Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ned Hayes Interview

Below the interview with Ned Hayes. You will love what he has to say.

Also check out my book review page. I have updated it, I added to the list of books I have reviewed. 

There is also my page I have set up for New Book Releases. I decided to let you all know what books are out there. Maybe you didn't know what was released or missed a release. I have a few on there and also the descriptions of the book. So far I have the first 6 months, so if you know of more books or ones I have missed for this time frame, please let me know. I will post them as well. I am sure I didn't get them all.  

Now for the interview.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ned Hayes. He has a new novel out called Sinful Folk. I, of course, had to go out and get this book so I can read it. I am enjoying it completely. I am extra happy because he happens to live in the same state as I do. He is the first writer I might be able to meet face to face one day. You know, book signing and stuff like that. Anyway below is my questions and his answers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Very insightful.

1. Tell us about yourself?

I'm a novelist with a great interest in feminist historical fiction. In my (not so copious) spare time, I'm a husband and father, with a very supportive wife and two amazing kids. I work in technology, when I'm not writing historical novels.  

Here's the official bio from my website: NedNote.com 

Ned Hayes has been called a “master storyteller” and an “marvelous suspense writer” by Pulitzer-Prize winning authors, best-selling writers, and nationally-known reviewers. His historical novel Sinful Folk was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarter-Finalist and Semi-Finalist (2012), and went on to sell over 2,000 copies in the first month of publication. He continues to receive laudatory Amazon and print publication reviews for his suspenseful writing, lyrical writing and powerful characters. His work has been featured in Huffington Post Books, in Book Note, and other places online.  You can read reviews here.

2. Tell us about your just released book?

My historical novel Sinful Folk was inspired by my graduate studies of medieval English literature, where I learned a strange and terrible journey that took place in 1377. I wrote the first page of the novel, and then had no idea where the story went from there, and put the manuscript down for over 10 years. Then in 2009, I came back to the idea and wrote the whole first draft in a very fast 6 months. 

I've been very gratified to have the support of my family, and of bestselling novelists and notable writers such as Karen Maitland, Ella March Chase, Brenda Vantrease and Pulitzer Prize winner William Dietrich, to encourage me along the way. All of them read the book, and wrote marvelous endorsements for the published book! I'm especially grateful to Kathryn Le Veque, who loved the book so much, she put an excerpt of Sinful Folk as a "teaser" at the end of her novel Lord of Light this winter.

Sinful Folk is the story of a group of villagers who undertook a desperate mid-winter journey with their dead children all the way across England to the King’s throne. Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, has her own reasons for going along on this quest. Yet one by one, all her secrets come out, and she finds the strength to claim her birthright, and accuse the murderer. 

Sinful Folk became the story of one woman surmounting great odds and fighting her way forward against a tide of cultural, social and class assumptions. I really grew to love Mear, my main character, and admire her perseverance. 

3. When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

Yes, a great deal of thought goes into character naming. If you've read my mystery novel Coeur d'Alene Waters, you'll see the irony in my character names in that book, especially with Matt and Russell, my main characters. And in Sinful Folk there are definitely good reasons to find a name that represents all of Mear's cultural, religious and gender heritage. Her name carries a lot of weight -- both her real name (Miriam) and her nickname (Mear). 

4. Out of your books, which is your favorite book, and why?

Sinful Folk is really my favorite of the novels I've been able to publish. It is a complex story about one character and her struggles, and it's been gratifying to have other readers experience what I was attempting to portray -- as when Historical Novels Reviews called it both "riveting" and "poetic."  That reaction really made the book my favorite.

5. What book, either Coeur d’Alene Waters, or Sinful Folk, want made into a movie and who would play the main characters? (if you had the option)

I'm actually hoping to land either Emma Thompson OR Charlize Theron in the lead role for Sinful Folk.  It's a powerful role for a middle-aged woman, and I think either actress would eat up the role.

6. Do you have any tips for our readers that might dream of writing?

Persevere. Always keep writing. Always keep listening to people who have negative feedback -- that's what helps you grow. And write because you must, not because you are seeking fame and fortune.

7. Tell us anything you want?

What Really Matters - One Mother’s Story

Yesterday, I was at my daughter’s school. One of her teachers nicely asked about my book SINFUL FOLK. Here’s what I said: “The book is set in the 14th century - the Middle Ages - it’s about a former nun who has lived in secret for 10 years. Then her son is killed, and she goes on a terrible journey to find out the truth about her life, and prove that her son’s life mattered.”
The teacher looked at me and cocked her head to the side. “That’s so different,” she said. “I thought since you work in business, you’d write a techno-thriller or something like that. Why this story?”
It’s a great question.

For several years, I commuted from my home in Olympia to Seattle. I rode the commuter train an hour each way. I worked a demanding job in high-tech with some very smart people. Lots of email, many hours on spreadsheets and business plans. Your busy job in today’s world is probably pretty similar!

But for an hour a day on the train each way, each day, I had time to think.
And I started thinking about what really matters: Mothers. Children. Friends. Love. Our connection to each other. Our legacy in our children. 

I wanted to write a story about these things. Not about software, or iPads, or spreadsheets. I didn’t want to write about the ephemera of modern life — even though I love books like The Future of Us.
I wanted to focus the lens tighter. What happens when you strip life down to its essentials?
And I remembered a bit of history from the 14th century. Children died in a tragic house fire in a distant village. The families were in such agony that they took their dead children across England to the King’s throne to demand justice!

I could imagine their pain. The torture of losing your child. Their angry search for answers.
Children. Families. Loyalties divided in a village.

In the Middle Ages, there was no Facebook to distract, no email, no websites. Just the realities of what really matters.

So I started writing, in the early hours, as my train wended its way through the misty countryside.
The story became about one woman’s story. One mother loving her child. One tragedy. One relentless urge to find answers.

I wrote my book Sinful Folk because I wanted to think deeply about children, mothers, families, and loyalty. How far would a mother go to protect her child’s memory?
The character of Mear showed me what strength is hidden in the most unlikely heroines. She showed me how strong a mother can be. What power can be concealed in silence. She showed me what really matters.

Thanks for asking!

(Edited 5/21/14)
Thursdays I will be adding a new Thought of my Day post. Also Monday the 26th I have a new interview lined up. I am hoping you like her books as much as I do. I will not say who, but I am sure you will be as excited as I am to hear her answers to my questions.

Have a question you think I should ask, let me know. I might use it in my next interview.

Have a great week and see you Wednesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment