Thursday, November 2, 2017

Lydia Howe | Author Chat

Author Chat with Lydia Howe

I've been a little behind on the blog recently, so sorry friends! But, I'm excited to introduce you to Lydia Howe. 

Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) spent her teenage years reading and writing late into the night. Now in her twenties, she has hiked the mountains of the Far East and lived in the Andes Mountain Range of South America, built life-size models of dinosaurs, taken road trips across Europe, and explored caves in North America. Lydia grew up in a 135 year-old barn and spent six months in a tipi. An enthusiastic writer of Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, she has three published books to date: Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl, Action Kids' Club, and Cool Critters of the Ice Age. She blogs regularly at Noveltea.

Lets get real...

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

Some of my earliest memories are of my mom and oldest sister reading to me, so it’s no surprise that I grew up as a bookworm. Becoming a writer was a natural next step, and one that has been a lot of fun, and offered a lot of challenges, over the last decade.

The power of words, and the ability of a well-written book to drag you far into another world or era of time, has been a huge inspiration to me. I’ve learned an incredible amount from books, as well as having been endlessly entertained. The thought of being able to pass that joy and knowledge along to others has kept me writing even when things get tough.

Is there a funny story associated with writing this book?

This book is about cousins and the importance of family. When I was growing up I was incredibly close with my cousins. There were four of us: my sister, me, and our two girl cousins who were also sisters, who hung out together all the time. I had fun pulling various stories from our childhood to add into the book - like the time my older sister convinced us that vanilla extract was actually caffeine, and that if we added it to orange juice we’d get all the hyper effects of having caffeinated pop. (Apparently we were gullible.)

Were your characters easy to pin down or did you discover them along the way as you wrote the book?

The four main characters are very loosely based off of us four girls, so they came together very naturally during the first draft of the book. In fact, they were some of the easiest characters for me to write, and yet they all turned out unique and special in their own way. I also had fun creating the supporting character cast, even though they weren’t based off of anyone in real life.

What’s your favorite snack while writing?

I’ve found I work best when I have something in my mouth, so I drink a lot of water and suck on a lot of ice while concentrating. I also keep flavored lifesavers and jolly ranchers near by. But if we’re talking about an actual snack, then probably fresh fruit - yummy! Plums and nectarines have been my go-to snack recently.

What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”? 

There’s no doubt about it: If you want to be a successful author you’re going to go through a lot of rejection - not just when you get to the querying stage, but when you get to the revising/editing part of writing. Early on in my writing career I had an author tell me that I would need to develop thick skin and learn to graciously listen to and accept advice that I really didn’t like. Boy has that ever been true. But, being willing to set aside my feelings and what I want to try and objectively listen to feedback has been really good for me. That doesn’t mean you should take everyone’s advice when it comes to writing, but being willing to listen to the hard stuff and make changes when needed? Well, that goes a long way.

When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do? 

The first thing I do when I get an idea is a lot of brainstorming and praying. Generally, I spend a couple of weeks, months, or even years, developing the idea in my head and praying for clarity as I go about everyday tasks. I also have a couple of good friends that I’ll send texts to, telling them what I’m thinking of and asking for their feedback. Eventually, I get to the “writing it down” stage, but that generally takes a while to arrive there.

September is Classical Music Month so, in keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?

Ooh, that’s neat, and no, I didn’t know that! One of the books I’ve been working on has a main character who is a classical musician, so I suppose I should have come across that information somewhere in my research. :)

I’m not a huge Jane Austen fan, but I really like Mr. Knightly from Emma.

What is your favorite fall snack food?

Do s’mores and caramel apple suckers count? ;)

What are you currently reading?

Seeking Refuge by Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and Dr. Issam Smeir. So far it’s a really informative and well-written book. I also just finished My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Emilie! I had fun answering your great questions.

Where Dandelions Grow
by Lydia Howe

Cousins are forever, or at least they’re supposed to be.

What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you?
Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers. 

Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But living in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught. 

Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?

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