Category Archives: Other News

Interview With Sci-Fi Author Dylan Hearn

61Pci4908gL._UX250_I had a little chat yesterday with an indie author pal whose book I recently read, Dylan Hearn, who is having a free promotion right now for his sci-fi thriller, Second Chance as well as celebrating publication day for his second book, Absent Souls. Science fiction is not my usual read of choice, but I picked Second Chance up to read a while back and have to say, what a ride! I am converted and can’t wait to read the new one.
Dylan is from a wonderful, quite rare group and incredibly busy group – an author that offers a lot of his time to give back to the writer community. He has a wonderfully helpful blog on WordPress too, called Suffolk Scribblings and it has been a fantastic resource for me as a fairly new writer. I am very grateful to him.
So, as I bent Dylan’s ear for some advice on running free promotions right slap bang in the middle of his busiest week to date, I thought I’d interview him here, whilst BESEECHING you to download this truly fantastic book. Please give a very worthy indie author, who has been so generous of his time and supportive to other indies, your support – and download his completely FREE novel on the links below:
And now, to our interview! Clue to help you – everything in bold is me. It’s MY blog after all. 😉 51V6ZrL0YYL._UY250_
What’s your elevator pitch for Second Chance?
It’s like the TV series The Killing, but with a bit of big brother and some cloning thrown in.
Ah, does that mean it’s science fiction?
It’s set in the near future so technically, yes, but really it’s a psychological thriller. I’ve had a lot of people write reviews that start ‘I don’t usually read science fiction but…’ and go on to say how much they enjoyed it.
It’s not a comedy then?
Not really – unless you have a very warped sense of humour. It’s quite dark in places, similar to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in tone.
What’s the set up?
A Investigator, a politician and her ex-lover become linked by the case of a missing student. But as they start digging around to find out what happened, they unearth secrets long hidden that will change their view on the world they live in.
One of your leads is a female politician. What was it like being a man writing a female character?
I didn’t write Stephanie with her gender in mind. Too often writers concentrate on the differences between the sexes leading to wooden or caricatured characters, but in large parts men and women are the same. I chose Stephanie to be a woman because I wanted somebody strong and the strongest people I know are women.
Hell Yes! Agreed we need to see more strong, independent female characters. So, you do touch on some very sensitive subjects. How did you approach those?
Not lightly. I was incredibly careful when writing those scenes to ensure I got them right. I did a lot of research beforehand and then relied heavily on my beta readers, who are all women, to make sure I didn’t make them voyeuristic. I also relied a lot on hints and intimation, rather than graphic portrayal. Even so, the scenes were difficult to write because I was writing from the victim’s point of view and had to live through what happened to them. I wasn’t the easiest person to be around for a few days.
You also like to make your readers think while reading the book.
Yes. I love books which drop you into a situation and you gradually work out what’s going on as the story progresses.
Are you always this serious?
Not at all. I’m laughing and joking most of the time. I spend some of my week looking after my youngest son, so I’m usually playing in a make believe band with him. He’s only three but he loves rock music. His favourite is Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, which he calls the potato song, because he thinks the chorus goes “with the lights out, it’s potatoes, here we are now, with potatoes.”
What do you plan to do next?
Well the follow up to Second Chance, Absent Souls, is released today. I’m really excited because we get to continue the journey with some of the characters but bringing in a few new ones too.

About Second Chance

One crime, four people and a secret that could shake the world to its foundations.

Four lives become linked by a student’s disappearance: a politician looking to put integrity back into politics, an investigator hoping to atone for past mistakes, a data cleanser searching for a better life while haunted by his past and a re-life technician creating new lives for old souls.

But it soon becomes clear this is no ordinary case, and in the pursuit of the truth, long-held secrets risk being revealed.

Set in the near future where everybody is connected and death isn’t final, this is the story of how far those in power will go to retain control, and the true price to pay for a Second Chance.

Praise for Second Chance

“Political intrigue, neuroscience, a missing-persons investigation – this well-written novel has it all.” – Carrie Rubin, author of The Seneca Scourge

“a highly entertaining and thought-provoking first novel” – Vaughn Stanger, author of Moondust Memories

“As plot twists were revealed, I found it hard to put down and read the last third in one sitting.” – Katrina Montfort, author of Future Perfect

“Overall I enjoyed this novel greatly. I recommend it to readers looking for an engaging science-fiction or political thriller.” – Dave Higgins, Davetopia Blog and author of Greenstar Season 1

“This is a slick, well written book with a strong storyline and plenty of narrative tension.” – Sarah J Higby – Brainfluff blog

Advertisements

Exciting Project For New Women Writers

Image

I’m delighted to share some information about the exciting new WoMentoring Project, a scheme which seeks to help new women writers in their quest for publication. Their new website has been launched today! Good luck to all involved.

Below is some more information for any women writers, or interested mentors who may wish to get on board to use or support the project.

