Welcome Hywela Lyn, Fantasy Author with her heart in Wales!
Amber: Why do you Write Fantasy?
Hywela: I've always loved the romance of fantasy, the sheer escapism of it. As a country person, I hate the noise and bustle of the present day, with the smells and pollution of modern transport. I love world building, drawing on the legends and beautiful, wild scenery of my native Wales. I am in my element when creating settings in sparsely populated worlds, where the usual mode of transportation is either something as basic as the horse, or as futuristic as teleportation. In fact the horse plays a large part in why I write fantasy. I've always been horse crazy and ridden since a child. I usually manage to have a horse or two in most of my stories, and they are very much at home in a fantasy setting (where they sometimes sprout a single horn. :) )
Another thing I love about the fantasy/ SF genre is the challenge. If you give your characters certain powers, those powers have to be logical - and finite, otherwise everything is too easy, there is no conflict and the reader would soon tire of the story. So for every gift or power the hero or heroine possesses, there has to be a downside. The challenge is then for them to be able to escape a tricky situation by their wits, and that's always fun to write.
Amber: Does being Welsh help you write fantasy?Hywela: I'm sure it does. Wales is a beautiful country, abounding in legends and folklore. I was brought up on tales of Twm Sion Catti (a sort of Welsh Robin Hood) and legends such as 'the bells of Cantre'r Gwaelod' (a village which was drowned beneath the waves of Cardigan Bay.) Many of these legends and folktales sparked ideas for stories or characters, and the rugged landscape itself was an inspiration. Although I now live in England, I visit Wales as often as I can and it never fails to revitalize me and energize my muse.
Amber: Why do readers love fantasy?Hywela: For the same reasons as a writer does, I think. The chance to escape the cares and stresses of modern life, for a while, to travel in their imaginations to distant worlds or times and the thrill of the unexpected. In fantasy one never quite knows what dangers the reader will pit the characters against - a werewolf or dragon, a blast of magic or a light beam from a laser gun.
Amber: What about the differences between American tastes in fantasy and your UK readers?
Hywela: I think fantasy is pretty much universal. Look at the success of 'Lord Of The Rings' on both sides of the Atlantic, or the popularity in both countries of authors such as Anne McCaffrey and Ursula Le Guin! Startrek remains very popular over here and the British SF series from the late 70s to early 80s, 'Blakes 7' has a cult following in the USA, not to mention 'Dr Who' from the same stable. So really I think if the quality is good, readers will love it whatever country they're in.
Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?Hywela: Absolutely! In fact I started writing because I wanted to tell a story , and putting it down on paper was the main object. (Yes, I wrote my first stories by hand, although it's difficult to believe now.) The story needed to be told and it didn't occur to me to wonder if anyone else would ever read it. As I said earlier, I love creating new worlds and situations for my characters. They would nag me to death if I didn't write. It's wonderful and immensely rewarding when others read and enjoy one's work, but I think most authors write just because they have to - and they love it!
Although most of my writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds I create are very much rooted in the fantasy genre, and usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature. My characters often have to fight the elements and the terrain itself. I love to write about heroes who are strong and courageous, but chivalrous and honourable - and of course, handsome and hunky. My heroines are also strong and courageous, but retain their femininity - able to look after themselves but not afraid to accept help if it's needed. However difficult the journey, evil will be overcome and love will always win in the end.
Amber: Tell me about your books.
Hywela: I've always been fascinated by the stars, and speculated on what strange worlds might exist in the vastness of space, and what it would be like to visit them. It gradually dawned on me, however, that whatever I wrote, it always had a strong love interest and I realized that as well as a fantasy writer, I was also a romance writer!
My first novel, Starquest a futuristic romance released by The Wild Rose Press was originally written as a short story, and was followed by a sequel Children Of The Mist. I'm currently working on a third story in the series. My story 'Dancing with Fate' was written as part of the Wild Rose Press's Song Of The Muses series, and is pure fantasy, rather than futuristic. My main character is Terpsichore, Muse of Dance and I sent her back to 5th Century Wales, where her story touched on the Arthurian legends. I also drew on several Welsh myths and legends for this tale.
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