Saturday, December 13, 2014

History and Horror, Oh My! - Henry Snider

Henry Snider is a founding member of Fiction Foundry and the award-winning Colorado Springs Fiction Writer’s Group. During the last two decades he’s dedicated his time to helping others tighten their writing through critique groups, classes, lectures, prison prose programs, and high school fiction contests. Thirteen years to the month from founding the group, he retired from the CSFWG presidency in January, 2009. After a much needed vacation, he returned to the literary world.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I blame my parents for this one. In 1975 my parents took me to see the tender age of five. What I remember, more than staring at the screen, was the number of people who were terrified. The responses the audience gave started me looking for thrills, first in comics, then in novels. By middle school I was working on writing about what scared me, then a few years later I began sharing the works with others.

How do you pick the genre/setting/era you (usually) write in?
I tend to focus first on the story I want to tell, then work on figuring out what would be the best location and time to place them in. This is the answer most "want" to hear. The truth is I don't pick anything. I could be perusing antiques with the missus and see an old inkwell and suddenly I'm pounding the keys about an introvert actually penning someone's life.

How did you come up with the idea for your "Someone to Watch Over Me"?
I was actually researching the first flapper, Olive Thomas, for another project. The story just seemed to grow from there. The burial mound in the story is an actual mound there, as is the island and general setting descriptions and locations.

Did you encounter any obstacles in researching the setting?
Not as many as I expected. History's been a passion of pretty much everyone in my family.

Do you have a favorite historical period you enjoy reading or writing about?
No, not really. I come from a history-heavy household. Both my parents strived to enrich my youth with adventures of eras-gone-by.

Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?
Oh, this isn't a fair question. To me it's like asking which breath of air did you prefer. How about I answer "What authors' works do you read more than once?" That answer would be - in no particular order - Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, William W. Johnstone (his pulp horror, not the westerns), Joe Lansdale, H.P. Lovecraft, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Amanda Quick...wait...did I just include a romance author? A strong author brings me back, but it really depends on the story the wordspinners are weaving.

What are you working on now?
Earlier this year Evil Jester Press released Carnival of the Damned, which I edited. At the moment I'm finishing off the final edits for my novel, Drive-In Feature, which is due out in February, 2015 from Great Old Ones Publishing. After that I'll be completing a novel entitled Rising Water. A baker's dozen-or-so stories are currently out and under consideration.

Okay, so you're an author. What do you enjoy reading?
Everything I can get my hands on. Articles, non-fiction, stories, novels, name it. My reading list covers everything from horror (obviously) and romance to biographies and history in general.

Thanks for talking with us!
Learn more about Henry Snider at

History and Horror, Oh My! is now available in ebook formats on Smashwords and in print and Kindle formats on Amazon.

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