By: Loni Cameron
Today we are happy to have the spotlight on WCYR member, Craig Hodgins. Craig has held many interesting positions in his life and traveled to distant places. Craig encourages and inspires others and looks forward to the future of writing.
Tell Us About Yourself
Do you have another job besides writing?
I have just embarked on a new career as an independent travel consultant with The Travel Agent Next Door. This came about as a result of a recent anniversary cruise to Alaska with my wife. I loved the cruise experience so much I didn’t want to leave! So, I am now working hard to help people explore the world through hassle-free travel experiences that will inspire them.
Tell us five random things about yourself.
I am an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves working with Air Cadets.
I have been an Auxiliary Constable with the Ontario Provincial Police.
I have been a candidate in local and provincial elections.
I have travelled to many places in Europe and North America on business.
I love cruising.
If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
I would choose to be a servant to Napoleon. I would have the opportunity to travel with him on his campaigns, observe his actions, hear his philosophies, and in general get to make my own determination on whether he was a great hero, a great villain, or both.
All About Business
What would you tell aspiring young writers about the publishing business?
You have at your fingertips the power to ignore the “gatekeepers” and share your talents and writing gifts with the world. Don’t wait for permission; just write what you want to read and the audience will form.
Writing and Critique Groups and Professional Organizations
What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
I see a future where no one can see the future. Technology and attitudes are changing so fast and in huge ways that we cannot know what the next decade will hold. But I am hopeful that the best writing will be the most read writing.
What brought you to the WCYR?
I was interested in joining the WCYR because it provides local training and seminars and the opportunity to network with other writers. It also spurred me on to work toward my goals. Since joining in early 2017 I have won a writing grant from both WCYR and WCDR which I used to attend conferences. I also won first prize in a poetry contest and third prize in a flash fiction contest. I have also had two pieces published in anthologies.
The Process of Writing
When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?
I enjoy themes based on the irony of human events and the interaction of art and history. For example, ancient Athens (centre of art, drama, and democracy) lost a great war to Sparta (stoic, militaristic, and brutal), yet 2000 years later Athens is still here (physically and ideologically) while Sparta lies in dusty ruins. Or how the Allies bombed the ancient abbey of Monte Cassino yet in the aftermath the Germans used the ruins to settle in and fight all the harder.
Where do you get your ideas from – music, nature, art etc.?
I was enjoying a live performance of Handel’s Messiah when the thought came to my head: did Handel ever meet Napoleon? What would these two men, with vastly differing occupations, discuss? I learned that while these two men never did meet, the composer Bach had indeed met Frederick the Great (as related in a very good book) and Napoleon did have an influence on Beethoven and his music. These facts inspired me to write my award-winning poem, Empires of the Mind. Simple answer to the questions: I get ideas from history and the other arts.
The World of Publishing
What is/are your favorite book/author(s)? Why?
The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov – truly galactic in scope but human in detail, the series makes one think about the effects of individual actions amongst group dynamics.
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – the only book that I can remember that made me cry.
On Reading and Ideas
What book are you reading now?
Victory! By Brian Tracy (personal and business improvement)
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
I read the Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, and comic books.
We would like to thank Craig for taking the time to answer these question and share his passion for Napolean, history, and the arts with us. We also look forward to seeing Craig at upcoming WCYR meetings and workshops.
Craig Hodgins has worked in the IT industry for 36 years in performance management, product management, and project management. Craig has studied and used many self-management techniques, including the latest “agile” frameworks. Craig has spoken at many conferences and has authored several technical articles.
If you would like to participate in the Member Spotlight here on the Easy Writer, please email Loni at firstname.lastname@example.org.