve been writing and drawing, though much of what I’ve produced is still in that frustrating stage of either “in progress, don’t look at me!” or “I’m ready, someone publish me NOW! what’s that? you want me to wait six months before you give me a response?…got it.”

Just recently, though, I’ve actually had three comics published in three different journals.

The first is called “Self-Away,” and it’s part of my series of Black Mirror-esque tales of technology destroying relationships. It’s ink and watercolor (very colorful), and it’s here at 805 Literary Arts.

I also just had a piece published at Booth, the literary journal of Butler University, and this has been one of my “bucket list” publications for a short comic for probably a decade. Super exciting to see it published online. It’s called “My Pandemic Garden,” and it’s part of another series of comics I’ve been playing with, all of which are horror/fantasy tales that stem from (you guessed it) the pandemic. Don’t worry. It’s not triggering. There’s a killer tomato. You’ll love. It’s black and white, just ink on paper.

I’ve also got a comic called “Melt” (pandemic horror, too) coming out in an anthology called Hindsight, so I’ll update you when that arrives.

Recently, I was also a guest on Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla’s talk show Emily Tells All. You can watch via YouTube, or even add her Roku channel and watch that way. Video below.

And you know what? It occurs to me, here in 2022, that I never shared my comics memoir from early 2020, which I wrote and drew during lockdown. It’s called “A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Professor,” and it was published on the UCF web site. It’s interesting to relive that period of my/ our lives, though it’s also a time period that I am extremely happy to be distanced from.

Finally, this is also a little late…but for anyone who’s read my campus history of the University of Central Florida…you might be interested in this piece about the history of UCF Homecoming, and our Homecoming Court. There’s a little interview with me (you’ll find it close to the end) and it was a lot of fun to participate. Wait, didn’t you know that I was UCF Homecoming King back in 2001? Don’t I strike you as “royalty”?

Learn something new every day, don’t you?

Until next time, world wide web! Enjoy the comics!

NPR Interview

Had the opportunity to sit down at WMFE, our local NPR affiliate, for a discussion about “writing Orlando” (with authors Jenny Torres Sanchez and Lauren Gibaldi, and filmmaker Jason Gregory). The interview itself aired last week, but “Intersections” archives the content in podcast form, so you can check it out here!

Orlando’s Literary Identity

I was also able to sit down with author and historian James C. Clark (Orlando: A Brief History) last weekend, too, at Writer’s Block Bookstore in Winter Park, and we had a fantastic discussion about the history of Orlando, and what stories remain to be explored in literature. If I’m able to score some photos and/or video or audio, I’ll post it here. Otherwise, I guess it’s one of those “had to be there” occasions! #fomo

Lit Hub

I’ve got a new comic essay out this week at Literary Hub. It’s a reading list of my favorite / most influential hybrid novels. There’s a watercolor of a book eating me. You should read it (screenshot below):

https://lithub.com/an-illustrated-reading-list-of-groundbreaking-mixed-media-literature/

Book Release Round-Up

It’s the start of December here in Orlando, which means that I am stuck in the whirlwind of my book release. The book officially saw local release in early November, with my truly amazing book launch party at The Orange Studio in downtown Orlando. But the “street date” for my book release is actually December 11, which means that we’re still a week and a half away from Amazon shipping copies to my “national” fan base. (Do I have a national fan base? I’ll just say “yes” so that I can feel good about myself.)

It’s an exciting time to be Nathan Holic, let me tell you. And to prove it, here’s a quick round-up of some press and some Bright Lights, Medium-Sized City articles from the past month or so.

I had a great time chatting with the Townie Tourist, both about the book, and about a billion other things. You can read her “20 Questions” text interview with me right here, and you can watch a video of our much larger conversation here.

I was profiled in the monthly Orange County Library magazine, and while I can’t offer a direct link to the article, this will take you to the pdf for the issue!

I’ve also got a comics workshops called “Comics For Non-Artists” at the library on December 9th. Here’s the link to that one!

