Cate: Please welcome Hywela Lyn to my special Halloween celebration. Lyn, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
LYN: Hi Cate, thanks so much for inviting me to be part of your Halloween celebration. Hmm let’s see. I’m a UK author of futuristic and fantasy romance. I’m Welsh, although I’ve lived in a small village in England since I married my husband, Dave. I write as ‘Hywela Lyn’ but I’ve always been known by my second Christian name, Lyn. I love the outdoors and the countryside, all animals, especially horses and dogs and despite being a Brit, I love Western riding. The beautiful and wild landscapes of my native Wales, as well as its wealth of myths and legends, inspired much of my writing. I love writing about strong heroines who are not afraid to retain their femininity and heroes with an air of mystery about them. I usually manage to squeeze a horse or some cute alien critter into all my stories.
I have two novels published with The Wild Rose Press, ‘Starquest’ and ‘Children Of The Mist’. I’m currently finishing my revisions of the long overdue third story in the series.
Cate: What do you love most about Halloween?
LYN: The fun of seeing the little ones all dressed up and excited, and scary stories being told on the internet!
Cate: The kids are adorable. :) Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
LYN: We didn’t do much for Halloween when I was a kid, it’s only in recent years that Halloween has really taken off in the UK, but we did dress up and go Trick or Treating, although it wasn’t really much of a big deal then. In recently years though, I became friendly with the late Sharon Donovan. She loved Halloween so much and having lost her sight through Diabetes, she asked me to decorate her blog for Halloween. I loved doing this and Halloween always reminds me of the on-line fun we had together. My only regret is that we never managed to meet up, since she passed away before I could visit, although I did travel to the US and met her parents, along with Mary Ricksen, who was also a close friend of Sharon. Sharon sent me a lovely gold ‘Cleopatra’ masquerade mask and I wear it every Halloween in her honour.
Cate: Sharon was such a sweetie. *sniff* We all miss her. Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
LYN: Funny you should say that. There is an old mansion in Wales called Gregynnog. It’s a beautiful old Elizabethan house with extensive grounds. The University of Wales in Aberystwyth frequently held writing weekends there and during one of these a friend and I were walking in the grounds; I took some photographs of him and he took some of me, standing by a large sculpture of a hand (the sculpture seemed a little weird and out of place in the formal gardens but the students had thought it a good idea.) When the pictures were printed, those of my friend were just a normal picture of someone standing by the statue, with a blue sky and shrubbery behind – but one of me looked as if a mist had come swirling down behind me – and in the shrubbery was the shadowy form of a lady in a long, flowing dress. Not everyone could see it but to those that could see it, it was quite clear. I found out that the mansion was supposedly haunted by the ghost of a lady who had owned it but whose family had fallen on hard times several hundred years previously and had to leave. Apparently she was so sad at losing her home, she came back to haunt it after her death. I think that’s rather sad, and I have to say I did feel a ‘presence’ in the house but it was a warm, welcoming one. Not all ghosts are scary!
Cate: Love that! I so would love to visit Wales. :) What frightens you the most?
LYN: Complete darkness. I have too vivid an imagination!
Cate: Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
LYN: No, unfortunately, although I’d like to. The nearest I’ve got was visiting the underground passages in Exeter – although the stables of another reputedly haunted house, Nanteos, where I used to keep my horses, used to resound with the sound of an unearthly screeching late at night. One of the other horse owners, who lived in a flat above the stables, said it was the sound of ‘souls of the damned in torment’. It turned out the unearthly banshee wailing was screech owls, but it was quite unnerving if you didn’t know that!
Cate: I can imagine, lol. Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
LYN: I don’t have a recent release at the moment, unfortunately (I’m still working on that) but I have self-published the story I wrote for ‘The Song Of The Muses’ series, having had my rights back, and one of my favourite excerpts is based on an ancient Welsh legend of demons known as the ‘Ellidan’ who lured unwary wanderers into the bog, to their doom.
Cate: Very cool! Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
LYN: Here’s the excerpt from ‘Dancing With Fate, which I mentioned above:
The sparks of light appeared a few hours before dawn. Terpsichore looked across to where she could just make out Myrddin, lying close to the fire, apparently asleep. She stood and wrapped her brat around her shoulders. What unearthly lights were these? In the name of Hades, she had never seen anything like this before. She watched them, swooping and dancing. They seemed to beckon to her. She walked forward a few steps. This was not natural. She sensed evil, but of a kind she had never come across before.
She tried to turn her head, to look away and move back to the fire. Some force compelled her to keep staring at them, to move forward. Further and further from the campfire she wandered. The air grew chill and she pulled her brat more closely around her. The flickering lights gyrated in a wild dance, inviting her to follow them. Dawn was approaching. In the dim early morning light, she could make out demon faces, red glowing eyes, hands outstretched, with flames at their fingertips.
She recoiled in horror. Somewhere in her subconscious, she knew she was in deadly danger, but still she moved forward. They summoned her to follow and she could not help but obey. She tried to call to Apollo, and her father, but her mind was numb. She could reach no one on Olympus.
"Myrddin!" No sound came from her lips. Still, a strange unearthly power obliged her to walk forward toward those eerie, mesmerizing points of light.
The ground grew soft beneath her feet. Cold mud oozed between her bare toes. The further she walked, the deeper the mud became; eventually, she realized she was up to her waist in chill, muddy water, and she was powerless to turn back, or even to move any more.
Zeus, oh, Father, please help me...don't desert me now.
For the first time in her eternal life, she knew fear. These creatures of nameless evil had her trapped. They would drag her down to the underworld and she would never see Olympus or her family again.
Then strong arms encircled her, swung her round.
"Cora, look at me." She gazed into two pools of azure blue, filled with concern, and a pale face set in resolve. Still she had an irresistible urge to look at those weird, flickering lights. She turned her head, and at the same moment, there was a flash like lightning. The ground behind her burst into a wall of blue flame. It blotted out everything, engulfing the demonic lights and the hideous forms that a moment before had lured her onward.
"Look at me. Look at me...don't look back again."
Before she could reply, he swept her up and carried her back toward the campfire.
Eos in her chariot had started her journey across the sky and the pearly light showed their camp and the two horses grazing nearby. Never had anything looked so welcome. Never had Terpsichore felt so safe in a man's arms.
He set her down, near the fire, and wrapped his own brat around her. He wore only his truis, and was bare-chested. "You're trembling, you'll catch your death of cold...but that would be better than the fate which almost befell you."
Cate: Gorgeous cover. :) What inspired you to write about the theme?
LYN: I love writing fantasy, although my previously published books and the one I am currently working on, are Romantic Science Fiction, albeit, with a touch of Fantasy. When I first thought about collaborating in the ‘Song Of The Muses’ series, I was intrigued by the idea of sending a Greek muse to 5th century Wales, and gradually I began to weave in elements of Welsh mythology and the Arthurian legends. The research was such fun and I got quite attached to the characters, despite the otherworldly ordeals I put them through!
Thank you for having me on your beautiful blog, Cate, and I hope you and your readers have a very happy spooky Halloween!
I’ll get the Random Generator to pick the writer of one comment and the winner can choose a download of any of my books.
Cate: Very cool! Readers, don't forget to leave your email address. :)
Thanks so much for partying with us, Lyn! Hope you have a spooktacular Halloween!