We had the good fortune of connecting with Henry Herz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Henry, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
Years ago, I wanted to share my love of reading fantasy with my young sons. They were too little for watching most of the fantasy and sci-fi movie classics, and there are only so many good fantasy books available for that age range. One day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them. That decision had two unintended consequences. First, I did not anticipate was that my boys would give me feedback on the story. They devised some of the character and creature names, and made plot line suggestions. And who better to help make the story appealing to kids than other kids? So, the goal of interesting my sons in fantasy transformed into also encouraging them to write. Second, we ended up self-publishing that book, which created another development opportunity for my sons. We went to libraries and elementary schools to read the book to younger kids. We sold copies at Farmer’s Markets, so they learned about interacting with others, handling money, and a work ethic. Now they love to attend San Diego Comic-Con with me and have met many successful authors. That initial project changed my life, leading me to become a professional author, and it provided my sons with a range of terrific opportunities for growth.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve authored 11 traditionally published children’s titles: MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY, MABEL & THE QUEEN OF DREAMS, LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH, CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW, HOW THE SQUID GOT TWO LONG ARMS , ALICE’S MAGIC GARDEN, GOOD EGG AND BAD APPLE, 2 PIRATES + 1 ROBOT, THE MAGIC SPATULA, and I AM SMOKE. I’ve authored six traditionally published children’s short stories, and over 20 traditionally published adult short stories. Currently, I’m editing two anthologies. I love writing fantasy, science fiction, and fractured fairy tales. I’m a big fan of humor in my writing (even in horror), as well as word play. I moderate author panels every year at San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon. Read more about my adventures with words at www.henryherz.com. Three things that have been extremely helpful in my journey as a writer are: joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, participating in critique groups with fellow authors, and networking with authors, agents, and editors on social media. The journey to publication involved a lot of sweat and tears. So it felt longer and windier than it actually was. The thing is, you might get published tomorrow. But you have no advanced warning. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because the tunnel bends. Develop a thick skin, because the industry involves an enormous amount of rejection. And be persistent, because you’ll never get published if you quit before an editor falls in love with your manuscript. Lastly, never stop honing your craft.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow, San Diego has so much to offer visitors. In the absence of COVID concerns, places I enjoy eating include Burger Lounge, Nobel Pizzeria, Sushi Ota, Johnny Rockets, The Taco Stand, Not Not Tacos, and Shake Shack. Fun attractions include Sea World, Coronado, dog beach in Del Mar, the San Diego County Fair (summer), Balboa Park, Little Italy, Torrey Pines Park, sunsets at the beach, San Diego Comic-Con (July), Midway museum, jetskiing, and so much more.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As an author, I can tell you that a writer is only as good as their critique group — fellow authors who exchange feedback on their manuscripts. I’ve been in many critique groups over the years and am currently involved with two that meet weekly. Plus, I am friends with many authors who exchange critiques with me on an ad hoc basis. There are too many to list, but a big shout out to all the authors out there who help each other out because they realize improving the quality of books is a rising tide the lifts all ships.

Website: https://www.henryherz.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/henry_herz/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henrylherz/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HenryLHerz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Henry.Herz

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.