David Wiskowski Photography

David Wiskowski Photography

Claire Holroyde

I am a writer, visual designer, and storyteller living in the Philadelphia metro area.


Inspiration for THE EFFORT

Everything has a beginning. My manuscript has evolved and lived many lives, but the seed came in the form of a newspaper article in summer of 2004, just a minor blip in the Science section. Planet Mars was about to make a “close pass” to Earth and observatories around the globe were celebrating.

Couldn’t this be dangerous, I thought. Why are all these people in the photos smiling?

The reporter was quick to alleviate any fears within a few paragraphs. “Close” was very relative; the actual distance had too many digits to remember. But the idea of colliding cosmic bodies tickled my imagination.

What if Mars made a closer pass than expected? How far does Earth’s gravitational force extend? If there was a threat, would it be covered in the media or would it be kept from the public? How would civilized society react to an apocalypse set on a timer?

I wrote a short story with cinematic glimpses of people all over the world struggling to comprehend their fate and survive in the ensuing chaos. Two years later, I designed a mock newspaper as my design degree thesis at Rhode Island School of Design, reporting on the end of our planet as it collides with Mars and the Moon. It wasn’t until 2016 that I revisted the cosmic collision theme for long form.


My short fiction

“Joint Readiness” first published as part of a web series by Akashic Books

“Zeitgeist” first published on transatlantic ezine The Beas Are Dead


Books I am reading

The Overstory by Richard Powers
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
The Yellow Birds & A Shout in the Ruins by Kevin Powers
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Calypso by David Sedaris
Pachinko Min Jin Lee
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Akin by Emma Donoghue
The Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oats


Shows I am watching

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 on Hulu
Chernobyl on HBO
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO
Russian Doll on Netflix
Game of Thrones Season 7 on HBO
Letterkenny on Hulu
Succession on HBO
The Righteous Gemstones on HBO