Henry Reign

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? Where are you now?

I’m a Finnish writer from Finland that has so far written two books, one of them a novel and the other a first part of a larger novella series. My greatest achievement so far has been getting my books accepted into Finland’s library.

2. What has been your greatest inspiration for writing your latest work in progress?

I have a few favorite authors I draw my inspiration from. One of them is Petronius Jablonski. Reading his works is somewhat eerie as his prose feels somewhat similar to mine, only much more evolved. I find it hard to read books that don’t interest me, which limits me somewhat as a writer, but his prose is something my distraction-prone mind can get into. I recommend that people try less known writers; they can be surprising experiences.

3. Are there any people you feel need a shout out for supporting you?

My girlfriend and mother. Their excellent cooking has fueled me through my long journey. I also have to commend the hostile (yet writing-friendly) Finnish climate that keeps me inside.

4. Has self-publishing taught you any lessons that you feel will help you in life?

Everything is hard in life, even if you consider (or others consider you) to be talented. You must put in the work or else you’ll drive yourself mad with unrealized dreams. A good attitude and work ethic is worth much more than talent, whatever you choose to do. This is something my father has always told me but I only came to realize it recently.

5. What made you decide to become an author?

Positive reinforcement. I got my essays read in high-school, yada-yada, and when I came into that point in life where I had no idea what to do, I just decided to start with writing. Having written one book helped me realize that I can write another much better book, and I’m still on that path. It’s attractive that you can achieve something so profound with only words at your disposal. Living in such a hectic time I think it’s important for one to explore his thoughts deeply.

6. What are some stories that changed your life or made a big impression on you and why?

My top three classics that had an influence on me are:

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (on how gorgeous prose can be)
  • Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (on how there is no morality without options)
  • My Grand Illusion by Mika Waltari (on how hard it really is to grow up, or rather not be a child anymore)

The greatest effects that books have had on me, is that they’ve left me feeling less alone with my feelings about the world. Reading a good book on some matter that touches you can save a lot of your precious time. It’s both depressing and liberating to know that some great man some long time ago has wrestled with the exact same problems as you have, and often come to no fulfilling conclusions. Perhaps it’s left for us only to know these things and enjoy this as fully as we can, they’ve already worked out all the truths for us.

7. What do you want the world to know about Indie Authors?

Indie writing doesn’t share the same constraints as traditional publishing does. You can find very different stuff between indie-covers, most of it however can be too different for an everyday reader to enjoy. There are many gems that are hidden from the public, and discovering these is a great joy. Reading good Indie-authors makes you a few steps ahead from those who just read whatever’s on the airport shops' shelves. You can get an accurate picture of the future we’re slowly floating towards. Some of the indies you read today might be classics 50 years from now.

8. What would you like your readers to take away from your work?

The same feeling I’ve discussed above. Life is not as grand or as sad as you think it is. Try to be less clingy with both good and bad feelings. They come and go. And so will you.

9. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. How do you get started? How do you know when you're done?

I come up with a good idea which usually I can put into one or two sentences. Then I explore it with my typewriter. Then I leave the ink to rest for a while. Then I clean it up with Google Docs and have someone beta-read it. I know I’m done when I no longer agree with the views I’ve written. Then I hit Publish.

10. What do you think your strengths are as a writer? What is it about your books that will draw your audience in?

My books have been described as easy-to-read, insightful and entertaining experiences. I think I’m good with translating universal feelings very simply without the use of fancy words. I also have a lot of fun when it comes to the exchanges with the characters, and if you like dialogue, you’ll definitely like my books.

11. What components fit together to make a great book?

A book has to be interesting. It has to keep you turning pages. Personally I need to relate with the characters in the book on a deep level. Some books have great ideas and worlds but it doesn’t matter if there are no appropriate, authentic characters to reveal them.

12. What is your favorite genre to write?

I don’t know if there’s a genre for me, but if there were, I’d call it Character-driven-philosophical-adventure-something.