Today we welcome Lena Horn to the hotseat, read was she has to say below:
First tell us a bit about yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Hi everyone. I’m Lena Horn. Originally I studied screenwriting in school, but as some of my professors told me, my ideas would do well as novels first. I love writing fantasy, action, and adventure stories, and quite often they feature a strong female lead.
I’m a fan of travelling, which probably comes from having moved around much of my life (Germany, England, United States). Different places and cultures and constant learning are all great inspirations to writing.
My parents generously offered that I could take my time after college to write my first novel. I love writing and that’s why I’d like it to be a career for me.
What inspired you to start writing?
Teen angst. Funny but true, writing was initially a release from the stresses of being a teen. Don’t get me wrong, my life was good, but I think every teen has problems. My outlet was poetry, which was phased out when I started writing short stories and from that, my passion was established and I knew I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would it be?
Honestly, I don’t think I would work well with another author. My will to write stories and characters my own way would hinder us from the very beginning.
However, when I was younger I greatly enjoyed Marguerite Henry’s novels about horses, namely, “Misty of Chincoteague.” My family had just gotten a Chincoteague pony at the time, so reading about this lovely breed was a great inspiration. Today, I know I want to write at least one book about horses, and having her to collaborate with would surely result in a great story about horses.
What do you find most difficult about writing?
Trying to view the story from an outside perspective. When writing about another world, as many fantasy books do, it’s important that the reader understands certain aspects of it, but as a writer, it’s difficult to figure out how much back story is needed without slowing down the story. I know from reading other fantasy books, I often forget an aspect of that world I’m reading about and sometimes get a bit lost, which takes me out of the story. At the same time, it can be tedious if the author continuously repeats the information. It’s finding that middle ground that’s difficult.
And the most rewarding?
Having written. For me, it’s not about finishing a story (although that feels great too), but having accomplished a great piece of writing, even if it’s just a few paragraphs. When it’s good, you know it.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Teachers and mentors will all tell you how to write, how to brainstorm, and what the formula for a great story is. But no one wants a formula story, and no one can tell you how you work best. Writing is about experimenting and exploring, and all you have to do for that is to keep writing, and see what methods work for you.
And more importantly, the phrase, “write what you know.” I’ve only ever seen this as a starting point. Writing what you know is a great idea, because it will give you plenty of content and you’ll be able to explain things to the reader. But more importantly, it should be, “write what you are passionate about.” You will never write something that you love, that you are proud of, that you don’t just want to, but need to share, if you don’t write with passion. Love what you do, and others will too.
What are you working on at the moment?
Since my last book was the first in a series, I’m now working on the sequel. It continues the journey of Aruna and her fox, George, and the new dangers they’ve brought upon themselves. In addition, I’ve started gathering ideas for the third book in the series.
Every once in a while I come up with another idea for a book and I have to write the first page for it, it’s like an itch that I have to scratch, then I put it aside and refocus on my current book.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
“Forgotten Fox” is a young adult fantasy novel and the first book in The Celestial Saga. The story is about Aruna, who finds herself exiled into the wilderness. Her only comfort comes from a mystical fox that she befriends as she begins her journey to discover who she is, and to find a new family and home. But meanwhile she’s also reigniting an ancient war of the Celestials.
It’s a story about finding strength and making choices for yourself and others. But overall, I hope that people just have a good time reading it.
The book is available as paperback on Amazon, and it’s also available for the Kindle and nook.
The best place for more info and links is the book site: www.GeorgeTheFox.com
Thanks to Lena for sharing her time. On Friday we have Emily Shore joining us.