And I was fortunate to get a great review of the book at one of my favorite literary magazines, Saw Palm. Check out there review here!

And the Orlando Sentinel also gave a great write-up for the book here, though I wasn’t fast enough to run out and get a print copy…

Additionally, riding high on the fumes of my book release, I was inducted into UCF’s Scroll & Quill Society, which recognizes faculty with a strong record of publication over the course of a decade at the university. Read about it here!

I’m sure that I’m forgetting some other links, but that’s why I have a blog, right? I’ll write a round-up at the end of the month, and all omissions shall be forgotten!

Some Q’s and Some A’s

Greetings, Universe!

We are two weeks away from my book launch party (Saturday, November 9th, at Orange Studio in downtown Orlando), and it’s exciting to see that people (like, real people!) are indeed talking about the book.

To learn a little more about Bright Lights, Medium-Sized City, and the long journey toward publication, check out this front page article in Orlando’s Downtown Community Paper. There’s a photo below of the full page.

And then head over to Townie Tourist, who was gracious enough to conduct a twenty-question interview with me. (We’ll be doing a Facebook Live interview very soon, too. Like, video. Technology, ya’ll.) She also read the book and had some very awesome things to say about it. Totally worth your time to check out! See you in two weeks, when this novel officially becomes a physical object.

Downtown Comm Paper

 

Book Release, and Orlando Authors to Know

Greetings, world!

Two quick items, hot off the press (not sure what the new expression is for internet news, since there is no printing press involved with this stuff, but I’ll leave that to someone smarter than me to figure out).

Item #1: Details for my hotly anticipated book release party are now revealed! Check out the Facebook event page here! We’ll be holding the party at Orange Studio in the Mills/50 neighborhood of downtown Orlando, on Saturday, November 9. Pre-order the book, and it will be available for pick-up. The party’s gonna be off the chain, ya’ll. (Or…as “off the chain” as a literary event can be. I’ll work on finding a more appropriate expression here, too.)

Item #2: The Orlando Weekly recently put together a list of “10 Orlando authors you should know,” and I was excited to find my name on the list! I’m pretty sure I’ve never been featured in a listicle before. This calls for a drink. (As of the writing of this post, it is 9:30 AM. So I will postpone the drink. But you can drink, if you’d like. no judgment.)

Hopefully I’ll have more news to share soon! Reviews. Online excerpts. Interviews. More listicles? Oh, what a time to be alive.

Bright Lights, Medium-Sized City

Once again, I’ve neglected my poor web space for far too long.

But there’s big news to report!

My new novel, Bright Lights Medium-Sized City, will be published this Fall by Burrow Press. The official release date is in December, and you are of course free to wait those many months…But it would be far cooler if you slithered over to the Burrow Press web site to pre-order the book. Link here! You’ll get the book early, and all of your friends will be jealous.

I’ll share the synopsis and some blurbs and press in the weeks ahead. Why waste it all in one blog post?

For today, I’d also like to announce that I’ll be part of PechaKucha, an Orlando institution, at the Dr. Phillips Center, on Friday, November 8. Tickets are available here. My book release party will actually be the next day, Saturday, November 9. It’s going to be a huge weekend for me, and for the book. Book your travel and hotel now!

Bright Lights Cover 3D

PechaKucha

Summer ’17 Updates

Hello there, world!

Look here: a blog post!

It’s been a wild few months since I’ve updated the blog, but I wanted to update my readers on a few writing endeavors that they can read, and/ or look forward to.

First, I’ll have an article in the Summer edition of Pegasus Magazine, the lush and colorful and over-sized publication of UCF Marketing. I’ve interviewed and profiled comic writer Robert Venditti (UCF ’01), and because the magazine is awesome (a real coffee table item) we wrote the piece as a four-page comic. It’ll be beautiful, and very different than most interviews and profiles you’re used to reading. If you’re a UCF alum, you’ll likely see it in your mail at the start of July.

Speaking of comics: this past Spring, my Rhetoric of Comics class was profiled in the Orlando Sentinel. Follow the link here for an article and video. The print version ran on the front page of the newspaper!

