Welcome to the first in my Author Interview series.
I am thrilled to introduce to you a great fantasy writer, William Heinzen. I met him at a convention last year and loved the cover art on his book. We chatted and I bought a book which I am thoroughly enjoying. I hope you enjoy meeting him as much as I did. – Iso
What are your go to snacks/drinks as you work?
Coffee (black, no cream, no sugar!). I would probably consume all of the coffee on the planet in one morning of writing if I had a chance. Fellow coffee lovers, you know what I mean! Non-coffee drinkers — don’t start, remain free while you still can!! 🙂
Tell me a little about yourself.
In addition to being an avid reader and writer, I love the outdoors. I grew up in the woods of northern Minnesota and now live on the prairie in western North Dakota. My life goal is to move to the beach (Florida? Hawaii?), open up a coffee shop, and write books and drink coffee for the rest of my life. I call it “Bill’s Beach Bungalow of Books and Brews”.
When did you start writing?
In third grade, I wrote my first short story: “Detectives in Dinosaur Times”. It’s about a group of detectives that end up in a time machine that takes them to the time of the dinosaurs. I think it was heavily influenced by multiple re-watchings of “Jurassic Park”…
Why did you decide to pursue writing?
I loved reading books when I was growing up (and I still do!). My motivation for writing is the hope that I will be able to provide for other readers the same experiences I cherished so much when finding a new beloved book.
Who are some authors you look up to?
I can think of three: 1) Stephen King. I didn’t honestly think horror novels would be up my alley, but King is a magnificent writer. He creates captivating characters and memorable stories. I learned quite a bit from his book “On Writing”. 2) Robert Jordan. “The Wheel of Time” remains to date the biggest, boldest fantasy I have ever read. I was completely blown away by the scale of the world that Jordan created. Epic fantasy became a viable genre for publishers in large part due to the success of Jordan’s work. 3) Charles Dickens. Dickens was the popular writer of his time. He was known for serializing his stories and sharing them via massively-attended public readings. He would even change the course of the story based on how the crowds/public were reacting to his work. When somebody’s work — such as Dickens’ — sticks around for close to two hundred years, I usually figure us new writers have a thing or two we can learn from them.
What genres do you write?
I primarily write epic fantasy, as can be seen in my novel “Warrior of Light”. I also write what I would call “supernatural” fiction — I think “horror” is too strong of a term — as can be seen in my short story “Malichon Manor”.
Are you traditional, independent, or hybrid published?
I am independently published, and as for how I got there, see question below!
Why did you choose that publishing path?
There are a number of amazing resources available to independent writers in terms of cover design, editorial, and marketing services. It’s a great time to be an independent writer because of all these tools that exist. I would love to become traditionally published, and opted for independent publishing as a means to building a readership base and backlist of works that I can use to hopefully make inroads into the traditional publishing industry.
What are your favorite books?
My favorite novel is Stephen King’s “It”. As to why I love it, you can read my review of the film (which also discusses the novel) here: https://williamheinzen. com/movie-review-stephen- kings/
Which protagonist would you want to swap places with?
Fun question! James Bond, because duh 🙂 Though Bruce Wayne is a pretty close second…
What do you love about writing?
I love immersing myself in a new world and in the characters that make it up. My favorite scenes to write are action/battle sequences, because I enjoy the challenge of how to properly keep the reader’s focus and maintain the momentum of the scene.
What is the most difficult thing for you about writing?
I’m working on a sequel to “Warrior of Light”, and the biggest challenge has been how to tap into what made the first story successful without repeating myself. I think I’ve learned a lot in the last year and I’m excited to share the end result with folks.
If you could live in or visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
This is a tough one! Most fantasy worlds are actually pretty dangerous places, when you think about it: you’ve got dark lords, dragons, assassins, you name it … a lot of things could go wrong! However, I think I’d go to the Shire (in Middle-Earth) and share a pint of ale with Samwise Gamgee.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get tons of inspiration from visiting new places. When I see new landscapes and experience different cultures, stories start to crop up in the back of my head. I am also — as I suspect we all are — inspired most by the tales I grew up loving, and ask myself how I can use the elements from those types of stories in delivering tales of my own.
What are your “fandoms”?
I’m a Star Wars nerd. I think one of the reasons I got into Star Wars more than other fandoms was because of the Expanded Universe novels written by authors like Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole, and Kevin J. Anderson. They did a very cool thing with those books back when they were considered canonical continuations of the storyline beyond Return of the Jedi. Because I read a lot, and because there were a lot of Star Wars books, it became a staple of my reading list in middle school and high school. I wrote about the relationship between the Star Wars Expanded Universe and the new movies in my film review of The Last Jedi: https://williamheinzen. com/a-tale-of-two-lukes/
What are some lessons you have learned about being an author?
You have to make time to write, and it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. I work a full-time job, and it can be pretty tough to sit myself down to write after I’ve already gone to work, gone to the gym, made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen/living room, etc. I’m usually pretty spent by that time. However, the writing only gets done if one takes time to do it.
What projects are you working on?
I am almost done with the sequel to “Warrior of Light”. It is called “City of Darkness” and I am incredibly excited to share it!
Where can people find your writing?
https://www.amazon.com/ Warrior-Light-William-Heinzen/ dp/0692769056/
What are your social media accounts?
I try to be active on social media and always value an opportunity to grow my following! Please consider following my Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ WilliamHeinzenAuthor/) and Instagram: https://www. instagram.com/wheinzen/