I'm delighted to welcome back the lovely Hayley Stone to the blog today to continue celebrating the release of Counterpart, the sequel to the fantastic Machinations! I've put the spotlight on Hayley and asked a bunch of questions about her writing journey. Her answers are awesome and honest and you're going to love this interview. So, here we go!
Counterpart is the second in a series, and a lot of authors are pretty vocal about how hard writing a sequel or even just that second book can be. How was it for you? Are there more books to come? How are you going with those?
It was hell. Plain and simple.
Granted, the beginning came fairly easy, but then I suffered a mental health crisis, and it became like a Chinese finger trap—the more I tried to pull out of the anxiety, or ignore it altogether, the worse it got. I had to make changes to my mindset, my diet, my habits, etc. in order to progress. Eventually, I got better, but writing that book was hard. No doubt about it.
Time has eased some of the painful memory of that moment in my life, but it hasn’t erased it completely. I don’t want to give the impression that Counterpart simply fell out of me. If anything, I fell into that book; it almost devoured me, but I clawed my way free. A lot of what I experienced while writing it also made it to the pages in the form of Rhona’s trials and struggles.
I do have plans for a third novel, which I have also started, but it’s been even more of a challenge than Counterpart was, so far. It seems like the better I get at writing, the harder it becomes. But I still love it, absolutely. I still use writing to cope with the world and process life. Like any career, you just have to take the good with the bad.
What's your writing journey been like? Did you have a long process from inspiration to publication? Can you give me a bullet point break down of your process to date?
Bullet points it is!
This list fails to account for two facts:
And the editing...generally how is that process for you? Do you find it easy; do you have any words of wisdom you can impart to those in their caves?
On the whole, I find editing a whole lot easier than drafting. I’m a perfectionist, so drafting can be kind of a pain. I have a desperate need to get things right the first time, or as close to it as possible. Editing then becomes a natural extension of that desire, and it’s like I’m going with the grain instead of against it.
As for advice, let’s see…
Go with your gut. If you know something’s wrong, fix it. Don’t drag your feet and make excuses for it. On the reverse, if you feel very passionately about keeping something in the book, fight for it. You know the best way to tell your story.
What kind of things do you do with regards to marketing and publicising both your novels and you? Do you enjoy this part of the business of being an author? Do you have a team who work with you?
My team at Hydra does a lot of the marketing for me, but I’ve invested in Facebook ads and experienced some mild success there, judging by the Amazon rankings. Additionally, I try to maintain a strong social media presence, specifically on Twitter. I’ve found that the best way of marketing myself and my books is just simply connecting with other readers and writers, and giving back to the community that helped me along in my journey. People remember kindness.
What's been the best part of your journey so far? Any moments that you've mentally framed and hung on the wall?
Signing my books at San Diego Comic-Con was amazing, and was not only the best part of my journey so far, but ranks among the best moments of my life, period. Attending the Random House after-party and meeting so many talented authors was also an incredible and life-affirming experience.
And the future? What's on the horizon for you and your fans?
Hopefully book 3 of the Machinations series! I also have a Western fantasy waiting in the wings that I hope to sell, and a plethora of other sci-fi and fantasy ideas that I’m excited to explore.
What's the most important thing you think authors should be doing to help their careers right now, particularly in this unsteady and saturated market?
Oh, man. I don’t know. To be honest, this market is one of the toughest in recent history. I think you just have to keep writing, keep putting your work out there, and hope for the best. Luck plays a larger role than anyone really wants to admit, but writing a great book definitely increases your chances of success!
Got any other jaw-dropping talents or party tricks you can share? They don't have to be writing related!
I can quote the entirety of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl nearly line-for-line. I was a fun kid, as you can imagine.
Brilliant, right? Thanks so much for your insight, Hayley, I've loved having you on the blog.
If you want to buy Counterpart and follow Hayley then here are some links that should help!
Purchase your copy of Counterpart today!
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Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento. Counterpart is her second novel, and a choice for Amazon’s Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Books of the Month for October.
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