Interview with T.L. Hart

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the top of a snowy mountain... no really, I spent my formative years living in an old farm house atop a mountain in NH. Most of the land I lived on was dense forest and I spent much of my time exploring it. It's hard not to fall in love with fantasy when you practically live in a magical forest.
When did you first start writing?
I had always made up little stories to entertain myself in boring situations; long car rides, in bed before I sleep, math class, you know, the usual places. I had started to put some of my stories down, but stopped for a few years after the computer I stored them all on died, and I lost all my work. I picked it up later, and have been doing my best to make up for lost time.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are the ones I publish the books for. I can write all I want in my spare time, and have great fun with it, but knowing that my stories might make someones day a little better is the best thing I can hope for. I grew up reading all I could, loving each story that taught me something different, or made me see the world in a different light. The ones that inspired me to continue on, even when things were rough.

It was why my first story the "Tale of The Iron Rose", where a little wild girl from a forest, grows up to be a hero, I want someone to pick it up, and see that even when things can crush you and your tiny self, it's never the size of the person in the fight, but the size of the fight in the person.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It quiets the screaming in my head... in a non-totally-insane way. Honestly. The truth is that my mind is constantly buzzing with ideas for new books, and writing them out is like a pressure release for my brain. The way it plays out on the page is like having a conversation with myself about something at the speed of my own thought and I just love seeing where things go, I sometimes surprise myself.

I also get to give something good to people. A story should give a person insight about a world they've never seen, it should make them think and question, but also uplift them to a higher standard of being.

One of my favorite quotes; "Fantasy does not teach children that dragons exist, but that they can be defeated."
What's the story behind your latest book?
My most recent was a sequel, but the series has a special place for me. I was working at an art museum while I was daydre- diligently working on a short story, when I passed this giant mural. It was by an artist who painted scenes, and put such depth into them that I spent hours inspecting every inch of it. It changed much of the story, from the personality of the character (Rose) to her race, and even hair color. I still love that painting, it changed a short story about an orphan, into a saga involving a girl nothing can keep down.
What are you working on next?
Well, besides a three part romance series, I'm also working on a book about a realistic super villain, told through his time spent talking to a prison therapist. I rarely speak much about books I'm working on, mostly because I feel the less I talk about it, the more I have to work on it. No one wants to hear me talk about things I'm "going to do" or "am working on", I think most would prefer me to hand them a finished product and say "this is what I've done".

This is, however, my own personal view. I've met authors who can talk for ages about their newest idea, and still make progress. I'm just a different flavor of crazy. I love writing in different genres, and have never felt I should be limited to just one genre, age group, or even style of story.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I've work and hobbies, but my passion is fighting. I've trained practically my entire life, primarily with blades. I started when I was six years old, studying swordwork under my brother, and have yet to stop. I've gone from culture to culture, learning their blades and bladework. From Japan to Bronze Age Ireland, I've studied and practiced. I frequently join other martial artists to simply experiment with technique, and beat eachother senseless. We never claimed to be sane.

I'm also an avid gamer, hoping one day to write for video games specifically (hint, hint; Bioware...), and I occasionally drop little gaming jokes into my work. Just things that other games can smirk at.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was a tie between two that I read when I learned to read; "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" a story about hard work and problem solving, and learning that compromise can make both sides win. The second, being "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", a story about towels, the end of the world, and mind shattering alcohol.

Many years from now, when the psychoanalysts pick apart my life to see "what went horribly wrong", I like to think they'll have a big red circle around that.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Like it was burned into my mind, and I've been holding off on writing it until I feel I'm ready to put it to good use. I won't go into details (I rarely do), but it's a story that I've kept in mind since childhood, and it's a very short, simple story about a very complex subject.

The meaning of good, and evil.
What is your writing process?
Boredom-> Pacing around my house-> Laying awake thinking-> Spacing out-> Thinking of character ideas->Asking what sort of soup the character would like-> Deciding to write everything down in one go-> Realizing, yet again, that's impossible-> Ranting and rambling-> Writing for hours-> Deciding that I'm going to get up a 4am, again, to write down just a single line of dialogue, and spending the rest of the night at the computer, typing away.

The process is basically madness mixed with ramblings, I don't know how people deal with me.
How do you approach cover design?
By asking my much more artistic wife, and getting out of her way.
Describe your desk
Old, beaten, and faded black. I modified it so I can sit cross-legged in my chair. Beside it are two large storage bins of books I've read, on it is as follows:
Half finished drink.
Finished Italian Ice cup.
A ring box.
Motorcycle registration.
Old Smartphone.
Another of the same model.
Current Smartphone.
German Solingen boot knife.
DnD's "Dragon Quest" SpeEd.
Capo Ferro's Sword manuel.
Two filled classic Pokemon trading card folders ( I found in my trunk a month ago).
A flip knife.
A spoon.
Where do your stories come from?
They come from a deep place in my mind, a nice little cozy spot where I just let the world run free. I don't every nail down a definitive "This story must be this way!", instead letting it grow and even changing it later. I've gone back and changed entire books because I saw something in the background that felt more organic and real than anything I had intentionally done.

In essence, I think the stories come from the characters in them, nothing that I've personally forced into being.
Published 2013-09-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Tale of The Iron Rose II: Blood on the Snow
Series: Tale of The Iron Rose, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 124,220. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
When a man from her past forges an alliance between a human town and a band of orcs, the call goes out the Iron Rose to keep the malignant forces that threaten at bay. ... But this time she's not alone. When the dark clouds of war and evil gather over the town, Rose and company stand before it. In the end, whose blood will be left on the snow?
Tale of the Iron Rose
Series: Tale of The Iron Rose, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 78,040. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 1 review)
The Tale of the Iron Rose follows the exploits of Rose, a short, feral girl turned professional monster hunter. At first, the job is easy enough, but soon she's not just facing goblins and trolls. With orcish raiders, perverted enchanters, handsome dragon-knights, crime bosses, and legendary beasts descending upon her town, the newly named "Iron Rose," is going to have her claws full.