I’ve moved my blog to a more user friendly spot:

Lynnhardy.blogspot.com

Also, there’s a Kindle Fire giveaway at the new spot!

Sorry for any inconvenience this has caused…

~ Lynn Hardy

 


As an author, I am supposed to have a very cultivated online persona: confidence is a must – if you are sure of yourself, who will trust you enough to buy a book. And I’m supposed to keep posts light and happy.  Today I will break these rules.

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I am passionate about two things – Writing and Helping Kids. I combined both of those things by donating 100% of the proceeds from the first book in my Prophecy of the Flame series to a charity that helps families that are hit hard by the recession – they give those kids a warm bed.

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Just recently I launched a movie project. An indie director and producer stepped forward to make a movie for the charity based on the book I donated to it. A few days after launching a Kickstarter fundraiser to raise money for the project, I was contacted by a very influential director: one who was nominated for an Academy Award and won both the Sundance Film Festival award and an Emmy. I was told that making the kickstarter event a huge success could really turn heads in Hollywood and could make it easier to get major backing for the movie.

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What a great opportunity! If people will step forward to say they want this movie produced, then it could really be a huge Hollywood Blockbuster – thousands of families across the nation could get a warm bed for their kids.

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I’ve been working furiously, doing everything I can think of, to let people know about this kickstarter project. I started a Facebook event – mentioned in on a blog tour – sent out press releases and I am even advertising on a few websites. I must be doing something wrong. Either that or people really don’t care, they don’t see the benefit in having the proceeds from a movie go to helping kids… I really hope I’m just doing something wrong.

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Will you take a look at the Facebook page and the Kickstarter event? Anything that I can improve upon? Any ideas on how to get the word out?


I went to the LTUE conference in Utah last weekend. All I can say is, “Wow.” It was a truly beautiful experience, coming together with writers and lovers of the written word. There was a spirit of harmony, acceptance, and camaraderie that flowed throughout the symposium, making this one of my favorite conferences yet.

The size of the convention really surprised me. There were 144 panelists presenting information on everything from getting published, blogs, writing, and everything in between. There were so many wonderful authors… here are a few of my favorites:

Tracy and Laura Hickman were in attendance. Not only is Laura Hickman an author of some D&D campaigns, she is as lovely as she is kind. Her book Baking Outside the Box is on my must have list – it sounds like a fun book and has been getting great reviews.

Tracy Hickman is a prolific writer but I will always remember him as the co-author of a Dragon Lance series, starting with Time of the Twins. These are great YA books that were released before there was a YA category. I enjoyed the books so much as a young reader; I remember finding a picture or two in each book – it was like finding buried treasure. These pictures are the reason I had sketches done for my first book, Prophecy of the Flame.

L.E. Modesitt Jr. was only there for a short time, but it was great to see him again. I’m looking forward to the release of his new Recluce novel!

I also had the honor of meeting James A. Owen. The warmth he shows for his fans reveals a generous heart. I’ve discovered his YA series that starts with Here, There Be Dragons. I am looking forward to working my way through each one of them.

David Farland, i.e. David Wolverton, has written over fifty science-fiction and fantasy novels. He is a legend in the SF&F industry and am thrilled to have had a chance to meet him. Nightingale is his most recent release – I’ll post a review of that in a month or so.

One last author really made an impression: Bree Despain. This is an upcoming author to watch for. She has a great series out, but I think it may be misleading.  Though the covers scream ROMANCE – they have a great fantasy thread that is full of action, suspense, and paranormal world that so many men would love.

If you didn’t make the conference this year, put it on your schedule for 2013: it is a conference you won’t want to miss.


I realize it has been quite a while since my last post, for that I apologize. Life went a bit crazy on me. At first, my absence was due to directing the Full Cast, Unabridged, Audio Book of Book One in my Prophecy of the Flame series. It was amazing how long that took to put together, the directing, the editing… what an experience.

A group of voice actors, many from popular cartoons like DragonBall Z, Tekken, and Iron Man, volunteered for the project so that 100% of the proceeds from the audio book could go to Agape Assistance to help families that are homeless due to the recession.

