Friday, September 26, 2014

Character Interview: Haylwen Rightad from C.H. MacLean's YA fantasy 'Two Empty Thrones #characterinterviews

We’re thrilled to have here today Haylwen Rightad, from C. H. MacLean’s YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones. She is coming to us all the way from the great state of California.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at The Literary Nook!

Thank you so for this interview, Haylwen.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Oh, C. H. did a fine job. I watched him during the whole process. Some of the story is personal so it took him a few times, but he finally got it right.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I'm sure my Dad would say my stubbornness. (Not that he's one to talk, of course.) My brother, Cadarn, he might go for my temper. But I think it's my wanting the world to be a better place, a love for everything and everyone. It gets buried sometimes, but it's what I think of when I think of me, ya know? 

Worst trait?

I hate my lack of confidence. Deep in me is an unshakable but completely wrong belief that I'm not good enough. 

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes and no. It's complicated. 

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Oh, I bit my nails the whole time. The only times I wasn't nervous about it turning out horribly were the times I was convinced it would end horribly. Well, except for that last bit at the very end. 

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Mr. Johansen. I mean, he gets what he deserves, probably got off better than he should have, actually. But he's such a loser, just trying to imagine being him for a second makes me shudder.   

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Of course, I loved it. I was really surprised, though. By Tommy, my Mom and Dad, but mostly myself. I guess you don't even know yourself until faced with the choice.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

Well, he'd better write faster! He's got a lot going on, I know, and he is getting better quickly, but still. There's something really big coming, I just know it. 

Thank you for this interview.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh, definitely. Like I said, there's something really big coming. I'm just beginning to understand what it is, but it's huge and I’m right in the middle of it. And I have a sinking feeling it's not going to be pretty.

About the Author:

To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.
But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C.H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

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