In Hyperlink From Hell, murder haunts The Haven, celebrity James Canning’s home since he lost touch with Reality TV. What’s his “shrink” to do? Assign writing therapy, of course. But when the good doc reads Canning’s memoir, Hyperlink from Hell, he checks into his own padded suite and Canning disappears. To save the doc from madness, The Haven’s new director must analyze the hell out of Hyperlink from Hell. Is Canning’s tale of kidnapping, murder, time travel and wardrobe malfunction fact or fiction, deceit or delusion? Can she solve the murders, save her boss and find Canning? Or will she need a padded suite of her own?
Today I’m catching up with Lindy Moone, author of the novel ‘Hyperlink from Hell’. Lindy, thanks for joining me today. Can you start today’s interview off by letting us know what drove you to document the tale of James Canning and The Haven’s new director in ‘Hyperlink from Hell’?
It started from a conversation that popped into my head: “Oh, enough about you! Let’s talk about me,” with the reply: “All right. What would you like to know about yourself?” That conversation became the start of the book within the book.
And did that conversation lead you straight to your characters, or did they develop through other means?
In dreams, in my soup… and from everywhere. But mostly they just popped into my head and refused to leave, as I tapped away at the keyboard on sleepless nights.
That must be some pretty wicked soup to be producing fiction characters.Did you develop strong relationships with some of the characters regardless of how they came into being?
Yes. Jimmie, obviously, but I’m very fond of Monique and Louie.
Would you socialise with any of them if they came to life? And who would you choose?
Do you ever dream about your characters?
How do you think I got into this mess?
In fact, one of my dreams made it into the book almost unchanged, and it’s the one that had the creepiest side to it. I dreamed about house-hunting by boat in New Orleans, which had flooded and its streets were now canals. This was only a few months before hurricane Katrina hit — and in the same dream I saw what looked like a rainbow of colors reflecting off black, oily water. Before the B. P. Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Enter the V-Rex (a vampire dinosaur, of course).
That is kinda spooky. So did you research aspects around or outside of your dreams while writing?
Only for little things, like travel times between San Francisco neighborhoods, or from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, or from Manhattan to The Hudson Valley estates. It was really more fact-checking of the mundane elements than real research. I mean, how does one research how deep a canal would be if New Orleans suddenly looked like Venice, or how high the water would come up to on a V-Rex as it wades through the city after dark looking for a snack… in what might be assumed to be a dream sequence… but might not?
Aside from knitting your vivid dreams into your tale, did you also feel the need to work in apects or realities from your own life?
Lots and lots. I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay area, and The Haven is based on an institution for the developmentally disabled in Wassaic, NY, where my grandfather was the director. He and my grandmother lived in an estate on the grounds, and my siblings and I spent our strange but happy childhood summers there. Both my parents worked at a psychiatric center, too, and I had plenty of chances to observe patients — at least the ones who were safe to wander the grounds.
Those are some very different experiences to merge in to your tale. Has these experiences led you to want to overtly or covertly setup themes in the story for readers to ponder?
No. Themes happen. At least, I trust that they will, but if I ever write something that doesn’t seem to “theme”, I’ll have to reconsider that trust… and rewrite. Not to impose a theme, but to discover one.
Was the writing and discovery process long for this book?
5 years! More to get up the courage to show it to a critique group, still more to learn how to format and publish it. So about 7! That’s crazy, these days. I bet most authors will off-handedly answer this question, “Oh, three whole months and then two more gruelling weeks for editing and then it’s off to the next, darling!” Yes, I like to picture authors saying “Darling!” and flinging their arms about, possibly putting out one of the interviewer’s eyes and getting sued for all their royalties. It makes envying fast writers more bearable!
*Laughs*. I’m glad to hear that you’ve got a very healthy strategy for dealing with fast writers. You are by no means the slowest writer I have interviewed, but yes there has been more than one author who can manage to corral their thoughts into a single coherent form quite quickly. Do you corral your own thoughts via the editing process yourself?
Yes, but I have many trusted author friends who help me out by beta reading.
Do you have any tips for self-publishing for other authors?
