Spring is in the air my dears, and the joy of picnics and laying out in the grass reading new stories by new authors. It’s another Writer’s World, this month with Heather Hayden.
A Little More About Heather:
Though a part-time editor by day, Heather Hayden’s not-so-secret identity is that of a writer—at night she pours heart and soul into science fiction and fantasy novels. In March 2015 she published her first novella, Augment, a YA science fiction story filled with excitement, danger, and the strength of friendship. She immediately began work on its sequel, Upgrade, which continues the adventures of Viki, a girl who loves to run, and her friend Halle, an AI. Her latest release is a short story “Beneath His Skin,” which is part of an anthology her writer’s group put together called From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings. You can learn more about Heather and her stories through her blog and her Twitter, both of which consist of equal amounts of writerly things and random stuff she’s interested in.
Welcome to my online home, Heather. If one of your protagonists were transported to our world in the modern day, what would they think?
That would depend on which story they were coming from. If, say, Halle from Augment were to appear in our world, it would find itself quite lost—the Internet is huge by our standards, but much, much smaller and less widespread than the Cloud that exists in its world. Viki, its friend, might find our world primitive, but would probably have a better time fitting in… However, her implants would not be treatable here, so ultimately it wouldn’t be a good experience for her. An astral, from The Astrals (working title), might also find it an odd experience—since no one here believes in the astrals, she or he wouldn’t be able to use their powers. Not to mention how terrifying some of our technology would seem!
Sounds like you’ve thought a lot about your worlds. What inspires your world-building?
I love creating new worlds, whether in the future or on a different world entirely. Sometimes I’m inspired by things I see around me, or things I read or see in books, movies, tv shows, or on the news, other times my imagination just wanders off and comes back with brilliant ideas for how this or that could work.
What would you do if you could wield the magic you have written?
Hm, which magic? I’ve got a variety of kinds scattered through my different stories. If I could choose one, though, I would probably want to be able to either have the ability to fly, transform, or manipulate water (better swimmer, no drowning.) I’ve always wanted to have wings—but with the caveat of being able to make them disappear when I’m not using them, since I don’t think they’d be very comfortable for sleeping!
I agree. I’ve always side-eyed human shaped characters with permanently attached wings, as they rarely seem to deal with problems getting around on foot. What is your favorite scene you’ve ever written?
That’s a tough question! How do I even pick something like that? One of them definitely would be writing from Halle’s point-of-view in Augment and Upgrade—it’s been challenging to describe its world in terms that don’t get too technical for people to follow, but really rewarding at the same time. So I think any of the scenes where I captured its world would count. I also loved the opening of Augment, with Viki running down the street—I love running and although I’m not nearly as good as her, I tried to capture my passion for it in that scene.
Wow, describing the view of an AI would have to be difficult, but I know it can be so much fun to dive into a truly alien character. What is your favorite motivational phrase? “It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.” CJ Cherryh, my favorite science fiction author, said this, and she’s absolutely right. Or at least, her words resonate with me. As a pantser, my first drafts are sometimes quite messy, but editing is where I clean it until it sparkles.
Editing is actually my favorite part Thank you so much for joining me, Heather. Cheers to all of you out there, and here’s hoping that as the seasons change you’re enjoying whatever the weather and life brings you.