David Horn was born and raised behind the twitchy net curtains of suburban England. Giving up on office cubicles and turning instead to the wilds of Fermanagh, he has taken to writing. Flash fiction, short stories, and the inevitable novel in progress fall within his purview for now. He has a strong dislike of wet cardboard and peanut butter, but finds comfort in all the usual places.
He attended a writing course in New York some twenty years ago, but put it down while attending to career and emerging family. Practically giving up on the first has meant more time to revisit writing, and he started again in 2019. That year he received an honourable mention in the Fish Flash Fiction Prize and was published in their annual anthology. This piece of writing will be his first published short story.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: I’ve always been intimidated by ‘the great writers’ and don’t have a hankering to meet any of them, to be honest. If I could travel in physical space now I would love to meet the great modern storytellers – David Mitchell, Ann Patchett, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Colson Whitehead, and so on. My reading career began properly with John Irving – the sprawling stories of Garp, and The Hotel New Hampshire. He’d be on my list too, please.
Q: What is the least interesting part of writing for you?
A: Beginnings. I like to start stories in the middle. Kurt Vonnegut said you should start a story as close to the end as possible. I think that’s very sage advice.
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: The ability to focus for long periods of time. I think concentration is the superpower we most need right now – it’s been robbed from us by the little infinity devices we carry with us. We were complicit in the crime but we need to take it back.
Q: Who is your personal inspiration?
A: I think anyone who has lived a creative, authentic life for anything more than a short flash of time is inspiring. It’s so hard to do. And obviously, the person observed as living it may have a different perspective – but the longevity of artists like Tom Waits and the Rolling Stones, that’s inspiring. Or people who have been able to create moments of beauty that endure – Amy Winehouse, for instance. I don’t feel inspired by individuals very often, but I do admire a terrific number of people doing good things.
Before the drink got him – and shook him, and shook him – there was nobody west of the Mississippi that played the mouth harp like Billy Cooper. Friday nights at JJ’s Bar & Grill you couldn’t shift him from his stool, even if you’d wanted to. When Billy settled in his spot just to …