March 22, 2010

Guest Blogger, Hywela Lyn - Romance That's 'Out Of This World'...

As the title says ... 'Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’ - that’s what I love writing – romance set on or in another world, sometimes a different planet, sometimes the vastness of space, and sometimes a world that might be our own, but in the future, or the distant past. The phrase was coined for me by fellow author, Cindy Spencer Pape,  some time ago, and I’ve used it ever since as my ‘tagline’. 

I suppose all writers find themselves ‘out of this world’ in a way, by the very process of writing. One creates characters, places and situations which might be similar to our own, in a familiar location and a contemporary setting or, conversely, completely different, in another age and surroundings we’ve never actually seen in ‘real life’. While we are writing, however, we ‘live' in that other world. experiencing its influence on our characters as we live, suffer and love with them.

My first attempts at ’serious’ writing as a teenager, were westerns, a way of transporting myself back into the world of the Old West, which fascinated me, not least, because I am a passionate horselover and, strong, goodlooking cowboys and their beautiful, faithful horses were a way to indulge my fantasies. As I matured, I realised there was more to it than horses and hunky cowboys, however. Brave men and women in an untamed land, working with nature and often having to fight to survive. Unknown dangers and undiscovered wonders, the exploration of a new frontier, all these combine to make up the romance that is the Old West of countless books and films.

So why do I write fantasy and futuristic if I’m so fond of the western genre? I hear you ask. Good question. The night sky has always fascinated me, all those stars, each one a sun, circled by its own planets. What would it be like to travel the stars and explore new worlds? What is life like on other planets? (I can’t believe that none of all those myriad stars out there don’t have planets that support life – beings who live – and love – as we do.) The concept of exploring space is pretty much the same as the opening up of the West. Explorers setting out on a journey into the unknown and facing dangers never before encountered, and occasionally being rewarded by something amazing that makes it worth all the risks. For me there is something inherently romantic about  this.

Romance. That’s the ‘keyword’, isn’t it? It took me a while to realise that every story I wrote had a strong love interest that was the core of the story. I’d never specifically thought of myself as a ‘romance writer’ but as soon as I admitted it to myself, I realised the truth of it. I’m at heart a ‘romantic’, therefore it’s only logical that I write romances, be they of this world or other, purely imaginary ones!

Even imaginary worlds have to be logical though, and based in reality.  However amazing or weird they are, they must seem to the reader to be possible, or she will throw the book down and read something less ‘far fetched.’  Many of my futuristic worlds are inspired by places I’ve actually seen, usually in my beloved Wales.  For instance, I incorporated several Welsh myths and legends in my story for the ‘Song of The Muses’ anthology ‘Dancing With Fate’, set against a background of the Welsh Mountains where I spent most of my life.
In ‘Starquest’ I have a scene on the snowy planet of Niflheim (itself based on Scandinavian landscapes and mythology) with mist drifting  across the mountains and  falling as pink snow.  This was based on an actual incident in Wales where I looked across at the hills from my home, and saw what I thought was  the mist rolling in and then realized it was not mist but drifting snow.  I’d read somewhere a long time ago, that in some parts of the world, minute plant forms drift down with snowflakes and turn it pink or green, and so my planet with pink snow was born.

Niflheim, planet of telepaths, takes up only a small part of the original story in ‘Starquest’ , but I became fond of the misty world and her people, especially Tamarith, who becomes a good friend of the heroine, and I ended up writing a sequel, entitled Children Of The Mist, which is mainly set on Niflheim and takes place about six years after the first book ends.

I really enjoyed writing both these books.  Starquest is that cliche ‘the book of my heart’ and I had such fun writing Children Of The Mist and learning more about the beautiful, misty planet of Niflheim.   Surprising what can spring from something as simple as watching the weather over the mountains!

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt: from 'Children Of The Mist'

Two minds united against a common foe. Two hearts afraid to show their love: Long ago Tamarith fell in love with a man she can never have, and is convinced she will never love another. However, she cannot help but be intrigued by a handsome stranger whose psychic powers exceed even her own. Vidarh seeks only to find his true purpose in life and to win the regard of his father, who eschews his son’s psychic abilities.

Thrown together by a common threat to their planet, then torn apart by an evil greater than any they could have imagined, can Vidarh save the lovely Nifl woman who has captivated him, before it is too late? Will Tamarith and Vidarh overcome the deadly enemy who threatens to destroy all they know and love?
Will they find the happiness they both seek? Or are they fated to live their lives alone?
Tamarith stopped and gazed for a moment  across the water. The G-type sun, now fully risen,  caused the lake to shimmer like a veil of golden silk, with scarcely a ripple disturbing its calm. The  pastel-colored walls of the graceful buildings on the  shore reflected the glow of both suns. In the distance, the mountains encircling the settlement  reached high into the cerulean sky. The swirling  mist that hid their summits was as much a part of  Niflheim as the earth upon which she and Vidarh  stood.

She sensed his mind discreetly touch hers and realized he was staring at her keenly. She turned  back to face him, returning his questioning glance and studying him in turn.  Taller than average, and broad-shouldered,  today he wore a sleeveless, belted leather shirt over thick breeches, with long,  icecat-wool lined boots.  His upper arms were well muscled, his skin tanned as if he were used to working outdoors. His curly,  dark auburn hair, kept away from his face with a plain leather band, reached almost to his shoulders.It caught the sun’s rays and gleamed like the polished dark red wood of the trees that flanked the feet of the mountains.

