Interviewed by fellow author Lizzie Stevens.
Please tell us about your latest book.
“Cape Misfortune” is a fantasy adventure about a disgraced Sheriff’s deputy on the foggy Pacific Northwest coast. Her world is turned upside down investigating disappearances that may be supernatural in origin.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m hoping to turn “Cape Misfortune” into a series. I’m also writing some steampunk-inspired short stories I hope to collect in a book.
How do we find out about you and your books?
The best place is my website https://henryandersonbooks.com
You can read my blog, read free short stories and get the latest news on what I’m up to. I’m active on twitter http://www.twitter.com/macandersauthor
, Instagram http://www.instagram.com/macanderz
and I have a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/henryandersonauthor
My Amazon author page is: http://author.to/henryanderson
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Huge amounts, although I try and smuggle experiences in so it’s not too obviously autobiographical. Characters are usually secretly based on real people. It’s quite good fun putting yourself, or people you know, in a fantasy situation.
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I wrote plays at university and worked as a news reporter. I had cancer (I’m now in complete remission) and my prognosis wasn’t initially very good. It convinced me to finish a novel I had been planning for years called “The Mouth.” It’s set in places I grew up in but in an alternate universe where things have gone badly wrong. I submitted it and got lucky when a great outfit called Solstice Publishing picked it up.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries? I love the great outdoors when I can get out there. I enjoy oil painting and a bit of archery in the summer.
Where do your ideas come from?
I daydream quite a lot. At night ideas arrive while I’m dropping off to sleep. I keep a pad by the bed because if I don’t write it down the idea will have disappeared by the morning.
Do you feel humor is important in books and why?
I do. It’s part of the human experience and a way of connecting with characters. There is humor even in the bleakest situations.
What kind of research do you do?
Working as a news reporter on a national newspaper taught me the importance of research. In a story I generally use real places as a starting point, even though they end up fictionalised. The Internet is a real help if you can’t physically get to a location – Google Earth Street View, live cams, police radio, talking to people online. It all adds authenticity. Even building a fantasy world is helped by researching world folklore and mythology.
Tell us about yourself
I studied English at Oxford. I worked on farms in Australia before working in publishing and journalism. I live in a village in Kent.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
Isaac Asimov said “Just write every day of your life…Then see what happens.” I think that is good advice. I generally try to schedule time each day.
What are some of your favorite things to do?
I like looking at art, particularly paintings. I also enjoy world cinema, old horror movies, and binge-watching tv shows.
Who are some of your other favorite authors to read? Thinking about it, they are mainly fantasy writers like Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Jules Verne, Stephen King, Alan Moore.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully still breathing.
After you’ve written your book and it’s been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
I buy it, yes. I don’t read it immediately, though. When you’re close to it you still feel the urge to revise! Later it seems more like a done deal. You can appreciate it as a book.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
It gives life meaning. It’s making something, which is always satisfying.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?Reading more things written by other people. Possibly slouching in front of the tv eating potato chips.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers? Keep writing because it is one of those activities where you are always learning.