Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Having My Say - Author Wendy Laharnar

I'm delighted to turn The Plain over to fellow MuseItUp author Wendy Laharnar, visiting today all the way from Australia. Wendy is the author of both The Unhewn Stone, a YA fantasy set in medieval Switzerland, and a short sci-fi story, Happiness Guaranteed. She also turns out Calamity's Corner, a monthly E-Zine chock-full of entertaining and inspiring articles.

Welcome, Wendy!
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Hi Pat, it’s so good to be here on your lovely new blog. Thank you for the invitation.

I love talking about writing as much as I love writing. Sitting down with a group of like-minded people discussing what we enjoy is the best form of face-to-face entertainment for me. It helps in our struggles to find the right motivation, goals and resolutions…for our characters as well as ourselves. Talking a story through or, better still, being bombarded with questions about a character or scene helps to iron out the creases, which often we don’t realize are there.

I like ‘talking’ online with writing friends and critique groups and I like to share information I have learned or discovered over time. Writers need their writing communities. Our peers understand how easily a writer loses touch with reality, while living in their make believe world. It’s great to share little victories with writing friends, too, especially when we overcome a stumbling block or find a character has developed a challenging trait.

Writing fantasy (historical and mythical) makes me happy. I’m keen to return to my Edge of Darkness, and pounce on the majestic dragon queen whose metallic scales ripple in nervous excitement – she is a character I love to hate. She just stole a human baby and plans to pass the child off as an immortal elf in a diabolical self-serving plan. It’s the first part of the fantasy trilogy I have in 1st draft. The dark forests of my make believe world, Pravlica, are calling, but this is such a long journey and the trails are treacherous and damp, no place for the baby Adora raised to become The Elfin Bride (Part Three of the trilogy). This is the story where I question whether characters are redeemable or not and if there really is a separation between Reality and Fairytale. I want to share with those who have ears to hear, what I learn during the writing process.

That’s how I felt when writing The Unhewn Stone, my YA historical fantasy recently published by MuseItUp Publishing.

While my hero, Stefan, thinks he must change the course of the Wilhelm Tell legend (14th C. Switzerland), to restore honour to his family name, I sought answers to questions that bothered me. For instance, is there really is any difference between freedom fighters and tyrants, and which side would I follow. In The Unhewn Stone, Stefan belongs to the wrong side. His ancestor is the tyrant governor, not the hero Wilhelm Tell, so my dilemma wasn’t as cut and dried as you might think.

During his medieval adventure, modern-day Stefan’s encounters challenge his concept of friendship, love, mercy, honour, faith, courage, pride and humility. At the same time, I researched the deeper philosophic layers of the story, trying to decide what I believe, too. Is there really any difference between alchemy, religion, science, myth and magic? The more Stefan discovered about himself and his identity, the more I learnt about me, and I came to the conclusion that Stefan and I now think very much alike.

As a writer I talk about writing, write about writing and write. I also love to read what I’ve written. My Christmas wish to writers out there, wherever you are, May your days be merry and bright, and bring joy from everything you write.

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Wendy’s short sci-fi, Happiness Guaranteed, has just been release by MuseItUp in time for Christmas. The beautiful Supremo, Bianca, has a flaw which, if discovered, will mean her elimination.
Wendy and her husband raised beef cattle in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. They loved the land and their animals and lived an idyllic life in spite of the bitter winters and often scorching summers. Now they live on Australia’s east coast with their mini Schnauzer. They enjoy long walks on the beach and visits from their two children and grandchildren.


29 comments:

  1. Hey girls! Love the look of the blog Pat, and Wendy, it's always a pleasure to visit with you.

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  2. Hi, Gail! Thanks for the kind words about the blog. How could it look bad with such great book covers and authors decorating it? And I agree, visiting Wendy is always a pleasure. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Pat this is such a comfy, cosy blog. I love your decor. Thank you for inviting me.

    Hi Gail, always a pleasure to see you! I'm happy you were able to stop by.

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  4. Okay, this line "She just stole a human baby and plans to pass the child off as an immortal elf in a diabolical self-serving plan" just made me want to buy the book. :) It's going on my must-be-read list. Um, when will you be done, again?? LOL :D

    Great blog, Pat. Thank you for the wonderful read! :)

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  5. Hi Wendy,

    I really enjoyed your comments on how you figure out 'the world' through your writing, tackle topics you find difficult and make up your mind as you live through your character's challenges.

    I'm a great fan of The Unhewn Stone. Beyond wonderfully atmospheric descriptions, emotional turmoil and thrilling adventures, I too found that Stefan's challenges also challenged my believes of what's right and wrong. That's what great writing is supposed to do. Excellent work, Wendy.

    Before the year ends, I'll read Happiness Guaranteed and I can't wait for your fantasy trilogy to be released. Write on!

    Edith

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  6. Hello Adriana,
    You've made my fingers itch to get back to the keyboard. Timewise...'Um' is the correct answer LOL. Lovely to see you here.

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  7. Thanks for being here, Edith. You've played a big part in all my writing communities. Stefan and I thank you :)I hope Bianca's problem will pose a challenge too. But that's only 25 pages.

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  8. What an interesting interview Wendy. I love reading more about your life (you know I live on a dairy farm and noted you used to raise beef cattle) and get inside your writer's mind. Calamity's Corner is a very well done and fascinating read, and your Unhewn Stone is on my TBR. It sounds so imaginative, as does your new work in progress. Wow, what an creative mind you have. Very good to learn more, and what a lovely site this is too.

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  9. Hi Beth,
    I love getting inside writers' minds too and see how the imagination ticks over. It's fascinating to see how differently we all think. Especially the writers who see ghosts in wonderful old family mansions ;)

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  10. Great interview Wendy, put me down to read The Edge of Darkness... sounds like another captivating story. The Unhewn Stone is a favourite already. Happiness Guaranteed shows how you can write in multiple genres and lengths!
    Thanks for hosting an interesting and talented author Pat!!

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  11. Wendy, what a great interview. It's very interesting to read your thoughts on parallels between you and your main character. Sometimes we write to "live" the adventures we don't find in the real world, or to express innermost feelings that we've never touched on. Either way, you did a beautiful job with characterization in Unhewn Stone and I wish you best of luck with it.

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  12. Hello, Wendy! Your biggest fan from the Pacific Northwest checking in here. :) I brought a boom box and some 80s tunes to liven things up. We Are The Champions! Oh, and a little shiraz and a fruit and cheese fondue. Rock on, dudettes!

    I'm really looking forward to your new trilogy--dragons, elves--I love 'em all!

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  13. Hi Wendy,

    Loved thinking about the intertwining of love and honor as you described all the concepts that Stefan wrestles with in The Unhewn Stone. Enjoyed your interview greatly.

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  14. Good morning Rosalie,
    You are always so supportive to me and other authors. I don't know how you found the time while you were writing your 8 books in the Chronicles of Caleath.

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  15. Lovely to see you Lisa,
    Thanks for liking Stefan. I know what you mean about 'living' the adventures. I admire writers like you who can express innermost feelins, but I'm more likely to express physical feeling. e.g if I have the flu, my charcater is near death with pneumonia. If I have a headache a character will lose his head. Never did learn to be a romantic. :)

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  16. Here's a romantic! Ever effervescent Jacquie, even without wine. Hello! You love cowboys; your knights of the Wild West even better. lol.
    Thank you for coming.

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  17. Thank you for your encouraging comments John. It's great that you dropped by. It sure was difficult for Stefan. He is a modern young man who had to go back to 1307 to find himself.

    See what I mean about the need for writing communities. Pat has provided just such a venue. It's so lovely to have everyone talking about writing...and me! hehehe.

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  18. If you all aren't already subscribers to Wendy's free newsletter "Calamity's Corner" you should consider it. It's a fascinating newsletter full of cool stuff!!

    HI WENDY!!!

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  19. Good Morning Wendy -- super interview. Loved your story about Stefan - in The Unhewn Stone, and of course, his dog. Dogs make great characters to bounce a story off. Thanks for all your support over the years. It's great to have someone out there who has persevered with her writing no matter what. I did not realise you had come up with such diverse number of books. I wish you every success. BTW I have a new cover coming up shortly and looking forward to your comments.

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  20. Wow, I go to Boston to do a little Christmas shopping, and I miss all the fun! Good thing Wendy was here holding the fort. My sincere thanks to everyone for stopping by. I'm happy to report I now have The Unhewn Stone on my Kindle and plan to read it over the holidays, the happiest of which I wish to you all!

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  21. Hi L.J.
    Thanks so much for dropping by and for mentioning Calamity's Corner which is all the richer because of your regular Book Review column and Jackie Roger's Blast from the Past. :)and my author friends here who have featured in it. Without all of you and the readers, there'd be no point to it.

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  22. Hello Carole,
    Thanks for your support and critique wisdom, too. I'm looking forward to seeing your new cover.

    I'm lovin' this mutual admiration society. It must be the comfortable venue.

    It's lovely here on your blog, Pat. I might never leave :) I'm glad you plan to read Stefan's story. It's quite long - but then it would be eh? when you're trapped 700 years in the past.

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  23. I'll put extra water in the kettle, Wendy. Enough for everyone. Stay as long as you like!

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  24. I loved The Unhewn Stone, Wendy, even though I read it a chapter at a time. Now I have a copy and plan to read the book in one go.
    It's interesting you speak about Stefan, one of the book's main characters, whose ancestor was the evil tyrant in William Tell's time.
    I look forward to your new project - Edge of Darkness. And to reading the first book in the trilogy. laurel

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  25. Hi Laurel,
    So good to see you here. I remember our critique group. I was in it for several years and you are still there. A lot of water has flowed under Stefan's little stone bridge since then and you've had so many books published including your epic Australian series. Proof again just how important writing communities are to writers. Thank you for everything you do for me and for other writers.

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  26. Wendy, I love your imagination. I can tell you enjoy your writing. Pat, I am delighted by the look and feel of your site. Great work. Best wishes...

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  27. Hey Janet! Lovely to see you here. Thank you for coming. Best wishes to you too.

    Merry Christmas everyone

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  28. @ Laurel, isn't it great when an author you love has more books in the works?

    @ JQ, Glad you like the site. I hope to have lots more company here soon (hint hint ;-)

    Thank you both for stopping by to keep Wendy company!

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