A director and a Producer found out that I always donate the proceeds to this charity that I founded and they decided it was time to make a movie for the charity. In the Fall of 2011, the Prophecy Project began.

Right now, I am doing a blog tour about the movie project and my books. For more information about it, come and join us!

January 15th Mary Ann @ Chapter by Chapter (guest post only)

16th Jacque @ Good Family Reading

17th Nikki @ Close Encounters with the Night Kind

18th Connie @ Character Connection (interview only)

18th Rebecca @ Everything To Do With Books

19th Divya @ Bookish Delights

20th Louisa @ Words I Write Crazy

21st John @ Incessant Droning of a Bored Author (guest post only)

21st Becky @ Inquisitive Hippo

22nd Aine @ House Millar


Hank

One little steer didn’t make much of a dent in our pasture, so we advertised the field for rent. Some nice folks brought out a couple of horses. Hank was a dead-broke trail horse who was pretty darn old. The owners even gave us a saddle to keep in our tack room so that we could ride him.

Hank was every bit as good as they said – for the first couple of weeks or so. We rode old Hank nearly every day. He trailed docilely behind us after we haltered him, stood stock still as we mounted, and was neck rained so that all we had to do was bring the reigns to one side or the other and he would mosey in that direction. Hank did take some encouraging to get any faster than a walk, but we were up to the task.

One Saturday Tony rode him first, then handed him off to me. I went for a nice long ride with my neighbor then turned him out into the pasture. The next morning, Michelle came by to see if I’d like to ride again.

“Sure. Saddle up, I’ll be right along with Hank.” I told her.

I went out to the pasture, halter in hand. As soon as I got within ten feet of Hank, he bolted across the field. I grimaced – he could run after all! I followed him to the opposite corner. Swiveling around, Hank dashed off again!

This continued for almost an hour. Michelle showed up, wondering what was taking so long. Being an old rodeo girl, Michelle had quite a few tricks of the trade for old Hank.

First we walked up to him with the halter behind our backs. No dice. Next we shook a feed bucket. Hank wasn’t hungry. Finally we walked up to him backwards – no easy feat in a field with grass up to your shins, let me tell you. It seems wisdom comes with age, even to equines. Hank wasn’t buying it.

Now I was hot and sweaty and had quite enough from old Hank. I grabbed the halter and jumped on my four-wheeler. When Hank started running for the other corner, I was right on his heels. He was as stubborn as a mule – I was even more determined. I chased old Hank back and forth across the pasture ‘til he was good and sweaty. The next time I tried to halter him, he didn’t run.

Michelle and I got about a mile from home when we met some other neighbors. We had been drooling over Jesse, a black stallion in a pasture down a ways from us. He was everything a black beauty should be – 17 hands tall, glossy black coat and perfectly proportioned. I was thrilled to meet his owners.

We had been standing across from one another, the horses nose to nose, for about fifteen minutes when the ground started getting closer and closer to my left foot. I froze. My forehead crinkled in puzzlement. “Was Hank going to just lie down?” I thought.

I yanked my foot out of the stirrup and lept to the ground, which was now only a foot from me.

“Don’t let him roll!” Michele yelled. “He’ll bust the saddle!”

I stared at the huge animal. What could I do to keep Hank from rolling, if he really wants to? I dashed to his rear-end and gave him a swift kick with my boot – that’s how you get a horse to run, after all, a little kick.

It worked! Hank jumped up lickety-split. It worked a little too well. Hank charged down the hill the way we’d come.

Jesse’s owner was nice enough to offer me a ride home – pillion. She remover her foot from the stirrup and gestured behind her. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my foot up that high – the darn thing only hung down to my belly-button.

The cowgirl’s generosity was unending. She jumped down and gave me a leg up. Her friend had to help her into the stirrup – she usually uses the stump in her yard to get on Jesse. I grinned ear to ear, the whole way back. Riding the horse I’d dreamed about when I read those Black Beauty books as a kid was something I’ll never forget. It was all thanks to Hank.

Oh, and Hank, true to his trail-horse nature, had made his way back home. We found him outside our pasture – happily munching on the greener grass on the other side of his fence.

Ever fought over a cookie?

February 1, 2011


Married couples, siblings, roommates, we all fight over the silliest things.  My hubby and I had this little tiff over a box of cookies. It’s not just any box of cookies. These are Mint Fudge Covered Oreos – only available at select times of the year. They are crunchy on the outside and creamy in the middle and surrounded by minty chocolate.

There are two sides to every story, since I’m the author of this post, I will begin with mine:

These are my favorite cookies. I like few cookies enough to eat them – I watch my calorie intake. Several times a week, I pass the last box of Fudge Covered Oreos in the laundry room. I look at them and tell myself, “I don’t want them that bad, I’ll wait a few more days.”

I originally bought 6 boxes. My hubby went through these in a a couple of weeks. So I save this last box for that special time when I crave chocolate so, so bad – usually one week a month. On those night’s, when chocolate calls my name, I’ll have two, maybe three cookies.

Last night my hubby says, “Honey, is it okay if I eat these?”

I said, “I’ve been drooling over those for weeks. There’s tons of stuff upstairs in the cupboard – Cupcakes, candy bars, chips…”

Thus began the war of the Oreos. More like the cold war. Very little talking. Both of us agree that arguing over cookies is ridiculous, but still he’s irritated with me over this matter.

 

My husbands side:

“It’s just cookies. If I want them why can’t I eat them? What right do you have to claim any food item as ‘just for you.’”

 

Now I need your help. Please, weigh in. Have you fought over something as silly as a box of cookies? I am very tempted to throw the box away and forsake the Oreos forever.

Dream Much?

December 2, 2010


I had this really weird dream last night; It was so stupid that I woke myself up from it. The family was at a HS Reunion. We got snowed in. Then a dead body showed up.

The stupid part is that my hubby said he’d help and loaded the body into our car. Hello… We’ve watched enough CSI to know better! That was when I woke myself up. There is now way I’d be stupid enough to let him do something like that.

The really weird part is that my alarm went off a few minutes later. The first thing they said is that school has been canceled due to snow!


To me, storytellers are people who have a gift that allows them to compose tales that grip you and draw you in.  You might not have the greatest talent when it comes to spelling or grammar, but when you write, it touches the heart of your readers. For a storyteller, writing is a passion, they do it because they love it.

Authors are a writers that have a gift for language. Stringing words together is as natural as breathing. They may make a few typos, here and there… no one is perfect, but the majority of their work is a masterpiece. There have been many great authors - Hemingway, Charles Dickens or Bradbury.

One of my favorite contemporary authors is L.E. Mosesitt JR. He stories are intriguing, always encouraging the readers to think for themselves by resisting the temptation of spoon-feeding readers – every fact is not withing the written word, but implied by the facts of the stores. His series are phenomenal – each book reveals a little more about the world he paints, spinning a web that enthralls his readers.

I consider myself to be a storyteller. Perfection within the English language is something I constantly strive toward but seems so far out of reach. I’ve been told that the tales I spin are engaging and captivating to my audience, but they are as simple as a fairytale - the ones for the child in each of us.

In the end, it is the readers who make the call on what level a writer obtains. What are some of your favorite storytellers? Have you read and great authors?

The Hardy Ranch – Day One

November 15, 2010


Soon after we got married, Tony and I bought a small house with eight acres in luscious pasture. With all that grass, we figured it was going to waste. We should have some animals to eat some of it. One Saturday afternoon we discovered a livestock auction in Emmett, a small town down the highway a bit from where we lived.

For a couple of city-folks, our first Livestock Auction was quite the experience, let me tell you. There was a square pen with a dirt floor surrounded by these thick metal cables. The metal cage seemed a bit much as the first animals through the gate were goats and pigs. We held onto our bidding cards and hung tough; The smell of those was nearly enough to chase us right out of there.

Soon they brought in some calves. They were pretty cute, but we were somewhat confused by the pricing system. People were bidding one to two dollars on these little guys. An old farmer took pity on us and explained that price was per pound.

“Dollar three… I got a dollar thee… and there’s four…. do I see five…” With all the half words in between we could barely make out what the auctioneer was saying. About half way through this zoo they called and Livestock Auction, we decided that next time we’d bring a calculator. We couldn’t figure out how much we were bidding fast enough keep up with the mumbling announcer.

