Patrick Abbott, Author Substack
Patrick Abbott, Author Substack Podcast
An Interview with South African Author Schalk Holloway

An Interview with South African Author Schalk Holloway

An One Hour Interview on South Africa, Tactics, Neurodivergence in Stories, and Faith-influenced Science Fiction

Join Intelligence Officer Brendan Sean Murphy as he voyages into space in a struggle for peace and his own sanity. My first novel Fallen is available for $0.99 digital and $14.99 on paperback.

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Talking Non-American Science Fiction

Science fiction has long been a tool for cultures to envision how they would evolve and examine and comment upon contemporary issues. As I consumed more science fiction in various forms of media and met other authors, I began to appreciate the differences and similarities of foreign science fiction.

Motivated to learn more, I am contacting non-American scifi creators to get their comparisons of science fiction from around the world. If you are interested in being interviewed or know someone who would be, please reach out to patrick(dot)abbott(at)gmail(dot)com.

Check out the previous interviews with Pakistani author Omar Iftikhar and Nigerian creator Adedeji Oshigbesan.

Interview with Schalk Holloway

Schalk Holloway is a published author, lay minister, and retired special operations response team leader with 18 years experience running interventions in at-risk communities and 7 years experience executing urban tactical and intelligence based operations.

He is a subject literature author in the fields of Christian ministry, as well as professional firearms and combatives instruction. His first book, ‘Die Groot Storie’, was traditionally published by Struik Christian Media (the preeminent publisher for Christian books in South Africa) and can be found on the shelves of most South African chain bookstores. His second treatment, ‘The Maul Book‘ (co-authored by Gavin Coleman), has been widely acclaimed as one of the best books on its subject field. ‘The Maul Book’ as well as the ‘Schalk’s Little Book Series‘ can be ordered from most major online distributors.

In 2022 Schalk suffered a severe injury leading to multiple surgeries and a long period of recovery. Subsequently, he retired from certain instructional and operational environments. He is now enjoying an independent career as novelist. His first novels, ‘The Brooklyn Saga’, are a crossover between psychological thriller and realistic fiction. These books draw inspiration from his extensive experience running interventions and operations in at-risk communities. Schalk is currently working on more titles for his ‘Little Book Series’ as well as an exciting new hard and military science fiction series, ‘The Posterity Doctrine’.

Neurodivergence and (C/)PTSD themes feature strongly in in all Schalk’s tales.

He is active on Facebook and has his own website.

This was an epic interview

I planned for this interview to be like the rest. However, Schalk was game for a conversation, and I was eager to try Substack’s podcast feature. Thankfully, we went down this path as Schalk went in-depth about his background, his book Novus Dies, neurodivergence, and how his faith influenced his books.

There’s a generated transcript available, but some of the bits I enjoyed are his description of his interest in trying to figure out how small arms tactics would evolve, how South Africans being wildlife conscious led to his descriptions of nature reclaiming decaying cities, and how his idea of romanticism led to him having a husband-and-wife team as the protagonists who complemented each other with different skills.

The conversation got heavy towards the end. We discussed PTSD and neurodivergence in our books. I brought up how my time with fellow deployees who suffer what few understand spurred me to write Fallen. At the same time, Schalk tied his own life and the people he encountered both in ministry and security interventions into his writings. Finally, he described how he uses his Christian faith not to make preachy books but instead ponder how people can live a moral life in a hostile world, both in parts of South Africa and in his books.

Some Q&A

Background before becoming a novelist.

At heart, I'm a minister, so I've been working in ministry since 2005. But my wife and I, for quite a long period of our life, lived in at-risk communities and specifically ran high-risk interventions in at-risk communities. But flowing from that, probably about nine years ago, I got picked up by a special operations response team that works within a certain policing environment in our organized crime world and asked whether I would be able to just join them on what we would call a search and seizure operation. And that basically led to them inviting me onto the team and systematically growing into what would be a team leader position and also a regional leader position. And that lasted for last nine years, then I was a part of that special operations response team.

