South Orange family pens books on popular video game

SO-jordan hollow3-WSOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Not many teenagers can say that their mastery of a video game led them to the opportunity to co-author a book about their hobby, but 15-year-old South Orange resident Jordon P. Hollow can. The teen recently co-authored two Minecraft books with his mother, Michele Hollow.

Jordon, an avid Minecraft player, recently joined forces with his journalist mother, who was asked to write two books about the popular video game.

The books, “Hilarious Jokes for Minecrafters: Mobs, Creepers, Skeletons and More” and “Jokes for Minecrafters: Booby Traps, Bombs, Boo-Boos and More,” are meant to be a fun read for all fans of the video game. The books are published by Sky Pony Press, a division of Skyhorse Publishing Inc.

Michele Hollow, who mostly writes nonfiction about animals, pets and the environment, knew that she would only be able to take on this newest project if she could call in an expert.

“When this opportunity came along I knew that I wanted to do it,” she said in a recent phone interview with the News-Record. “But I let the publisher know that I can only do it if my son can be involved in it because he knows so much more about the game than I do.”

Michele Hollow said her son’s contributions were not only in the materials that he added to the books, but also in helping to make her submissions more credible to true fans of the game.

“I think he had a lot of fun correcting me. I’ve played the game, but I don’t know it well,” Michele Hollow said. “Jordon would look over the things I had put together and say, ‘No Mom, creepers don’t do that, they do this,’ and he would change things around so that they made more sense to someone who is familiar with Minecraft.”

In addition to mother and son, the writing process was a true family affair as Jordon’s father and Michele’s husband, Steven Hollow, also contributed to the books.

“It was enormous fun. It would be at the oddest moments that we would come up with items for the books,” Steven Hollow said in a recent phone interview with the News-Record. “Very often we would be in the middle of driving Jordon somewhere and we would start going through jokes and ideas, and Jordon would chime in with another layer to make it more relevant to the game.”

Jordon wrote jokes, trivia, haikus, limericks and riddles for the books, and also did all the fact-checking. Each book contains more than 800 jokes, trivia, limericks and riddles, all of which are centered around the Minecraft game.

In addition to co-authoring the books with his mother, Jordon Hollow also had the opportunity to do readings from the two books at The Calais School in Whippany, where he is a student. He also presented two copies of the books to the school.

Both books are available for purchase at Words Bookstore on Maplewood Avenue in Maplewood.

So what’s next for this budding young author?

“I would like to take one of those Minecraft classes being taught to help learn science and technology,” Jordon told the News-Record.