I am happy to have Leslie Hodgins as my guest today. Thank you, Leslie, for joining me on my website.
Leslie, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?
I am an RMT (Registered Massage Therapist) and Personal Fitness Trainer. I’ve started my own mobile massage business, Blue Lotus Massage Therapy, and I blog about life as an RMT and PT.
I’m a busy mom of two wonderful boys, and I have a super supportive fiancé who is just awesome! Outside of writing, I’m trying to live life and catch up on sleep.
Have you published any works?
I had a short story published when I was 15 years old (that was hard, I prefer to write novels), and I had three poems published by the time I was 18.
The short story was entered into a contest through the Poetry Institute of Canada and had a limit of 750 words. The poems were also published by the Institute.
Tell us about your work-in-progress. What is the genre? What audience is it aimed at?
My current work-in-progress has been in progress for about five years. It’s a story split between two girls from two different worlds, literally. They live on two different planets.
Aryanna* lives on a planet filled with castles, knights, farmers, trolls, and a rich history. Her planet has nearly achieved world peace, and she yearns to travel before becoming queen.
Kenna** lives on what might be a post-apocalyptic Earth many hundreds of years in the future. Her story takes place 300 years after the apocalypse on a dying world filled with gangs, bio-warfare, and futuristic weapons and technology.
At some point, these two girls meet under crazy circumstances and find out that not all is as it appears–that there is more history and more at stake than either can imagine.
The genre, I guess, would be sci-fi/fantasy. And this is definitely for an older audience. There’s swearing, violence, and … adult content? (Oh my!) I suppose anyone over 15.
*Aryanna: from the Latin Ariadne, which is derived from the Greek Ariadnē (the very holy one).
**Kenna: feminized form of Kenneth, which is the Anglicized form of Cináed (born of fire).
What prompted you to write what you did? Where do you get your writing inspiration? What message(s) do you want readers to take away?
Honestly, my inspiration came from watching my fiancé play Fallout 3 (and, since then, the continuing Fallout games) and wondering what would happen if someone from the medieval times could see what the world had become. But it evolved from that, because the first world is not set during the medieval times, and people are far more enlightened and willing to make peace. Plus, there’s the added fantastical part with trolls and faeries, etc.
I don’t know that I have a message that hasn’t already been talked about at length. There’s the obvious “Wouldn’t world peace be nice?” and “If humanity continues the destructive path it’s on, we could be facing an apocalypse,” but really I just wanted to write something that had some kick-ass characters that could take on the world.
What do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?
The hardest thing, I think, is to keep things straight. I don’t write from beginning to end. I write in the order ideas come in. Sometimes things just write themselves, or the character tells me she wants to go in a different direction, so I have to make it work with what’s supposed to happen down the road. Sometimes a new character comes out of nowhere, demanding that he/she be made crucial to whatever’s happening. Sometimes linking everything is a little overwhelming.
Also the title. For some reason, that’s always something I struggle with. I can’t even come up with working titles. The title usually makes itself known by the end, but refuses to come forward or leave clues before that.
The easiest thing would be … that’s a good question. Sometimes just writing is the easiest thing. Just watching the story come together, and probably the outline. I can usually come up with a really good outline about the direction and plot of the story. It’s filling it all in that can be a challenge.
Do you plan to publish your current WIP? If so, what publishing options have you considered?
Publishing would be nice. I haven’t considered publishing options yet.
What’s next for you?
I haven’t thought that far. This current (untitled) story has been in progress for five years already. I hope I can have it finished within the next one to two years. With two kids and two jobs, I haven’t had a lot of brain space to come up with something new. But I would love to write something that has to do with Celtic Mythology.
You mentioned you had a blog? Where can we find it?
Blog: www.mebeingreal.com, the life of an RMT and Personal Trainer and some of my experiences/what I want people to understand about our world.
I’m a nerd. A total sci-fi/fantasy nerd—and I’m not ashamed of it at all! I grew up on Star Trek and Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (the books), Harry Potter (books again), and Doctor Who.
I also love attending summer festivals like Heritage Days, Taste of Edmonton, and The Fringe (International Fringe Theatre Festival).
And I’m a sucker for Scottish accents. (Woohoo Highlander! And Brave! And Ewan McGregor! Okay, I’m done.)