Texas Author Blends Fiction with Local History
Born and raised in West Texas, author Denzel Holmes began a second career as a writer after retiring from a career in federal service. For inspiration, he turned to his childhood memories of exploring the state’s huge, remote ranches and mesas, swimming in the Pecos River, and imagining Commanches behind every dusty boulder.
The result is several books in his Mitt Stone series, including one set in Jefferson. Holmes favors historical fiction and creates heroes and heroines who interact with real historical characters. Entitled Big Cypress, the book is set during Reconstruction and the town’s occupation by Union soldiers. It details the adventures an earlier book’s character, Curly Smith, a deputy sheriff who confronts the remnants of the Cullen Baker gang. When he arrests a murderer named Angel Ranigan, the action makes him a hero but touches off a wave of violence in Jefferson as Old South sympathizers try to take Texas back in time.
Holmes’ earlier book, Horse Thief and The Lady, followed a 14-year-old Texan named Mitt Stone during the eruption of the Civil War. The author credits tales told by his great grandfather with the inspiration for his Mitt Stone books.
Another of Holmes’ novels, Texas Victory, highlights the role of German immigrants in the settlement of Texas. In February, he released his eighth book, Little Stone Mountain, a sequel set in a more modern era and featuring a descendent of Mitt Stone’s.
The author frequently travels the state, promoting his books at fairs and community festivals. He will appear June 10 at the Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches. His books sell on his website for $10 to $15 apiece. For more information, visit denzelholmes.com.