Friday, July 26, 2013

Author Interview – Bill Hiatt

at 8:15 AM

 

What books have most influenced your life? The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a big influence in pulling me in the direction of fantasy, the genre in which I currently write. Even earlier, though D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths gave me a love of mythology that put me on the pathway toward the fantastic. I read that book so often as a kid that I literally wore it out. As time passed, I read so many other books it would be hard to isolate specific recent influences. Each book contributed a little to who I am—just as I hope each of my books will contribute a little to who my readers are.

Do you find it hard to share your work? Yes and no. Writing comes from someplace deep within the writer—at least powerful writing does. As a result, publishing is an act of personal revelation as much as anything else. Complete strangers will see a part of the author that perhaps even close friends haven’t in the past. Actually, though, complete strangers were the least of my worries. I was more concerned about people I knew, especially fellow English teachers. In that case the issue was not self-revelation as much as the obvious question, “Will they like it?”

On the other hand, I think almost everyone who is driven to write is also driven to seek an audience. Someone trying to use writing as his or her primary income would naturally need to have an audience to make money, but my day job provides most of my income, and yet I seek readers just as zealously as if I would starve if I didn’t find them. For me writing and communication are inseparable. If I didn’t have something I wanted to share with other people, I wouldn’t be writing in the first place. In the long run, my desire to share overrode my fear of self-revelation and my fear of the possibility that people might not like my work.

Do you plan to publish more books? Now that I have started, I don’t think I will be able to stop! I see Living with Your Past Selves as the first of at least a three part series, and I am already at work on the second novel in the series. (There is something about the main character, Taliesin Weaver, that demands further exploration. Also, the ending of Living with Your Past Selves pretty much cries out for at least one sequel.) I am also considering some non-fiction projects that make use of my teaching experience. I’m about a third of the way done with a short book giving parents advice on how to communicate effectively with teachers, and I’m seriously considering developing a book of writing tips for high school students that will merge text with instructional video. When will I stop writing? I guess when I die…unless of course I come back.

Every writer has his or her own idea of what a successful career in writing is. What does success in writing look like to you? I started out with the idea that successful was bringing enjoyment to people. Since a number of people seem to have enjoyed Living with Your Past Selves already, you could say that I am already successful. Unfortunately, as soon as the book was published, I started thinking about sales figures, about the possibility of eventually being able to sell to a traditional publisher, about getting the book made into a movie, and so on. Yes, I’d love to be a bestselling author. Yes, I’d love to see the book become a movie. At least once a day, though, I remind myself that achievements like that, as satisfying as they would be, are not the reasons I started writing. At the end of the day, it is how much enjoyment I bring to readers that matters most.

 

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Genre - Fantasy / Young Adult

Rating – PG13

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