Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am mathematically dyslexic - I can't understand mathematical concepts at all. I love grammar. I used to teach ancient Greek grammar and ancient history at a university in Australia. I read grammar books in the way in which other people read novels. I have horses and have two rescue cats. I've rescued quite a few horses. Cruelty to animals makes me very upset. I can't to stand see people treat horses badly. My other pet hate is religious intolerance.
I can only type with two fingers, but I do it quickly in a weird rhythm, and make so many typos that I have to spend ages correcting all of them. A guy once asked me if I was typing in hieroglyphics. I actually copied the last line before I corrected it so I could show you what the original looks like: "thst i ahev to sopend ages correcting all fo them. ocne guy ocne asked me if i was tyoing inehirpgylpics."
When did you begin writing?
I began writing at a very early age. When I was in academia, I had to churn out a lot of stuff as the saying "publish or perish" is quite true.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I am most comfortable translating ancient texts as I have been doing it for years and enjoy it.
What is your biggest challenge of being an author?
Time is a major challenge. I find many people think that authors have plenty of free time, or at least can very easily rearrange their time to suit others - so not true.
With my translations, public domain books are a huge challenge for me. Anyone can get any book which is in the public domain and publish it. Sadly, it's legal. Floods of public domain books appear on Amazon and also as ebooks. The trouble is that the reader is not aware that, say, ten books with different covers are all the very same public domain book put out by different people hoping to make a fast buck. These books flood the market. This is difficult for me putting out new translations. Worse still, some people with no language training whatsoever have got public domain books of ancient translations, changed the older English (such as "thou" and "thy") into modern English, then pretended that they have actually translated these ancient texts. One such guy even wrote a Wikipedia page calling himself a world leading scholar. Wiki soon deleted the page. This is a huge challenge for genuine translators producing new translations (based on recent scholarship in the field) of ancient texts. This requires many years of study and it is frustrating when people flood the market with public domain books thinking they will make money this way.
What do you love most about being an author?
Being an author is a wonderful creative outlet and I can be my own boss. I'm an Aries, and we are better off working for ourselves.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I actually don't have any spare time, but if I can force myself to relax, I read and do stuff with the horses, and talk to my daughter or sister on the phone for hours - or all of the above at once. I used to like to renovate houses but I think I did way too much, and now the thought of renovation fills me with horror.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I love anyone from Classical Greece except Plato and Thucydides. Homer is my favorite author as the Iliad and the Odyssey are works of sheer brilliance. I also love ancient Greek and Roman pastoral poetry.
How did you name your characters?
Hedgeland is based on Celtic mythology, so I used names from Irish and Welsh mythology. As I'm a former academic, I'm a research junkie so I wanted the background in Hedgeland to be historically accurate. For the "Present" section in Hedgeland, I didn't want to be sued in naming certain real-life characters, so I used the Irish versions of their actual names. I hope they don't read this!
What are you currently working on?
I am working on the next two books in the Hedgecraft Sequence, and also on Penelope, which is a mythic fiction paranormal romance based on the Odyssey. In Homer's Odyssey, the warrior Odysseus is a complete man-whore. His wife Penelope is expected to stay faithful to him until he returns home, even though he is away for twenty years chasing after women. In my version Penelope doesn't stay faithful to Odysseus and she has a much better time than Homer gave her.
Author Dr Ann Nyland was on Faculty at the University of New England, Australia. She is a grammar pedant, ancient languages translator, and best selling non-fiction author of such books as The Complete Books of Enoch; Angels, Archangels and Angel Categories: What the Ancients Said; The Book of Jubilees; A Devil of a Job to Find Satan in the Bible, among others.
You can find Hedgeland at the following places:
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (paperback)
One lucky reader will receive an ecopy of Hedgeland! Just leave a comment on this post if you would like to enter. Don't forget to leave your email address so the author can contact you if you win! Giveaway open through June 2nd!