Hywela Lyn was born and lived most of her life in Wales, and the beautiful countryside and legends did much to inspire her writing. Although she now lives in a small village in England, she is very proud of her Welsh heritage and background.
Her pen name is a combination of her first two names – ‘Hywela’ is Welsh and her first name but she has always been called by her second Christian name, Lyn, so she though it was time ‘Hywela’ was used as well.
She enjoys weaving romantic tales of the future, and distant, mysterious worlds, and 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. This reflects her love of all animals, especially horses. She lives with her long suffering husband, Dave, and has two horses, a feral cat and an adopted lovable but slightly manic terrier called Choccy. (whose name also reflects her love of chocolate!)
Hywela Lyn’s debut novel, ‘Starquest’, a futuristic romance was published by The Wild Rose Press who also published her second book in the Destiny Trilogy, ‘Children of the Mist’. ‘Beloved Enemy’ which continues the Destiny series was released on March 11th 2016 by the same publisher.
What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book(s), but nobody has? Write it out here, and then answer it.
Would you allow us to make a film of your book?
Seriously, I would love someone to ask if I write myself as the heroine of my stories.
Answer Yes, I do. my heroines are all me as I would like to be (certainly not as I am). I imagine myself in their place and act out little scenes from the book – in private of course! It’s wonderfully therapeutic to imagine myself as young, beautuful, courageous and clever, all at the same time!
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine or do you have any weird, funny, or unusual habits while writing and what are they?
I’m not a very disciplined writer. I tend to plot stories when I’m out with my horses or dog, and I am easily distracted once I sit down at the computer, and feel I have to answer emails, Facebook messages etc before I can start writing. Once I do get into the story though, I can write for hours and will happily work into the early hours, being a ‘nightbird’.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I find the best cure for ‘writers block’ is to go outdoors for a ride or a walk with my dog, and often the muse will return. If that fails, sometimes, just ‘freewriting’ for half an hour or so, without paying too much attention to grammar or spelling, is enough to get the creative juices working again.
What is the single most important piece of advice for aspiring authors?
Never give up. Don’t write with the expectations of making a lot of money, because that’s pretty unlikely these days, but write because you have a story to tell and for the love of it.
What are your current/future projects?
I’m going to take a break from Science Fiction romance for a little while, and am working on a ghost story set on a horse breeding farm in my native Wales.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I’ve always been inspired by the stars and the idea of space travel. I find the concept of brave men and women battling the unknown on exotic and mysterious planets both fascinating and romantic. The night sky is so beautiful and I think it would be wonderful to travel through space and experience its wonders first hand.
I also enjoy fantasy and merged Greek mythology and elements of the Arthurian legends for my fantasy novella ‘Dancing With Fate’, originally published by the Wild Rose Press and now re-published with a new cover by myself.
What do you think is the future for independent authors and do you think it will continue to be easy for anyone to be a published author?
I think it’s getting harder, mainly because it is now so easy for anyone to self-publish. There are so many books out there readers are swamped for choice. Also so many authors giving their books for free makes readers less willing to pay for them – which is a shame as it takes a lot of time and effort to write a good book and surely authors should be paid for their work the same as anyone else.
Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I’m published with a small U.S. Publisher and am really happy to be with them. They are very easy to communicate with, and very helpful. I was given input into my covers, and although the heroine on my first cover wasn’t really right for the story, I loved the cover itself, and the other covers have been just as I imagined the scenes they portray, I was even given the two cover models I requested for my third book ‘Beloved Enemy’. The editors I have worked with have been very efficient and I felt they polished my books and helped tighten and improve them without changing what I had written. I love the feeling of ‘validation’ from being published with a publisher, and the discipline of working with an editor is something I enjoy and have, hopefully learnt from.
What opportunities have being an author presented you with and share those memories? (i.e. travel, friends, events, speaking, etc..)
I’ve made some wonderful friends on-line, and because my publisher is in the U.S. most of them are in the States. (I live in the UK.) I have been to the U.S. twice and met some of my author friends which was a wonderful experience, and one which I probably wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for my writing!
What are your marketing, advertising, promotion strategies and which one(s) have worked the best for you? If you had to share your most valuable promotion tip, what would that be?
Promotion is so much harder than actually writing the book! I have a blog, website, Facebook page, Pinterest page and Twitter page. I’m not sure if any of them actually work, but I do believe you have to be on Social media so people get to know you – and it’s important to relate to people and make friends without continually trying to sell your books. Hopefully if people can relate to you and get to know you they will be tempted to read your books as well!
What field or genre would you classify your book(s) and what attracted you to write in that field or genre?
Science Fiction Romance, and Fantasy Romance
Do you have a target amount of words/pages for each of your books or do you just know when enough is enough?
I try to keep my chapters a similar length, but the book is as long as it needs to be!
Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?
I think reviews can be very valuable. It’s always nice to know when someone has enjoyed your book – and if there were things they didn’t like, if they can put it across in a constructive way it can be very helpful.
What are your thoughts on authors doing review swaps, paying for reviews, or reviews that just don’t seem right for the book?
To me, there is absolutely no value in a revue unless it is honest and helps the reader make an informed decision as to whether they want to read the book. Everyone is different, and what one person may love, another may hate, so every genuine review is going to be subjective. However they can be a useful guide. If there are things the reviewer doesn’t like, they should be pointed out respectfully and constructively, a really bad review helps no-one if the reasons are not valid, and just based on personal taste. If an author pays for a review, then they presumably have a right to expect a positive one, which. for me, immediately makes that review worthless. However nice it is to receive a glowing review, are readers really going to trust it when they realise it was paid for.
What is the intended audience for you book?
I hope lovers of romantic adventure stories will enjoy my books, not just lovers of Science Fiction romance. I hope they will be able to ‘escape’ for a while into the worlds I’ve created, and that they will become as fond of my characters as I am.
Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?
The planet ‘Niflheim’ in ‘Starquest’ and ‘Children Of The Mist’ was inspired by seeing the mist swirl in over the mountains in Wales, tinged pink by the setting sun.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I always try to thank anyone who takes the time to write a review.
Thankfully I haven’t had too many reviews, although I did have one ‘stinker’ on Amazon. I think it’s important not to get involved in a heated discussion over a ‘bad’ review. It reflects very badly on the author usually. Just say thank you and leave it at that, possibly adding that you’re sorry they didn’t enjoy the story – but in the case of a bad review I think the less said the better.
What are your thoughts about eBooks vs. print books?
I think they both have their place. I love my Kindle, it is wonderful to be able to carry hundreds of books around in a device no bigger than a single paperback. On the other hand, there is nothing quite like the feel of a ‘real’ book and I always get a thrill when I hold my own, newly published book, for the first time.