If you have been following my blog, you should know Hayley Coates by now. And if you don’t follow my blog, why aren’t you?
Author Interview for White Walls by HMC.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am an idealist and creative-extremist, who can’t sit still. I am learning to slow down. My nine-month-old daughter is reminding me to focus on one thing at a time. My name is Hayley, but I write under the pen-name HMC (my initials) because I will be getting married next year and will change my last name—luckily my fiancé has the same initial. I’m an Australian primary school teacher, with a degree in psychology, and I love to write, drum and paint. I am opinionated, but will always take the time to listen to other people’s point of view.
How did you decide to enter the world of writing?
I won an award in grade two for my story ‘Cowboy Jack and the Hoopsnake.’ It was completely plagiarised, but I was too young to understand what that meant. That was when I decided I would write—not as a profession, but as an expression.
What does your family think of your writing?
My pseudo-father Eddie used to hound me to get my book published. He passed away a few years back. Now, I’ve finally done it.
My partner, Keith, is always encouraging me to write and stirring me up so that I’ll finish my next book sooner (White Walls took a very long time to write).
Where do you get your ideas?
They come to me in many ways. White Walls came during a lecture in Abnormal Psychology, when I was at university.
My next book came to me through my art—when I realised that I had drawn three characters that would make a great children’s adventure novel, I knew it had to be written. The next book will be for my daughter and my students.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
Sure! Here is the blurb.
Psychiatrist Jade Thatcher thinks that returning to her small, Australian hometown to start again, will be a healing experience—until her new job proves to be just the opposite. Her patients are linked in ways that she can’t explain, and the hospital has seen too many doctors come and go. It’s not long before she is lured by a well-guarded secret; one that sends her to a dark and dangerous place, with little hope of returning.
You can sign up at my site and get a secret password to view character profiles: www.hmcwriter.com
You could win a copy, too.
What is your writing process?
When an idea comes, I will always do notes on the characters and a storyboard. I then have a play on Pinterest, to find images and settings. Pinterest is such a wonderful tool for visual people. I have those three pages open when I write my manuscript.
My first draft is allowed to be a mess and I am starting to thoroughly enjoy the process of editing.
What was the hardest part for you when working on your book?
Being a perfectionist. Sometimes, you just have to let it go.
What influenced or inspired you to write?
Stephen King, Bryce Courtenay, Dean Koontz, J.K Rowling, J.R.R Tolkein—books have been a part of my life since the moment that I could decode my first word. They are my inspiration, my influence and will always be a part of who I am. I don’t care what genre! I’m the same with music.
Was there a scene that you didn’t add or you removed in your finished work?
No. Every scene is still there. The scenes themselves have changed, though. My editor, Carson Buckingham, has taught me how to ‘slash’ and to use clever words, rather than bathing in complexity. She is such an amazing and humorous woman—to follow her advice, has made me careful in some ways, and bolder, in others.
Do you have a favorite character (from your book)? Why?
Sam. She won’t be everyone else’s favourite, though, (sorry for my Aussie spelling) because she really is an acquired taste. Sam is so complex, brutal and lost. I think my readers will fall head over heels for Freddy. He’s downright lovable.
Do you already know what to write next? Can you tell us?
Absolutely. It’s a children’s adventure about a boy’s journey in a magical realm. It is almost complete, and has a ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Never-Ending- story’ feel to it. As I mentioned, it came when I was drawing. My first character was Miss Henry—a shy nanny, who is actually a ninja fairy.
Where can we find more information about you and your books?
www.HMCWriter.com is the place to go!
More importantly, I would love people to attend the online book launch. You can find out all about it at my site. It is also a charity event and it’s all on Facebook. Right here: https://www.facebook.com/events/140297089490554/
Do you have any last words?
Go ahead, make my day. No, I’m joking.
Last words … hmmmm. Please come on over and visit my blog and leave a comment, or two. www.hmcwriter.wordpress.com My aim is to talk openly about global issues.
I love weekends because? Daddy gets up and looks after Charlotte, while Mummy sleeps in on a Sunday.
I hate? Mosquitoes.
I want to buy? A property in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
My favorite song is? Hole in the Bucket, by Spearhead.
My favorite precious stone is? Jade.
I want to travel to? Why? Because the world is an amazing place.
I want to invite Jim Henson to dinner. Why? So that he can tell me the story of his life and share with me the beauty of his imagination.
My dream is to? Use my voice to make change, for the better.
My favorite book is? Jessica, by Bryce Courtenay.