Hey, guys! I’m super excited today because I had the pleasure of interviewing the ever-awesome Hannah A. Krynicki, an author in the giveaway we’re both participating in! (Click here to enter!) I was also interviewed by Nate Philbrick the other day – check that out if you have the chance!
Me: If you could describe yourself in five adjectives, which would you pick?
Hannah: They tell me that I am probably the least qualified person to assess my own personality, and I recommend that you don’t make any big decisions or sign any contracts based on this information. Which is to say, let’s go for it!
Me: Tell us a little about your novel, Alen’s War, by comparing it to movies!
Hannah: Basically Alen’s War is what would happen if a G.A. Henty book married Disney’s insane side. Prince Alen, a teenage esquire, has one job: capture Galer, a revolutionary who would make Les Miserables jealous. Of course Alen fails, and Agran erupts into a war nastier than Gone with the Wind. Who you gonna call? Alen recruits two helpers: Brandis, a Coriolanus doppelganger with command of the Black Pearl, and Turomar, a strategist with both the brains and the emotional range of Sherlock. Together, they are the Three Amigos, and they’re going to catch the bad guy.
(Ashley’s Note: OH MY GOSH THAT SOUNDS SO GOOD. And you get all the brownie points for the Coriolanus reference.)
Me: Have you ever done character casting for your novels? If so, who are your top picks for Alen’s War?
Hannah: Of course! I always do dream-casting. Although I cannot for the life of me find a good actor for Alen (probably because he’s so young), I did manage to pick for the other more important characters.
Brandis: Richard Armitage
Turomar: Harry Lloyd
Galer: Matthew MacFadyen
Arila: Lily James
Reyis: Liam Neeson
Me: How did you come up with the idea for Alen’s War?
Hannah: I suppose it was born out of my affinity for magic, wars, pirate ships, and crazy plot ideas. I had an old draft of an even older story about a little band journeying to capture an evil wizard, which seemed a good place to start. So I tore out all the clichés, stitched in some new ideas, and patched it up until I had something reminiscent of Alen’s story. Fun fact: I had to reinvent the confounded thing four times *after* writing the first draft.
Me: In your opinion, what’s the hardest thing about writing and how do you overcome it?
Hannah: Finishing the book. I just looked, and I have fourteen documents in my “Unfinished Tales” folder, but I only published two books. The struggle is real, kids. Obviously, I don’t swear a blood oath that I must finish every draft I start, but I do have one way to tell when I’ve found a story that needs to be finished. I ask myself, Why do I need to write this story? When I can answer that, I have found the fuel that keeps me from giving up.
Me: What hobbies do you have outside of writing?
Hannah: It’s hard to define my hobbies, as I seem to have a new obsession every week- for example, economic theory followed by Norse mythology. Aside from that, I play (“play”) three instruments whenever I can, argue with myself about the complexities of life, and bake a mindblowing quantity of cookies.
Me: Name three favorite books and why you’d recommend them to someone!
Hannah: Of course, Miss Bates, but the trouble is that I will be limited to saying just three… (High five if you got the reference!) My top picks would be:
-The Lord of the Rings, because it’s the best introduction to fantasy you will ever read.
-The Book Thief, because it’s brutally honest and cynical.
-Charlotte’s Web, because every grown-up should learn to read good children’s books.(Ashley’s Note: I had to Google it. #badlydoneindeed I do love Miss Bates, though.)
Me: Do you have any guilty pleasure books or movies? (These are books or movies that you love but, for one reason or another, can’t recommend them.)
Hannah: Not really. I’m actually quite picky when it comes to movies and books. The nearest thing I can think of is books like Orwell’s 1984- but I’d heartily recommend them to everyone mature enough to handle the icky stuff. Then again… does lobbying to watch Batman Begins with my folks every week count as a guilty pleasure?
(Ashley’s Note: HA! No, unless you feel guilty for doing it. ; ) Dark Knight Rises is my personal favorite of that trilogy!)
Me: Do you have anything else you’re working on at the moment?
Hannah: Yes, lots! as Mr Baggins said. I won’t talk about my speculative fiction thingy quite yet, nor my other top secret fantasy idea.. but we may see a serial story from the perspective of a certain raider. And then I have my fourteen other files and random pieces of inspiration that may yet see daylight…
Me: Any parting words of wisdom for fellow writers, whether seasoned veterans or beginners?
Hannah: Do what you want, break rules, tell the truth, and above all don’t be antisocial. Happy Advent.