 

The next animals through the gate were a group of bulls. One got a little nasty, pawing the ground. The shepard with the electric prod dove behind the small metal wall, just in the nick of time. Suddenly we were very glad we sat in the back. We peered at those cables wondering if they were strong enough to keep those bulls in that pen. We stayed the entire day, enjoying the event almost as much as a rodeo.

On the way back to our car, a guy approached us. “Were you the ones bidding on the Jersey Steer?”

We had no clue what a Jersey was, but we did bid on quite a few cows. “The tan one with big dark eyes.” He explained.

Turns out Fred, let’s call him, didn’t get a satisfactory bid for his Jersey steer. He was willing to part with him for a few hundred, though. Fred was even willing to deliver him to our place, seeing how we didn’t have a trailer.

It was a pretty nice looking steer, as far as we could tell. Fred even gave us the back story on him. This steer was a Four H steer. More of a pet than anything else. He was so tame, Fred just led him out of the trailer like a horse.

We waved goodbye as Fred drove away, looking fondly at our new addition. Tony turned to me, grinning bigger than I’ve ever seen. “We need to get a sign – The Hardy Farm.”

“Honey, a farm is where they grow food, we grow cows. I think we should call it ‘The Hardy Ranch’.”


There’s so much more to becoming a great writer than just getting published, but for most people, that is their end goal. I thought I’d start this new thread of my blog with a little truth about what it’s like as a published author. L.E. Modesitt Jr said it more eloquently then I ever could:

“No author, not even in a book the length of War and Peace, can describe and cover all the aspects of a society and the people with which he or she populates that culture.  What authors do is provide bits and pieces in a way that the author believes will evoke a fuller picture of that society and those characters in the reader’s mind.  The inherent problem with this very necessary technique is that it can fail if a reader’s mindset, background, or knowledge base is such that the reader cannot evoke the feeling of that society… and the reader immediately says that the society and the characters are “cardboard.”  In addition, the more subtle the nuances in a society or character, the more detail from the author and the more understanding on the part of the reader that is required. Needless to say, sometimes this is the fault of the author for not providing enough detail…”

Take Eragon, for instance. Most fantasy readers know the books. Many people have seen the movie made from them. But here is what a couple of reader said about this book: (Not that I in any way agree or disagree with them…)

“Ah, Eragon. The book I love to make fun of. After reading this book and dismissing it as a terribly  written, if amusing, book, you can understand my puzzlement at the number of devoted fans there  are. And now with the next book coming out, I fear that more people will fall into the same trap of  “Ooh, shiny dragon cover!” After that, they have no chance.
So, you might ask, what’s so bad about Eragon? And why am I being so hard on the author, when he  was only fifteen? Doesn’t he deserve a little credit?

Paolini does deserve credit, but not for what most people give him. He has clearly read an impressive  number of classic fantasy novels. What is not so impressive is how he blatantly rips off every one of  them….”

Just to show that one review wasn’t a fluke, here’s another:

“I was given this book as a Christmas present and decided to read it. I’m 41, by the way, and have  read a few books and written a few stories in my day. I see this book has received over a thousand  reviews so I’ll keep mine short.

Good points:

The writing is technically sound for the most part (by that I mean at least grammatically correct) and  the writer followed the  classic pattern of the “epic” (hero travels around discovering secrets of  him/her self and growing in power reaching a climax of killing the evil one).

Bad points:

The plot is completely cliche and “safe”, woven from the fabric of all the stories the author had loved  (Star Wars, Dragon Riders of Pern, Lord of the Rings, and perhaps even The Song of Albion and others)  prior to writing his story. He even  names the evil empire, “the Empire”! Tip of the hat or uninspired  plagiarism?…”

Christoper Paolini has around 1,900 four and five star reviews and nearly 700 one and two star reviews. This means close to 40% of fantasy readers didn’t fully get the picture Paolini was painting.

The bottom line: Toughen up your skin and have a rag handy if you want to be a published author. As a new author, if you can get 70% of your readers submerged into the world you create, in my opinion, you have successfully succeeded in conveying your story. Even if you win a Pulitzer for your work, there will always be a few tomatoes thrown with the roses.

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