Today in the Library we have Helen Hollick who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.
Thanks for dropping by, Helen, tell us a little about yourself:
Hello! I am Helen Hollick, I live on a thirteen-acre farm in Devon, England, although until three years ago I lived in a north-east London suburb – I managed to Escape To The Country – literally as we found our house through the British TV show with the same name!
I wrote pony stories as a teenager, moved to science-fiction and fantasy, and then discovered historical fiction. Published for over twenty years with my Arthurian Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, and the 1066 era, (Harold the King – UK edition title/I Am The Chosen King – US edition title). I became a ‘USA Today’ bestseller with Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK). I also write the Sea Witch Voyages, pirate-based fantasy adventures – if you enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, you’ll love meeting my Captain Jesamiah Acorne.
As a supporter of Indie Authors I am Managing Editor for the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews, and inaugurated the HNS Indie Award.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I was a lonely child, with few friends and extremely lacking in self-confidence – but I discovered that other world of imagination from a very early age, so I actually had dozen of friends, albeit fictional ones. But that has stood me in good stead for ‘meeting’ my own characters! I don’t read as much now because I have a sight deficiency so reading is more difficult – but thank goodness for Kindle where the font can be enlarged! I read most things except horror – I love a good mystery!
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
Both. I am traditional in the US with my ‘serious’ historical fiction and indie in the UK.
Which genre do you write in?
I write historical fiction and pirate-based nautical adventure with a touch of fantasy
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I suppose being British I have always been interested in the history and the past, so in that sense, yes, otherwise no not really.
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
Marketing! Being an indie author the marketing is all down to me – and while I love social media, blogging, etc., it can sometimes overtake the actual writing. I try to stick to marketing in the morning and writing in the afternoon – except life has a tendency to interrupt the day … especially living here in Devon on a farm!
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
No – although I’m often more productive of an evening.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
Meeting so many wonderful people, either for real or ‘virtually’. The worst – being indie, is the cost of producing good quality books. It can be very expensive.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I regard Facebook as my ‘shop window’, Twitter I use for more social contact and my blog is a bit of both. I tend to stick to these three, although I do have other accounts elsewhere.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
Mucking out horses and mending fences round the farm I expect!
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
Mark of the Horselord, by Rosemary Sutcliff. I’ve read it dozens of times and I still cry at the end!
Please tell us what you are working on at the moment.
I am finishing the fifth Voyage in my Sea Witch Series – On The Account (hopefully published early 2016) and I have also been commissioned to write a non-fiction book about Pirates… watch this space!
Thanks so much, Helen.
If you’d like to know more about Helen and her books check out the following:
Buy from Amazon : viewAuthor.at/HelenHollick