Interview with Harry Fox

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I like to write tales that I like to read. The real joy comes from imagining a different world, and bringing it to life with words. I try to write stories that are positive and contain helpful examples of how people can triumph over adversity. I always try to write books that you would not be ashamed to tell your mother you were reading. My works are all from a Christian world-view, but not all are actually of the "Christian" genre. Having said that, though, I always try to include characters that are known for their Christian faith. It seems strange to me that faith is such an important component of most people's lives, yet our modern literature seems to shy away from it in fictional portrayals.
What do your fans mean to you?
Writing is an essentially solitary activity. Fans help me connect back to the real world. When I learn that something I have written connects to someone else, it is a great encouragement to me. So fans are an essential part of the creative enterprise. Beyond encouragement, constructive criticism helps me refine my craft.
What are you working on next?
Right now I am working on a sequel to "The Stonegate Sword." This novel will continue the stories of Don and Rachel, and the invasion of the Prophet into the peaceful cities of the plains east of the Rocky mountains. Most of the plot lines that were left as "cliff-hangers" will be resolved in this follow-on work. Right now I have an early first draft of the second novel, and if I am sufficiently motivated, I probably can finish it in 2015. Will there be a third novel to make a trilogy? Probably.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am an avid reader, and my tastes vary across the landscape. I read a great deal of non-fiction. One of my favorites is a heavy work by Winston Churchill "The Second World War." I like the books of J.R.R. Tolkien. There are several novels by Stephen Lawhead that I have enjoyed. I have reread several times a short jewel of his called: "Avalon--The Return of King Authur." Historical novels by Harry Sidebottom have recently caught my fancy as have the alternate history novels by Harry Turtledove, such as" "The Guns of the South." An action-adventure novelist that I have recently discovered is Gordon Kent, and I enjoy his writing. I also have read widely in theological and faith-based works. One that I found very helpful is: "The Purpose-Driven Life" by Rick Warren. And, of course, I try to daily read a portion of the Holy Bible.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
After 46 years of marriage, I still like to get up and greet the love of my life. Quality time with kids and grandkids movtivate me. I try to make a positive contribution to every aspect of my life, from family to friends to my church family. I think we were put on this earth to give glory to God, and I try to keep that thought in my mind.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have hobbies, such as gunsmithing, outdoor pursuits, walking for exercise, hunting. I enjoy a cup of coffee with friends, a good book by the fire. Did I say playing with grandchildren?
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I don't have a logical system. I do scan lists from online sellers, and I get emails every day suggesting new titles. Honestly, though, I like the feel of a real, physical book in my hands. I probably read twenty print books for every e-book.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I remember it clearly. It was a novel called, "Berlin Watch." It was a spy story set in East Berlin in the 1950's. I was in the US Army as a counterintelligence officer when I first got the idea, and I included some of the tradecraft that I had learned. But I actually finished no more than the first third of the book and so never completed it. I still have the hand-typed manuscript of these early chapters. Maybe I will finish it some day.
How do you approach cover design?
I realize that my aesthetic taste is somewhat rudimentary. My wife would be the first to verify that. So I really don't trust my own judgment when it comes to cover design. I have usually scanned a number of covers from existing books, and when I find one that I like I turn it over to a professional designer and tell him to make me one "something like this."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read on my i-phone, and old Kindle and my wife's Kindle Fire. They all work well enough, except that I am farsighted and have some problems reading fine print. The Kindle Fire seems to be the best fit for me, whenever I can pry it out of my wife's hands.
Describe your desk
My desk is a bit cluttered, but not to a pathological degree. I use a desktop computer with a flat-screen monitor for my writing, and that takes pride of place. I have a couple of phones, a laptop and an inkjet printer to my left. To my right are office supplies and stacks of paper that I am working on in some way on a side credenza. It all suits my needs pretty well, but I could use some more space for paper files.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a ranch in western Colorado. In some ways, it was a storybook childhood. I had four siblings and we were very close. Most of my summers I spent riding horses and checking on our cattle out on the range, and doing other chores. I fixed fence, helped in the hayfields raised rabbits and generally tried to make myself useful. It was a remote area and abounded with wildlife. There were trout in every stream, deer on every hill, and other interesting creatures in every wood. I loved it, and part of my heart is still there, in those groves of aspen, spruce and fir, and those green meadows.
I think these experiences come out in my writings. "The Stonegate Sword" mostly takes place within one hundred miles of my place of birth, which was a lonely log cabin near the Colorado river. I think my upbringing allows me fill my writings with touches of authenticity that I could have not added from library research.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The latest book is called "The Stonegate Sword." It takes place about a century in the future, after a plague and a collapse of society has nearly depopulated North America. After decades of After recovery, the society is in some ways similar to the medieval period in Europe. There is a common language, related to English. Many of the crafts and trades found here would be familiar to our ancestors. But with the progress beyond subsistence existence, the old scourge of mankind, war, also makes a reappearance.
The hero is Donald of Fisher, who was trained as a scholar, and who enjoys the quiet life of study and reflection. But dark forces are at work, which soon plunge him into combat against Raiders from the west. The love of his life is captured by them, due to his own bad judgment, and he begins a solitary quest to rescue her or die in the attempt.
It is story of war and turmoil, lessons learned and consequences faced, love and romance, courage and bravery. I think I it is a good yarn, but of course I may be a bit biased.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I tried publishing books through the traditional route, and learned that this is very difficult. My hat is off to all those that have struggled their way through this process, but I finally gave up. I looked at vanity publishing, but decided that it was too expensive, and I did not want to have a couple of thousand books gathering dust in my garage.
Then I discovered that the technology had progressed to the point that one did not have to use either of these two routes to publication. So I investigated print-on-demand printers, taught myself to use Adobe InDesign, and became my own publisher. I am under no illusions that this is my ticket to financial independence, but I have had fun learning new things. And there is certainly a thrill in seeing your own creation coming out of the box, with your title and name on the cover. It is also fun to see you works for sale in on-line retailers.
Published 2015-02-13.
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Books by This Author

The Stonegate Sword
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 184,830. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Futuristic
(4.50)
The Old Empire is gone. But tales still tell of marvels from long ago. A new time of troubles now threatens. Donald of Fisher, outcast and alone, is in the path of the march, searching for Rachel, who has been captured by the Raiders—minions of the Prophet. But how can he find and rescue one small captive in a wilderness teeming with enemies? What can one person do in the face of war?