21. Stephanie Holder

13 Jun

Launching her career began early on for Stephanie Holder when, at a very young age, her wondrous fantasy story “Sage: The Power Within” began to flow from her fingertips into an impressive 500 page novel.

 Detailing the adventures of heroine Sage, who gets sucked into the underworld of her continent Zone, Stephanie says of her novel “to sum it up, it’s a story about duty versus life” and the blurring of borders between right and wrong. The difficult life journey and choices that Sage must make means that she undergoes an evolution as a character, a journey of sorts that Stephanie hopes her readers can relate to. Stephanie is brilliant at creating characters and giving them stand-out personalities to make them impressionable. She thinks it is important to create characters which the reader feels strongly about, “whether you like them or absolutely hate them!” As two young women trying to make our way in the world, it was exciting and refreshing to discover a novel based around such a strong and inspirational female protagonist, but we think anyone reading about this courageous new heroine will definitely be able to relate.

 It was surprising to hear Stephanie inform us that once she was simply a girl who was easily distracted in English class, a “troublesome” student, frustrated due to the “restricted” nature of essays with such rigid structure and requirements. However, outside the classroom, Stephanie has certainly found an outlet, a way to go beyond the formulaic expression of English essays, as she discovered the delight that the world of fantasy had to offer, and what’s more, that this was an area in which she excelled. When asked what attracted her to the idea of writing, Stephanie explained how she loves the imaginative possibilities that come with writing: “When I couldn’t find books that had the ideas and concepts I’d love to read, I decided to write my own.” Having complete control of her own story is something Stephanie loves is and says “strangely enough” she finds it “really therapeutic”. Stephanie doesn’t regret writing one line of her successful, 500 page novel; although she admits that one of her weaknesses is that she tends to be a bit too wordy and flowery with her sentences. Although we think when you’re writing such a detailed novel, that ‘weakness’ would certainly be no disadvantage! Other than writing, Stephanie exclaims that “camping is [her] ultimate hobby”, so when she’s not scribbling pen on paper, no doubt she’s in the outdoors enjoying the serenity nature has to offer.

Despite Stephanie’s obvious strength in writing, as a child she originally wanted to become an actress. She describes it as one of those “typical childhood dreams”, but the link between her current career pathway and her previous aspiration is clear. Stephanie loves being able to indulge in other characters’ stories and lives and that is why she isn’t surprised that she loves writing as much as she loved acting when she was little; she admits herself that her “imagination [still] gets to run a little wild”.

Not only does Stephanie love to write, but comments that she has always loved reading, qualities that for the author go hand in hand. Taking her inspiration from “life situations that [she has] exaggerated” has lead to the makings of her novel; however the books she has read have also shaped her career as an author.  While in her life she has read many wonderful books and had multiple favourite authors that have inspired her, one particular favourite author stands out in her memory: “When I was younger I read a series from Ian Irvine which made a huge impression on me, and I think it really made me want to develop my writing further.” She rates holding her first published novel after it was printed as one of the best feelings she has ever experienced. She acknowledges that she is very lucky to be given the opportunity to pursue her dreams, particularly at her young age. And thankfully, she has no intention of stopping any time soon. She has “so many ideas that [she] just wants to get out there and share”, and her determination will guarantee so much more success in the long career she has ahead of her.

Stephanie is living proof that you should never let anything stand in your way in achieving your dreams, and she encourages all young writers to pursue their aspirations. As a very modest and humble young achiever, Stephanie is no doubt someone to look up to. Now it is Stephanie’s turn to fill the shoes of idolized author for her fans. So what advice does this accomplished young woman have to offer? She urges future writers to “not let anyone hold you back, and don’t let anyone make you think your story isn’t good. A story is never not good – it’s just in stage one”.

Words By:Annabelle Pendlebury and Joely Mitchell

Photo by: Richelle Osborne

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