She took in his clear, hazel eyes, with their  friendly twinkle, the long, straight nose, strong jaw  line and smiling mouth. He would have been  fighting off the local unattached young women if the  situation they found themselves in were not so  serious.  Not that she was particularly interested in his looks, or those of any other man, for that matter.

No, something else about Vidarh of Ragnak excited her curiosity.

If you’d like to find out more about my books, you can do so by visiting any of  my sites 
or you can email me at

I also contribute to several blogs, including my own,
My books can be purchased HERE
where you can also download my fantasy short story 'A Bargain With Death' for free. It's set in mediaeval England and is much lighter than it sounds.


Hywela Lyn said...

Happy Monday morning, everyone.

Thanks so much Anna Kathryn, for letting me take over your lovely blog today! Hope you enjoy the post.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Welcome, Hywela. Great post. Thanks for blogging for me today.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello, ladies. Lyn, wonderful post. You have such a unique and beautiful style of writing and I can certainly recommend Starquest and Children of the Mist to one and all. You spin lovely words together, so mystical and magical. Love your books.

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you Anna, and thanks again for having me here.

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much Sharon, glad you enjoyed the post. I truly appreciate your friendship and support.

Miss Mae said...

*sigh*...I'm waiting for the movie. But, you know, writing about the stars, the snow, etc., what you haven't told about is...the ADVENTURE you pack into these stories.

Wow, wow, wow is all I thought as I went with Jess to those different worlds (where these odd looking beings did something "horrible" to her), the dark castle where she was tortured, the humid planet with cannibalistic plant life (shudder)...well, I could go on and on. Yes, the chemistry between h/h and the trials you put them through while zipping along thru space was true imagery to envision, but it was after you landed them on these alien worlds that, for me, the excitement really took off. You have a gift, Lyn, of making a reader think you've REALLY BEEN to these places. It was just incredible, and I loved it!

Redameter said...

Funny how you went from cowboys to different planets. I still like the western because where we came from is as important as where we are going. Nice post.

Rynne Raines said...

Fantastic post, Hywela. Sounds like you've got another winner there. Keep up the good work. :)

Mary Ricksen said...

I love your imagery Lyn. You put me in her head!!
Great blog girl!
There is magic in your words.

Hywela Lyn said...

Miss Mae
You have always been such a dear friend and have given me so much encouragement and support. Thank you so much - and no folks, I don't pay her to say such lovely things! :)

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Rita - well I haven't given up on writing Westerns, it's just that I find my weird imagination just loves futuristic and fantasy -and I can still have horses in them! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

Hywela Lyn said...

Rynne, thank you so much, so glad you liked the post.

Hywela Lyn said...

Mary, thank you my sweet friend, I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Skhye said...

Hi, Lyn! I have a second and thought I'd swing by. I've read part of CHILDREN OF THE MIST. LOVE IT! Everybody buy it if you're into Norse mythology. And I loved DANCING WITH FATE. It's got a New-Agey Medieval feel like some of Blackmore's Night music. I've got to run though... Crazy day!

Mae--growing my carniverous plants as I type. Very cool. I'll have to let you know if they attack each other whenever one is lucky enough to catch a fly!

Virginia said...

Great post! Lately I have really been into the western romances and I just can't get enough of them. I just finished Pieces of Sky by author Kaki Warner and loved this book. I do read a little of everything though, just been hooked on westerns lately for some reason!


Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Skhye
How are you, my my dear muse sister? Thanks so much for stopping by and for your very kind comments, all the more special since your such a wonderful writer of fantasy yourself!

Good luck with the carnivores!

Ginger Simpson said...

What a great post, and I'm so impressed by your writing style. I totally felt like I saw both suns and the shimmering lake, etc. I liked learning that you started writing westerns. As someone you recently "roasted", I wondered why you had such a flair for the occasion. *lol*

You give me hope that I might develop a more creative edge to my writing and open new doors for sales. Although I love the old west, I would be ecstatic to think I could create my own world. That takes talent and you definitely have it.

Hywela Lyn said...

What a lovely thing to say, Ginger, thank you so much for your compliment.

Yes, I think the Old West and the exploration of new worlds beyond the stars have much in common. If you do branch out into fantasy I'm sure you'd be great at it - it adds another dimension to a Western sub-genre.

Cate Masters said...

Great post, Lyn! I love that you incorporate mythology into your tales. What beautiful movies they would make! Pitch it to James Cameron - he's looking for a project now that Avatar's done, and he'd do it justice. :)

Laurean Brooks said...

Lyn, your writing has always held me in awe. If I ony had half the creativity.

Like you, stars and other planets intrigue me. Yes, I believe others support life, too. What a waste if they don't.

May God continue to bless you.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Virginia,

Thank you so for stopping by and leaving a comment, yes, I'll always love Westerns too, and I think there's a 'western' element in most of my stories, even if they do take plac on another world!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Cate

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comment - and suggestion. Oh wouldn't we all love to see our stories made into films! *Sigh* and I know just who I'd have for my hero and heroine too! LOL

Hywela Lyn said...

Thank you so much Laurean, your words mean a lot to me - yes, I can't believe we're alone in the universe with the myriad of stars out there, many of them with planets.

Thanks again, and God Bless you too!