What now-dead author would you like to interview? What are some of the things you would chat about?
I’d like to interview Iain Banks and ask about how he manages to slip so seamlessly between writing well-respected literary fiction and equally well-respected science fiction with his culture novels. I’d also like to know how he came up with his names for the ships. They’re genius!
If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?
This is a really difficult question. I’d love to relive the moment I experienced watching the Fellowship of the Rings on the big screen. The Lord of the Rings was the first book (or books) I fell in love with and led to a lifelong love of reading. I just remember sitting in the cinema, the curtain drawing back, and watching open-mouthed as the world I’d created in my head twenty years before appeared before my eyes. It was wonderful.
The worst job was while I was at school. I worked evenings at a supermarket and once I had to clean out the waste compacter. It was disgusting. Compared to that, writing is a doddle.
In this age of publishing, self-promotion is really necessary for the author. What do you enjoy most about advertising yourself and your works? What do you find most challenging?
I find it really difficult to promote my own work which is strange as I’m a marketing professional by trade. If you gave me somebody else’s book to promote I’d be all over it but with my own, I suffer a little bit from the typically English view of not wanting to blow my own trumpet, as well as having the old author favourite, the imposter syndrome, lurking in the background telling me that I’m making a fool of myself. I do enjoy interviews, though, especially ones like this where I’m asked questions I’m not normally asked.
What were you like as a kid? Did your kid-self see you being a writer?
I was just a normal kid. I loved reading, music – I was in our local amateur dramatics group. I never thought about being a writer. I loved writing but growing up in the rural east of England, writing was something ‘other people’ did. Where I came from, people didn’t have a career in the arts. It took me a long time to get over this way of thinking.
Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…..or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?
I’ve been lucky enough to have had some really wonderful comments about my books. I tend to become very self-effacing when this happens. Inside I’m thrilled when somebody’s enjoyed what I’ve written but I’m also conscious that not everybody shares the same opinion. That’s the beauty of art, it’s very subjective. You only have to read the one-star rating of To Kill a Mockingbird to realise that there’s no such thing as a universally loved book.
I learnt to read when I was three-years old so there isn’t one book that sticks in my mind. I do have very fond memories of going up to my room (in the middle of the day), pulling the curtains closed and studying the map at the front of a copy of The Lord of the Rings I had. The map was in red ink and my curtains were also red, so when closed the sunlight streamed through red and the map appeared to glow. It was magical!
You have to run an obstacle course. Who do you invite along (living or dead, real or fictional)? Will there be a tasty libation involved?
I would invite Legolas and Gimli and enjoy their bickering the whole time.
Places to Find Dylan Hearn
One crime, four people and a secret that could shake the world to its foundations.
Four lives become linked by a student’s disappearance: a politician looking to put integrity back into politics, an investigator hoping to atone for past mistakes, a data cleanser searching for a better life while haunted by his past and a re-life technician creating new lives for old souls.
But it soon becomes clear this is no ordinary case, and in the pursuit of the truth, long-held secrets are at risk of being revealed.
Set in the near future where everybody is connected and death isn’t final, this is the story of how far those in power will go to retain control, and the true price to pay for a Second Chance.