Author William Harden is a member of the South Jersey Writers Group and one of our writers featured in Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. Join us today as we learn more about this dashing and talented writer
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m fifty-nine years old, married and living in Haddon Twp. NJ with my wife Jean and four cats. Jean and I have lived in South Jersey our whole lives. I’m self-employed, doing home repair.
What got you interested in writing and when did you start?
I think I’ve been interested in writing since high school, but never really explored it, except for business purposes, until the last couple of years. I think my interest in writing stems mostly from my love of reading, (or is it the other way around?)
What type of stories do you enjoy writing?
I like to write fiction, generally with a mystery or intrigue flavor, but it’s the development of interesting characters that I find most compelling, composites of people I’ve met, or people I’d like to meet.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
The Junkyard came about from an unexpected visit to a junkyard, my first ever. There was something slightly eerie and mystical about the place. I felt like I was visiting a place where thousands of personal stories all call together. Since then, I try to be attuned to the places I visit and people I encounter, looking below the surface for stories that might not necessarily be instantly apparent.
Why did you pick this particular story for our anthology?
Although I wrote it a few years ago, I still dug it out occasionally to tweak it now and then. I think I probably chose it because it was the first thing I ever wrote that I took the time to really develop. I’ve written many short stories, but this one seemed to take on a life of its own, and grew into something I didn’t really anticipate.
What advice can you give to our readers who are interested in writing and getting their book published?
First and foremost (and I confess to not taking my own advice in this matter) is that you have to write all the time. Even if nothing is bursting to get out, sit down and write and you never know what will develop. Also, recognize that writing isn’t simply about imagination, but that there is a real craft to it and you should take every opportunity to learn and polish your writing skills.
Is it important for new writers to join a writer’s group and why?
It’s been hugely important for me, that’s for sure. I’ve been a member of South Jersey Writers for 3 or 4 years now and it’s been great. You get an opportunity to meet and share with kindred souls whose passion for writing is always contagious and our group has developed into a collection of writers with diverse backgrounds and skills, but always a generosity when it comes to encouragement, constructive criticism and shared knowledge.