For this sixteenth episode of Writer’s Spotlight (and 100th blog post on my site), we have Harry Novak – a newer member of the Scribes’ Circle whom I have gotten to know over the past few months. Harry’s writing is sure to give you goosebumps, especially when read alone, in the dark of night.
What names do you write by?
Give us a short introduction to you.
I’m a 32-year-old nurse working in psychiatry and living in Yorkshire with my wife and children. I grew up in the West Midlands are of England but I have lived in Yorkshire for nearly thirteen years. As well as writing I love music, rugby, and films, as well as a thirst for real ale!
How long have you been writing, professionally and/or as a hobby?
I started in my early teens but then stopped until after the birth of our first child over five years ago. I had been meaning to do it for some years and, after a visit to the stunning Runswick Bay in North Yorkshire, I decided it was about time.
In what genre(s) do you write?
Primarily supernatural/horror, trying to dabble in sci-fi and thriller.
Do you outline your stories ahead of time, or do you let the story grow as you write?
I let it grow, each to their own, but outlining feels unnatural to me.
Which authors have influenced and inspired you the most?
Dozens, but if I had to pick I’d say Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, MR James, James Herbert, Henning Mankell and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Do you write in other ways, such as poetry, songwriting, technical articles, etc?
I have written poetry and an article for a nursing magazine, as well as co-authoring a chapter for a nursing text book.
How has your life experiences affected your writing?
Heavily, both positive and negative as well as downright odd.
What scene that you’ve written has moved you the most, and why?
The penultimate scene for my short story Missed. It’s supernatural but revolves around male suicide, something I feel very strongly about.
Beta Readers – Yes or No? Why?
Yes, they’re absolutely essential.
What inspires your story ideas?
Life experiences, history and folklore.
Do you belong to any Writing Groups?
Fiction Writing, The Scribes Circle and Writing Without Drama.
Tell us about all of your works in progress (include your favorite snippets).
I’m currently writing a novel about a British psychiatric nurse living in self-imposed exile in Salem MA. He’s partly based on me but also on a book and tv character called Inspector Morse. I’m also writing a dystopian sci-fi novel set in a future where the genetically enhanced rich rule with terror over a subjugated working class. A favourite part of my novel so far is when my MC reflects (but not in too much detail) on the reasons that drove him to flee the UK and hide in his own loneliness in the USA.
Have you been published?
My short story, An Unfortunate Lift, was published in A Journey of Words.
How can readers follow you?
I have a facebook page named Harry Novak. Due to work and home pressures, it hasn’t been updated in a while!
Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?
Just that I write from the heart and I hope they enjoy what they read.
Thanks, Harry, for taking the time to share a little piece of you with us!