AR: Do you write poetry, prose, or a mixture of both?
RHF: I’m primarily a poet, but I have written some prose fiction (short stories) and nonfiction (articles).
AR: Have you ever done any journalistic writing?
RHF: Not as such, no. When I do write nonfiction, it tends to be more in the realm of research articles than news items.
AR: What made you start writing?
RHF: I’ve always been a storyteller, going back to when I was a little kid. My mother used to say that I would regale the receptionist in the pediatric dentist’s office with my stories. I think reading books I loved led me to putting the stories in my head down onto paper.
AR: How old were you when you started writing?
RHF: It was so long ago when I started writing prose fiction on my own that I can’t remember exactly when I started. I think it was when I was in middle school. As for poetry, I know I wrote my first poem (a dark piece I entitled “Black Tiger”) in high school. I actually wrote it on a desk in school! If I recall correctly, I was inspired by Blake’s famous poem “The Tyger”. Keep in mind, this was closing in on forty years ago now, so the memory can be a bit foggy going back that far.
AR: Where do you get your inspirations?
RHF: I draw my inspirations from history, myth, folklore, and legend, and from the many books by other writers I’ve read over the years. I’m especially fond of traditional fairy folklore and have incorporated such lore into my works on several occasions.
AR: What is the one thing you hate most about writing?
RHF: Playing the submission game.
AR: What is the one thing you like most about writing?
RHF: Writing a story, whether it be in prose or verse form, that others enjoy.
AR: When is inspiration most likely to strike you?
RHF: Either when I’m in bed trying to get to sleep or when I’m in the shower.
AR: Do you do any other sort of art?
RHF: I’m also a published artist/illustrator. Pen-and-ink, in the form of artist pens on Bristol board, is my preferred medium.
AR: If you could invite any one other author or poet over for dinner, who would you invite?
RHF: Is it okay to go with a dead author? If he were still alive, I’d love to have dinner with J. R. R. Tolkien.
RHF: He is my absolute-favorite author, and he was also a poet, artist, and scholar as well as a writer of prose. I also think I could have fit right in with The Inklings.
AR: What would you talk about?
RHF: His works, his inspirations, his influences, medieval Anglo-Saxon culture, just for starters.
AR: What would you serve for the meal?
RHF: Something very English.
AR: If you received the bad news that you only had thirty days to live, what would you do?
RHF: Make sure my affairs are in order. I might try to finish the final edit of my currently-shelved fantasy novel, but I’m not sure I’d be able to complete that in thirty days.
AR: Thinking about all of your characters, which one are you most like?
RHF: I hope I’m not really like any of my characters, actually. I often write in persona, at times a non-human one, so the whole point is that the character is different from me.
AR: Thinking about all the characters you’ve ever seen in movies, plays, tv shows, or read about, which are you most like?
RHF: My wife says that the 11th Doctor is an awful lot like me in the way he talks and acts, and I have to say, I do agree with her.
AR: What do you tell people that say “I want to be a writer.” ?
RHF: Don’t give up the day job. Seriously!
AR: Why do you tell them that?
RHF: Because one CAN make a living doing writing, but that doesn’t mean one WILL do so.
AR: What do you want on your tombstone?
RHF: Actually, I’ve been thinking about being turned into a tree, so I’m not sure I’d have a tombstone.
AR: Any last words?
RHF: Keep creating!