Nerve is a hybrid of memoir and reported science. It’s focused on Holland encountering and overcoming the things she was most fearful of, and the science behind it all.
The book came about after a few things happened back in 2015. First, Holland’s mom died unexpectedly. That was one of Holland’s greatest fears in life. And then, she was in a series of serious car crashes.
“I rolled my car into a ditch in April 2016, and I had been thinking about the idea of a book about fear actually that day while I was driving on the highway,” Holland says. “That night in the hospital, I was like, yeah, okay, you’ve got to do the book about this now because obviously the universe is sending you some kind of sign.”
This is Holland’s first book. Most of what she has done as a writer over the last decade are magazine pieces. She is a successful freelance writer, working as a correspondent for Outside magazine. She’s also written for Esquire, including a piece that helped pave the way to the book, Wired, Pacific Standard, AFAR, Smithsonian, and National Geographic News.
This is Holland’s second visit to Gangrey: The Podcast. She was on the show back in March 2014.