Author Interview: H. T. Lyon

It’s time for another Blog World Tour: Science Fiction edition interview! Today, please welcome H. T. Lyon, a science fiction writer with an optimistic view on the future of our world.

Thank you for being here today, H. T. Let’s dive into the questions!

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I definitely write part time. I have a busy full-time job that I love so it can make finding time for writing difficult. I’d like to earn money from writing, but I’m being realistic about the chances of that. That’s one of the reasons to self-publish; I can control the input and efforts and build a stable of works over time. There is extra effort in self-publishing, but from what I have seen, it’s not greater than the effort put in to secure a publisher.

Speaking as someone who has wandered down both publishing paths, I can definitely say that there’s a lot of effort in both trad and self-publishing. I’m in the self-publishing field, myself–I love the freedom and control it gives me in terms of handling my work and how it’s presented to the world.

I also write part-time currently, and one of the issues I’ve run into is that less time to write means less time to deal with that one thing all writers dread–writer’s block. Do you ever get writer’s block, and if so, do you have any tips for getting through it?

I do get stymied on particular works and usually it’s in a particular scene that it happens. If I get writer’s block like this, then I find switching to another work is a good way to break out of it. I have some novels on the go as well as some shorter works. If I get writer’s block in general, I switch to something else like editing. There’s a lot to do and always some way to move forward. The only ‘writer’s block’ I truly can’t get past is fatigue. If I’m dead tired, I can’t write. Also, a secret for those whose writer’s block gets in the way of writing anything at all–start in the middle. Start at the most fun and exciting part of your book, not at the beginning. Beginnings are hard. Also, who knows, the fun and exciting bit may in fact turn out to be the best place to start the story anyway.

That’s good advice! I also bounce between projects to fight off writer’s block…and because I enjoy working on multiple projects at once. Even if it means sometimes my characters start fighting over whose story is more important… When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I start with them then move onto plot second. Characters come a long way down the track so there isn’t a lot of opportunity to come into their own early. What this means is that they definitely develop as the writing progresses. That’s not to say that they aren’t strong characters in the end, it just means that they are more formed by the needs of the plot and the message of the theme that I want to send. Also because I develop characters late, it means I can make sure that there is diversity in my work, something which is important to me. There’s so many male Anglo Saxon heroes in the world and I like the idea of writing for people who may not get to see main characters who are like them.

That’s a good way to do it! I like that you focus on making your work more diverse. I think your readers will appreciate that.

Now for one of my favorite questions… Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Anything that you can do that others either can’t (or are afraid to) do is a gift. It’s a gift if you can cook well, garden well, tune an engine. Any skill is a gift to be cherished and valued. Writing is just another skill, and yes, I treasure it.

Great answer! I agree; skills are to be treasured. *clock chimes* Oh, we’re almost at the end of the interview! Time for one last question, a fun one to wrap things up with: What is your favorite movie and why?

I’m probably the only person who has this as a favorite movie but I love 2010 the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. There’s a scene with the two ships in orbit around Jupiter where they run a line between the two vessels and some astronauts make the journey across the wire. I love that scene and as a result, I love the whole movie. It is one scene that provides the best and most believable vision of what could happen in the future, some astronauts transiting a tether to a second ship. I love to have a positive view of the future and part of that is that we colonize the solar system and this single scene is the best depiction I can find of what may happen when we do. I think of it as news from the future.

I hadn’t known that they made 2010 into a movie! I’ve read the entire series, though, and enjoyed them.

Thank you so much for being here today, H. T! I wish you the best with your writing!

About H. T. Lyon
I am aspiring writer of science fiction. A futurist with a keen interest in where our society is heading, I tend focus most of my attention on stories that examine the direction our society is taking or that shows where we could end up. Optimistic by nature, I believe that one day we will look to settle the Solar System as we outgrow our planet and some of my stories examine how this could look. Currently, I have a number of novels underway and some short stories. My aim is to get one of these up and published before the end of the year around the other commitments that exist in my life.Visit my blog for a perspective on what interests me.