W. H. Horner
HEIDI'S PICK SIX
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
I'm always reading several things at once. A great deal of my reading time is taken up by submissions, either short stories for anthologies or novels or comic book pitches that I've requested from authors I know. I'm an avid reader of comic books, so every week I have new issues of my favorites that I have to read. I'm a fan of Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and Neil Gaiman, so whatever comic they have out, I'm usually following it. And, right now, I'm also reading Sabriel by Garth Nix. It's been on my bookshelf for years and a friend of mine who is a non-fantasy reader just devoured the series, so I thought it was time to read it.
6. Pop culture or academia?
Mostly pop culture, but I do tend to head towards academia and literary fiction from time to time. For instance, I jumped at the most recent issue of Tin House due to an essay on the nature of the novel by Milan Kundera.
One trend I've noticed in my Fantastical Visions anthology series is that the stories I pick to be the winners of the contest tend to be a bit more on the literary end of fantasy. I've accepted stories from Murray J. D. Leeder a few times now (Cloaked in Shadow, Bash Down the Door and Slice Open the Badguy, Sails & Sorcery, and Blood & Devotion)
Cover Art by Chris Chua
and, for the most part, the shorts that I've picked from him are a far cry from the stuff he's written for Wizards of the Coast. Not that I don't enjoy a light Forgotten Realms novel every now and then . . . but the shorts he's sent me tend towards a slightly more literary feel--that still evokes a great sense of magic and wonder. I'm prodding him to develop the style and craft for a novel, but I know his Ph.D. candidacy is taking a lot of his time.
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
My inspiration comes from all over the place. We really are receptacles for everything we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch everyday. Every novel we read, every newspaper we page through, every song we hear, every movie we watch . . . every relationship we have, every conversation we take part in . . . it's all there in our subconscious. A wonderful stew of possibility just waiting for a ladle to come along and scoop up a bowlful. My stories and characters tend to come to me from this subconscious collection of possibility in my dreams, both sleeping and day dreams. If I allow myself to be still and quiet, and just let my brain wander around, something will come to my attention, begging to be written.
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
I have trained in Tai Chi Chuan for two years and in Haidong Gumdo, a Korean sword-art, for about a year. Though I played the requisite little league baseball when I was a kid, I never really enjoyed team sports, and I wish I had discovered martial arts a long time ago. Studying Tai Chi has helped me develop an internal calm and focus that I did not have before, as well as assisted me in being more aware of my body--posture and breathing, especially. Haidong Gumdo has given me more discipline and increased my physical strength and endurance. All of which makes me a more effective writer and editor, especially thanks to the increased focus and discipline.
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I never outlined until I had to do it for the Master's program at Seton Hill. Since then I've sort of slacked off on the outlines, but I still write down a few loose notes that block out some of the emotional beats I'm going for. If you really stretched the definition of an outline, I guess that could fit.
13. Celebrity crush.
I'm cheating on this one. I've never been one to crush on celebrities. I don't feel that most celebrities are particularly special. Yes, they probably have some kind of talent that got them noticed, but honestly, they are just people like you or me--the difference being that their lives ended up taking a particularly public direction.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
W. H. Horner is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Fantasist Enterprises, an independent publisher of illustrated fantasy and horror, and of FE Comics, an upcoming line of fantasy and horror comic books and graphic novels.
William, a native of Wilmington, DE, is surrounded by hundreds of books and magazines, as well as a handful of felines. He earned his Master's in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2006. While not working on FE projects, William does freelance fiction editing and plays with words of his own.