Thursday, June 23, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Reece Hanzon

So, Reece is an awesome blogging friend of mine. I'm excited for you guys to "meet" him today! Head on over and check out his blog! You won't be disappointed! :)

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Well, I've been a writer of some sorts ever since I was a kid (I used
to staple sheets of printer paper together to make "books" and then
write my favorite stories in them, original illustrations and all). I
wrote little scenes and things like that for my own amusement in high
school. I didn't consciously decide I wanted to be a writer until my
junior year of high school—and then I was only thinking of becoming a
writer in the journalism/newspaper sense (I had a vague dream of
someday writing a book, but I didn't really take it that seriously).
Still, once I decided that, my own writing picked up quite a bit and
many of the ideas/scenes that came to me then have either found their
way into my books or morphed into the ideas I have for future books.
It was in 2003 that I actually decided I was going to write a novel,
and I've been writing as often as I can ever since.

So...if I asked to see your little books, would you let me? Ha! That is so cute!

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you
get a spare moment?

I wish I had a schedule! But, life isn't that generous right now
(mostly because my wife's computer died a little while ago and now we
both share mine). I usually take a couple of hours in the evening
while my wife is reading or something like that. Nothing regular

I'm usually writing or reading while my hubby watches t.v.
He's not really a reader and definitely isn't a writer! lol

Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

I was born and raised in Colorado, spent two years in Peru, and went
to college (also met my wife and now work) in Utah. I can mimic a
slide whistle. The great paradox of my existence is that I love to
read but can't read very fast (we think I might have some sort of
visual processing disorder, but we can't say for sure). I have brown
hair but my beard (when I let it grow out) is red as carrots. I love
hiking, camping, cycling, skiing, and watching hockey and football. I
am possibly the world's biggest dork/smart mouth (for some reason,
that's just the way my sense of humor operates: reductio ad absurdum),
but only around close friends and family.

Ha! I love that you admit to being a dork! ;)

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you
couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)

FOOD! I know that sounds like a smart@$$ answer, but it's true. My
imagination is generally all I need to entertain myself (hence the
problem with picking which story to write next), but I have a real
weak spot for good food (it's a miracle I'm not 400 lbs.). The lack of
good food (and possibly soda) is what would drive me insane I think.

Ha ha ha! I am laughing so hard right now!

What is one book you could read over and over and over?

Sabriel, by Garth Nix, if I have to pick just one

Yet another book to add to my mountain of books to read. Sigh.

What book are you dying to read this year?

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfield (after I finish the series I'm on right now!)

I really want to read that too! I've heard it's awesome.

What genre do you write and why?

Well, until recently, I wrote predominantly science fiction; I think
that was mostly because that was most of what I read. I still have
several sci-fi ideas, but I've also developed quite a list of fantasy
and urban fantasy ideas that I think will be really fun. (Yes, I
started expanding my reading list into fantasy and urban fantasy a
little while a go.) I always thought it was easier to write good
science fiction than good fantasy, but I stand corrected.

Love fantasy. As you know, I don't write Sci-fi at all. It hurts my brain.

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

I create playlists (or soundtracks, if you will) for whatever story
I'm working on. I'm a VERY auditory person, so listening to music
really helps me get my imagination running. And each playlist is
different, depending on the genre and situation (e.g. right now I'm
writing a fantasy, therefore little, if any, rock or lyrics, mostly
instrumental). When I create a new scene and nothing in my playlist
seems to fit it, I find something that does and add it to the queue.

Love the soundtrack thing. Definitely something I need to do.

Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?

This is something I really can't pin down. Most of my ideas come on
slowly (over weeks or even months) and often incorporate several
diverse elements (see my blog post on my recent breakthrough if you
want an example). I think I can safely say that details I like from
other stories often form part of my ideas, at least in the embryonic
stage. For example, my inspiration for writing Penitence can be traced
back to when I saw Pirates of the Caribbean (the fact that Will, in a
sense, became a pirate to attain his goal, even though he hated
piracy). They come from all over the place, really.

That's awesome. And can I just say I heart pirates. A lot.

Any advice for other aspiring authors?

1) If you have an idea, start writing! If you get stuck, don't be
afraid to A.) stop and just think hard for a while, or B.) move on to
a different scene or a different part of the story; it's amazing how
often something that happens later in the story can solve a problem
earlier on.

2) Find a writer you know and trust. Bounce your ideas off them. Have
them critique you chapter by chapter. Two minds are always better than

Great advice!

Random Writing Question: If Darth Vader appeared on your MC's
doorstep, how would he/she defeat him?

Kale Burguest (Penitence): run like #%&! until he can face him in a
one-on-one dogfight. Then blow him out of the sky.


Dathan (Dathan the Sorcerer): analyze Vader's force skills and devise
a way to turn them against him

Sasha Richton (Witchblood): invent a new spell to protect her from his
force attacks, then use a tried-and-true spell to immobilize him*

Thomas Mansfield (Desperate Times): call in an air strike from his
orbiting destroyer*

Epic answers. :) Thank you so much Reece!! :D


Michelle Merrill said...

Great interview you two! Sorry about your computer Reece. That bites. And Sabriel is a great book. And yes, food is important. I picked a pillow. Also good but definitely not something that would keep me alive.

Katie Dodge said...

Great post! Reece- loved your advice about moving on to another scene in your book if you get stuck. And about having a great critique partners. I have 3! ;)

Ruth said...

Nice to meet you Reece! Sci-fi writers are incredible!

Jeigh said...

Good to meet you, Reece! Your characters sound awesome!

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks, Chantele, for introducing Reece! I trucked on over to his blog and Followed. ;o) Thanks to Reece too, for a fun interview!

L.J. said...

Great interview! Love the advice! I do them both. I think having a writing "partner" is one of the most important things to me at this time. Mine is constantly pushing me forward and getting me out of slumps.

Angie said...

Nice to meet you, Reece. Always good to meet a fellow sci-fi/fantasy author. (And in Utah, too. Bonus!) Love those Darth Vader answers. Especially the dogfight one. That's what my MC would do too. I'm heading over to check out your blog now.

Shallee said...

Great interview, Reece! I love learning more about other writers, even when I've known them for a while. :)

Brooke R. Busse said...

I wanted to get Scott Westerfield's Leviathan while I was at Waldenbook's closing sale yesterday, but they only had the second one. :(