Interview with Lynn Hooghiemstra

IMG_0378Tell us about your publishing journey…

My publishing journey mirrors that of many writers, with the exception that my journey was interrupted when I changed countries and had to really boost up my language skills. I always wrote, and some twenty years ago I started submitting short stories to various magazines. I cringe now when I think of the stuff I submitted, but over time I improved and finally reached the point where a story got picked up by a fairly new publisher, Untreed Reads. That story morphed into a historical fiction novella ‘Tales from the Fountain Pen’ and another story in a different genre got picked up for inclusion in an anthology ‘Moon Shot, murder and mayhem at the edge of space’. Never one to rest on my laurels, I’ve kept writing. December 15th I have a YA paranormal novel coming out ‘Out in the Dark’. This one under a different name, Nicola Adams, so I don’t confuse my historical fiction audience. In the meantime I’m shopping the first of a historical fiction trilogy ‘The Coming Storm’ to agents and publishers. I’m looking to make that next leap. More details can be found on my website: elynnhwriting.com.

What do you love about being an author?

I love being able to explore different lives, different places and different time periods. I enjoy exploring the relationships of my characters and what motivates them. Why do they do the things they do?

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I would choose Death from Terry Pratchett’s Disc World books. We would meet on a rooftop terrace somewhere overlooking an ancient city, like Rome or Florence, have pizza and champagne and discuss the agonizing beauty of life and living. Death always struck me as character with great love for humanity and life.

If your book/ story was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?OITD_Draft-2

If my YA “Out in the Dark” were made into a movie I think I’d like to see a talented young, unknown actor in the lead. Or if possible a 17-yr old Matt Damon and a 17-yr old Gwyneth Paltrow. Kevin Bacon would be good as the highly psychic father held by a rogue military group who want to force him to use his abilities for nefarious purposes. Helen Mirren as the former madam/mortician wouldn’t go amiss either.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Vampires? There is something dangerously seductive about them. I suppose I’d have to say both sexy and a villain. Every villain has some trait we can relate to and possible even be seduced by and every hero has something we don’t like or fear, that hidden dark side.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

There are too many time periods too choose from. I’d want to be there in the early 1930s where airplanes were slowly coming into their own, surpassing those massive gasbag airships that were less than safe. But I’d also love to roam the stacks in the library of Alexandria. Every period that I’d like to write about I’d like to visit just for ‘in person’ To really be able to submerge myself in the time and place.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

You only need to stay one day ahead, don’t stress about 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year out.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

If I were a supernatural creature? I think I’d choose a Griffin. Half eagle, half Lion. The mythology around the creature is considerable and sparks the imagination.

Where do you write best? 

As the mother of an active teenage boy I’ve learned to write just about anywhere I can pull out my trusty Moleskine notebook and a pen. The desire and drive to write is so strong that I create a writing zone no matter what is going on around me, whether I’m at a robotics competition or music lesson or just waiting in a parking lot to pick him up. Ideally of course I like to write at my desk, usually accompanied by at least one animal (cat or dog) and a double cappuccino, without interruptions or noise.

downloadWhat was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The Blood Gospel by: James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. I liked the history, the mythology and overall story. But what I didn’t like were some of the longwinded and drawn out chapters. In many books these days I find there is a tendency to over-explain, or to explain the obvious. As my 87-yr old proofreader/editor with the sharp red pencil always says: ‘Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your reader to understand what you’ve just said. Don’t over explain.’

If you didn’t write in your genre, what other genre would you prefer and why?

I would like try my hand at science fiction but I feel I need more science underpinnings than I have to create truly believable worlds and events. Science fiction allows a writer to take issues facing society and show them on a broader canvas and in greater detail, in a way that we may not have thought about before. Robert Heinlein, at his best, excelled in this. A particularly good teen novel of his is “Tunnel in the Sky” which I feel should be required reading for teens about to enter society.

Where can fans find you online?

Links to my blog and website:

            www.elynnhwriting.com

            www.elynnh.blogspot.com

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