Please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, I spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. I am married and had my first little girl in January this year.
How did you come up with the title of “Amendments”?
The novel is based on the concept that everyone may make two amendments to their past life in an attempt to erase their mistakes, without knowing the impact this will have on their future. So I guess the novel’s name kind of took care of itself.
What is your favorite character of “Amendments”?
Without a doubt Finola. I’ve actually had people email me to say how much they dislike her, which surprises me as I see her as quite a sympathetic character who is just very flawed and struggling to make the right decisions.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
I like to write with elements of speculative or science fiction. I think it’s something to do with the ability to say, ‘What if?’ What if time travel were possible? What if people behaved in this way? I like the challenge that comes with skewing a new world and yet managing to keep it all believable and convincing.
How would you describe your writing style?
Generally I guess I’d say it is fairly descriptive, and I like to think that I build up my stories slowly adding layers throughout. I tend to leave space for the readers to add their own interpretations to the story and I very rarely spell things straight out, which often leads to great debates over what may or may not have happened. I also always try to create characters that are relatable, and for that, I feel their flaws must be explored alongside their more positive attributes.
What authors inspire your writing? Do you have a mentor?
Attwood and Murakami have always very inspirational to me, both for their fantastic writing, but also for their commitment to more diverse and abstract stories, that often seem to push against what seems commercially viable. Amiee Bender is another author who has the ability to suspend a reader’s disbelief to such an extraordinary level.
Although not specifically mentors I have been lucky enough to be part of some fantastic writing groups over the years, that have provided me with endless encouragement as well as very honest feed back.
What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?
Well before I decided to commit full-time to writing I was a physics teacher, a career I found thoroughly rewarding, so that is one option. But really I would love to own a little sweet shop, which I’d call ‘Just One More’.
What are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on a follow up to Amendments. It is not a direct sequel exactly, but it is set in the same world. While Amendments is about coping with lose and dealing with consequences, this story is about making choices and responsibility that come with them.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just write. Everyday sit down and write your target amount of words. It doesn’t matter if they are not great, just get them written. And once you’ve the written, edit, edit, edit.
Stephen King’s book, A Memoir of the Craft, is a fantastic guide to the practical elements of writing.
If you have to choose only one book to keep, knowing the others would be destroyed, which one would you save?
Destroy books? No never!
If it were non-fiction I would have to keep The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. It is an inspirational story that shows just how powerful the human will is, and how anything is achievable if you are truly determined. If it had to be fictional that would be trickier, perhaps the Maddaddam Trilogy, or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. But now I have a daughter and there are so many books I want her to read growing up – The Faraway Tree, Harry Potter, Artemis Fowel. No sorry, I can’t decide!
Thank you very much H.M. Lynn for stopping by to answer our questions!
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