Welcome to inklings press, Hayden! Tell us a little about yourself and your novel, Hidden Pearls. (SQUEE.)
Hello, Ashley! I’m a 20-year-old homeschool graduate, living with my family in South Carolina. I’ve been writing since the age of eight or so (my first “novels” were heavily influenced by Swiss Family Robinson and the the American Girl books 😉 and now, so many years later, I have an actual book! 🙂
Hidden Pearls is a historical Christian fiction novel set during the Regency era (I never give an exact date in the book, but it’s around 1815-17). It has a large cast and several POVS, but it mostly focuses on nineteen-year-old Constance Steele and her voyage overseas to visit an American aunt she’s never met.
Sounds fantastic! Before we get into Hidden Pearls, though, what are a few of your favorite things to do, outside of writing?
I simply love creating things, so I enjoy making paper flowers and bookmarks, working on embroidery projects, and other “crafty” projects. I also read a lot and I love movies. I’m also trying to take up archery (I got a bow for Christmas) but sadly, we don’t have a lot of room to practice in our backyard. After shooting a few holes through the fence, I decided to hold off on that for awhile, lest I hit a neighbor’s dog or something.
HA! Okay, don’t lie – I know you’re a book and film junkie like myself. 😀 What are a few of your favorite books and movies?
How much time do we have? 😉
Really, though, I love stories wherever they’re found, so I am a big movie and book person. I love L.M. Montgomery’s books- especially Anne of Green Gables, Rilla of Ingleside, and The Blue Castle– and I also really like Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I love The Scarlet Pimpernel, Our Mutual Friend, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, Captain Blood, Little Dorrit, An Old-fashioned Girl….maybe I should stop now?
As far as movies go, I love period dramas, (especially Cranford, Little Dorrit, and Emma) Marvel movies, the Lord of the Rings, action/adventure movies, classic black-and-white films such as Sabrina or Roman Holiday, and Disney movies. Oh, and musicals. You can’t forget musicals.
Who are some of your favorite authors, and how do you think they’ve influenced your writing?
Well, I’ve always been impressed by Charles Dickens’s intricate plots, Jane Austen’s wit, C.S. Lewis’s straightforward writing style, and the humorous escapades of L.M. Montgomery’s characters, so they’ve probably been my greatest influences.
One of the things I love about the behind-the-scenes process of writing a novel is learning how the authors got the ideas for their books. What inspired you to write Hidden Pearls?
None other than the illustrious Jane Austen (I have a feeling most writers who’ve tackled the Regency era will give the same answer). However, as you can probably tell from the above questions, I also love action and adventure, so I decided to add a good dollop of that into a Regency-era plot. Thus Hidden Pearls was born!
Awesome! Another thing I personally love about writing is dream casting. If you had all the money and connections you needed, what would a film version of Hidden Pearls look like? (Be sure to give detailed details about casting, setting, costumes, etc.)
It would be grand period drama! 🙂 Though I’ve “casted” many of my characters on my Pinterest board, I paid attention solely to looks, not acting skills or nationalities, so those aren’t hard-and-fasting casting picks 😉
The costumes would be such fun. And as there does seem to be a habit of ‘costume sharing’ in period dramas, I wouldn’t mind snagging a few dresses from Sense and Sensibility ’08, Emma ’09 or even Austenland. 🙂
The setting would be quite a variety. In England, we have both the countryside and the city, but there are a lot of scenes that take place on the ocean. Some take place in South Carolina, others in Bermuda, and there’s even a scene in Puerto Rico, so there’d be a lot of hopping around!
Wow! I’d love to watch that movie! Who was the hardest character to write?
Hmmm. Well, it’s always intimidating to write male characters because I am, in fact, female 😉 That being said, two of my main male characters- Jack and Arthur- were relatively easy. It was Edward Hartley whose personality it took me a while to grasp.
I’ve found that when I write in different settings, I get – for lack of a better description – different vibes that vary in each place I write, whether it be at the foot of my bed, in my basement, or in a library. Do you always write in a certain place, or do you move around a lot?
That is so true! I write best in my room, without a doubt. I’m not one of those people who can write anywhere, although I do have different spaces that I find easier to write in than others. The main requirement, though, is that it has to be somewhat secluded. I can’t write with people hovering over my shoulder.
Same here! I like to write away from prying eyes, too. Now that Hidden Pearls is done, what’s next? Will you take a break or are you already in the middle of your next masterpiece?
No breaks for me, unfortunately. My novella for Five Enchanted Roses, “The Wulver’s Rose” is in the throes of its first re-write, and I also have about three other novels I’m working on.
Last question: Who would you cast as Percy in a reboot of The Scarlet Pimpernel?
Oh, you’re trying to sneak this one in, are you? 😉 I have the feeling you already know the answer to this question, but I’ll say it- Tom Hiddleston. (incidentally, there’s an “easter egg’ in Hidden Pearls that references the elusive Sir Percy, so be on the lookout for it!)
Thanks for stopping by! Best of luck with all of your writing!