Welcome back to the conclusion of our talk with Henry Walton, author of The Journals of Thaddeaus Shockpocket.
Part one can be read here.
Part two can be read here.
Part three can be read here.
Airship Ambassador: Most of the authors I’ve talked with have some type of day job and that writing is their other job. What has that situation been for you and how has it helped/hindered begin a published writer?
Henry Walton: My day job is global technology marketing and it is insanely time consuming as it involves a lot of international travel. I try to write in the evenings but it is a challenge. At the same time, I have had some of my best ideas while sitting in a pub in some foreign city.
AA: And if you had the Albion 77 airship … If you weren’t an author, what else would you be doing now?
HW: I would still be involved in high technology product planning and marketing. I love being on the leading edge of what’s next in the world of electronics and automation and brainstorming the what-ifs of future technologies.
AA: Looking beyond steampunk, writing and working, what other interests fill your time?
HW: It is still steampunk, but I enjoy making props of the inventions that Thaddeaus creates. I have recreated most of his inventions short of the motorcycle with sidecar and the airships. Beyond that, I spend my spare time biking, boating, snow skiing, and traveling.
AA: How do those interests influence your work?
HW: They clear my mind. Nothing clears writers block like getting out and doing something energetic.
AA: There’s only so much time in a day – what interests don’t you have time for?
HW: I don’t have time to get out snow skiing or boating on the local lakes as much as I would like.
AA: What other fandoms are you part of?
HW: I don’t really participate in fandom activities such as conventions other than those that are steampunk related but I am a fan of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Sherlock.
AA: Are there people you consider an inspiration, role model, or other motivating influence?
AA: What event or situation has had the most positive impact in your life? What has been your greatest challenge?
HW: I think the activity that has had the greatest impact on my life and outlook has been the opportunity to travel throughout the world and off the beaten path. I have had the pleasure to meet and share friendship with amazing people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs around the globe. I have been humbled in sacred sites of the world’s various faiths, awestruck during tours of grand temples, and depressed as I passed through areas of abject poverty. I have been fortunate to be treated to extravagant meals in some of the world’s finest restaurants and have also experienced stepping around a starving child laying unconscious on a backstreet sidewalk in Thailand. When you are exposed to all of this it forces you re-examine your beliefs and to take a broader view of the world and life in general. Over the years, my travels have continued to shape my views and they continue to evolve to this day.
What is the greatest challenge? Communicating with people that make assumptions about other people and cultures and judge them based on their own narrow focus of the world. The corporate world I work in tends to be conservative in nature so it can be a challenge to be a tattooed, Tarot card reading, steampunk author. I fail miserably at debates and have yet to figure out how to open minds that don’t wish to be unlocked. That is why I love the steampunk community. It is truly a collection of people with open minds that accept and embrace each other. You won’t find a broader minded gathering of people than those you meet at a steampunk convention.
AA: Three quick-fire random questions – what is your favorite appetizer, house chore, and excuse?
HW: Seared ahi tuna, mowing, what me?
AA: Any final thoughts to share with our readers
HW: In the memorable words of Eric Idle:
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best
And always look on the bright side of life
Thanks, Henry, for joining us for this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!
Keep up to date with Henry’s latest news on his website.
Also, check out his exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.