This week it is my pleasure to interview Helen Mathey-Horn. Would you please introduce yourself to my readers, Helen and share something about your life.
I grew up in Northern Illinois but was lucky enough to get hired by the Department of Defense Dependent Schools and teach overseas on US military bases. I had a chance to experience the cultures of Italy, Germany and Japan on a day to day basis.
When did you write your first book and how did it come about?
I don't remember the exact summer I wrote my first book. I was home for the summer in the later 1980's visiting my parents and my mother had just set up a computer. After reading about 3 books per day for 3 days I told my mother I thought I could write as well as any of the authors I was reading. She told me to go for it. So I did.
Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?
Primarily I've written in two genres; historical romance and scifi fiction.
When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?
Usually I have an idea or see a particular scene in my mind, then start writing. Many times the stories seem to take on a life of their own and I end up going places I had not originally planned on.
Would you like to give us a short excerpt from one of your books?
The flames leapt higher, devouring as they climbed. Weakened masonry crashed and its booms mingled with the grunts, oaths and clanging metal of the men fighting in the flickering flame light. The fire gleamed off coppery curls as a tall warrior swung and cut a path through the fighting men. His presence brought cheers from his own and redoubled efforts by the men he opposed. Swords ran with blood as bright as the flames that hungrily consumed the keep, as bright as the hair of the man who conquered it.
The sleeping figure sat upright with a jerk and a moan, and then tossed back the fur throw. Stepping quickly over the cold stones, the shape carefully opened the shutter a crack to eye the courtyard. All was quiet. Nothing moved. The shutter was closed cautiously. The form moved away and pulled on woolen hose hopping one-footed in haste as the fabric reluctantly caught on a toe. A heavy wool tunic went over the head and had hardly settled when arms thrust through the armholes of a thickly padded jerkin. The faint jangle of metal rings was heard as an overcoat of mail dropped its weight on the shoulders.
The warrior cinched tight a belt, which held a sword in its scabbard and a sheathed dagger, before digging more slowly through a trunk, stopping to occasionally hold up a cape to the firelight inspection before finding one that satisfied. Pulling on boots and gloves and lastly donning a steel helmet, the shadowy figure snatched up the woolen cloak and a pack in the left hand and exited the room reflexively checking the slide of the sword in its scabbard.
Who is your favorite character and why?
Probably Teryn, a psychic, female warrior who is very capable of handling weaponry, but not so certain about her past. Then there is Rabisle who is a fun loving, red-headed mercenary trying to take Teryn back to his lord for a fee. After that Lauri, Teryn's granddaughter, who does not inherit her family's psychic abilities, although she is very capable with weapons and seems to be a magnet for problems.
Which of your books gave you the most pleasure to write?
The current one? I've enjoyed them all.
What is the best marketing tip you have received?
To reach as many book reviewers as possible.
How would you describe yourself?
Retired science/mathematics teacher.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
Garden, paint, spin wool into yarn, walk the dog.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
lol, I've lived in Italy (near Pisa-Livorno), Germany (Flensburg, Darmstadt, Wuerzburg, eastern Bavaria) and Japan (Iwakuni and Tokyo area) so a holiday...maybe Iceland, because they have sheep, a culture I think I would like and I've never been there.
If you have owned pets, do you have a funny story you would like to share with us?
I have a pound puppy, Apache, a tortie cat, Pepper, and a white cat, Angel. I don't know if it is funny, but everyone I meet walking thinks it's strange, that Pepper walks with Apache and me when we are on our twice a day walks. I don't think it is strange because she is the third cat I've had over the years that wants to walk with me. Don't know if I'm just slow or what.
What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
I want it to get my interest right away. I used to save reading fiction books for the summer, because I know once I'm hooked, I'll read straight through to the end and that wasn't a good thing to do on a school night.
Do you have your own website? Yes, http://helenmatheyhornbooks.com/
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I have several books that are partially completed. I have several that are completed and need a last edit.
Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I'm just getting into this so, I guess the answer is no.
Here is the link to the book Laurel.