Hywela Lyn is pleased to announce that the winner of the download copy of Dancing with Fate is - Ange! Well done, Ange.
Thanks to Hywela for her generous offer (see comments box and below).
Thank you to all who commented and visited yesterday.
Today, I'm delighted to welcome a very interesting Welsh author to my blog, Hywela Lyn, whose fantasy novella, ‘Dancing with Fate’, enthralled me from start to finish. Melding Greek mythology with ancient Welsh myth, the story of Terpsichore and Myrddin transported me to another world and time. It was beautifully written with wonderful description of the ancient Welsh countryside and excellent characterisation. I look forward to reading Lyn's published novels, 'Starquest' and 'Children of the Mist'.
I asked Lyn the following questions which she was kind enough to answer in fascinating detail. And I learned a few things about horse riding! Lyn has generously offered a download of ‘Dancing with Fate’ to one of the commentators so please don’t forget to leave a comment. See blurb and details of a special offer at the end.
Welcome to my reading and writing blog, Lyn, and thank you for being such an interesting guest.
Good morning, and thank you Rosemary for the kind invitation to guest on your lovely blog. I’m so pleased to be here, and I feel right at home with the scenery and the little waterfall, I think I visited somewhere very much like it when I was on holiday in Scotland and it reminds me of my native Wales too!
How did you get into writing fiction?
In a word – escapism. Not that I’ve ever had anything terrible I needed to escape from, but I’ve never really felt comfortable in the contemporary world, with its fast pace and obsession with work and making money. Reading fiction as a child allowed me to immerse myself in fantasy worlds of the future or the romance of the past, and I used to daydream and pretend to be a variety of different characters, all very heroic, of course. As I grew up I started writing stories of my own and although writing is hard work, it can also be very relaxing and therapeutic to immerse oneself in worlds which are totally different to our own.
What inspired you to write fantasy and Science Fiction?
As I mentioned above, I regard books as a form of ‘escapism’ and what worlds are more ‘escapist’ than fantasy or futuristic worlds? I like writing stories that take me away from the modern world, to vast, beautiful and uninhabited landscapes, brave men and women who believe in old fashioned values and who are capable of loving each other selflessly and completely. Also with Fantasy and Science Fiction nothing is impossible – which doesn’t mean that ‘anything goes’, the trick is to make it feasible, and to have a rationale, so that the reader believes it could happen - but it does give you a lot more scope than most genres.
Do you write any in other genre, or would you like to?
I actually started out writing historical Westerns. I’ve always been fascinated by the old West, largely because I love horses, and horses played a major part in the opening up and development of the West - where would the cowboy be without his horse?
I read as much as I could of the history of the West, and having ridden English since childhood, discovered Western riding and learnt that ‘real’ Western riding is nothing like what you see in many older Westerns, where the horses get spurred, and hauled around by the reins. The cowboy was a skilled horseman, whose horse was often his only companion for long periods of time and was sometimes his means of survival when travelling long distances, so he would never treat it so roughly. Western riding uses the rider’s weight in the saddle to convey signals to the horse, and the reins are pressed against the horse’s neck in conjunction with a light touch of the spur or heels to ask for changes of direction. A cowboy would spend all day in the saddle which needed to be very comfortable for both rider and horse, and I discovered the truth of it when I started riding that way myself and took part in ‘endurance’ riding in Wales with a Western saddle. I feel this practical experience and knowledge of Western riding and equipment will be valuable in helping to keep my writing authentic in the Western romance which I hope to begin work on as soon as I’ve finished the third book in my futuristic ‘Starquest’ trilogy. Another thing I love about the Western historical, is the romance and adventure, the idea of brave men and women exploring a new land, and facing unknown dangers and challenges.
How important is your Welsh background in your writing?
I think it’s shaped my writing considerably. When I was writing ‘Starquest’ I watched the snow blowing in across the Welsh mountains in front of my home, like a mist, and it became a scene in the story. That scene actually grew to become the inspiration for a whole planet, Niflheim, the planet of ice and mist, which became the setting for the second book in the series, ‘Children of The Mist’.
