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Author Interview: Henry L. Walton

Henry Walton is the author of the popular humorous Steampunk adventure series The Journals of Thaddeaus Shockpocket. He attended university with the initial intent of becoming a full-time writer but ended up with a science degree. Consequently, his creative writing went to the backburner and he set off on a career in high technology and traveled the world for both work and pleasure. Running global sales and marketing organizations gave Henry plenty of opportunity to hone his writing skills in the form of magazine columns, innumerable technical papers, and copy for several award winning international advertising and marketing campaigns
Several years ago he returned to creative writing and created The Journals of Thaddeaus Shockpocket, a tongue-in-cheek account of the misadventures of a turn-of-the-century English family of inventors and explorers. Henry’s confesses that Thaddeaus Shockpocket’s combination of adventurer and absent minded inventor comes largely from his father, an RAF pilot in World War II that fit the stereotype of dapper English officer and gentleman. His father was also a prolific home project builder whose creations, as often as not, turned out a bit off-kilter. Also a bit like Thaddeaus, Henry has invented several products of questionable value over the years, none of which have made it to market, and that is probably for the better.

Henry attributes much of the success of his books to utilizing humorous short vignettes that weave together into a larger story of a unique family that prevails in spite of themselves. The ease of reading has also made the series popular with reluctant readers in addition to readers at large.

To date, the first two books in the series have been published and the third is scheduled to be published in late 2015 or early 2016.

  • : I have been writing stories as long as I can remember. There is nothing more fulfilling than creating alternate worlds and, in my case, ones that make people laugh out loud.
  • : I think I was in fifth grade and wrote a story that talked about my love for girl with long blond hair and how I liked to take long walks with her and lay on the grass looking up at the sky. The last line of the story revealed that I was talking about my dog, a blonde Afghan Hound. My teacher laughed while reading it and I was hooked on writing.
  • : The book series, The Journals of Thaddeaus Shockpocket chronicles the miss-adventures of a turn-of-the-century family of explorers and inventors. The books are a collection of humorous stories that have been labeled as the lighter side of Steampunk. They take a collection of family members, each with their own personality quirks, and place them in situations where, despite the odds, they note only survive, but thrive through creativity and ingenuity, typically with hilarious results.
  • : I think I have always been writing, but started seriously honing my craft in college in the form of short stories. I have a bit of a short attention span, so I have always been drawn to short stories and that has become my sweet spot as an author.
  • : I was born in Seattle shortly after my parents moved from England. My older sister was born in London. I think my writing was more influenced by those I grew up with than the physical location of my youth. I was surrounded by my parents English friends and we would visit family in England. In Seattle, many of my friends were first generation Americans whose parents and come to the United States after World War II. The environment gave me a global view and I hope that is reflected in my writing.
  • : I do my best writing late at night. I will get into a groove and stay up to all hours of the night.
  • : Currently I am completing the third book in the Thaddeaus Shockpocket series.
  • : I enjoy travel and have had the luxury of being able to visit locations throughout Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. More recently, through my exposure to the Steampunk community, I have taken up creating Steampunk props. I have created practical models of most of the inventions in the Thaddeaus Shockpocket books and displays them at my book signings.
  • : Is daydreaming a writing process? Actually, I just imagine these absurd stories and then I see them play out in my head as stories. Then I tie these short stories into a larger story arc that becomes a book. Fortunately for me, the process seems to work and results in a product that is popular.
  • : No big surprise here, my favorite books are humorous, although I also love adventures and thrillers. My writing is probably influenced by authors such as Terry Pratchet and Douglas Adams.
  • : My career has primarily been in the field of industrial process and mobile equipment sensors and control technologies. Initially, I focused on the pulp and paper industry and that led to my travels to pulp and paper mills in the forests and jungles of the world. For the past twenty-five years I have led sales and marketing departments for international corporations and have continued my travels.
  • : Kindle
  • : For the Thaddeaus Shockpocket series, I worked with my illustrator for the inside illustrations. We brainstormed ideas from the stories and created covers that we hope impart the spirit of the books.
  • : I take a two pronged approach. I start creating short vignettes that can stand on their own and, at the same time, outline the overall story arc for the book. Early in the process I basically have the beginning and the ending completed and then the middle just starts filling itself in.
  • : Meeting fans that have read the books. I thoroughly enjoy attending book signing events and hearing feedback from readers.
  • : You can visit my website at shockpocket.com
  • : My favorite saying is: The world is Absolutely Brilliant. Difficult Sometimes, Confusing Often, But Humorous Almost Always. Yours in the Spirit of Science and Adventure Henry Walton AKA Thaddeaus Shockpocket
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