Monday, May 18, 2020

Garden Interview with Hywela Lyn

Hello Hywela

Do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?

A bit of both. I write a rough outline of the story before I start, and need to know the end so I have something to work towards. Which is not to say the ending doesn’t sometimes change: For instance in Starquest, my heroine argued with me and told me in no uncertain terms that ‘it didn’t happen that way.’ Eventually I tried the ending as she related it to me, and it worked! On reflection I realized her version was far more logical.
Having written my outline, I then write and let my characters lead me and show me what’s going to happen. Of course, everyone has their own way of writing, but for me, this is so much more enjoyable than if I’d plotted everything out rigidly, and sometimes my characters surprise me with something I’d never even thought of up until then.

Do you have trouble saying goodbye to characters?
Yes, I do. Having got to know them, I hate having to leave them – which is probably why my short story Starquest turned into a novel, which then sparked a sequel and after that a third novel, forming then Destiny Trilogy.

How long does it take to research and build a fantasy world?
Oh, how long is the proverbial piece of string? First I have to think what sort of world my planet is going to be. Then I have to decide on things like climate, customs and population, and the type of indigenous animals that might inhabit it. Sometimes though, a world comes to me almost fully formed. For instance, I was standing outside my home in Wales, one winter’s evening, and saw snow sweeping in over the mountains, the sunset turning the snowy landscape pink. I imagined an icy planet, which had areas of pink snow, the colour derived from microscopic spores. A sparsely populated planet whose settlers had denounced technology. How would they communicate over vast distances? Telepathy seemed the obvious answer, and so the planet of mist and ice, named after the land of Norse legends, Niflheim was born, and became a main feature in both Starquest and Children of the Mist.

What was the hardest chapter/book to finish and why?
Beloved Enemy is the third book in the Destiny Trilogy and in some ways the hardest, as both heroine and hero are quite complex characters as well as being strong willed and somewhat hard headed. They clash a lot, while being obliged to work together to survive, and spend most of the book trying to deny their growing attraction. A few chapters from the end I hit a snag and couldn’t see how to get past it. As usual my character – in this case, Kerry Marchant, gave me the answer. It was really very simple, as it happened, and as usual, he was right.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I believe we have a duty to look after our Earth, and the animals that share it, as well as having an obligation to care for each other. I try to get this message across in the trilogy as subtly as I can. If the reader ‘gets it’ that’s brilliant, if not, I hope they just enjoy the books anyway!

Tell us a little more...

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wrote stories, even as a child, but didn’t think I would ever be good enough to make it as a ‘real’ writer.
I have always been passionate about horses and would have loved to have been able to make a career with them, but unfortunately I just didn’t have any encouragement from my school, although my parents were very supportive, and my dream remained that – just a dream and I ended up working in an office. Not my first choice, but it did give me the opportunity to write, and enough money to save up to buy my first horse.
I had several short stories published. It wasn’t until I retired, however, that my first dream was realized and my debut novel was published by The Wild Rose Press.

Do you have a favorite quote?
I love this quote by Chief Seattle Hand how true it is!
“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.”
Chief Seattle - Suqwamish & Duwamish   

Do you have any hobbies?

Apart from reading? (Is that a hobby) I’ve always loved reading and it’s what made me want to write myself. I love the outdoors and all animals, especially horses and dogs. I have a Welsh/American Quarter Horse mare called Flying T’pau and a ‘rescue’ terrier called Choccy. Both are real characters. I love the Western way of riding which I find more comfortable than English riding, and western riding is now becoming very popular in the UK, with two main Western riding groups which promote all aspects of good western horsemanship. I also enjoy walking in the countryside with Choccy, and watching birds and wildlife.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Chocolate – I don’t need to say any more do I! J

What is your favorite time of year and why?
I love Christmas. The decorations, the carols, and the ‘magic’. Yes, it’s too commercialized these days, and the true meaning is often forgotten or ignored, but I still love it and try to make it as special a time as I can.

Where can we find you online?

Download Beloved Enemy (book 3 of the Destiny Trilogy) on Amazon and other online retailers


D. V. STONE said...

It's great to know more about you. Best wishes. D. V.

CB Clark said...

Great interview! I certainly agree with you about our responsibility to look after this planet. Well said.

Laura Strickland said...

Great interview! I, too, love it when my characters surprise me and take the story in a new direction. That's the very best part of writing!

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks so much, D V!

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks Christine, - I'm praying the world leaders will learn from the terrible pandemic we're going through at the moment, and when things get back to some sort of 'normal', realise we can't go on abusing our planet the way we've been doing. One can only hope!

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks Laura, I absolutely agree, when one's characters come alive it's a feeling unlike any other!

GiniRifkin said...

Hi all the way over there in Wales! Inspired and impressed by your approach to, and abilities in, world building. So glad you realized your dream of having a horse in your life. I’m in Colorado with my donkeys (among other rescue animals). Wonderful quote. Nice learning more about you.

Barbara Bettis said...

Lovely interview and I so agree with taking care of the planet. all the best!

Donna Simonetta said...

This was a really interesting interview! I volunteer at an animal shelter (although during these times, all our animals are in temporary foster care) and I loved reading about your rescue pup!

Hywela Lyn said...

Thanks so much, Gini. Yes, horses have always been a big part of my life, although I've never been lucky enough to have my own land, and had to rent, but I do feel privileged to have been able to have horses, although I've worked hard to be able to afford to do so. I bet your donkeys are gorgeous, rescues are the best, aren't they - always so rewarding and show their gratitude with unconditional love.

Hywela Lyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Barbara

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I really hope the 'Powers That Be' will take notice of how the enforced 'locked down' all over the planet has helped our world start to recover!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Donna, so glad you enjoyed the interview. Fantastic that you help out at a shelter, yes, my little 'rescue' is fantastic. He was quite hard work when we first had him, as he'd been kept shut up for two years from a puppy, and never been socialised, but he's very outgoing now, and has always been the sweetest, most affectionate little dog!