Writing for the Future We Want with H.T. Lyon

Welcome, H.T. Lyon! Want to introduce yourself?

HTL: I am aspiring writer of science fiction. A futurist with a keen interest in where our society is heading, I tend focus most of my attention on stories that examine the direction our society is taking or that shows where we could end up.

mercury_craters
Earth’s Moon — the first stop

Optimistic by nature, I believe that one day we will look to settle the Solar System as we outgrow our planet and some of my stories examine how this could look.

Currently, I have a number of novels underway and some short stories. My aim is to get one of these up and published before the end of the year around the other commitments that exist in my life.

JR: Your outlook and mine are very much aligned. I wonder how much else we have in common? Which writers inspire you?

pia1445420_1400
Slopes of Mars — one step closer to colonization

HTL: Phillip K. Dick inspires me the most. A whole lot of his short stories made me really think about what it means to be human and how the world around us works.

Personally, I would love to think that what I write makes people think, or more importantly, question their assumptions about the world around them and the society they live in.

JR: PKD ❤ What role does diversity play in your writing process?

HTL: Diversity plays a big role when I write. If I am truly trying to make people think about the society they live and and question assumptions, then I need to create worlds where it’s not all the white guys getting stuff done.

I don’t dwell heavily on a character’s gender or nationality as I recognize that, underneath, we are all human.

kaguya_earthset_1400
Earth from the Moon — where we all come from

I am really, very big about trying to create works that provide assertive role models for women and minorities.

JR: Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

HTL: I proofread my own in general. I do belong to an online writing community so others get to look at my work, and this is critical for improving. So far I have avoided the professional editor. It’s a hobby at the moment and it doesn’t justify the professional editor at this stage. If it grows, then getting a professional editor is the route I will definitely go down.

JR: Let me know when you get there? After 50+ Scribophile critiquers, I’ve just hired my first editor, Sione Aeschliman, and I can’t wait to see how I can improve Re: Morse further.

So, you’re still in hobby mode, but have you learned anything about marketing you could share with us? 

HTL: Get online and learn from others who have gone before you. There is a ton of material online that explains how to market a book and the process is actually very simple. persistI’ve been lucky enough to meet up with some self publishers online so I’ve been able to see their marketing plans in action. One thing that it does take is persistence and if there’s one piece of advice I’d give, it’s start early and stick with it.

JR: I’ve heard the same, that persistence is key for traditional and self-published authors. What can you tell me about your process? When you get a writing idea, what’s the first thing you do?

HTL: If I get an idea, the first thing I attempt to do is mull it over.

Usually, an idea needs a premise, some question that it asks. Then if there is merit in it, I write a very short summary if it and save it to google docs. This prevents me from losing the idea. If it’s a short story, then I begin to draft.

Novels and series stew for a lot longer and, rather than go straight to the draft, I start doing a series of deeper and deeper outlines. I do still have a lot of the concept written down stage, however. It seems that ideas can come from anywhere.

JR: H.T., you just used three of my favorite words in one answer: conceptpremise, and outline. You just made my whole day. Thank you for stopping in to talk! 


For more about H.T. Lyon and his work, visit his blog for a closer look. Also, he has some excellent book reviews–I just added two more books to my yearly list after browsing his site.

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