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Author Interview – Halli Lilburn

October 1, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

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What inspired your latest WIP?

A dream. Most of my ideas start with dreams. I am a vivid dreamer.  I tweak them to make sense. My current work involves steampunk pirates and I’m collaborating with my 16-year-old daughter. She invented one of the characters so she decides what they say and do. It makes for an adventure we can share together and twists in the plot that even I didn’t see coming.

How did you come up with the title?

First it was called Evelyn of the Sea because I wanted to write about a woman disguised as a man on a sailing vessel.  I want a female hero who isn’t judged because of her gender.  However, I soon realized that I couldn’t write a historical novel so I made it steampunk, put Evelyn in an airship, and called it Evelyn of the Air instead. I also set the story on a different planet so I could mess around with technology, laws of physics and mythos. Airships don’t work very well on earth and I didn’t want to be limited.  The best way to break rules is either off planet or magic.  I do both.

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Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers to find validation, sympathy and inclusion. I want to shine a light to people underrepresented, marginalized or odd in any way. We are all a family and we should fight for our place in the world.  But I don’t want to preach.

How much of the book is realistic?

My goals are to escape and entertain. I don’t want them burdened with the same problems they face in real life. I want my readers to work with their imagination. Get those brain cogs turning. Of course, the mystery of the human condition is very real. Just because the obstacles are fantastic, our reactions, emotions and instincts are still the same. So, I sneak in some sympathetic elements while battling monsters and hope the parallels and symbols are subtle but noticeable.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Authors can’t help but draw on their own experience but I try to keep my own words out of my characters minds. I ask myself what I would do in the situation and is it the same thing my character would do? If it is, I run the risk of having all my characters sound the same. I do want my characters to get into worlds I could never visit or adventures I wish I could have. So, would I want to be a pirate on an airship? Of course!

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Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

hallililburn.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/groups/147239652049490/, @hallililburn

 Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I really enjoy writing short stories for anthologies.  I like themes on monsters.  Maybe soon I’ll have enough monster stories to make my own collection.  I am also an artist so I want to do an art book but I need a grant for that project. I also want to write a play. I want to see my characters interpreted by others.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I am a feminist so I really push the female hero who is smart, invaluable and saves the day. I also have male characters who are sensitive and respectful.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? 

I can’t sit still so I am always starting new projects.  I want to try everything. Monsters and ghosts are my favourite in horror, fantasy or sci-fi. Sometimes those monsters are the good guys or even the love interest.

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Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I totally understand the advantage to planning and plotting but I cannot force it out. And I’m too impatient.  If a scene is rattling around in my brain, I have to put it on paper. And it morphs as I go, so I deviate from any plan I had.  If I get stuck, I leave it for a few days and let my subconscious mull it over until the idea snaps into focus.

What is your best marketing tip?

Be friendly. Go to your readers for book signings, school visits and conferences.  The people you associate with will be your best promoters and collaborators.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

Social media is a two-edged sword.  It can kind of work, but usually it slows me down. It’s best for keeping in contact with associates and hearing about submission calls. I don’t spam people, I invite them to book signings then talk to them in person.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Reading anything is always research. It can’t not be. Even if I’m just researching an author to see if I like their style to determine if I want to read more. If it’s not a good fit, I’ll stop reading.  It’s simple. Everything I read gets stored away for future reference.

Do you see writing as a career?

No.  It is a lifestyle. If I wanted it to be a career, I would have got my bachelors of English or journalism and applied myself to these professional labels, deadlines and salaries. A writing career involves writing for other people. I haven’t done that since school assignments. I want to let my creative side out when it suites me without worrying about paying the rent with my words. Depending on a writer’s income is hazardous. I won’t quit my day job but I will write during my lunchbreak.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

No. I realized early on that I binge and it’s not healthy so I stopped. I will only drink water or tea. Some of my binge worthy treats are praline trail mix, and popcorn. I try and save those things for parties.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

Netflix! It’s time to purge the brain. Maybe cheesecake.

Bio:

Halli Lilburn was born in Edmonton, Alberta.  Her first story at age nine was about unicorns and fairies.  Over the years she has explored other genres including poetry, science fiction, paranormal and horror. She has works published with Tesseracts 18: Wrestling with Gods, Spirited by Leap Books, Carte Blanche, Vine Leaves, Renaissance Press and many others.  She teaches workshops on creative writing and art journaling. She is a certified structural editor with essentialedits.ca and is an editor for The Dame Was Trouble, with Coffin Hop Press. Her education includes Library Operations, Art History, Creative Writing, Music and Fashion Design. She is a librarian, artist and mother of three.

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…

April 26, 2017
mandyevebarnett


writing-hub

Writing:

Conference logo 2017

My conference presentation was well received and my audience engaged in the interactive segments with gusto. The theme of the conference was everything Canadian to tie in with the 150 year celebrations. My session ‘Building a Canadian Character’ included choosing a particular province and building a character from its particular landscape, economy, resources etc. With numerous handouts I managed to compile, each attendee went home with helpful resources.

