Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Author Interview – Bill Hiatt

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.

Do you have any advice for writers? The two most important things I have learned about writing in the last few months:

  1. Don’t publish until your work is ready. As part of the process of getting your material ready, you can’t be your own sole proofreader. No matter what else you do, hire an editor. You will be glad you did.
  2. Don’t settle for an amateurish or lackluster cover. Your cover is the one piece of advertising that will constantly follow your book and that every prospective buyer will see before making that final decision. If you are not artistic yourself, hire a cover designer. (The mechanics of actually self-publishing may be free, but the preparation for it is not, unless you have a wide range of talents yourself and/or have very talented friends.)
Why did you choose to write this particular book? “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.” Michelangelo

Please don’t think I’m trying to compare my talent to Michelangelo’s, but I feel sometimes that I stumbled upon my novel rather than creating it.

I have been reading fantasy for so long and teaching high school for so long (over 30 years) that writing young adult fantasy seemed inevitable at some point. Oddly, though, Taliesin, the main character, developed originally as part of another project. I wanted to do a text on Greek mythology that would be more approachable for high school students than some of the older texts are. I conceived of it as a frame story in which high school students reviewing for a mythology test would re-tell the myths to each other. Taliesin was a twist—a mythic figure transformed into one of those very high school students. The ancient Greeks for the most part did not believe in reincarnation, but the ancient Celts did, so having Arthur’s bard reincarnated as a modern American teenager could have worked. However, when I had the time to write, I found the mythology project, such a good idea in theory, just didn’t seem to inspire me. The figure of Taliesin did, however.

If an Arthurian character like that were reincarnated as a modern teenager, what sort of problems would he have? How would his special abilities hinder or support him in his coming of age? In a very real sense, Living with Your Past Selves grew from the character of Taliesin. I researched the medieval Taliesin stories and used them to shape the antagonist and the conflict in the book, and at each step during the actual writing of the book, I asked myself, “What would someone like Taliesin do in this situation?” Once I had him fleshed out, it was not hard to imagine how he would respond in each case, and from his responses, the plot evolved. During the process, I discarded some possible story lines that would have been impossible if I wanted Taliesin to behave as he would if he were really the person I envisioned. With that kind of process, in some ways the book wrote itself.

He’s haunted by the past, but he has an enemy very much in the present.

Danger lurks around every corner for the seemingly ordinary teen who is anything but.
Many teenagers struggle to find their identity, but for Taliesin Weaver, that struggle has become life or death–and not just for him. Tal, as he prefers to be called, believes in reincarnation, and with good reason. When he turned 12, his mind was nearly shattered by a flood of memories, memories of his past lives, hundreds of them. Somehow, Tal managed to pull himself together and even to make good use of the lessons learned and skills developed in those previous lives. He even had the ability to work magic–literally–and there was no denying that was cool. No, his life wasn’t perfect, but he was managing.
Now, four years later, his best friend, Stan, has begun to suspect his secret, and Stan isn’t the only one. Suddenly, Tal is under attack from a mysterious enemy and under the protection of an equally mysterious friend whose agenda Tal can’t quite figure out. An apparition predicts his death. A shape shifter disguised as Stan attacks him. An old adversary starts acting like a friend. He and some other students get hurled into Annwn (the Otherworld), face Morgan Le Fay, and only just barely get back alive–and that’s just during the first month of school!
By now Tal knows he is not the only one who can work magic and certainly not the only one who can remember the past. He realizes there is something that he is not remembering, something that could save his life or end it, some reason for the attacks on him that, as they escalate, threaten not only him but everyone he loves as well. In an effort to save them, he will have to risk not only his life, but even his soul. 

Can Tal save both himself and his friends, or will he have to choose?
From now till 5th August, be a part of Bill Hiatt's "Find Me A Treasure" book tour.
Each blog stop will have a special clue or question.

Answer these in the Rafflecopter below and stand a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card or cash via PayPal

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Fantasy / Young Adult
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Bill Hiatt on Facebook & Twitter


Dí lo que piensas...