2: Episode 2: David Harten Watson Award Winning Writer of Magic Teachers Son

David Harten Watson: SQR Podcast celebrated another first by welcoming its first author, David Harten Watson to the studio. Born in Teaneck, New Jersey, and raised in Buffalo, New York, Watson grew up with his older brother Dale and his parents. He graduated from Calasanctius School and has degrees from Princeton University, Canisius College, and Buffalo State College. Currently, he lives with his wife (a native of Ecuador, not Eldor), their two sons, Daniel, “Danny” and David Aaron and two cats in New Jersey.  The mundane, uneventful day working as an IT Specialist allows time for Watson’s creative ideas to develop where he can later use them in his writing.

As a child, Watson’s insatiable appetite for reading led him to reading adult novels by the age of ten. Being an avid reader, specifically in the genre of science fiction/fantasy, Watson was transported to fantastic places and he used his imagination to experience the adventures, which is what drew him to these novels.  A fan of J.R. Tolkein, he grew up reading The Hobbit  and Lord of the Rings. He also was inspired by Anne McCaffrey’s, The Dragonriders of Pern, and C.S. Lewis’, Narnia. Due to the high interest and multitude of fantasy and science fiction novels Watson read growing up, he was inspired to do the same.

While at Princeton, Watson was a member of the student science fiction club, “Infitity Ltd.” where he produced his first science fiction story; however, he never published it, and it has been unable to be located since. Some find writing short stories easier; however, Watson discovered the opposite was true for him as he was dabbling with different stories and writing techniques.  He explained how some writers need to outline their ideas first before writing; “outliners” and some writers simply just begin writing by the seat of their pants; “pantsers.”  Although he would try to outline his book at first, once he began writing, the characters would soon take on a life of their own and his original ideas didn’t always stick to the outline, thus making that process a waste of time.  

Influenced by his favorite science fiction/fantasy novelist, Orson Scott Card, he attended “Uncle Orson’s Writing Bootcamp” in 2011, taught by the great science fiction and fantasy novelist Orson Scott Card.  Additionally, Watson served as a U.S. Army Armor officer at Fort Knox, including all four positions: driver, gunner, loader, and tank commander.  These experiences, especially as a U.S. Army Armor officer, proved to be instrumental for writing novels since his first hand knowledge adds accurate, descriptive details during times of war.

David Harten Watson is the author of the young adult fantasy series Magicians’ Gold, published by Pen-L Publishing, including Magic Teacher’s Son (a 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award winner, 2016 New Horizon Award Finalist, and 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards Finalist) and its upcoming sequel, Fortress of Gold that will be released in 2018.  Magic Teacher’s Son takes place in a parallel world similar to Earth in the early 1800s, except gunpowder hasn’t been invented in their world; however, magic is prevalent in their world. Watson used his son as the inspiration for the cover; however, because of his crew cut, Watson decided to have him wear a cowboy hat. There was some confusion later on about the genre because of the cowboy hat and as a result, the second cover was designed by artist M. Wayne Miller to unmistakably depict science fiction/fantasy; including magic, swords, and sorcery.

Watson, as part of the Resistance, created a Twitter account, @LordOfTheTrump, anti-Trump; which is a Trump parody account where he takes Trump’s tweets and twists them around to be something from the Dark Lord Sauron from The Lord of the Rings and retweets them. Watson wishes to see a more equitable world and have people take care of the environment.

Watson is a member of the U.S. Army Brotherhood of Tankers (USABOT) and the Mormon Church. He has also worked in a variety of jobs including camp counselor at Keewaydin Camps, teacher, tax preparer, car salesman, portrait photographer, track photographer, solar energy entrepreneur, and computer programmer.  Watson  is the Organizer of the Woodbridge Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Meetup, which he founded in 2008.  In his free time, he enjoys kayaking, acting in a no-budget horror movie filmed in New Jersey, and participating in Cowboy Action Shooting under the alias “Derringer Dave.”  

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