Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guest Author, Hywela Lyn

Today we welcome Hywela Lyn, fellow Wild Rose Press Author and computer graphics guru (at least to this technically challenged soul) whose Science Fantasy novel Starquest has just garnered three stellar reviews (links provided below) and who is hard at work on an equally riveting sequel.

Here's what I had to say about Starquest:

"Starquest is a fantastical journey about one strong, brave, and independent woman's search for love that will take the reader to places they've never imagined and reveal insights we all know deep inside. I lost myself for hours in her action-packed adventures, and knew that when the book ended, she had indeed succeeded in her quest to find the one true home for her heart."

Can you tell I like this book? I'm hoping to get lucky enough to say something equally prophetic about Children of the Mist when the time comes (hint, hint). In the meantime, we'll visit with the lovely Hywela, who is Welsh, and (if you haven't guessed by now) writes "Romance Out of this World."

BTW, Hywela is her Welsh first name, and Lyn what she goes by, so she combined the two to create her pen name.

1. Who are you?

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed reading and writing Westerns, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adventure stories - always with a strong romantic element. I have had several short stories published, including a Western romance about Wyatt Earp', which was short listed in the ‘Lady’ Short Story competition and subsequently published in that magazine last year, before I decided to submit my first full length novel Starquest, which was recently released by The Wild Rose Press, and is available both in e-book and print.

2. Why Westerns? Why Science Fiction?

First of all, Westerns. Apart from the fact that I love horses, and horses played a crucial part in the history of the old West, I am fascinated by the idea of a new world, and exploring land where no white man had been before, the camaraderie of men and women thrown together in a beautiful and often harsh and dangerous environment. I read everything from Zane Gray to Jack Schaeffer. Unfortunately the market for Westerns in the UK is very limited, so I decided to try my hand at Science Fantasy.

I’ve always loved Fantasy and Science Fiction for pretty much the same reasons I love Westerns. Just substitute starships for the horses and you have the same scenario. I suppose I could sum this up in one word ‘escapism.’ An escape from the modern world with its selfishness, greed and lack of morals, respect or courtesy. Yes I know the real West was probably full of all the afore mentioned faults but the lone horseman risking all for the beautiful woman he loves, although a cliché, is a common element in the romantic Western and an escape from the ‘real’ world. Women had to be strong because of the hardships they endured but they retained their femininity. The hero might be a gunman but he had an old world charm and courtesy when around the ladies and ultimately stood for what was right.

The same can be said for futuristic and fantasy fiction. As a writer, one can mould the strange exotic worlds and societies to ones own ideal. No-one can say a certain concept, custom or attitude in futuristic fiction is wrong, because it hasn’t happened yet and who knows what may happen in the future? The worlds I create are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. My characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. My heroes are strong and courageous, chivalrous and honourable - and of course, handsome and hunky. Don’t we all like to fantasize about a man like that?

3. When do you write?

I’m a night owl, so ideally I prefer to write late at night when I start to wake up. Unfortunately this does not go down too well with d.h. who has to get up in the early hours to go to work so I now tend to write first thing in the morning before ‘life’ takes over. I like to write in large chunks if I can, but if something occurs to me when I’m busy doing something else I’ll jot the idea down or steal a few minutes to type it out on the pc.

4. When do you read? Where?

I don’t get as much time to read as I would like, so I try to carry a book with me wherever I go. Waiting in the dentist or doctor, or on one of my rare visits to the hairdressers. I also read on the bus or train. I hate having to wait around anywhere and at least if I have something to read I don’t feel I’m wasting time. My very favorite place to read on a nice day is at the yard where I keep my horses. When I’ve finished cleaning out the paddocks, grooming and riding, it’s nice to just sit in the sun for half an hour and read a chapter or two.

5. Where did you get the inspiration for Starquest?

It began with my main character. She arrived unannounced in my mind, but complete with her name and favorite color! She would be the ideal mate for the dark, lonely hero I had in mind, modelled on my favorite actor at the time. She loved the stars and the wonders of space as much as I did. What started out as a short story grew as I became fonder and fonder of my characters.
6. Where do you go to think?

