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ODU Faculty Member Gains International Exposure with Children’s Books

By Noell Saunders

Mike Holt, who goes by the writing pseudonym "Grey Tracer," said he experienced a twist of fate four years ago when he adopted a retired racing greyhound named Ryker.

Holt, an academic skills director for Old Dominion University's Writing for College Success program, said it was the unwavering bond between him and Ryker that ignited a passion for writing children's books.

The books have gained worldwide fame, attracting readers as far as the United Kingdom.

"I would have never in my wildest imagination thought about writing for children, but it's been a rewarding experience," Holt said. "I will say this, if you adopt a greyhound you might be surprised at what may follow."

Two of Holt's books, "Greyt Adventures with Gretta and Gregg: Their Adventures Begin at Baxter Farm;" and "Greyt Adventures with Gretta and Gregg: Schooling-Gretta, Gregg and a Greyhound" are stories that reflect his experiences through the eyes of 10-year old twins, Gretta and Gregg. The twins explore new elements of undeniable joy and adventures with their new greyhound while living with their grandparents on a farm.

Holt's experiences with family, particularly the children's antics, inspired his decision to place the book series within a family setting. His intent for the "Greyt Adventures with Gretta and Gregg" series was to provide interesting reading materials to young readers so they are encouraged to keep reading and learning while raising awareness about finding forever homes for greyhounds.

"I wanted to write stories that young readers would have to use critical thinking skills to understand. I also thought, "what better way to spread the word about greyhound adoption than with children's books?,'" he said.

Holt has self-published three books that are available for purchase on Amazon:

  • "Greyt Adventures with Gretta and Gregg: Their Adventures Begin at Baxter Farm"
  • "Greyt Adventures with Gretta and Gregg: Schooling-Gretta, Gregg and a Greyhound"
  • "Q Stars and Neighbors: Meet Ace and K"

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