Alabama author pens ‘The Remarkable Housewives of the Bible’ series
Alabama author Erin Brown Hollis has written a book she hopes will engage women spiritually and provide the same sort of outlet many seek through reality television.
Hollis recently published The Remarkable Housewives of the Bible which she says is the first of a three-part series.
In an interview with Yellowhammer News Hollis said she became inspired to write the book after realizing she would occasionally watch reality television shows as an escape from the realities of her own life.
According to Hollis, she asked herself, “‘Why can’t we have something that fills the void we have but instead be pouring into ourselves spiritually?’”
That’s when she knew women in the Bible provided the answer.
“If you read the Bible it gives you actual relevant stuff that you can take to improve your own life day-to-day,” she pointed out.
That applicability, along with the color and flavor of the stories, brought her to the idea.
“Sometimes we look at Biblical characters as so out of touch because they lived thousands of years ago, and they wouldn’t have a clue what we were doing now,” said Hollis. “But when you really dig into their stories, they are more relevant than the housewives of Bravo could ever be. And their stories are actually more drama-ridden and soap opera-esque than anything you are going to find on TV.”
The format of the series is simple.
Each book contains the stories of five women who had a significant role in the Bible, with the women telling their story in first person or as Hollis envisions they would.
Hollis then recounts that story and acts as, what she calls, “a hostess of a girls’ night out” attempting to engage the reader on the story they just read.
Three lessons are built into the women’s individual stories, and a Bible study component is included in the back of the book for individual or small group study.
As for Hollis’ own personal favorite woman in the Bible, she says that it is “a tossup” between two.
“Hannah, she trusts and she teaches us that if we pray, we are heard, and that God will answer us,” she elaborated. “And then I love Ruth because — well my grandmother’s name was Ruth so I think I have a little leaning there — but I love how loyal she is to a fault, and that she gave up her own selfish desires for others. I think that’s such a challenge to us today to do the same.”
Hollis said that one of her goals is to allow the reader to know they are on a journey together.
“If you can captivate an audience and make them feel as if you are sitting on the couch and talking with them and not talking at them, that is so key for my writing style,” she said. “I never want the reader to feel like I know more than them. I’m the writer that says, ‘Hey, I’m right there with you. We’re on a team. We’re together. I’m just opening this conversation for us to chat.”
As a lawyer with a journalism degree from Samford University, writing has always been part of her life.
She recalled editing the newspaper with her grandmother, an English teacher, as “my idea of fun on the weekends.”
It was not until after she had children that Hollis began writing professionally.
“I realized that I really wanted to leave a legacy for my girls because if I was going to teach them to chase their dreams then I needed to show them how,” said Hollis. “So I just started writing.”
And choosing women as her audience for her first few books was an easy decision.
“I can only write from my personal experience,” she said. “I was discovering that I would go to lunch with friends or Bible study or just out at night, and I found that we were talking about the same things. And I was discovering recurring issues coming up in all of my friends’ lives, whether that would be in parenting or in marriage or in day-to-day not feeling up to the challenge, and I thought that these are areas where women really need to feel heard. They need to feel like there’s a place to find something.”
So Hollis will continue to write to address that need.
“We can scroll social media all day long and 55 people will give you a Chinese proverb and inspirational quote but at the end of the day that’s going to kind of leave you looking for more,” she added.
Tim Howe is an owner and editor of Yellowhammer News.