About?

The WoMentoring Project exists to offer free mentoring by professional literary women to up and coming female writers who would otherwise find it difficult to access similar opportunities.

The mission of The WoMentoring Project is simply to introduce successful literary women to other women writers at the beginning of their careers who would benefit from some insight, knowledge and support. The hope is that we’ll see new, talented and diverse female voices emerging as a result of time and guidance received from our mentors.

Each mentor selects their own mentee and it is at their discretion how little or much time they donate. We have no budget, it’s a completely free initiative and every aspect of the project – from the project management to the website design to the PR support – is being volunteered by a collective of female literary professionals. Quite simply this is about exceptional women supporting exceptional women. Welcome to The WoMentoring Project.

Why do we need it?

Like many great (and not so great) ideas, The WoMentoring Project came about via a conversation on Twitter. While discussing the current lack of peer mentoring and the prohibitive expense for many of professional mentoring we asked our followers – largely writers, editors and agents – who would be willing to donate a few hours of their time to another woman just starting out. The response was overwhelming – within two hours we had over sixty volunteer mentors.

The WoMentoring Project is managed by novelist Kerry Hudson and all of our mentors are all professional writers, editors or literary agents. Many of us received unofficial or official mentoring ourselves which helped us get ahead and the emphasis is on ‘paying forward’ some of the support we’ve been given.

In an industry where male writers are still reviewed and paid more than their female counterparts in the UK, we wanted to balance the playing field. Likewise, we want to give female voices that would otherwise find it hard to be heard, a greater opportunity of reaching their true potential.

Applications

In an ideal world we would offer a mentor to every writer who needed and wanted one. Of course this isn’t possible. So instead we’ve tried to ensure the application process is accessible while also ensuring that out mentors have enough information with which to make their selection.

Applicant mentees will submit a 1000 word writing sample and a 500 word statement about why they would benefit from free mentoring. All applications will be in application to a specific mentor and mentees can only apply for one mentor at a time.

Why our mentors are getting involved

The reason I’m doing this is simple: mentoring can mean the difference between getting published and getting lost in the crowd. It can help a good writer become a brilliant one. But till now, opportunities for low-income writers to be mentored were few and far between. This initiative redresses the balance; I’m utterly delighted to be part of the project. – Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee

I have only achieved the success I have with the help of others, and now I am keen to pass on that help. I particularly want to reach out to those who don’t have the privileges of wealth, status or existing contacts, but who have so much to gain and to give. – Marie Phillips, author Gods Behaving Badly

I’m so pleased to be involved in the WoMentoring Project, and I can’t wait to meet my mentee. I know from my own authors how isolating an experience writing can often be, especially when you’re just starting out, and so I really wanted to be involved. I hope that knowing that there is someone on your side in those early days will give writers courage and confidence in their work. – Alison Hennessy, Senior Editor at Harvill Secker

The WoMentoring project is the kind of opportunity I would have relished when writing my first novel. It’s founded in the spirit of paying it forward, and I’ll take real pride in sharing whatever experience I’ve gained with a mentee. I’ve benefited from the advice and encouragement of some truly inspirational writers, the right voice cheering you on can make all the difference when you’re in your solitary writing bubble. The formality of the mentoring arrangement also gives a sense of responsibility and focus – something that’s invaluable when you’re lost in the sprawl of a work-in-progress – and it’s beneficial to mentors too. – Amylia Hall, author of The Book of Summers

My career as an editor has been immeasurably enriched by working with inspiring women writers, yet the world of publishing would have been inaccessible to me without the time and support I was given when first starting out.  The WoMentoring Project is a wonderful, necessary thing and I’m very proud to be taking part in it. – Francesca Main, Editorial Director, Picador

I wanted to get involved with this project because I’d like to help authors feel that whoever they are, and wherever they come from, they have a right to be heard. – Jo Unwin of The Jo Unwin Literary Agency

Why female writers feel they need this opportunity

I’m interested in being mentored because although I think you have to make mistakes to learn, having someone who’s been there help you work out the ones with no value can be really useful. Most of all I’d like to have someone to push and challenge me on what makes me and my writing tick. 

The idea of women sharing their skills and experience in a dynamic, nurturing way is a really important one given the lower profile given to female writers. Even though the mentoring is one to one a collective voice and resilience is still being built up – I think it’s a great idea that, for writers like me, will help get rid of some of the layers of doubt and creative loneliness that come with being a beginner. – Clare Archibald

I’m on my third novel; I’ve had good notices from Faber, HoZ etc. but still not quite there. What I need is that final push. I especially need guidance on pacing, keeping the action pulsing along. I feel a mentor could be hugely beneficial in this process. – Suzy Norman

Find out more:

Twitter: @WoMentoringP on twitter and to find the latest buzz, follow and use hashtag #WoMentoring