Author Interview: Hannah Lynn

Author Interview

Get to know more about author Hannah Lynn as she discusses her latest novel, The Afterlife of Walter Augustus, her writing process, and much more (including a hint at a future novels in the works!) You can find my review of her book here. Thank you again Hannah for doing an interview with me!

 

1.What inspired you to write The Afterlife of Walter Augustus?

It was a series of coincidences that lead to the idea of Walter coming about. I have always been intrigued by the idea of writing about the afterlife, but it wasn’t until I was musing over a television programme about psychics that that concept began to take form.

 

  1. Do you use people in your daily life as inspiration for your characters?

Not deliberately, although when my husband was reading through Walter the other day he suddenly said, “I’ve only just realised, Victoria is so and so!’ (I won’t say who, it’s possibly not the most flattering comparison!) I hadn’t seen it at the time of writing, but he was spot on!

 

  1. Do you do research for your books? If so, what kind of research? Do you do it before you begin writing, or during the writing process?

Yes, a lot! I don’t see how you could write a book without it. With Walter I spent a surprising amount of time researching the ins and out of various professions from the 1800s. In my first draft Walter started out as a doctor, so I spent time researching the different type of medical practitioners that were around back then. Afterwards, when I decided that wasn’t quite right, I got stuck into research about ironwork and being a farrier.

For Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin, which is my next novel, I spent my summer holiday time visiting vintage car shows and looking up and awful lot of information on gardening, all in the name of research. I enjoy it though.

 

  1. Do you have a special place you go to write?

Anywhere quiet. Time is always an issue when you’re juggling work, writing and a family. I don’t have the luxury of being fussy where I write. If the house is quiet, I write there. If not, I go out to a cafe.

 

  1. Do you have any habits or traditions to help keep you inspired or comfortable?

I always try and stop writing just before I get to an exciting part, that way, I always want to get back to the books as soon as possible. Sometimes that is not possible though.

 

  1. How much time, on average, did you spend writing your book a day?

I try to set a minimum of an hour a day when I am working. That can mean getting up at 5:30 a.m. if I know I’m not going to find any other time. During holidays I try to up this to at least three. Unfortunately, with self-publishing, the other aspects can eat up writing time, which is hard to swallow and challenging to deal with.

 

  1. Do you believe in writer’s block?

I read something once that said writer’s block just means you haven’t got the story right. I completely believe that. If it’s not working I go back to when it last was, and try and take it from there. If I can’t get past the issue, then I know the story’s not strong enough in its current state and needs a big overhaul.

 

  1. Do you like writing in the same genre as the books you like to read?

Yes, I like to write different genres and read different genres! When it comes to reading I am omnivorous.

 

  1. What struggles did you experience trying to write and publish your book?

Trying to find the time. I am so fortunate that my husband is supportive, otherwise I wouldn’t get it done.

 

  1. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

Wanting to do something and having the courage to pursue it are very different. When I wrote Amendments I wanted to write a book. I loved the idea of writing full-time, but didn’t ever believe I would be good enough. Then, when I started to get feedback I realised that my books weren’t that terrible at all, and that if I actually had a bit of courage, it might work out.

 

  1. What are your other passions outside of writing?

Music and my daughter. Even better when they are together. She’s only three, but she loves us to play the Ukulele together, or sit beside me when I play the piano.

 

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. When I am writing I get completely energized. I want to write as much as possible and, in the moment, time flies at an unfeasible pace. But it can leave me surprisingly exhausted afterwards, especially if I am writing a particularly emotional bit.

 

  1. Do you like to listen to music when you read or write? If so, what type of music do you prefer?

I don’t tend to listen to music when I write, unless it’s in a cafe where I’m writing. I tend to find myself singing along, as opposed to concentrating on writing!

 

  1. What does a normal day look like for you?

A rare thing. My day job normally starts around seven a.m. so if I’m going to be busy I try to get in an hour of writing before then. When I get home around six p.m. it’s time to spend some time with my daughter. Normally I get back to writing or editing around 8 p.m. then try to get in a half an hour reading before bed.

 

  1. Do you believe early birds get the worm and that night owls rule the world? Does this affect the time of day you typically write?

I’m an early bird writer. I feel so much more motivated when I have achieved my writing goals before I set out for work. Evening writing is harder for me. If I stay up past ten p.m. though I am useless the next day.

 

  1. What are the top three goals you want to accomplish this year?

Writing wise or life wise? Primarily I’d like to get all my outstanding projects completed. I would also like to spend more time with my daughter and find more time for reading too. I would be happy if I achieve those goals.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for people who are interested in becoming a writer?

Keep writing, seek advice, don’t give up. And read at every chance you get.

 

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