My comic “Mark’s Days” was also published at Knee-Jerk Magazine. And my comic adaptation of Lavinia Ludlow’s Single Stroke Seven is here. I’ve also got a few other comics circulating out in the submission nethersphere, so hopefully positive updates soon.

And if you’ve ever read/ enjoyed my empathetic fiction that takes on the POV of disposable victims in B-movies, here’s a new entry in that series: “A Zombie in Dawn of the Dead Transitions From an All-Juice Diet,”  in JMWW. I should also have another short fiction published in print, too, from The Meadow.

And I don’t think I shared it last summer, mostly because I was shell-shocked by the Pulse shooting here in Orlando, but I wrote a very long interview/ essay about writing Orlando/ Florida fiction, and writing about fraternities, and writing about fatherhood, at Prick of the Spindle. It feels a bit like a manifesto, and you can read it here.

Bye for now! I’m off to enjoy my air conditioning! #summerinflorida

 

News Items!

Well, here in Orlando, we’ve survived Hurricane Matthew…mostly…until it swings back around and pops us in the eye for gloating.

I wanted to make a quick Fall 2016 posting to share a couple links.

The first is about my “Rhetoric of Comics” course. I was recently interviewed by a student in the College of Arts & Humanities about the course and its purpose, and you can find the final article here at NSM Today: “UCF Professor Uses Comic Strips to Teach Social Understanding.” There’s a picture of me drawing a picture on my office wall. Is that enough to entice you to follow the link?

Also, I forgot to share (back in July) a really cool online article about the literary community’s reaction to the Pulse shootings. This is from Sarah Nicholas at Book Riot, and–despite the horror of that day and its aftermath–I think this article is a really joyful look at a community coming together and doing beautiful things: “#Litlando Meets #Orlandostrong.”

And here’s a link to video of the monthly lit event “Loose Lips,” wherein I was recently invited to read an original piece of fiction called “Gabby Douglas Will Destroy Us All.” It’s a fun story, I think, and because it was topical in nature (the event essentially asks you to write about a current event) I don’t really have plans to seek publication with it. It lived at Loose Lips, in that bar, under the haze of two full beers (it was a week night, come on), and it now lives here in this video, and that is enough.

Soon, I hope to have another link to share, as one of my recent comics was accepted for publication online. Until then, it’s October, Scary Movie Month, so you know what I’ll be doing! That’s right! Falling asleep at 9 PM without watching a scary movie!

Orlando

Oh. hello there.

The week after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub was a difficult one for many of us in Orlando. I tried to organize my thoughts in comic form, posted the images on Facebook, and then was deeply honored to have Green Mountains Review publish the final comic on their site. I often use writing to make sense of things in my life, but this was probably the first time that I’d ever used the medium of the comic. For some reason, it just felt right.

You can see the final product here.

Coincidentally, I was also interviewed by the journal Prick of the Spindle about (among other things) how I write Florida fiction, and how I write the city of Orlando. That interview was written up last year sometime, and was slated to be published online on Father’s Day of this year. (A great deal of the interview focused upon my book The Things I Don’t See, which was really all about fatherhood.) Father’s Day, of course, came one week after the Pulse nightclub shootings.

It felt in poor taste to make too big a deal of this interview, since so much of it was about the city of Orlando as a setting for fiction, and yet the interview didn’t (obviously) acknowledge the shooting…I was really thankful to Prick of the Spindle for still running the interview, even though the tone of the piece (written before anyone could’ve predicted what would happen) is so at odds with what had just occurred. I haven’t reread the bits of the interview that discuss Orlando, but soon I will. It’s probably the closest I’ve come to writing a personal manifesto about “how I write about Florida” and “how I write about fraternity life,” so it’s definitely something that I feel strongly about, and–if you’ve read any of my work, and dig what you saw–it’s totally worth a read.

Thanks for reading and/or visiting this blog. Enjoy your summers: we’re just getting started, and already I feel like I want to go live in my freezer.