When I created the individual folders I pinned a small cloth doll to each and then asked everyone to choose – this meant they went for colour or pattern unaware I had put a photo inside for another exercise. Sneaky maybe but it worked well. Then later I asked everyone to describe with as much detail as possible the person in those photos. After they read their description they shown the photo to everyone else. It was a lesson in description. 

The week was not as busy although planning for the major event in June did take up quite some time. My other project is ghost writing a book, which is progressing nicely.

I am now on countdown to the Spring Writers Retreat, which starts on 18th May through to 22nd May. Here I will immerse myself in my writing without distraction. The location is perfect with a small river, woodland and trails to refresh a tired Muse. It is a huge log cabin with an expert chef, whose meals are just so appetizing everyone wants to take her home.

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Books:

The Other Life by Ellen Meister – I am enjoying the story’s theme and the tension risen by choosing one life over another.

The Other Life

My friend Karen gave me this book, as she believed the mystery would intrigue me. Looking forward to reading it.  Her Fearful Symmentry by Audrey Niffenegger 

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Writing Tips:

Do it. Write.  Write every single day.
Read as much and as often as you can. Remember, every writer is a reader first.

 

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…

April 17, 2017
mandyevebarnett


events

My main event for this week is on Saturday, which is my writing group’s 8th annual conference. It is always a incredible day of words, writers, writing, networking and meeting new authors.

This year to celebrate Canada’s 150 – we have made the theme Canada – no surprise there! The sessions will be all things Canadian and a fun interactive workshop will be the first session to set the mood. It is a full day (separate sessions can be booked if preferred) testing your writing skills, learning and embracing the written word.

I am presenting one of three short workshops in the first hour but my main presentation is later in the day. My workshop will be creating a Canadian character. I have worked hard to make the session interesting, informative but also fun! Wish me luck.

Conference logo 2017

If you can come on Saturday there is still time to register – here is the link: http://wfscsherwoodpark.com/node/3090

Other events:

Edmonton Poetry Festival- April 16–23. Here is the schedule link: http://www.edmontonpoetryfestival.com/schedule/

In Picton, ON, and the surrounding area, the Prince Edward County Writers Festival takes place April 20–22, featuring Steve Burrows, Joy Fielding, Wallace Edwards, Merilyn Simonds, Zoe Whittall, and others.

Frye Festival, Greater Moncton, NB –  April 22 to 29 Authors including Riel Nason, Jennifer McGrath, and this is the link: http://www.frye.ca/index.php/en/festival-frye/auteurs-2017

Remember to add your local events

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…

March 13, 2017
mandyevebarnett


events

This week is Board meeting week – my first meeting is tomorrow for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – we will be planning our annual conference, which will be held on 22nd April as well as numerous other agenda items. On Wednesday it is the Arts & Culture Council meeting, where once again planning will be in full swing for our AGM on 12th April and our heritage day event in June. So all in all a busy time for the next few months.

I find that involvement in these boards can be time consuming at times but it brings so many benefits. To be involved with these art organizations gives me the chance to meet new people, experience new art forms and have fun planning events!

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I did manage to attend the open mic event last Wednesday evening and read to a full house! I did worry I would begin coughing but manage to read all of my excerpt from The Twesome Loop without coughing once, although my mouth was arid. There were so many wonderful people to connect with and the readings were excellent. One woman read for the very first time in public while others were old hands. We heard poetry, rants, manuscript excerpts and one young poet (14 years old) read an exceptional piece called Beautiful for Women’s Day. She was amazing.

Do you have any writing or reading events this week? Care to share?

Other events:

wordsthaw

In Victoria, BC, WordsThaw returns to warm the University of Victoria from March 16–20.

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…

February 13, 2017
mandyevebarnett


events

 

This week’s events for me are mostly Board meetings. The first is tomorrow – Writers Foundation meeting where we will be planning our annual conference among other things. The conference is a major event for the foundation and we are always delighted to welcome prestige presenters. The event is open to members and non-members and is always an enjoyable and informative day.

Writers Foundation Strathcona CountyWeb ACCSC Logo

On Wednesday I will be chair for the Arts & Culture Council board meeting and again there will be planning to commence for our 150 year Canada celebration in the summer.

Both boards enable me to indulge in the arts and spread the word in and around our locality.

Do you belong to a board? How does it help you and your community?

Gallery 501, Sherwood Park – Exhibit

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“Canadianisms: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada” by Brandy Saturley

January 6 – Feburary 26, 2017
Saturley paints Canadian Contemporary Realism. Making art for over thirty years, and painting in acrylics for fifteen. Saturley gained national attention with her paintings inspired by Canadian culture and sport including goalie masks, Canadian athletes, the Canadian flag, the Montreal Canadiens, Alberta Rockies, and Canadian wildlife.

Other writing events:

The Galiano Island Literary Festival, which will kick the new season February 17–19 with authors including Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Carmen Aguirre, Janie Chang, Anosh Irani, Jennifer Manuel, Heather O’Neill, Bev Sellars, and Yasuko Thanh.

Please share your local writing events here.

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