One of the perks of being in the publishing industry is I get to meet authors from all over the world. I first met Hywela Lyn in 2016 when she requested a book review. An author from Wales, she and I instantly clicked (we have family from Wales). She’s one of the nicest women I’ve ever met and her stories stick with you long after you’ve read the last page. She agreed to sit down with me (MRS N) for a candid interview. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Hywela Lyn. So please give her a warm POTL Blog welcome. Take it away, Hywela:
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are very important for me – my characters become living, breathing people in my own mind, so it is important that their names reflect who they are. Often they come to me with their name already – Jess or Jestine Darnell from ‘Starquest’ is a good example. Previously I had never particularly liked the name Jess, but when she ‘told’ me she was called Jess, I realised that it really suited her, and I love the name now. I knew it was short for something, although I also knew it was not Jessica, and then I realised that ‘Jestine’, a slight variation of the name Justine was perfect, although she rarely uses it, preferring the shortened form. ‘Children Of The Mist’, the second book in trilogy, is set on the imaginary planet ‘Niflheim’, named after the land of cold and mist of Norse legends, because much of the planet is covered in ice and snow and a perpetual mist, although the inhabited areas are more temperate. It followed that the settlers of this planet would naturally name their children after characters in Nordic legend, so apart from one or two exceptions, most of the characters are named after the Scandinavian gods or mythical places. In ‘Beloved Enemy’ Kerry Marchant (another character who came to mind ready named) is the lead character after being a secondary character in Starquest’. Cat (Catrina) has Irish in her background although this is not specifically mentioned in the novel, so somehow I knew O’Brian was her surname although for reasons of her own she uses ‘Kincaid’ but Cat seemed just right for her, and as she says herself, she’s no pussycat ‘this cat has claws’ but she also has a heart which she tries very hard to hide.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Finishing my first book and getting it published! It took me a long time to polish it enough to feel it was ready to submit to a publisher, but it was worth all the hard work.
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I’ve always made up stories in my head and I can’t imagine not wanting to write, but I’ve always loved horses, since I was a small child. I really wanted to work at a riding stable, but was dissuaded from doing so by my headmaster, who insisted there was ‘no money in it’, as if money was more important than loving one’s work, or job satisfaction! So I allowed myself to be persuaded to take up office administration as a career. It did enable me to earn enough money to buy my first horse, and in retrospect it was not a bad career move, since I learnt to touch type and find my way around a computer, which came in really useful when I decided to actually start writing down my stories and send them to magazines, before branching out into writing a full length novel which started me on my writing career, although I did have to wait until I retired from full time work to actually have my first novel published! In the years I worked in an office, I did manage to spend a lot of time with my horses though, and did long distance endurance riding in the beautiful mountains of Wales. Many a writing plot has been hatched while on the back of a horse!
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
A bit of both, I think. I always know how a book is going to end, although the ending may change by the time I actually get there, but I need to have something to work towards. I write rough ‘chapter headings’ with perhaps a few lines beneath of the important scenes or turning points in the chapter. I will invariably have more chapters to add, but my rough outline acts as a guide. I allow my characters to tell me how the story progresses, and they often stray from the outline – sometimes I will argue with them but I usually find they are right!
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
My first published book was ‘Starquest’. It started as a short story, and was supposed to be a ‘one off’. However by the end, I knew there would be a sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’, and after mulling it over for a few years I finally wrote the third book in what has become the Destiny Trilogy, ‘Beloved Enemy’. Each book is complete in itself although featuring some of the same characters and I was thrilled when ‘Beloved Enemy’ was shortlisted for the Romance Novelists Association RoNA awards, 2017
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
My publisher put out a call for a ‘Friendly ghost’ story, so that’s what I’m working on at the moment. It is set in Wales, on a pony stud, so I’m able to incorporate my other love into the story.
Do you write naked?
No, LOL – the British climate is far too chilly most of the year, and in the winter, even with the central heating on I like to have my woolly sweater and jeans! In the summer, I might write in just a teeshirt and shorts, but you never know when a visitor might call and I don’t want to frighten the neigbours!
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
Only once, when I was at school. A slightly older girl kept picking on me and hitting me, she didn’t really hurt me. But she was much bigger than I was and I was quite scared of her. One day something snapped and I hit her back. After a few exchanged blows, she backed off and never bothered me again. Although I am not keen on violence it did teach me that bullies are cowards and if you stand up to them they will often show their true colours.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
I don’t smoke and only drink a glass or two of wine, on special occasions. My biggest vice is chocolate. I’m a chocoholic. I can easily devour a large bar in one go and a box of chocolates only lasts a few days – if it’s lucky! I can resist anything except chocolate and my ‘secret’ stash is rapidly depleted once I start raiding it!
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To be able to fly. It must be amazing to soar effortlessly in the sky and see the landscape from above. I watch the red kites hovering above the paddocks where I keep my two horses and marvel how they stay airborne so effortlessly.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
That would have to be a horse – my favourite animal. I would love to be a graceful Arabian, able to run like the wind!
Do you have any scars? What are they from?
