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Holst discusses writing at Chautauqua presentation

Nearly 35 people filled the Crosslake Community Center to hear from author and Crosslake resident Mike Holst about his career, his work and his process as a writer in the monthly Chautauqua presentation Wednesday, May 13.

Crosslake author Mike Rolst discussed his work and his process to a crowd of roughly 25 people during the May Chautauqua presentation at the Crosslake Community Center on Wednesday, May 13. Photo by Dan Determan
Crosslake author Mike Rolst discussed his work and his process to a crowd of roughly 25 people during the May Chautauqua presentation at the Crosslake Community Center on Wednesday, May 13. Photo by Dan Determan

Nearly 35 people filled the Crosslake Community Center to hear from author and Crosslake resident Mike Holst about his career, his work and his process as a writer in the monthly Chautauqua presentation Wednesday, May 13.

The fiction writer, who has lived in Crosslake since 1999, has written 10 books and over 400 newspaper columns in his time. He spent roughly 45 minutes talking about the importance of being a quality reader and writer, quoting Mark Twain by saying, "The man who doesn't read has no advantage over the man who cannot read."

"Everything we know and everything we will ever learn comes to us from the written and spoken word," Holst told the crowd. "With all of the books that have been written, and now the Internet, there is a virtual cornucopia of knowledge out there, and it is right at our fingertips."

He discussed his 10 books with the crowd, giving a brief description of each. Two of his books, "No Clues in the Ashes" and its sequel "Back From the Ashes," feature a great deal of the author experiences, according to the retired firefighter. The rest of his books do not feature any highlights of his life, but are instilled with some of his beliefs and values.

He provided details about his new book, "Three Days in August," which he believes will come out this fall.

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Following his presentation, Holst answered a variety of questions from the audience, including one asking about his writing process and how he chooses a point of view for his novels.

"I get an idea for a story, and I sit down and start writing it," he said. "I may only have a beginning and an end, and I won't start unless I have those things, but when I have a beginning, I go where the story takes me. Sometimes, the story doesn't take me to the right spot, and then it ends up in the garbage and I start in a different direction. I feel my way through it."

He ended the day by encouraging the crowd to take their memories and experiences and write them down, regardless of how experienced they are as writers.

"I have seven college credits," Holst said. "Some are in creative writing, but I don't have a degree. When I was down at North Hennepin (Community) College ... my professor told me there was nothing at the college that could teach me to write a fiction story. You either have the story or you don't. I think so many people here today have stories from their past, and they should write them down. It's so easy to do today with computers."

Holst said he has already started writing his autobiography.

"The only bad thing about autobiographies is you can't write the last chapter," he said.

Crosslake author Mike Rolst discussed his work and his process to a crowd of roughly 25 people during the May Chautauqua presentation at the Crosslake Community Center on Wednesday, May 13. Photo by Dan Determan
Crosslake author Mike Rolst discussed his work and his process to a crowd of roughly 25 people during the May Chautauqua presentation at the Crosslake Community Center on Wednesday, May 13. Photo by Dan Determan

Related Topics: CROSSLAKE
Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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