MaryPat Hyland [marypathyland]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
When I was a child I read a lot of mythology, Grimm Brothers' fairy tales, science fiction and MAD magazine. In grade school and high school I started writing parodies.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genres are mainstream and humorous fiction.
Author website: http://marypathyland.com
Blogs for my books (each includes a sample):
The Cyber Miracles: http://thecybermiracles.wordpress.com/
A Sudden Gift of Fate: http://giftoffate.wordpress.com/
All of my books average a five-star rating on Amazon.com
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=books-uk&field-author=Marypat%20Hyland
Amazon DE http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_de_DE=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=MaryPat+Hyland
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I'm always observing the world around me and taking notes of situations, gestures and character sketches. Sometimes a snippet of a dream will inspire a work.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Writing authentic to the human condition
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Believable characters, natural dialogue, the protagonist being knocked out of his/her comfort zone
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Third person works naturally for me, although I have dabbled in first person (short stories).
What well known writers do you admire most?
Eudora Welty, Anne Tyler, Maeve Binchy, John Irving
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
They create themselves in my mind. Sometimes I feel like a stenographer recording scenes and dialogue from the movie in my mind.
A voice must be believable. If you have a great character, the story could be about anything and the readers will trust you.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
I do enjoy making up stories on the spot.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Ars gratia artis! I write for the sake of the art of writing.
Does reader feed-back help you?
I always enjoy hearing what readers think of my characters and stories. It's always interesting to hear if they saw the same "movie" in their minds as they read the book.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
I have a team of editors and proofreaders. Yes, you MUST have other people read it before it's ready to be released to the world. Some of my best writing has been done on corrections to manuscripts after suggestions from my team.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
Write every day. Period. It doesn't have to be your work in progress. It could be as simple as a bunch of Twitter tweets. You must exercise your writing "muscles" for them to stay in shape.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I have a good dictionary, reference books, grammar books, a rhyming dictionary and thesaurus at hand.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I start a novel in longhand (except when participating in National Novel Writing Month) on cheap notebooks then type it up on the computer. Writing in longhand provides the least distraction for the story's initial flow.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I have a book blog for those who self-publish or are involved with ebooks: http://www.marypathyland.com/thehylander
The blog also has writing prompts a couple of times a week.
What are you working on now?
My new novel, "The Terminal Diner," that will be released in June 2011. I'm also putting the finishing touches on a short story.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
The Hylander Diner: http://www.marypathyland.com/thehylander/
It focuses on writing, the Kindle Revolution and life. I feature interviews and samples from fellow indie authors. Several times a week I post writing prompts. There are also news updates from the world of digital and self publishing.
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
The blog began on March 3, a couple of weeks after I published my first digital version of one of my novels. In the short time after, I learned something very big was happening in the publishing industry because of ebooks.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
Word Press, which is the best in my opinion.
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
Upwards of 500-600 hits a day. People comment on story samples or submit their writing prompt entries.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
I try to publish daily. By now I have it down to an easy system of publishing thanks to a daily schedule of regular features.
How do you promote your blog?
How would you define your readers? Have you got a faithful audience?
I would guess at least 50 percent of my readers are fellow authors. It's available on RSS feed and I know I have regular readers.