Author Spotlight: Henry Snider
What is better than a writer, a publisher and an artist? How about you combine all three and then you will get some idea of the prolific power that Henry Snider possesses.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’ve always had a love for horror. By day I’m a trial technician who specializes in 3D accident reconstruction (which is a fancy way of saying I get to enjoy the digital equivalent of playing with matchbox cars as an adult).
I met the missus – fellow author and editor Hollie Snider – in a college creative writing class. Three days after we first spoke we kissed (April 1st…yup, April Fool’s Day). Seven days after that I proposed. She said yes before the entire proposal was out. Then I got a twenty-minute lecture on why I didn’t just propose the day we met because “she just knew.” Now you can guess who’s in charge in this relationship. Three months to the day of our first kiss we wed. That was 25 years ago this year. We have one son – poet Josh Snider – who currently is the president of our writers group.
We created a genre small press, Strigidae Publishing, a few years back and were amazed to be one of the few to have it take off quickly, in the black, and with good reviews. Unfortunately, I had a surprise double bypass in 2016 and the doc said I could only run one business, not two. So, as quickly as it started the publishing house’s doors were shuttered. While not a fun result, I still get to help those around me ranging from cover art, layouts, and the occasional edit.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO WRITING? AND WHAT DREW YOU TO HORROR SPECIFICALLY?
Well, without laughing too hard it started in 1974 with me sneaking to the edge of the living room and watching Kolchak: The Night Stalker, specifically the Trevi Collection episode. To this day I still get the wiggins around mannequins. The terror was a rush that nothing held a candle to. I was caught a few times and my parents gave up. In 1975 we went to see Jaws. I was five. That started my love affair with horror. Mom and Dad realized they’d lost me to the boogeymen early on and decided to nurture my interest. As the years passed, I became a theater junkie (Dawn of the Dead 1978, Phantasm 1979, Friday the 13th 1980, etc.). Comics, some of which I still have, began my love of the printed word somewhere along the way. By the time I’d hit double-digits my passion delved into novels. Jackson, King, McCammon, Johnstone, Koontz, and Straub helped pull me into the shadows.
WHAT INFLUENCES HAVE YOU HAD IN YOUR WRITING CAREER?
Both my parents were active readers. When my interest shifted from movies and television to comics and books, I discovered the magic of bookstores. My favorite reads became my guides into the world of writing.
I’m not one of those people who want instant gratification in a book or movie. I want to be immersed in the world that’s been created. I need the opportunity to savor characters as if they were a fine wine. Then, and only then, do I want to be dragged down that rabbit hole the author’s prepared for me.
With that in mind, here are some of my favorite authors and their titles.
Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House / The Lottery / We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
Richard Matheson – Hell House / (multiple short stories)
Stephen King – ‘Salem’s Lot / Christine / The Shining / The Mist (part of Skeleton Crew)
William W. Johnstone – Wolfbane / Baby Grand / Out of the Ashes series
H.P. Lovecraft – (pretty much everything he wrote)
Robert McCammon – The Night Boat / They Thirst / Swan Song / Usher’s Passing / Mine
William Peter Blatty – The Exorcist
Dean Koontz – Phantoms / Darkfall / Ticktock / Fear Nothing / Seize the Night
Peter Straub – Ghost Story
Thomas Tryon – The Other / Harvest Home
Anne Rice – Interview With the Vampire / The Vampire Lestat / The Queen of the Damned
Clive Barker – Cabal / Coldheart Canyon / Weaveworld / The Books of Blood
WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?
While most authors would answer with their writing, for me it’s actually what I’ve done to help other writers. In 1996 my wife – fellow author and editor Hollie Snider, author John Irwin, and I formed the Colorado Springs Fiction Writers Group. During my thirteen years as president the CSFWG was recognized by both Writers Digest and Predators and Editors. The group had the simple goal of “Making good writers better.” I stepped down to be just a member. A few years later several members suggested we create a new group – this one publication-focused.
So, the summer of 2012, Fiction Foundry ( http://fictionfoundry.org ) came into being. The goal of this new group was “Publication Prep.” The critiques were harder; the discussions more in depth; the business end touched on at nearly every meeting; and there’s the ever-popular “Beers With Writers” meeting. The result? From July of 2012 to the end of 2019 our group has aided our authors in preparing and publishing over thirty novels.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?
Now that I’ve stepped back from so many writing group-related responsibilities, my main focus is practicing what I’ve preached for well over two decades. I’m in the final edits for my first novel, and midway through my second…along with several short stories being published. Simply put, I’m writing. I’m publishing. I plan on keeping my eye on what keeps me happy…or at least sane from here on out.
Be sure to read more of Henry's work in our upcoming anthology Horror for Hire, now available for preorder on Amazon! And subscribe to our mailing letter to get a preview of our next author spotlight!