Yes. Don’t listen to me. Listen to authors who have it together, like Chuck Wendig.
What did you find the most rewarding thing about writing this book?
As a writer? The absolute thrill when everything seemed to be coming together in such an insanely — at least to me — surprising and amusing way. The serendipity of it all. As an author: That some people actually get Hyperlink From Hell — actually buy it, get it, love it, gush about it. And then when one reviewer said it could even be a banned book in some circles, well, I nearly fainted in ecstasy.
Was that also the reaction you got your first review?
Scared. Elated. Humbled. Nauseous. And absolutely convinced that Hyperlink From Hell is smarter than I am. So, pretty much like any other day.
I hope those emotions don’t prevent you from working on your next fiction escapade. Can you clue us in to what you are currently writing?
A very punny paranormal mystery series.
Good luck with that. Now I’ve missed a question that I wanted to ask earlier, who designed your very cool book cover?
I take full responsibility. But the free program, Gimp, has a lot to answer for.
You did a good job so I suspect that it’s not your first time using Gimp. Do you use your artistic talent often?
I’m an artist, but I design book covers for friends, not for money. Also have done some editing. I suppose that influences my writing just how you’d expect.
Do you think that your writing has also been swayed by your favourite authors?
My writing is stylistically most influenced by Heller, Vonnegut and Lewis Carroll, but the great female writers I was exposed to growing up and in college shaped my sensibilities more. Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Zenna Henderson, Kate Chopin, Katherine Mansfield, Charlotte Perkins Gilman… Way too many to mention, and I’ve probably left out the most important ones. J.K. Rowling has been an inspiration, teaching me that while perfection in writing isn’t possible, instilling a love for your characters is essential.
That really is a wonderful lesson for authors. Do you think that giving more people the ability to self-publish will allow more people to instil and share their own love for their characters?
I’m hopeful that there will always be new great books to read. But I’m not at all sure there will be much money in fictional intellectual property in the future. Everyone values their own work these days, but it seems like fewer and fewer people value others’.
Now we’re reached the final section of our interview, the quick fire round. I’ll fire questions at you as fast as I can without getting tongue tied, and you can volley back the answers as quickly as possible without hurting yourself. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
Cuttlefish and bumblebee. Because “Bumblefish”!
Awesome. Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
There is no such thing!
Is there a book that you wish that you would have written?
Wide Sargasso Sea.
Can you curl your tongue?
Who is your favourite literary character?
Yossarian, from Catch-22.
What are you currently reading?
Everything! I don’t know how I’ll ever finish.
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dinosaurs. Way cooler. Plus, some of them became birds.
I find just that fact alone insanely neat and awesome. It should be on t-shirts. Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
“Don’t be an a–” Ahem, let’s change that to “Be kind.”
What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
I live in Turkey, where I’m spoiled for choice. I know of a girl named “Enough”. And one of the local politicians here has a last name that literally translates to “Enormous Underpants”!
*Laughs*. That is fantastic. What is your best tip for authors?
Get up and move from time to time.
What is your favourite quote?
Today? I can’t say. You wanted this to be PG and I’ve been watching too many political commentators.
*Laughs*. I can understand that at the moment, I can’t watch any politics at the moment because my aim is getting and one day I’m not going to miss when I throw things at the tv. So how about a more PG question, what was your favourite book as a child?
Alice in Wonderland.
What is your zodiac sign?
Scorpio, but don’t hold it against me. I don’t believe in astrology. I’m an a-astrologist.
What is your favourite quote from another author?
Today? “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes time and annoys the pig.” (Mark Twain)
What is your favourite line, quote or statement from your book?
I can’t say, because I had this idea years and years ago to hold a contest to see if any of my readers could guess it, and then I’d give them a million bucks or a car or a trip to Disneyland or something equally valuable, like a stuffed bat.
Well then I shall let you keep your secret. And the final question for today what is your favourite word?
Prestidigitation. (It sounds dirty).
Tricky. Lindy, thanks again for hanging out with me today I’ve enjoyed catching up with you and I’d like to wish you the best of luck for your promotion and the progress on your upcoming mystery work.
Want to connect with Lindy? Look here: