Thursday, 11 August 2011

Author Spotlight: Hywela Lyn

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

BLURB:

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.

AUTHOR BIO

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:

39 comments:

Hywela Lyn said...

Good morning Rosemary

Thanks for hosting me on your lovely blog. What beautiful swans! LOL I nearly went to the wrong venue, the waterfall is on your other blog! Not to worry, the scenery here is just as beautiful and I'm very intrigued by the sound of your up-coming 'Summer Of The Eagles'.

I'll be drawing the name of the winner of a download of 'Dancing With Fate' first thing tomorrow from the names of everyone who comments and I'll leave the name of the winner here and on my blog.

Thanks again for the privilege to appear on your blog.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Lyn - thanks again for being my guest and offering a free download. I thought maybe you'd looked at my website - and I think that waterfall is in Wales (we've been there a lot)!

Bill Kirton said...

Excellent insights into the processes of both writing and reading. Lyn's enthusiasm for her 'escapist' pursuits is very clear and her words remind me of how fortunate we are to be able to write. Thanks Rosemary, another wee gem.

ange said...

What a great interview. I pop by to the Erskine Writers for a read but how did I miss your own personal blog Rosemary?

It was a fascinating read and I've learnt some interesting facts about cowboys! (I always had a soft spot for Indians myself!!)

Now I know you're here, I'll see you again soon!

Ange xx

Janice Horton said...

Hi Rosemary and Lyn - that was a really interesting interview. I do love to hear what inspres writers to write and I enjoyed Lyn explaining her inspirations. I feel about Scotland the way Lyn feels about Wales and, having spent time in Wales as both a youngster and teenager, I can appreciate the beauty of her homeland too. I also love horses, and once owned an event horse, but have never tried western style riding. I must admit to having always fancied a 'wild west ranch-style' horseback adventure holiday in America!
Oh, I'd love to win a e-copy of your book Lyn - but if I don't - I will download one anyway.
Janice x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Bill - thanks for that lovely comment. I'm an escapist too so I can totally relate to Lyn's fiction.

Hello Ange - glad to see you here. (Have you seen my history blog? Link on upper right side of this blog - just in case you didn't know about it!). Thanks for your great comment - fascinating indeed.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hello Janice - you must have posted almost when I was replying! Thanks for your great comment - I too feel like that about Scotland.

Cathie Devitt said...

Loved the interview with Lyn, even the book cover drew me in but anyone that knows me knows that I am an easy target for fairies witches and anything fantastic!.
Reading the interview whilst my daughter is in the background pleading for an extra £120 a month so that she can have a horse on loan 3 days a week. I spend a lot of time with her at riding lessons and also doing voluntary work at the Riding for the Disabled stables.But Western riding! What can I say...I was lucky enough to spend some time in the states this year including a sleepover in Ellensburg which is a small rodeo town on the country side of the mountains that seperates it from the city. My hosts took me to a live rodeo show and hey ho! those guys in tight jeans and chaps drew my interest as they rode bareback bronco. The horses were just beautiful. We spoke to some of the ranchers and they really do treat their horses like family.
Now I have a nother few books to add to my reading list.
And social media? You can't escape it so best to join in.
Cathie

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Rosemary - that waterfall is a Welsh one? :) I thought it looked familiar! I have to say that much as I love the beautiful Welsh Mountains, I also fell in love with the Scottish countryside when I visited, especially Glen Coe, so beautiful!

Hywela Lyn said...

Good morning Bill, nice to meet you, thanks for your kind comments.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Ange

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. You know, I agree with you about the Indians, they had a love and respect for the land which we have sadly lost. Chief Seattle had so many wise messages which, if we'd taken notice of, we would probably not have the problems with pollution and global warming we have now.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Janice!

Thanks so much for stopping by - I didn't know you'd had an event horse. Do try Western riding if you ever get the chance, I know there are some Western riding centres in Scotland, and it's a lovely, relaxed way of riding.

Yes, as I said earlier, much as I love my homeland I can certainly appreciate the beauty and wildness of Scotland too. I'd love to visit again some time.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Cathie, thanks so much for your kind comments. As I was saying to Janice, Western riding is a lovely, kind way of riding and the horses find it more comfortable too, as the weight of the saddle is spread over a much greater area than that of a standard English saddle. (It does need to fit the horse properly though, of course, some people think 'one size fits all' which isn't the case.) I've also known RDA stables which used a Western saddle as the children feel safer in it than in an English saddle.

Thanks for your compliments on my cover - it was designed by the talented author Miss Mae, who also designs covers and does a fantastic job of them!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Cathie - thanks for commenting! I love that cover too - very atmospheric.

Hywela Lyn said...

Glad you like the cover Rosemary - and talking about 'atmospheric' I really love your cover for 'Dngerous Deceit' too!

I forgot when I gave you the link to my 'Freeread' that it's also the link to my main author Page at The Wild Rose Press with my other books on - the 'freeread' is called 'A Bargain With Death' it's a light romantic fantasy set in medieval England and although you go through the 'purchase' process you're not actually charged anything!

Paula Martin said...

Hi Rosemary and Lyn
Great interview, and some fascinating information about your native Wales, as well as the Old West and horse-riding (Not being a rider I had no idea that Western riding was different to any other riding!)
I so agree about promotion being a 'necessary evil' and so time-consuming too. However, like you, I've made so many friends through loops, blogging and Facebook, and that's been the real bonus of promotion.
And I LOVE your quote from Anne McCaffrey about writing what you would like to read. Having had a couple of depressed days wondering just why I write contemporary romance, I'm going to stick that quote above my computer to remind myself of why I write my stories. Thank you!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Paula]

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Rosemary asks great questions.

Sorry to hear you've been having some 'bad' days, but yes, that was wonderful advice from Anne McCaffrey, that is the crux of why we write really isn't it, to write the type of stories we love to read ourselves.

All the best to you, my friend!

Talli Roland said...

Fantastic interview, ladies! I was completely enthralled by Anne McCaffrey novels, too. Looking forward to reading some of your books, Lyn!

Hi to Rosemary!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Talli

Great to know you're another Anne McCaffrey fan! Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you enjoy my books if you read them, let me know.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Paula - thanks for your comment. It's a good quote to have in front of us!

Hello Talli - good to see you here, thank you!

Thanks for the comment about the cover of D.D. Lyn!

Lori rnlmac@msn.com said...

Hi Great interview!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thank you, Lori, and for visiting!

Vikki said...

Great interview and sounds like a really intriguing book, Hywela!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Lori and Vikki, thanks so much for reading the interview and for your kind comments.

Mary Ricksen said...

I have to tell you that you have accomplished your goal Lyn. You have written stories that I myself have escaped into. I have to blame you for hours of late nites, as I read and find I can't put your book down!
Your bestest fan always!!! Great interview and love to hear about the horse stuff. I too find I could stay in a Western saddle a lot better then an English one!! And I prefer the neck reining!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Mary, my sweet friend

Thanks so much for your lovely comment. You make me blush, especially as you write such great stories yourself.

Yes, Western riding is great, and even English horses respond well to neck reining, it's so natural for them to move away from a touch on the neck and go in the opposite direction and it's so easy to do just riding with one hand.

Debby said...

Hi, I was just there. I enjoyed the Welsh countryside and all the castles. Beautiful and full of legends.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Judy Jarvie said...

Sounds like a great read, Hywela. Very intriguing. I like a Welsh hero too, yum.
Judy

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for visiting, Vikki dear!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Mary - thanks for coming over to comment. I've only read Hywela's novella so far and I was totally hooked by it - will now seek out the others!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Debby - thanks for commenting. Next to Scotland, I love Wales as it's so similar!

Hi Judy - thanks for your comment. It's well worth a read!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Debby and Judy. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind comments. Yes Wales is fully of castles, Debby, I grew up near the ruins of one and spent many happy hours as a child playing among them and imagining I was a Welsh Prncess. Have to agree with your comment about Welsh heros too, Judy! :)

I certainly agree about Wales and Scotland being so similar, Rosemary, that's why I've felt
so at home when I've visited I think. Hey, we're fellow Celts!

I'll stop by later today when I've made the draw and announce the winner!

Hywela Lyn said...

I used the 'number generator' to pick a number from all the comments on this post and

The winner of 'Dancing With Fate' is - DRUMROOOOLL;

ANGE! Congratulations Ange, hope you enjoy it.

Thank you to everyone who commented. I wish you could all be winners - but if you send me an email at Lyn at hywelalyn dot co dot uk, I'll send you a discount coupon so you'll get it at a special price.

Thank you again Rosemary, I've really enjoyed being a guest on your blog.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hello Lyn - Thank you so much for being a great guest on my blog. I do hope it generates a lot of interest in your books!

I shall be delighted to email Ange with news of her win - thanks for your generous offers.

Debs Carr said...

Thanks for the great interview and useful writing advice.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Debs. thanks so much - glad you enjoyed the interview!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hello Debs - thanks for the lovely comment!

K.C. Woolf said...

Great to 'meet' Hywela. I enjoyed reading the interview and would love to read more! :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi K.C. thanks for visiting - I certainly enjoyed 'Dancing with Fate' very much!