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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Butterfly nightmare inspires South professor’s book

South+Campus+associate+professor+of+English+Bill+Holt+prepares+to+lecture+his+class.+A+butterfly+nightmare+20+years+ago+inspired+Holt+to+write+his+first+novel%2C+Faust%E2%80%99s+Butterfly.++Photo+by+Brian+Koenig%2FThe+Collegian
South Campus associate professor of English Bill Holt prepares to lecture his class. A butterfly nightmare 20 years ago inspired Holt to write his first novel, Faust’s Butterfly. Photo by Brian Koenig/The Collegian

By Montreal Spencer/south news editor

South Campus associate professor of English Bill Holt prepares to lecture his class. A butterfly nightmare 20 years ago inspired Holt to write his first novel, Faust’s Butterfly.  Photo by Brian Koenig/The Collegian
South Campus associate professor of English Bill Holt prepares to lecture his class. A butterfly nightmare 20 years ago inspired Holt to write his first novel, Faust’s Butterfly. Photo by Brian Koenig/The Collegian

When Bill Holt had a nightmare about a butterfly 20 years ago, he did not expect to have a published novel, Faust’s Butterfly.

The South Campus English associate professor first wrote a poem about the nightmare. He wrote the original version of the novel quickly and revised it because he thought it was too long. After 15 years of writing multiple drafts, Holt had his first novel.

Faust’s Butterfly is about Indiana teacher Nora Easterly and her colleague Wilbur Tuggle, who attempt to hunt down Faust, a serial killer. A sorcerer, Faust uses a deadly, but beautiful butterfly-looking creature to commit his crimes. Police pay no attention because the murders all look like accidents.

Holt put his novel on authonomy.com, a Web site run by HarperCollins. Books can be uploaded, read, edited and supported on the Web site.

“It’s all new to me. I just found out about it from Writer’s Digest magazine,” Holt said.

Since putting the novel on the Web site Oct. 19, Holt has received rave responses from readers. Along with getting more than 100 comments, Holt’s novel was ranked No. 3 in fantasy, No. 2 in horror, No. 2 in literary and tops in religious.

“It’s No. 1 in religious, but it’s a surprise to me it came out in that way,” he said.

Holt had no intention of writing a religious novel, but the readers took from it what they wanted. Some readers have said the novel is so scary, it should be read only at night.

South Campus student Robert Ryan enjoyed the book and says he is fortunate to have Holt as his British literature professor.

Ryan said Holt has influenced many people over the years to the joy of reading works that may never have been read without his encouragement.

“I am so happy to see that now a work of his own making is being so warmly welcomed and received as much as the works of others that he introduces to his students,” Ryan said.

Robin Rhyand, who works in South disabilities services, said Holt is one of her favorite TCC people. She read the book before it was submitted, loved reading it and can’t wait to see it in print.

“The characters come to life for me because I work at a college and can appreciate the personalities of the individual academics that try to tackle this dangerous mystery,” Rhyand said. “It is hard to put down, which is always a good sign of a terrific book, when you do not want to stop reading. Well done.”

Holt has taught on South Campus for about 40 years and is a past recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching.

“There is no reason anyone at TCC can’t promote a book on this Web site and help it toward publication,” Holt said.

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