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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Giveaway / Interview: Hedgeland

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Hedgeland Blurb.
Hedgeland, an urban fantasy of time travel. Dr April Neuland, a Professor of Ancient Languages turned non-fiction writer, has been plagued by dreams all her life, dreams of her past life in the Otherworld. Meanwhile, in a parallel dimension of April's past and Caridwen's future, Worthing, a Future History Professor, has allied with the Military to access Future Internet communications and use new technology to influence April to write an ebook novel revealing where she, in her past life as Caridwen, hid the Kiste, a device to travel through time and space. Hedgeland weaves all three time/space frames: Caridwen, Worthing, and April. Hedgeland is the first in the Hedgecraft Sequence, but is a fully self contained novel with no cliff hangers.

Author Dr Ann Nyland was on Faculty at the University of New England, Australia. She is a grammar pedant, ancient languages translator, and best selling non-fiction author of such books as The Complete Books of EnochAngels, Archangels and Angel Categories: What the Ancients SaidThe Book of JubileesA Devil of a Job to Find Satan in the Bible, among others.

Hello Ann!
Welcome to Bewitching Books! I am so happy to be apart of the blog tour!
Thanks for having me, Kati. I'm thrilled to be here as I love your blog and have been following it for a while.

Would you like to start by telling everyone a little bit about yourself?
I have 3 kids just grown up, am divorced, with 2 rescue cats and 8 horses. I'm a hopeless romantic - a really bad hopeless romantic. I have a passion for grammar. I get very upset by bad grammar and send emails to television stations correcting their newsreaders' grammar. Hedgeland is my first novel. I used to teach ancient Greek grammar and ancient history at a university in Australia.

How about the latest news on you?
I am busy writing Book Two of the Hedgecraft Sequence and will have another book, Penelope, out this year.

When you’re not writing what do you do to unwind?
I do stuff with my horses and watch mindless TV but only watch movies with happy endings. I am a Kindle junkie, and constantly buy ebooks. I fall sleep reading books every night. I also love to read ancient Greek grammar books.

What inspired you to write your latest book?
The "Present" section of Hedgeland is largely autobiographical and I wanted this also as a literary effect. In the book, my housemate harassed me to write a novel, and this in fact happened. I am actually the character "April" in the Present section, and I have had dreams exactly as I describe in the book.

What authors influenced you?
Homer and Virgil mainly. I'm from a long line of Classical language scholars, and my father taught me Latin before English. When I was a little child, he was doing his Masters in botanical terms in Virgil, of all things, and this had a bizarre effect on me. I am influenced by the ancient Greeks - Aristophanes, Sophocles, Euripides, Sappho, Theokritos - plus throw in the Roman, Virgil - I like his Eclogues. I love ancient poetry.

What is your all time favorite Quote?
"Aphrodite, come now, free me
I implore
ease my grief
bring my love-struck heart relief
favor my hidden fires
and give me all my love's desires."
(Sappho, Fragment 1, Ode to Aphrodite.)

Is your book different to your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes, as the settings in my book are factual from an historical perspective. The Caridwen section is based on the history of the Sidhe - actual researched history, not popular Wiki-type pop history. At one point Caridwen goes forward in time to ancient Greece, and the setting is the Delphic oracle. This is historically accurate too. The ancient Celtic likewise is historically accurate.
In the "Present" section, the urban fantasy paranormal section, I have kept to stuff that could actually happen and does not require much, if any, suspension of belief.

What are you reading right now?
I am reading Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.

What are you most excited about this year?
The next two books in the Hedgecraft Sequence.

What is the worst job you have ever had?
Retraining horses that were considered wild due to previous bad experiences with humans. One racehorse mare seemed quite nice until I put a saddle on her, then she kicked me so hard in the stomach that I flew backwards and broke the rails of the round yard. The doctor said she missed killing me by "that much" (to quote Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86).

Your favorite character?
In my book, my favorite character is Worthing, and in another's book, I like Temperance Brennan in the Kathy Reichs books.

What was the first story you can remember that you really got into and had to write?
When I was eight, I wrote a non-fiction story about the different breeds of horses. My story was on green paper and I insisted my mother send it to a publisher. I actually received my first rejection slip as a result, but they were very nice and suggested white paper would be better.

What is the one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
An ability to stick it out, no matter what. A writer needs determination. If someone wants to write, then that person should let nothing stand in their way. Find ways to get around any shortcomings. If someone's grammar stinks, for example, they could get an editor. Even if someone is completely and utterly broke, they could swap their services or sell their grandmother's antique, whatever, for the services of an editor. There is always a way around everything. Write what you like to write, even if everyone you know says it is weird.

Your books would be perfect for people who like....
Dr Who! My books would suit anyone who likes science fiction, urban fantasy, or time travel. My books would suit anyone who is interested in the Sidhe - faerie.

What author in the same genre as you do you think is going to be the next big thing?
Me! :-)

When did you start ''seriously'' writing?
I started writing "serious" stuff as an undergrad but had been writing for magazines for years prior to that.

Funniest question you have ever been asked?
I was being interviewed on a talk show on Australian television about a 3,400 year old Hittite horse training text which I had translated then replicated with 10 Arabian horses over 7 months, and the interviewer asked me if this was a "new" method.

What happened while writing one of your books that you did not expect?
While writing Hedgeland, I stopped running and working out, and instead ate huge amounts of ice cream, although I am dairy intolerant.

Was their a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?
Yes, about Penelope, another book I'm writing. It is a mythic fiction paranormal romance and will be released this year. Penelope is based on Homer's Odyssey. In the Odyssey, the warrior Odysseus takes 20 years to return home after the Trojan War, and during this time has a good time sleeping around. However, his wife Penelope is expected to stay faithful to him. Even today, commentators do not find Odysseus' behavior unreasonable. What the! I have written this romance from Penelope's perspective, and in my version, she has a far better time, does not stay faithful to Odysseus, and I like the ending.

Ann you are amazing! Thank you, again for being here!
Thanks for having me, Kati! I very much enjoyed your questions! This was fun. :-)


Komal Mansoor said...

She seems lot of fun!:) Nice interview!


Belinda said...

What a great interview! I loved it!

Anonymous said...

Love the interview.

Denise said...

Thanks for the great interview. I am a little fearful of saying more being unsure of my grammar (hee hee). Oh what the hey! I think Ann's book sounds really interesting and will take the time to look it up. I love finding new (to me) authors and reading about their work. Your efforts are appreciated!

Hedgeland said...

LOL Denise!! Thanks for your comments, Komar, Belinda and Anon!

Eileen (Books R Us) said...

What a informative interview

eileen at

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