Hollis was born at Carraway Methodist Hospital to Mr and Mrs Lynn Hollis of Dora. He attended Bagley Junior High where his father was a teacher. He graduated from Corner High School in 1980. He graduated with a mass communications degree from UAB in 1984. He currently resides in Dora in a home overfilled with books, artifacts and ephemera.
Hollis worked as an editor for several years before completing his first book, a biography of television personality "Cousin Cliff" Holman, in 1991. His next book, published by the University of Mississippi Press, was a pioneering historical look at Southern tourism entitled Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun. The book became one of that press' most successful releases and opened the door to several follow-up volumes presenting different facets of Hollis' wide-ranging nostalgic interests.
In addition to writing and collecting, Hollis gives presentations to elementary school groups on creative writing. He is also a contributor to Birmingham Rewound and was a guest at the Alabama Bound author's events at the Birmingham Public Library in 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2007.
In 2015 Hollis wrote and produced a television series, "The 30-Minute Tim Hollis Hour," based on characters he created in the 1970s for stories and comics, and revived in the 1990s for a creative writing program. Four episodes aired on the Alabama Cable Network's public access channel. In 2020 the project was resumed as a web series entitled, "The Weird World of Tim Hollis," which also includes a public domain cartoon short and a feature where Hollis shows off artifacts from his museum.
- Hollis, Tim (March 1991) Cousin Cliff: 40 Magical Years in Television. Birmingham: Campbell's Publishing. ISBN 0962879800
- Hollis, Tim (April 1999) Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1578061180
- Hollis, Tim (November 2001) Hi There Boys and Girls: America's Local Children's TV Programs. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1578063965
- Hollis, Tim (February 2004) Florida's Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1578066271
- Hollis, Tim (April 2005) Birmingham's Theater and Retail District. Arcadia Press. ISBN 0738517771
- Hollis, Tim (February 2006) Glass Bottom Boats and Mermaid Tails. Stackpole Books. ISBN 9780811732666
- Hollis, Tim & Greg Ehrbar (May 2006) Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1578068495
- Hollis, Tim (July 2006) Birmingham Broadcasting. Arcadia Press. ISBN 0738542717
- Hollis, Tim (October 2006) Six Flags Over Georgia. Arcadia Press. ISBN 0738543586
- Hollis, Tim (May 2007) The Land of the Smokies: Great Mountain Memories. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1578069440
- Hollis, Tim (April 2008) Vintage Birmingham Signs. Arcadia Press. ISBN 073855376X
- Hollis, Tim (May 2008) Ain't That a Kneeslapper: Rural Comedy in the Twentieth Century. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1934110736
- Hollis, Tim (November 2008) Selling the Sunshine State: A Celebration of Florida Tourism Advertising. University of Florida Press. ISBN 0813032660
- Hollis, Tim (April 2009) See Rock City: The History of Rock City Gardens. History Press. ISBN 1596295775
- Hollis, Tim (June 2009) Stone Mountain Park. Images of America Series. Arcadia Press. ISBN 0738568236
- Hollis, Tim (July 2010) Christmas Wishes: A Catalog of Vintage Holiday Treats & Treasures . Stackpole Books. ISBN 0811705072
- Hollis, Tim (November 2010) Pizitz: Your Store History Press. ISBN 1596299932
- Hollis, Tim (July 25, 2011) Lost Attractions of Sevier County. Images of America Series. Arcadia Press. ISBN 0738587621
- Hollis, Tim (October 2011) Wish You Were Here: Classic Florida Motel and Restaurant Advertising. University of Florida Press. ISBN 0813036836
- Hollis, Tim (March 18,2014) Memories of Downtown Birmingham: Where All the Lights Were Bright. The History Press. ISBN 9781626192218
- Hollis, Tim (November 16, 2015) Christmas in Birmingham. The History Press. ISBN 9781626197022
- Haden, Courtney (March 1, 2012) "Time's Keeper: Making and Awakening Memories With a Visit to the Tim Hollis Collection." Weld for Birmingham
- Cohron, Jennifer (November 17, 2019) "'The Weird World of Tim Hollis' to debut next year" Daily Mountain Eagle
- Cohron, Jennifer (September 12, 2020) "'The Weird World of Tim Hollis' premiers as web series." Daily Mountain Eagle