Interview with Roy Hayward

What's the story behind your latest book?
So, I've been reading fiction for a long long time. Most of that has been Science Fiction. When I was in High School I read some short stories about trees and plant aliens. I hadn't thought about them much when in 2015 I was listening to a writing podcast and the host started making jokes about genre mashups. They were talking about elves in space.

This was a germ of an idea that started this story. Somehow I knew that elves in space would need trees in space. And I was already working on a novel that involved colonization. I wrote a chapter with Terrance my main character interacting with trees on a colony world. After that, the story started to grow.

My original novel became the backstory for this one. And I'm not sad about that. I'm planning on using it as the backstory for a few others as well. It looks like a better backstory than a novel now.
Who are your favorite authors?
Asimov and Heinlein were my first two favorite authors. Later I have added Gordon R Dickson, David Brin, and Orson Scott Card.

When I was younger, I read all of the books the local libraries carried of these writers. Since then I've read more. So I've pretty much read everything Asimov and Heinlein have written. I can't quite say the same thing about the others. Someday.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I haven't yet become a full-time author. My professional career is as a programmer or web developer. I've spent many years writing software and websites for companies selling products and providing services online. I also have a family that takes much of my time when I'm not working. My wife and I have seven children of our own and have adopted 4 foster children. So there are lots of busy, noisy, rowdy activity at my house all of time.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There are really two. First, but not necessarily most important, is I feel driven to tell stories. I have a constant flood of ideas for plots and characters. I write them down and some of them insist that I do more. It's exciting to see a character jump from your imagination onto a page and start to come alive.

The second is that I have always loved to read. Growing up I exhausted the libraries of my town and school for science fiction. I found two things that I didn't like. Authors would get lazy after a couple of good books and start filling pages with sex. And authors would start lazy and think that they could swear and be vulgar in print as a cover for not haveing a large vocabulary. When I decided to write, I wanted to write stories that would not have these problems. I hope that I live up to this goal. When I think I do, it makes me happy.
What are you working on next?
I have my second novel, Seed of Stars. This is the second part of the Legend of Trees trilogy.

I also have a few short stories that I'm finishing up. I don't know if a story will be a novel or a short story when I start it. They all start with the plan of being a novel. But some finish early. I'm finishing up some fo these that are demanding to be published.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
That is a tricky question. I try to buy and read hard covers of my favorite authors. Sometimes friends will recommend ebooks. Other times I will find bookbub, goodreads, or other online ebook sites will recommend books and I'll try them out. Right now, I'd say only half of my reading of fiction is done on ebooks.
What is your writing process?
So, I constantly have new ideas for stories and characters. When this happens, I try and jot down the idea in Evernote in a folder called stories. Later, when I am in a better place, I look through these ideas and either jot down a plot outline, or just start free writing.

Sometimes it takes me a few times of looking over an idea before it grows a life of its own. But once it has, I have trouble tearing myself away. Eventually, the story is moved to its own folder in Evernote so that the chapters can be separated into individual documents. Most of my composition is done in the Evernote app.

When I have a rough draft, I move all of the chapters into a single Google Doc. This is the beginning of my editing process. I then share the story with my closest beta readers and my editor. After that, I share the story with more beta readers. A couple of more rounds of editing, and I move the story to scrivener for formatting and publishing.
Published 2017-03-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Family Secrets
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 79,750. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Ellen is a genealogist with a question. She travels to England to find answers. But the more she looks the more questions she finds. Questions like who is trying to stop her? What happened to the family fortune she never knew existed till she started looking? And are they willing to kill to stop her?
Seed of Stars
Pre-release—available December 26, 2018. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,900. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
The starship has fallen. The colony leadership has been co-opted by the alien forest. And there is dissension building among the surviving starship crew. Melody is on her way. The suspense might kill someone.
Iron Fist, Crystal Dagger
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 27,320. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Edwin Page Glass is a prospector. He travels into the jungles to hunt for mature Yuma trees and harvest the crystal daggers used in complex calculation machines. The treachery of a partner or their death has made it difficult for Edwin to get ahead and so he came up with a risky and daring plan. Assuming he lives through it.
To Paint with all the Colors of the Visible Spectrum
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,730. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Baxter is an artist that uses the cosmos as his canvas. But in spite of his success, he is very alone. When he has finally found someone he might be able to include in his life the actions of a rival put it all at risk. Will he be able to trust someone he has just met in order to survive?
Airlock
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,660. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
James Grey and his AI companion Jeeves take a salvage contract. This should just be another routine assignment to survey and tag items with value. When they get to the salvage, they encounter something alive in the salvage. Soon there is a struggle for survival.
Arbor Colony
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,400. Language: English. Published: November 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
They name the planet Arbor as they begin to establish a colony because of its extensive forestation. They soon learn there is something in the forest that is watching them and has plans of its own. Not all intelligent life has to be animal life. And there is intelligent life on Arbor. Intelligent life that needs humans.