I have a scar running half way down the little finger of my right hand. This happened many years ago when I was in my late teens helping out at a friend’s riding school. I was running late and after picking up a ‘leading rein’ from the tackroom, I realised it was not actually a leading rein, but a long leather strap with a hook on each end. I attached one end to the bridle of the pony I was leading and most of the ride went uneventfully, until the pony suddenly stopped and my horse shot forward – the rein slid through my hand and the hook sliced through a piece of my finger, which ended up with me having with a trip to A & E and several stitches. (Luckily my friend was with me and able to take the pony I was leading, whiIe I rode one handed back to the farm.) I learnt a valuable lesson about being too hasty – if I had only taken an extra few seconds more to get the correct lead rein I would have saved myself a lot of pain and trauma!
Title: Beloved Enemy (Volume 3 of the Destiny Trilogy)
Author: Hywela Lyn
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.
Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.
Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?
(Although every story in the trilogy features some of the same characters, each book can be read as a ‘stand alone’ novel.)
Carefully slicing open the tunic, she checked the wound in his chest. Deep and jagged, it seemed to be only a flesh wound and probably nothing vital was damaged, although it still bled profusely. She ran the instrument over the injury, amazed to see the blood clot, and a rapid regrowth of new skin form over it. In a few seconds, it healed almost completely. His shoulder had also sustained severe lacerations in addition to the vivid purple bruises forming on the skin. She repeated the operation with the device. The bruises faded and the torn flesh knitted together barely leaving a scar.
She replaced the knife in her belt, and in a deft movement pulled her hair back and knotted the scarf around it once more. “Impressive. How d’you feel?”
“It seems I will survive,” he said in the slow precise tones that made his voice so distinctive.
“Thank you,” he added, almost as an afterthought. He reached for the bio-regenerator and stashed it back in his pocket. His face gained some colour, and a minute or two later, he was unrecognizable from the man she’d found wounded and bleeding a short while ago.
“What is that, anyway—what did you call it—a bio-regenerator?”
“Exactly. It does, as you see, precisely what you would expect, including destroying any toxins or bacteria present in the wound.”
She inclined her head as she considered his words. “It’s not Terran.” She meant it as an observation rather than a question.
“The technology was given to us by a race called the Phidians.”
“I’ve heard of them. Their advances in medicine are well known.” She looked up at the heavens. “About time we got away from here. Night isn’t too far off by the look of that sky.” The light faded perceptibly while they spoke and the air took on a noticeable chill after the earlier oppressive heat.
“What about our ‘friends’?” He turned his head and looked in the direction of the rocks where the assailants of a few minutes before let loose the last salvo of blaster fire.
She put the tri-dee-viewer to her eyes again and scanned the area. “There’s no sign of life over there. They must all be dead or badly injured. They’d have shot at us again if they were still capable.”
“Unless they are waiting for us to show ourselves, so they can pick us off more easily,” Kerry said. He made as if to stand, and in an instant, she drew her pistol. “Like I said before, no sudden moves. Get up—slowly.”
“So you are making me a prisoner?”
“Not exactly, but I’m not stupid enough to take any risks.”
He rose to his feet, his gaze not leaving her gunhand. Several inches taller than her, broad shouldered and slim, he presented a commanding figure. His expression froze as his gaze homed in on the insignia on her breast pocket, his eyes like chips of blue ice.
“You work for the Union.”
“I work for myself.”
“Then why are you wearing the insignia of the Global Union of Earth and Allied Planets?”
“I have a license to requisition any enemy ship trespassing in the sectors of space over which they hold dominion.”
“A licensed pirate in the pay of the Global Union.” Kerry’s eyes showed outright contempt. She almost preferred the icy coolness.
“I prefer to think of myself as a freelancer—doing a service.”
His expression did not change, although he did change tack. “You could have left me to die—or just shot me. Why didn’t you?”
“Call it a personality flaw. I don’t like abandoning someone who’s wounded even to save my own skin. And I don’t kill in cold blood. If I have to shoot someone, I’d rather they were facing me with their eyes open.” Even if I did swear to leave their dead body for the Union to use in their hideous experiments. Keep it casual. Don’t let him guess what’s really in your mind.
To her amazement, he smiled the most devastating smile she’d ever seen, made even more remarkable because he didn’t look as if he did it very often.
“My own philosophy as it happens. It seems almost a pity we are on opposite sides.”
“I have no love for the Union. That puts us on opposite sides, even if you are just a pirate, doing their dirty work for them.”
She gave him her best withering look. “Fine. And just because I decided to save your hide, don’t get any ideas. We don’t have to like each other.”
AMAZON U.K. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hywela-Lyn/e/B002BMBXH4/
Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales.
Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.
Her first novel, ‘Starquest’, a futuristic romance released by the Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel ‘Children Of The Mist’. Her recently released third novel ‘Beloved Enemy’, continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’. She has also written a fantasy novella ‘Dancing With Fate’ and has had several short stories published in UK magazines,
She is a member of The Romance Novelists’ Association (UK) and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group.
A keen animal lover, when she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just eating chocolate!
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