Carolyn Holland grew up during the 70’s in the coastal wetlands of North Carolina in a small, rural fishing village near Topsail Island. Her love of books developed at a very young age, keeping her up late in the night reading about faraway places and distant times. In summer, every other Thursday would find her waiting on the front porch of their little house for the Book Mobile, as the closest library was 20 miles away. Her favorite genre was historical fiction and in the summer of her tenth year, she checked out Margaret Mitchells Gone With The Wind. Even as a small child she dreamed of being an author someday.
Carolyn recalls that as a child growing up, very little of the families food was purchased at a grocery store and trips into town only occurred about once a month. The summer months were spent maintaining a huge garden and the vegetables grown there were canned and frozen for winter consumption. The family gathered, fish, clams and oysters from the New River for the table year round and raised pigs to eat as well.
To her parents delight, Carolyn proved to be a strong student who loved school and study. Her first year in high school landed her in English class with a teacher whose love for literature greatly influenced her. This teacher, who would forever be Carolyn’s mentor, encouraged her to write. In that same year, for her birthday, her parents bought her a manual typewriter, which she used clear into her late twenties writing volumes that she would never attempt to have published and loads of children’s stories for her three children. In the late eighties, Carolyn earned extra money for her family by painting portraits of local shrimp trawlers and coastal wildlife. Both of her daughters are gifted artists today.
In the mid nineties, Carolyn found herself to be a single Mom of three. She often describes this time as a blur, as she often worked two jobs to make the ends meet during those days. Then in 2000, she met and married her husband, James Holland, who was then an active duty US Marine. Very soon after that, James began to encourage Carolyn’s creative nature and she began to explore the world of pottery making. In 2005, she became a pottery instructor with the ASYMCA aboard Camp Lejeune NC, teaching the art to the wives and children of deployed servicemen. Shortly after meeting James, Carolyn began to write again.
After James retired from the USMC, he and Carolyn started their own small home based business, which allowed the couple to spend time together doing the things that interest them both. Carolyn has revisited her love of nature and gardening, and since James grew up on a farm in Arkansas, the two have transformed their backyard into a mini farm, complete with greenhouse and chickens; it is their own little experiment in sustainable agriculture. She and James take at least two, week long primitive camping trips each year along with their dogs and no cell phones, to the Uhwarrie national forest. It is here that the couple enjoys experimenting with edible wild vegetation and likes to drink pine needle tea by the campfire on cool nights.
Over the last twenty years, she has written many poems and short stories, some of which were gathered from her family and youth, as well as several works of fiction. With a strong, long standing interest in both agriculture and history, she has always been naturally intrigued by the changing agricultural and socioeconomic climate and what it means for society as we know it.
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