Friday, August 2, 2013

Author Interview: Nye Joell Hardy

When we have new contributing authors for Martinus Publishing anthologies, I always like to do a basic introductory interview.  Today, I'm interviewing  Nye Joell Hardy, an excellent author who contributed two short stories to "Quests, Curses, & Vengeance."  Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Nye.

MTI:  Starting off, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

NYE:  Thank you, Martin.  Given that I consider myself a writer, I find it very hard to sum myself up well in words.  Let me pick through the current list. (Russian-Scotch-Irish extraction, 48-year old redhead, Bokononist, Biologist, Central Californian, married in Wales, great affection for things that almost weren’t or weren’t really, job in agriculture but loathes sunlight and has terrible Spanish, working for monstrous corporation…) 

Hmmm.  Too messy.  Let’s go with writing credits.

I have been selling stories since 1996, and my first sold story, “Praxitales” in Absolute Magnitude was a runner-up for the Sturgeon Award that year.  Since then I have SLOWLY been selling short stories and poems to very nice magazines like Nature and Black Gate.  My YA fantasy novel The Crows of Bedu was published by Pill Hill Press in 2010.

MTI:  Getting down to business; what first compelled you to weave fiction, and what's your favorite type of story to write?

NYE:  Like many writers, it is just something I must do or I will explode like the Death Star. Writing stories began in pre-school, before I could spell.  (This did not keep me from writing.) I love making stories that have many interweaving pieces that come together to tell their own story… like a stained glass window or a quilt.

MTI:  Tell me, if you had to pick just one author who has influenced or inspired you, who would it be?

NYE:  Roger Zelazny

MTI:  Your stories, "Curse of the Bottle" and "Revenge, Inc." both appear in Quests, Curses, & Vengeance, an anthology of eclectic stories from high fantasy to imaginative sci-fi adventures and even supernatural horror.  You had the opportunity to read many of these stories in their original, rough draft form.  If you could, point out a few of your favorites.

These original stories were part of your Spring writing competition, so I’ve only read a third of them.  But of those, I really enjoyed the “quest” story “More Precious than Rubies” by Chris Allinotte: truly entertaining and enjoyable from start to finish, and this is from someone who is Definitely Not a Quest Person. 

“The Long Night” by Shawn Cook, a “curse” story also pleased me greatly because it gave a nod to mythologies that have not been hacked to death (and this is from someone who is a Mythology Hacking Person). And “But I Know We’ll Meet Again Some Sunny Day,” by Lauren A. Forry, is beautiful and vengeful in a poetic Twilight Zone sort of way, which I think I especially bonded with because I am a Twilight Zone Inhabitant.

I think the most appealing things about these stories is that given the wide interpretation of the themes, it really allowed me to step out of my reading comfort zone and have a wonderful time.

MTI:  Shifting back to your writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?

NYE:  Sorrow and despondency.  Because my life is squeezing me for time (time to work, time to exercise, time to read, time to be with my husband, time to play with my pets, time to visit friends, time to do chores, time to sit quietly with my thoughts, time time time), I’ve decided that for the next year, I am putting my big writing projects on hold. To keep the creative embers burning until I can dedicate more time to writing, I am writing a poem a day.

Since there are only
Nineteen words in a Haiku
It gives me relief

MTI:  Of everything you’ve written thus far, do you happen to have a “favorite” piece of fiction?

NYE:  My stories are like my kids: it pains me to pick a favorite, even though some of them are obviously high achievers (The Crows of Bedu, “Press ‘1’ to Begin”) and some of them really do need to be held back a grade (“Blind Lion).  However, I felt something special within “Revenge, Inc.”  I want to expand that one into a novel… perhaps in the next few years.

MTI:  Your novel, "The Crows of Bedu," was published by Pill Hill Press a few years ago.  Do you have any plans to release a second printing of this work (either with a new press or self-publishing) now that PHP is closing down and reverting book publishing rights back to their respective authors?

NYE:  That is a marvelous idea.  I just need time…

MTI:  Other than the two stories appearing in Quests, Curses, & Vengeance, do you have any other stories being published in the near future?

NYE:  I did just submit a poem…

MTI:  On a lighter note, have you watched any good tv lately?

NYE:  I am in love with a couple of shows that are Really Not Well Done (low budget, not great acting), but the story lines are satisfying.  “Stephen King’s Inside the Dome” and “Being Human” (the British version).

MTI:  I've heard a lot of good things about the British version of Being Human.  I tried to watch "Inside the Dome," but for whatever reason it just didn't click with me.  Maybe I'll give it another try sometime.

How about music?

NYE:  Abney Park!  Captain Robert’s voice just sends chills through me every time.  And the steampunk music scene is really fun. 

MTI:  And if you would, name three movies that you could watch over and over again and not be bored?

NYE:  Okay.  This is starting to feel like a psychology exam.  This is not going to say good things about my psyche, but…

Point Break
Point of No Return
The Fifth Element

MTI:  Ah, yes, The Fifth Element is a cult classic.  Bruce Willis in a Sci-Fi film that makes fun of itself.  Good stuff.

You’ve got the attention of potential readers.  Is there anything you’d like to say to them, perhaps something to pique their interest in your work?

NYE:  I know where you live!

Okay. That’s not really true. 

It is my personal quest to always write “tattered books,” fantasy and science fiction that you read over and over again until they are in tattered pieces because they mean so much to you. 

You know who you are.

MTI:  As we wrap up this interview, do you happen to have a short sample for our readers?  Nothing too long, but maybe a few fresh paragraphs?

NYE:  You know what?  I take it back.  I DO have a favorite story: Leader, Protector, Master.  Here is a piece.

Sentias were essentially living nerve-like nets that grew into plants, and up the sides of buildings if there was ivy to hide in, and especially on the cathedral spires that, in the darkness, seemed to pop up everywhere like glowing stalagmites. Like the earliest settlers of Athabasca, Ramsey as a little girl had thought their glittering meant they talked to one another, but they were not sentient, as their name implied.

Just pretty, and no help at all.  Ramsey felt the bearded man watching her. She refused to look at him, or at her wrist, which throbbed with her pulse. Who is he?  What does that uniform mean?  She had believed him when he had said he wasn’t Politeness of Kings because he’d seemed insulted by the idea. However, she knew his uniform signified something – something more important than the local law enforcement or court systems.

Moreover, there was the limousine itself.  Private vehicles were rare in Athabasca – oddly enough because of the sentias, who needed to be protected from any strong electrical fields thrown off by engines and electronics.  A private vehicle meant special engineering and a vast amount of wealth.  Only a few guilds and associations could afford such things, and Ramsey thought she knew all the uniforms and insignias. 

And did the Thieves Guild wear uniforms?  She thought not. 

NYE:  Martin, thank you again for interviewing me.  It was fun!

MTI:  And thank you for the excellent answers.  For those who want to check out a couple of Nye's recent stories, pick up a copy of Quests, Curses, & Vengeance.

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