Personal Wonderings About How Small Arms Action, Not Lasers, Would be Different in the Novel

If I have to just speak about a hot weapon, a combustible weapon, what what would I want to fix in it so there was a lot of fun for me sort of just being able to take solid tactics small team tactics take solid knowledge and saying ‘Okay, but how do we push that a bit into the future?’, and I'll mod that play out within within a science fiction setting and and I quite enjoyed that that there's a lot of fun to be had in that. Much of the feedback that I get is centered around that as well you can see people quite enjoy the the door kicking, but the fact that it's not just humans doing it and there's robots with them.

A Unique Aspect of South Africa in His Story

So there's these little scenes or references to animals or wildlife and a little bit of discussion happening around possible future dynamics related to wildlife. The society that they find themselves in, it's far into the future and it's not being maintained because population levels have shrunk. So nature is encroached back into civilization. And with that, there are some animals and some plant life and so forth. So that features quite a bit. And I think that might be very much due to our South African heritage as well. The fact that we are outdoors people and we are used to wildlife and we don't have lions as pets, but we are very used to just to wildlife and to outside living and so forth.

Be sure to Get Novus Dies Before the Sequel Comes Out Later This Year!

It’s a wild ride depicted three days of a possible robot awakening.

The year is 2364. Robotics and advanced communication technology is failing inexplicably. As if in concert, hostile militant factions are adapting and attacking faster than which the Collective—the preeminent society of the age—can respond.

The epicentre is the Durban Reclamation Zone. After a frightening robot on human attack, husband and wife operator team, Kate and Monty Park, are tasked to investigate. Like all members of the Special Task Force, the Parks are decorated and retired warfighters with proven track records, and usually only called in when security operations might need heavy hitters.

When the investigation starts unfolding at neck breaking speed, the Parks quickly find themselves outside the Collective perimeter, in areas of the metro that have been long forgotten, or that few even knew existed. To make matters worse, they notice subtle signs that their squad of security robots might be going rogue and they begin to question whether they can trust the hardware that they rely on to protect them.

Assets are destroyed, lives are lost, and before long the military is placed on standby. Throughout the upheaval and chaos, one thing becomes certain: what Kate and
Monty Park discover in the next 72 hours will usher humanity into a new era.

Other Independent Book Promotions

First Voyages: The Wind Among the Stars by Tom Shepherd - Kindle Unlimited and for Sale

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Kalani: Shadows of Destiny by Jolene Fine - Free Book

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In a world where ancient prophecies collide with the tumultuous forces of fate, Desiree and Zach find themselves at the heart of a cosmic struggle between The Army of Awry and The Army of Magnar. As they navigate through the immortal world of Kalani, they are torn between love, loyalty, and their past.

As they set off on separate journeys, their stories become ones of self-discovery that unravels and challenges their concepts of realty and faith. Each torn between letting their past go, in order to accept an unknown destiny.

Kalani: Shadows of Destiny is the premiere novel in the science-fiction Fostering Worlds series. It is a gripping tale of love, sacrifice, and the eternal battle between good and evil. Get ready to be transported to a world of breathtaking landscapes, heart-pounding adventures, and emotionally driven characters that will leave and indelible mark on your soul. Join Desiree and Zach as they embark on the ultimate test of faith.

This is a no-spice, scif-fantasy that contains strong faith themes and Christian symbolism despite the lore containing multiple gods and magical powers. The main themes in the book and the series are: faith, immorality, and destiny. All characters are flawed and are made of four make believe and geographically segregated human races in a different universe: Incendians, Orthicians/ Candalians, Metos, and Eosians. (Note: Characters reference deep topics experienced during moralty that include cancer, suicide, foster homes, abandonment, racism, and sexual assault. None of these are strong themes in the book, but may be triggers.)

Until Next Time

Thank you for reading this newsletter post. Next time, I will explain why the movie Starship Troopers is popular with those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then, I will interview a Ukrainian steampunk comic book creator.

Leave a comment

As always, please leave a comment with any questions, reviews, thoughts, whatever about Fallen, Risen, or whatever else I have discussed. I promise to reply!


Patrick Abbott, Author Substack
Patrick Abbott, Author Substack Podcast
This is the podcast edition of the Substack for Patrick Abbott, author of the scifi novel Fallen and its upcoming sequel Risen. Longer audio interviews and readings will be published here.
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