Wednesday 15 June 2022

A Slice of Cake With... Peter D'Hollander

This week I am delighted to have a slice of cake with author Peter D'Hollander.

Born on the third rock of the Sol solar system, called Earth, Peter is a Tech Writer by day, a blogger (in a foreign language) by night, and a Young Adult Fantasy writer all moments in between. He creates worlds he loves to live in, though they are probably as flawed as ours and marred with their little imperfections and twists. He inhabits them with characters you hopefully fall in love with and sends them on the adventures he loves to read himself. It took him ages before he accepted his own weirdness and today he lives and writes in a little town on the other side of the pond, together with his wife, his three kids, and a cat with a troublesome character. Born a few years before the Landing on the Moon, his biggest flaw is that you find more secrets hidden in his stories than you truly want to know about (including the name of the city he lives in). He’s born in the year of the dragon, which tells you something about his flamatory character and his personality. He can be funny at times and, like every other dragon before him, he’s known for his patience. However, if you know a thing or two about dragons, he’s stubborn and hotheaded as well; of the incinerating kind. But everything in the kindest way possible. He is a bit… askew. His first book, Children of Little Might, is published by Rhetoric Askew Publishing.

What kind of books do you write?

I started with the easiest way into the publishing world: I wrote books that explained how to use software on your computer. In total, I wrote 45 of them between 1998 and 2007 (in my mother tongue, so not in English). The one I am the proudest of was a book on Adobe Premiere Pro. I had never worked with the software before, and really had no idea how it worked. The publisher needed a book for beginners and after I accepted, the fun part came. It was a rush job. They gave me 2 weeks, and I did it in 10 days. 259 pages. I was empty after those ten days, I can assure you. My publisher never believed I could, but Adobe Premiere Pro In 10 Minutes became a hit.

In 2014, I started with Children of Little Might, about a 16-year-old boy with autism. I signed a contract in 2018 with my present publisher, but due to COVID-19, it got only published on the 2nd of September 2021. While it starts in our own world, it quickly moves to a world that’s literally called Imagination. Monty has a penchant for languages and you, therefore, find several words throughout the book that come from other languages. But don’t worry: you always know what they mean.

Can you describe your writing why?

To paraphrase Descartes: I write, therefore I am. In the case of Children of Little Might, I wrote the story because I have 2 children with autism. My daughter once told me and my wife she could never be happy because of her autism. That stung and as a parent I went looking for books that showed her that autism wasn’t ‘just’ about limitations, but also about embracing those and, maybe, even changing them into possibilities.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise when I told you I didn’t find that many–if any. I, therefore, decided to create one of my own: Children of Little Might. Or, as a reviewer later stated, a book that helps you embrace your own limitations (whatever they are).

The title came from a Billy Joel song (We Didn’t Start the Fire) in which a lot of people misunderstand part of the lyrics. When he sings children of thalidomide, I (and many others, too) heard children of the little might. I dropped the ‘the’ and there you have the title. 

But there is more to it. It also references the real strength that we carry within us. There exist two kinds of strengths: the one we want everyone to think we have. That I call the Big Might. And then there is the one hidden within us that only comes out when the going gets tough. That force I call Little Might. In Monty’s case, that’s his loyalty and his sense of responsibility. Both turn his autism into a powerful ally that allows him to move worlds. That, and the fact he makes wishes, makes the difference.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

This is in chapter 9. Monty met the girl he wishes for, Princess Aislinn, and brought her home. That same evening, he learns her true identity, but by then it’s too late and his mother disappears. Thinking he’s all alone and scared of what the future might bring, he returns to his bedroom...


Dizzy, I somehow reach my room and drop onto my bed where I almost black out. All-consuming pain runs far deeper than any physical pain. In an attempt to escape, I bury my face in my pillow and imagine it’s Dad. He wraps his strong arms around me as a warm blanket and the calming heartbeat soothes me. Maybe I need not worry. At least my wish worked. Aislinn returned to her realm, so nothing stops me from returning to the ranch house to make the wishes that matter. Why not tonight? 

No one is here to stop me and tomorrow... Tomorrow I solve everything with a simple wish. 

I blink because of a peachy aroma and discover a bizarre green colored moon. No, two green moons with a white fog behind them that pops away with the blink of an eye, to return a moment later. 

Hi, Monty.” 

A-A-A-Aislinn? She’s so close the tips of our noses all but touch. It feels as if spark plugs ignite inside my stomach and trigger muscles that catapult me out of bed. Somewhere during this I scream. 

“Did I startle you?” 

Her voice, soft and soothing, accompanies Aislinn’s shadow. I dove out of bed and somehow dragged my blankets and sheets with me. 

“I wanted to be sure you were okay. You did leave in a hurry.”


This is the chapter where the reader discovers that Aislinn will, in fact, use every trick in the book to get Monty to do what she wants. At the same time, she also shows empathy and compassion for a lonely and scared boy. She knows she scares him, but she likes to tease him, too. You know the saying: teasing is asking for love. At the same time, she also soothes him. The two of them soon become inseparable.

Tell us about your latest project

Children of Little Might is about a 16-year-old boy (Monty) with autism who found a manuscript that, once translated, promises to grant his every wish. Fearing that’s impossible, he makes an impossible wish. If the princess of the book he translates comes, wishes get granted; if she becomes his friend, magic exists; and if she falls in love with him, miracles can happen.

When nothing happens, Monty returns home; heartbroken. Unable to make his real wishes, he returns to school, where things go from bad to worse until Aislinn appears. From that moment on, people no longer attack him with words because Aislinn is always there to come to his aid. He soon realizes she may well be the girl from his wish. It’s the start of a wild adventure in which he may find his chance at first love if he realizes his autism just might be his ‘superpower’ to save the day.

What is your favourite cake?

Sponge-cake with a layer of marzipan. It can be sprinkled with or without fruit, as long as there is a thick layer of marzipan included. I die for that. ;)

You can connect with Peter here:


Join me next week when I will be having a slice of cake with Carol Warham. 

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

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Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me

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