I’ve done a lot of thinking about stories in bed, as a means of getting to sleep (there are of course disadvantages to this since it can have the opposite effect.) I also ‘think’ a lot when I’m out riding by myself, or taking my dog for a walk. I find the outdoors a great source of inspiration and the peace and tranquility of the countryside is very conducive to working out a problem.

7. How long did you write seriously before your first book was published?

I suppose it depends on ones idea of ‘seriously’. I started believing that I might be published as a teenager. (Before then I had written purely for pleasure and because the stories were in my head wanting to be told. I had several short stories published and wrote a novel (a not-very-good Western) before I got so involved with life, work and my horses that writing took a back seat. I still wrote on and off though and a few years ago decided to write the novel I’d had in the back of my mind for a long time, Starquest.

In closing, I live with my long suffering husband, Dave, in a small village in England although I hope eventually to return to my native rural Wales. A keen animal lover, I have two horses, two feral cats and a rescued Jack Russell terrier.

My first novel, Starquest is available from The Wild Rose Press. The sequel, Children of the Mist, is currently in edits with the same publisher, and my novella about the Greek Muse, Terpsichore is available at TWRP now.


Miss Mae said...

Wonderful interview and there simply isn't enough to say about the beautiful story, "StarQuest". I loved it!

Ellen said...

Hi Hywela!
Great interview :)) I also carry a book everywhere I go---I'd feel absolutely naked without. And I'm so jealous about where you live---we visited London last year and fell in love with it!

Take care, Ellen

Unknown said...

Hywela--Your interview was extremely well-done. I loved your comparison between the Old West and space adventures. I'd never thought of the two being alike, but you're right, they are. I also enjoyed reading your description of the Old West and the cowboy--my kind of guy. I also agree that in writing any kind of fiction, we can correct the morality of the people as we see fit, as we see it. Another very good thought.Celia

Alisha said...

Great interview, sister muse! I'm ordering Starquest so I can wrap it for myself and toss it under the tree. DH wants me to buy my own gifts and I go nuts with all my must reads! Congrats on your rave reviews!

Anonymous said...

Hywela--wonderful interview! So nice to get to know you. I've been eyeing Starquest as a wish list item for a while now. :) I too practice the questionable art of "plotting" while trying to fall asleep. You are so right... it often accomplishes the opposite! ha!

snoopsspots2 said...

Oooh, for an honourable man! Handsome and hunky with it, and I might just be organic!

Fantastic interview, Liana/Lyn. We got the hint, not that we need it! Huge CONGRATS, Lyn! :) And on getting the article in the "Lady".

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much Miss Mae, you are such a sweet person!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Ellen

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I don't actually live that close to London (I'm a real country person actually) but it's a great place for a visit.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Celia

Thanks so much for your comments. Yes, the Western is a wonderful genre, I really love the Old West and I guess what I now write about is 'space cowboys;. :)

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Alisha, sister muse,

What a good idea. I think I'll suggest it to my own hubby, I have so many books I want to read over Christmas, and Canyon Wolf Bride is definitely one of them!

Thanks so much, and I loved having you over at my own Blog today.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Nan

So nice of you to pop by and leave a comment and for putting 'SQ' on your 'wish list'. Yes, plotting in bed is a great way to let your imagination run loose in peace and quiet - but not so good if you have to get up early next day! :)

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sheryl, nice to 'ses' you.

*grin* yes - a handsome, honorable hunky man - well that's what spurs romance writers on isn't it!

Liana gave me some great questions didn't she?

Thanks for drpping by.

Debra St. John said...

Hi Hywela! Great interview. Congrats on all of the wonderful reviews.

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much Debra. I really appreciate your comment.

By the way Sheryl, I meant nice to 'see' you not 'ses' you. Apologies for all the typos, I haven't even been at the Christmas sherry yet!

P.L. Parker said...


Great interview and congrats on the reviews.


Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much for Patsy, glad you enjoyed the visit, Liana asks some great questions.

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me Liana - I really enjoyed being here with you on your Blog.