How long have you been a member of NOWW?
I joined NOWW about 3 years ago.
What do you normally write?
I’m a speculative fiction writer. That includes science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, sword and sorcery, etc. Anything that involves a great deal of imagination!
Do you have a favourite book or favourite author?
Oh, that’s easy. Canadian speculative fiction author Guy Gavriel Kay is my favourite author, and his novel, Lions of al Rassan is my favourite novel of all time.
Let’s get to know you a bit better. Tell us a bit about yourself:
I grew up here in Thunder Bay as a quiet, shy, nerdy kid who would rather spend time with books and animals than with people. I studied Zoology at the University of Guelph and worked in the Edinburgh Zoological Gardens in Scotland with lions, tigers and bears (oh my.) I have three dogs, three cats, three kids, one horse and one husband, and while I am still nerdy, I’m not nearly so shy or quiet anymore. And while I still enjoy spending time with animals, now the friends I do prefer are all Foxes!
Tell us a bit about your writing:
I have been writing since I was in kindergarten and actually finished my first novel at the age of 11. I’m also an artist and I pencilled my way through university with the help of DC Comics. While I have had a New York agent and a book contract, I prefer the life of an indie author. I think it must be the freedom and self-control that I find in that field and if you look for it, you will find freedom is a recurring theme in my work. Whether it’s freedom from prejudice or freedom from societal rules, or simply freedom to be oneself, I think all of my characters are searching for freedom in some form or another.
What are your favourite things or some of your inspirations?
I love classical music, and I’ll often find myself turning to music when I’m stuck writing a scene, or missing a crucial character point. I also read the works of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, etc. when I was quite young, and I think their influence is evident in my work. For me, it is always about the ‘what if’, so I find inspiration in almost everything, as long as I can take it and turn it on its head. ‘What if insanity was simply seeing into other dimensions?’ or ‘What if scientists spliced the DNA of humans with that of big cats?’ or ‘What if Black Beauty was a War Dragon?’ That kind of thing.
Can we see you at any upcoming NOWW events?
My friend Jean E. Pendziwol and I will be running a NOWW workshop on April 29 called “The Business of Writing” and we’ll also be taking that same workshop to Dryden in May. I do love the Write NOWW events – informal, social yet informative at the same time.
How can others learn more about you?
I’ve written seven books to date and I’m working hard now on the eighth. The books are available at Chapters/Coles and on Amazon. I do have a fun website – www.hleightondickson.com, am very active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HLeightonDickson and I do tweet, but I don’t understand why.;
@hdickson62. I’m not a terribly prolific blogger. I prefer to write epic novels with fantastical word counts.
And to end things off, tell us something surprising about yourself!
I have been chased by a lion. True story.