Today I have the fascinating Jill-of-all trades and late bloomer, Yvonne Hertzberger with me. I am very pleased she is here for a variety of reasons, the most selfish being that my hair needs doing and I happen to know that Yvonne, who has held a variety of positions in her working life, is also a hairdresser.
Originally emigrated from the Netherlands when she was a tiny tot and now resides in Stratford, Ontario with her spouse in a 130 year old cottage. It’s a huge pleasure to have you here Yvonne. While you get to work with those scissors I’ll ask a few rapid fire questions.
The Streets of San Francisco or Hill Street Blues?
Um, what???? I don’t watch either. I’m a Dancing With The Stars and Downton Abbey girl.
Bruce Springsteen or The Jackson Five?
OMG, do I have to? Ok, then, Bruce.
Atari computer or a Barbie Doll?
Barbie Doll – I love clothes and the computer scares me.
The Godfather – though I hope I never get a horse’s head in my bed.
Can you tell us a short joke?
“What did the chicken say when she saw the scrambled eggs? – Look at those crazy mixed up kids.”
What was the first item of makeup you bought?
Lipstick – and I’d take it all off before I got home from school.
What one mad thing would you like to do before you are too old to do it?
Sing a solo without choking. Or zip-lining in the rain forest.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Gordon Lightfoot’s first “Lightfoot” with “The Canadian Railroad Trilogy” on it. I still love it.
Thank you Yvonne. I really liked the zip-lining idea and your cracking joke (Ooh sorry!) You’re also doing a fabulous job on my hair. Right, onto more sensible answers now:
For those who don’t know you, what genre do you write?
Fantasy – some say Epic Fantasy because it is a trilogy, others say Historical Fantasy. I’m hard to pin down. There’s even some romance.
What one piece of advice would you give to new authors that you have found useful in your journey to getting published?
Avoid giving your money to the so-called self-publisher that are really just vanity publishers wanting to take your money. To find out more go to Preditors and Editors and see what they have to say about any company you are considering. I got caught by one with my first edition of my first book. It was an expensive lesson.
Also, network with other writers and writing groups such as Indies Unlimited to find a support group and to learn all you can about this industry. Writing can be a very lonely business unless you have good contacts.
Hear, hear. What genre of books do you usually read?
My favourite is fantasy – not the kind full of spells and magic, but more the epic series that keep me involved in characters and stories. I do read a few mysteries, some general fiction and the occasional humour book that’s recommended. I read very little non-fiction. I am a slow reader and wish I had more time to read.
What do you do to help you concentrate on writing?
I have my little corner set up with my desk and computer. I need complete silence but I like to still feel part of things so I have it set up so that I can see into my kitchen and take a break when I want to. I tend to mull things over as I cook or garden and then write in spurts. Deadlines do help, though. Ulp! lol
So, onto more private business. What can you tell us that we might not already know about you? Surprise us!
My sense of humour is a bit off the wall. Many don’t get it and think I am being serious when I am teasing or joking. It has landed me into a lot of hot water at times or really fallen flat at others. I do have a sense of the absurd which gets me by.
I am a big picture person and see things from a global perspective. That lands me in trouble, too, as people think I am changing the subject when I am really expanding it beyond the tunnel that I think others have locked themselves into. This is especially true around issues of justice and morality. I think it may be one reason I choose to write fantasy. It allows me to explore issues without being told by readers that that just would not happen. They will go along for the ride with me if they think I am not talking about ‘real’ society – even though I really am. Sneaky, eh? 😉
I did not know I had an aptitude for writing until I retired from ‘real’ work and had some time to think about it. With my kids gone and not regular demands on my time I found that I had a story in me, and not just ‘a story’ but a trilogy. Since then I have had other ideas for books when this is finished. This is NOT what I thought retirement would bring. It has given this old broad a new sense of purpose.
And I trained a German Shepherd puppy at the age of 14. He competed against adult dogs when he was 13 weeks old and came in second. He was my best friend. I still tear up every time I think about him. That’s a story I want to write some time.
I’d be the first person to buy that book. I adore German Shepherds. Thank you Yvonne so much not only for the marvellous new hairstyle but for being here.
Thank you so much for having me here, Carol. We ‘over 50’s’ need to stick together.
Book One and Two of the Earth’s Pendulum trilogy
Klast, loner, assassin and spy, has no idea that his destiny is linked to the maid he is sent to rescue. Or that both their fates are inescapably bound together to heal the wounds that Earth, source of all life, sustained from the war between Bargia and Catania. But before he can fulfill the role that Earth has set for him, he must wrestle with his own internal demons. He must also assist Lord Gaelen to unmask and bring to justice the traitor who plots to kill Lady Marja and the heir that she bears. Failure of any part of Klast’s journey could upset, even further, the Balance necessary for Earth to support Her people with good harvests, health and peace. Each needs the other.
Even Liethis, true seer, does not fully understand what makes it so imperative that Klast’s bond with Brensa not be broken. But Earth has shown her that Her healing, the future of the people, even the birth of the heir Marja bears, depend on it. Unless Klast completes his destiny, She will not heal, and more catastrophes, like the Red Fever that ravages the population, will follow. Time is short.
Find out more about Yvonne and her books by clicking on any of the links below: