Today I welcome author Linda Hawley for a guest post, interview and giveaway! Over to Linda....
Why do so many authors wait until they are a little older before they publish their first novels? I think perspective has something to do with it. TheFreeDictionary.com (one of two dictionaries I use when writing) define the word as, “The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.” I think that with enough experiences, writers gain perspective. This insight can give them understanding about the interconnectedness between events, ideologies, and behaviors.
I, myself, waited to publish. Now is where I won’t go into how long! I waited before I felt like I would do a good service to my readers, by making those connections. I certainly don’t think I was mature enough to do this earlier. When I say mature, I’m not talking about age. I’m talking about coming into myself—finding a natural balance and rhythm within myself, and in relation to the elements of my life. It took me a while.
Why are these connections important for a writer? Connections lead readers into a new world. No one likes a one-dimensional character, nor an over-simplified plot. Readers like well-rounded characters, and plots that twist and turn unexpectedly. Doing both of these is an extraordinary challenge for any writer. It’s very difficult to develop multidimensional characters in a novel without observing many of these people in one’s life. It’s probably easier to come up with a good plot, because it relies more on the creativity of the writer’s mind.
In Dreams Unleashed, it was critical that I write multidimensional characters because most of those characters introduced in the first book would continue through the whole trilogy. I was satisfied that I achieved this in the first book. I had a particular challenge in my novel, because one of the main characters is already dead. I had to write the character’s death scene, because it was critical to its connection to the plot. I am very happy with the end product of the scene. However, I could have never written that death scene even five years ago. Not long ago, I watched someone near me unexpectedly lose her husband in an accident. I observed what it did to her. I called upon this new perspective (which came from her tragedy) to write the death scene in Dreams Unleashed. I also relied upon the depth of my own relationship with my husband (who is my soul mate) to write the scene.
How do we gain perspective as writers? We pay attention…to everything. Superficiality won’t work here. We’ve got to dig deeper, asking the question. Why? Why do you hurt? Why is he saying that? Why isn’t something happening? The whys give us information that fills in the blanks. By exploring new dimensions of our reality, we can enhance our writing ability.
In time—as readers dive into Dreams Unleashed—I will learn whether my perspective was mature enough, or not. Either way, I will say that when I finished the novel, that I didn’t leave anything on the table.
All three novels of The Prophecy are being published this year, so if you start reading Dreams Unleashed now, you won't have to wait years for the rest in the series. Book two will be published this summer (2011), and book three will be published December of this year (2011).
A free sample of Dreams Unleashed is available at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0051VDGJK
The eBook version of Dreams Unleashed can be purchased at:
The print version of Dreams Unleashed will be published the week of June 10th.
Follow the author and get insiders tips on The Prophecies trilogy:
And here is the interview:
Tell us a bit about you and your writing in general.
I started writing Dreams Unleashed three years ago, but I wrote 3/4 of the novel in two months. Working with the editor took another month. The writing process was very satisfying. I wrote some of the most intense scenes of the novel late at night. Some of my best writing occurred between 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM. I didn't lose any characters in the editing process, but I did lose 20,000 words, and a hat I was very fond of. I spent nearly a whole day researching hotel doorman's hats from the 1920's, because I had this image in my mind of this "hatted doorman" of a hotel the main character, Ann, was visiting. I wrote the scene with the doorman and Ann's interaction with him, and I didn't even give him a name, only referring to his hat. I thought it was a funny scene, but my editor thought it detracted from the storyline, so out went my doorman's hat. Now he's called "Brian" in the novel. But here's an insider secret--that hat is coming back in another book!
I am a wife and mother, and we are a traveling family. I've kayaked from one island to another in the Carribean. I've backpacked the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia with the Sierra Club. I've attended a Christmas party at the White House and have been on Air Force One. I've been to Europe many times, and am in love with Paris. I am married to my soul mate, and with him, we have an extraordinary amount of fun together. I’ve jumped out of a plane and had my parachute lines tangle, making me think through the emergency rather quickly. Of course, I've sailed the San Juan Islands, which are featured in Dreams Unleashed.
What inspired the world of The Prophecies?
The last chapter of the book was an experience I actually had. I wrote it down, and during a two week period of time, I had The Prophecies trilogy unfold in my head.
Which authors/books have influenced you the most, both in life and in your writing?
It was Emily Dickinson who I first fell in love with as a writer. She taught me vulnerability as a writer. Hands down my favorite dystopian novel that inspired me is The Road, although I love many others. It didn't inspire Dreams Unleashed, but it did do something for me as a writer. The Road was the book that made me fall in love with dialog. I realized when I read Cormac McCarthy's novel, that dialog is what captures the emotions of readers. In my opinion, it's everything. I had to give a good bit of background in Dreams Unleashed--because the plot is complex--but in books two and three, I have focused a great deal on dialog.
What are you working on at present? Any future releases?
The Prophecies trilogy will all be published in 2011. I am working on book two now (yet unnamed), which will be published summer, 2011. The third and final book will be published December 2011. I am also co-writing a biological science fiction novel with another author; that should be published at the end of 2011 as well.
1 copy of Dreams Unleashed is up for grabs. The winner can choose either an e-book or a print books (Print book option only for US/Canada winner). Here are the rules....
1)Be a follower of my blog
2)Leave a comment on this post as your entry
3)Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you
5) Contest ends 25th June 2011