“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right.”
– Henry Ford.
Shadrick Holloway, born in Jackson, Mississippi on the 2nd of August in 1992, is best known for his work on the novels ‘Leaving Heaven’ and ‘Urijah.’ A visionary in mind and an empathetic at heart, Holloway has always been the person to follow the feelings of his soul as he values compassion and kindness.
Holloway wanted to pursue many things in his early life; initially a career in professional football that later developed more towards Basketball. However, that all changed as his horizon began to widen towards art itself. Being a big fan of Akira Toriyama’s ‘Dragonball Z,’ he began to develop skills in drawing, which he made use of in comics and character designing.
For his studies, Holloway focused on ‘Game Art and Design,’ which he majored in the ‘Art Institute of Atlanta.’ Among his other hobbies, he enjoyed listening to music, performing it as a drummer later on, and even began writing his own inspirations through which his passion for writing began to manifest.
Being the only child of his mother, Holloway was mainly raised by his grandparents. Throughout his adolescent and childhood days, he had developed an unparalleled bond with his grandfather, who had borrowed a profound impact into Holloway’s life and even his personality today.
After his grandfather passed, it left a gaping hole in Holloway’s heart, during which he began to spiral in terms of self-confidence and motivation. As he began to witness the harsh aspects of the world further, Holloway suffered loneliness, isolation, and even depression; despite that, he never caved into conditioned necessities, such as smoking or drinking.
THERAPY IN WRITING
Holloway describes writing as a therapeutic medium of solitude. He considers the gift of weaving words together and manifesting them into a stunning vision as an irrevocable form of art. Holloway was touched by the essence of writing from a very young age, albeit he only recently started to utilize that passion in his books, merely three years ago.
Mostly keeping to himself, the Mississippi author considers writing as a process to keep his mental issues and problems in control. That way, he avoids troubling others as he poignantly elaborates that every human has a sum of their own problems already. Since he is also passionate about music, he often enjoys writing rhymes and poems to deal with his occasional ‘writer’s blocks’.
As Holloway began to see the world as it truly is: the killings, the racism, and how the world is more corrupted than it actually seems, he began to question the meaning of life itself and the purpose he served with his existence. It was when things began to get out of hand, with his relationships and university, that he soon realized to direct all his emotions into the creativity for his first book.
THE MESSAGE IN THE BOOKS
Shadrick Holloway’s maiden novel is called ‘Leaving Heaven’. He began working on this book during his days in the university in an effort to battle his depression and mental trials. It was during these days that he began to have dreams; from whence he started taking inspiration for his novel. Therefore, Holloway came up with a thought of how he could make a positive difference in the world. Being a fan of comics, he began to take inspiration from characters such as ‘Thanos’ from the Marvel series.
‘Leaving Heaven’ itself talks about a world where China is the antagonist, destined to spread harm and corruption not through mere conventional warfare but via biochemical warfare, pathogens, and even supernatural means. Coincidentally enough, a year after this, the infamous virus, dubbed COVID-19, came to our existence within China itself. But was it a coincidence? Holloway did not think so. He felt he had been given a gift and a purpose to change the world within the capability of his words and storytelling.
In Leaving Heaven, Holloway introduces a young man of African-American descent, ‘Urijah Anderson,’ who is appointed by God to be the savior of the desolated world. Favored by Heaven, a celestial weapon is bestowed upon him called God’s Light, which becomes the artifact of Urijah’s mission. The story develops as the young man fights the forces of evil to bring back the world as it should have been. In the novel, Holloway often pays tribute to the relationship with his late grandfather as Urijah himself is constantly visited by God in the form of Urijah’s late grandfather. In some aspects, Holloway seems himself in Urijah.
His second book, ‘Urijah,’ is the second installment to the series. This book is defined as more of a prequel to the life of Urijah as the main focus of the second book is based on Elijah, Urijah’s father. Like Urijah, Elijah was a pure-hearted man in origin, but the world corrupted him, resulting in Elijah not only deterring from God but also succumbing to dealing narcotics and murdering people. Ironically, it was then that God chose to give Elijah a legacy in the manifestation of Baby Urijah.
Holloway wrote this series to remind everyone to change their ways, be compassionate, and treat each other with respect, no matter their race or ethnicity. Albeit, he fears it is in vain. Holloway despises how humans every day die over such trivial reasons; how the leaders and the governments of the world ceaselessly continue to deceive the people with their lies. Nevertheless, as a purpose to his life, he desires to continue in his approach as Urijah strives towards the same.
The author wants to empathize with his readers. He wants to let them know that he understands the feeling of being lost and lonely in a world like our own. He tries to convey the message that it is alright to be directionless, that the effort towards serenity matters in the long run. After publishing these books, he can proudly say he is no longer running away from his purpose, as shouldn’t everyone else in our world. #WeAreUrijah