Friday, September 21, 2012

Author Interview: Lynn Hardy - Prophecy of the Flame

Hey Folks.

We've been pretty busy lately, but busy is very good.

Today we have a treat for you.

Please welcome Lynn Hardy who is kind enough to share a bit of her life and work with us.

Hey there Lynn, how are you today?

Doing well Ahmad, thanks for asking. How about yourself?

I'm well thank you, excited about delving into the inner workings of you... If you don't mind I'm gonna' get right to it.

I'm game...

What inspired you to begin writing?

I’ve loved writing since I was in high school. In college, I majored in Journalism. One of my professors told me, “You don’t seem to have the ability to catch your own typos. No editor will ever hire you. You should change your major. (This was back before the days of Microsoft Word)

I was pretty tender-hearted, so I did what the teacher suggested. Without writing, college lost its appeal. When I dropped out because I caught walking pneumonia, I stayed out to support my husband through his senior year.

As newlyweds, my husband Tony and I went through marriage counseling. Christine asked me to write my autobiography starting with my earliest memories with as much detail as I could manage. Working full time, I would come in for my appointment, twice a week, an hand her ten pages, single-spaced, typed. After several months Christine told me, “I’ve asked my patients to write for me, for over 20 years. This is the first time I want to sit down with a cup of tea and see what happens next. You have a way of bringing a story to life. Have you ever considered something in that field of work.”

A few months after we finished the counseling, I had this amazing set of dreams. I noticed that you could extend the story, swap the order, and create a beautiful story. Some nights I would wake up laughing, other, crying. It was so captivating that I knew it had to be written.

I kept thinking about what author I should send it to: It had romance, maybe Melanie Rawn. But it was definitely fantasy, with magic, swords, elves, and even dwarfs, so perhaps Terry Brooks. And it’s got a definite steak of humor, so maybe Piers Anthony would be best. But Christine’s words kept ringing in my ears.

I sat down at my computer and created a file, “Second Job.” With no further ado, I began the journey of a writer.

Tell us about your latest novel in 20 words or less:

My books are a series, so how about I start with the first?

Prophecy of the Flame – Book One
Five strangers are zapped into a magical world and changed into the characters they were playing.

What has been the most exciting part of being a published author?

I wrote the stories because they moved me so much I really felt they had to be written. I never really thought they would have the same effect on my readers. I mean, I hoped they’d like them, but I never really thought about what that would mean. One day, I got this email from a fan saying they tracked me down through my Amazon account. They wanted to know when the next book would be out.

Since then I’ve gotten tons of support from my readers. It has been so wonderful to know that others were touched by my words. I feel greatly blessed each time someone takes the time to contact me with an email or leave a review of my books.

What has been the worst part of being a published author?

Being in the spotlight. I am a quiet person. I never wanted to be the center of attention. Frankly, I’m not that socially adept. I have this way of drawing fire.

Half of my bad reviews are from people I met personally or met in forums and managed to totally piss off. Don’t get me wrong, I know not everyone is going to “get” my books, but when you put yourself out there, mean and spiteful people find you to be an easy target. I’ve never understood that part of humanity: why people want to tear others down.

Thank God for all the other people who have shown such support and encouragement.

Amen to that!

You were #1 on Amazon in 2010. Can you tell our readers what that experience was like and the work that it took to get there?

I was only #1 for less than a week. The day I hit #1 was amazing, exhilarating. I couldn’t pry myself away from the computer. My book just kept climbing and climbing.

How did it come about? That is a long story. Let’s just say that I really pissed off someone in a forum – It earned me at least one bad review (a one star), but it also made me #1. I suggest you tread carefully in forums – since then they have become much more dangerous for authors.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

I had the honor of meeting one of my all time favorites, L.E. Modesitt at a Science Fiction convention. That was such a thrill. We did panels together on writing. After hanging out all weekend, Lee took one of my books home with him. When he sent me an email saying that my book was “very enjoyable and fun,” I asked if I could quote him on that. Now his words grace the cover of Prophecy of the Flame – Book One.

Doing a convention on panels with Melanie Rawn and Terry Brooks is now on my bucket list.

If you could talk to your former self, what advice would you give her?

My wonderful husband, Tony, has helped me so very much. I only wish we’d met earlier in life. He taught me the Ten Year Rule: If it’s not going to matter in ten years then it’s not worth getting upset about.

What has been the harshest critique you have ever received concerning your writing?

You mean besides the college professor…lol.
Fair enough...

As a writer, it is considered unprofessional and inappropriate to give a retort to a critic or criticism. Were it “politically correct” to address your critics personally, what would be the one thing you would say to them?

When I wrote the screenplay for Book One, I changed the book a bit, so that it would reflect the movie better. Although my books were professionally edited by someone who has worked in the SFF industry for years and even has a bestseller to her credit, I created a tiny bit of a mess – right in the beginning. One of the forum people I pissed off was the first one to discover the typos I created. I would love to respond to her mean spirited hatchet job with: “You said in the forum thread that you’d read and review my novel and ‘not be kind.’ You were true to your word – I have a new 1 star review. I see you took time to read the first twenty pages and point out the typos I created when I changed the book to match the screenplay I just finished. Thank you for pointing those out. I have fixed the areas you had a problem with.” I’d probably leave off with: I hope life is as kind to you as you are to others.”

To other reviewers, I’m truly grateful when they point out issues and would love to be able to say, “Thanks for taking the time to give an honest review. I’ve have revised and edited the novel.”

Are you currently working on any other projects?

Book 2.5 (a companion novel) will release this month. Book Three is the series is due out this winter.

You have written a screenplay of your work as well. Please tell us the differences in writing a novel and a screenplay, and which you prefer better?

I didn’t want to write the screenplay. I’m not a screen writer. But push came to shove and I did it.

It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever written. It’s like taking the Mona Lisa, cutting away two thirds of it and still having a work of art. (not that my books are the Michael Angelo’s of the written word…)

Writing a screenplay is so different from writing a novel – it’s visual, not wordy. I’ve always been wordy – just look at this interview…lol

But it taught me to look at words a different way. I think it will reflect in my future work – hopefully in a good way.

Where can readers find your works and follow you?

I’ve just started this new tweeting thing. I’ve decided to break Book One down into tweets. Thanks to the screenplay writing I can tweak it to fit into that blasted 140 word format J. I think it loses a little of the grace, but people can get the stories a paragraph or two at a time.

Website is under construction:
My books are at Amazon:

Thank you for stopping by to chat with us today Lynn. You certainly have a lot going on, and I'm sure we're all interested to hear about how things progress for you. Maybe you can stop by again in the future and update us all?

Absolutely Ahmad, that would be a lot of fun. Thank you for having me, and thank you to your readers for their interest.

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