Riding my horse in the mountains of Wales stimulated my imagination and many of the landscapes in my stories are based on actual places. Also Wales is a land full of myths and legends, and I’ve drawn on some of these and adapted them for scenes in my fantasy novella ‘Dancing With Fate,’ which features the Greek muse Terpsichore and Myrddin ab Morfyn, who was reputed to have been born in Carmarthen, not too far from where I lived, and who became the most famous magician of them all.
Do you regard blogging and social networking as a necessity for an author?
Absolutely. These days, unless you’re a bestselling author with a major publishing company, a writer is expected to do most of their ‘promotion’ themselves. Although my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, does send out copies of their books to on-line reviewers, and also does a certain amount of promotion, the bulk of the responsibility rests with the author. Promotion is a ‘necessary evil’. If no-one knows about you or your books, how can they be expected to buy them? You can pay for advertising on-line and in magazines, of course, but this can work out expensive.
There are many ‘loops’ and ‘groups’ and various websites where you can promote your book but you’re competing with many other authors, and I think readers will get a bit fed up of seeing the same excerpts or promotions all the time. I do very little of this type of promotion these days, unless I have a new release, but I still feel the need to keep my name ‘out there’ and blogging, and sites like ‘Facebook’, ‘The Polkerdot Banner’ ‘Twitter’ and many other social networking sites are invaluable for this and for keeping in contact with readers and other authors. I’ve made some wonderful friends from blogging, and love the way authors help each other by interviewing other authors and hosting guest posts.
Any tips for new writers?
I loved the ‘dragon’ books’ of Anne McCaffrey and wrote to her when I started writing seriously. I’ve never forgotten the advice she gave me: ‘Write what you would like to read’. I think this is great advice, write for yourself and your enthusiasm will shine through. Another tip would be to have a couple of critique partners you can really trust to point out such things as sudden POV switches and things in your story that just don’t work. Also never let yourself become discouraged, we all have to learn to accept rejection, try and learn from rejections and see how you can improve your work. If you are determined enough, eventually you will succeed.
DANCING WITH FATE
When Terpsichore, the Greek Muse of Dance, is assigned to revisit 5th Century Wales, and help the people regain their love of dancing, her task seems simple enough. She is unaware there is a hidden agenda. Before she can return to Olympus her path crosses that of the mysterious Myrddin, and her heart is lost.
But Myrddin is promised to another. His mind is set on the dangerous task that lies before him, and the woman he has sworn to save. Nevertheless, he cannot deny the growing attraction between him and the beautiful stranger he meets along the way.
Terpsichore and Myrddin face a deadly force that threatens to part them forever. Is she destined to lose the only man she has ever truly loved? Is there nothing she can do to save him? Finally, when all seems lost, in desperation she finds herself DANCING WITH FATE.
Video Trailer here.
Dancing With Fate is available from Smashwords HERE
I’d like to offer a download of Dancing With Fate to one of the commenters and a discount coupon for 25% off the list price for anyone who emails me and requests one. At the moment Dancing with Fate is only available as an E-book but will soon be available in print from Createspace, or from my website, and I will happily autograph copies if ordered direct from me from my website.
Hywela Lyn lived in Wales for most of her life, and the beautiful countryside and legends inspired her to write. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background. She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds. Her pen name is a combination of her first two names. 'Hywela’ is Welsh and her first name but it was never used and she has always been called by her second Christian name, Lyn. One thing remains constant in her writing: The power of love. Love, not only between her hero and heroine, but between friends and siblings, and for their particular world and the creatures that share it.
She is crazy about all animals, especially horses. She lives with her long suffering husband, Dave, and her animal family includes two horses, two feral cats and an adopted Jack Russell terrier called Bouncer.
Hywela Lyn’s first novel, 'Starquest', a futuristic romance was released by The Wild Rose Press in 2008. The sequel to ‘Starquest’, 'Children of the Mist', released a year later. Both are available in E-book format or print and she is currently working on the third story in the series. She has recently self-published her fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' featuring Terpsichore, Muse of Dance, on Smashwords. This was originally one of nine stories in the Wild Rose Press anthology ‘Song Of the Muses’.
She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors and can be contacted at: Lyn@hywelalyn.co.uk
AUTHOR PAGE AT THE WILD ROSE PRESS: (You can read a short fantasy ‘freeread’ of mine, here.)
Find Hywela Lyn at: