In For the Love of Self you outline strategies that helped you with healing different imbalances in your mind and body. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I wanted to give others some alternative suggestions to healing their issues because this had worked for me. I believe that we have the power within us to heal ourselves if only we believed and trusted in that. Our intuition, and we all have it, is a wonderful tool to tap into. We can too easily give our power away to the opinions of others, and the scientific/medical treatments that are offered, because of fear and a lack of knowledge. Drugs and surgery are not always the answer. I’m just very happy to say that my theories worked for me so I wanted to share that with the rest of the world. Maybe they can work for others as well. Now, wouldn’t that be nice!!!
In this book you describe your journey from stage 3 vaginal cancer to recovery. What was the biggest lesson you learned along the way?
It was important for me to find the root cause, to understand and heal the mental and emotional reasons that created the dis-eases/imbalances in my mind and body, because if I didn’t, I believe the cancer could come back again. I’ve seen this time and again with others until the body can’t tolerate any more treatment. But I also know that it’s everyone’s prerogative, and I respect that, to make the choices as to how they want to deal with their life’s challenges. We all have lessons and experiences to work through in our life and one way is no better than another.
What is one thing that you hope readers take away from this book?
To believe that anything is possible, and then do the inner work to achieve the desired outcome.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
At this point in time, another book has not been conceptualised as I’d like to give my current book all the focus and energy it needs to give it a fair chance to reach and help the people that need it the most.
When Kaylene Hay was diagnosed with Stage 3 vaginal cancer, her doctor advised her to have surgery. Because of her strong belief in cause and effect, she wanted to find out what could have contributed to this cancer, and particularly in the genital area. What she discovered, shocked her.
In For the Love of Self, Hay outlines the guidelines and strategies that helped with the healing of different diseases and imbalances in her mind and body, all woven within a collection of her life’s experiences. She tells how the success gained by using these strategies can be applied to any situation, and she shares the importance of looking beneath the surface of any presenting health issue to find the root cause, emphasizing surgery and drugs are not always the answer.
Through her own discoveries, Hay encourages others to find the courage to heal their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues by taking responsibility for their health and well-being. For the Love of Self shows how all of the answers are within and people must find their way back to health, happiness, and empowerment by taking charge of their life and doing the inner work to achieve their goals.
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Themes of forgiveness, trust, honor, technology as a healer, and non-violence echo through the pages of The Beauty of the Fall. What was the inspiration for the themes you used throughout the novel?
When I started the novel three years ago, I was interested in writing about, as you say, technology as a healer, or as I like to say, technology as a community builder. There are many good novels out there about the evils of technology, but few, if any, about technology companies that bring about positive social change. The idea of using technology to enable true democracy, as opposed to the slew of representative democracies out in existence today, intrigued me. The events in the world this last year –– the rise of fake news, populism, racism, and sexism—confirmed that I was one the right track. However, as my protagonist, Dan Underlight, emerged, I realized I was actually writing a redemption story. Once I was clear on that point, the themes broadened out to include all the ones you mentioned, especially forgiveness and simplicity.
I felt this story was very well written and used beautifully soulful language to create unique characters living compelling bittersweet lives. What’s your experience as a writer?
Well, first thanks for the compliment. I spend a lot of time at the sentence level, so it’s nice to hear that the language resonates with you. I’ve been writing all of my adult life, but only full-time for the last six years. In college, I had a chance to be mentored by a novelist in residence, but I was broke and needed to make money for a time. So when I graduated, I did. Throughout those years, I kept writing––mostly songs and poetry––but I always knew I would come back to writing novels. Hopefully, I’ll get ten or so of them out into the world before I’m done. I tend to write on most days in the morning for five or six hours. I’m a big believer in writing in the morning and tend to do my best work first thing each day.
The characters in The Beauty of the Fall are complex. What is your process for creating such in-depth characters?
As a writer, I’m trying to go deeper and deeper into the soul of each of my characters, and so I focus a lot of my effort on their inner lives. In this novel, I spent most of my time on Dan and Willow, but I also spent a considerable amount of time on the other characters. On process, I write a character over and over until I feel I find his or her voice. That usually happens at the scene level, and once I understand a character’s voice in that scene, it generalizes to the rest of the book pretty easily. With Dan in particular, once I understood his grief at some deep non-verbal level, he came into focus.
What is the next book that you are working on and when can your fans expect it to be out?
I’m working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers, which is about aging in a world that in many ways devalues age. It’s about how a few folks try to build a community that values age and wisdom. I’m one-hundred-and-forty pages into that novel and hope to have it out in a couple of years.
Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.
Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.
Guided by Dan’s leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?
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The Children of Fi is the exciting follow up to your other novel, The Mage Sister. Arinda has a plan to start a magicker school for girls. Why was it important for Arinda to create this school, alongside the one for boys at Vespith academy, against Jahx’s wishes.
Actually, Jahx is all for the program – he just gets frustrated with Arinda’s headstrong ‘I’ll-do-it-my-way’ sort of approach. His protests are meant to slow her down and get her to understand that she must follow the proper structure like everyone else, that there are consequences if she doesn’t. For Arinda, the magicker school for girls means so much to her because as a child, she was powerful and very smart. However, since there were no programs for girls, and being a girl magicker was such a shameful thing to be, she had to hide it and was not allowed to learn about her power. If she had never been sent to Vespith Academy and Jahx’s magic hadn’t chosen her, she faced a life of nothing but drudgery. She wants to stop that happening to other girls because it made her life so miserable and hopeless.
In this story you bring back some old friends and enemies, as well as introduce some new ones. Did you choose which characters to bring back, because you like writing for them, or did the story dictate who came back?
While I do really enjoy writing for some of them, such as Nathan and Cullen, the story did have a lot to do with who needed to return. Most of them had become such an integral part of Arinda’s life in The Mage Sister, they couldn’t just disappear in the second book. Also, Miles Dunforth, the main antagonist in The Children of Fi, is just as lazy as he is evil and I knew he couldn’t pull it off by himself. He’d have to find a really good henchman, and who better than someone that already had a reason to want revenge on the Kingdom of Rowan and the Circle of Mages.
The Children of Fi gives a lot more history of Kynllaria and Fiaryn. Was this backstory something you always had, even when writing the first book, or did it come after the first was finished?
Part of it, like the history of Fiaryn and Fiaryn’s Gate, I had developed long ago when I started writing The Mage Sister and building the world they live in. Other parts, such as the story of the Sun Dynasty of Naria Valley and the specific details of Jahx’s history, needed to be added and pretty much evolved as I wrote it.
Cullen, the Master Healer of Rowan, is a defender of Arinda’s plan to educate girls in magic. I found his character to be intriguing. What was your inspiration for his character?
Cullen seems to be everyone’s favorite character. For the most part I just let him be himself, but I’ve also known and worked with many doctors over the years (I’ve worked in the medical industry since 1999). As a healer, Cullen has many of the characteristics I observe in the doctors I work with every day – self-assurance, compassion, occasional impatience, frustration with patients who don’t listen – mixed with a person dealing with a troubled past and an unpleasant personal life that few know about. These are all elements that are a part of Cullen, yet Cullen isn’t based on a specific person I’ve ever known. I just borrowed some of the traits I’ve observed to add authenticity to what he does and allowed him to speak in his own voice.
Is there going to be another book after The Children of Fi? If so, what will that book be about?
I am currently working on the third book in the series, telling the story of what happens after The Children of Fi. It’s hard to tell much about it without including spoilers for The Children of Fi, so I’ll just say that there will be a lot about a certain event at the end of The Children of Fi, which must involve quite a bit of conflict, and I’m not entirely certain how that’s going to be resolved just yet. Also, a new conflict arises surrounding the location Fiaryn’s Gate and the gate itself. Now that Fiaryn’s is gone, quite a few people have plans for it and some are willing to do anything to claim it. And finally, a whole new group of characters comes out to play, and we will learn more about the ancient and mysterious Coubirigh, the scary baddies that turn magickers into mages… if they survive the encounter.
A great accomplishment, a dire mistake, and secrets buried long ago set into motion a volatile chain of events that lead the Kingdom of Rowan straight into an unexpected war. When Arinda’s school for female magickers becomes more successful than she could have hoped for, she and King Nathan are invited to other countries to advise them on setting up their own programs. But not everyone is interested in the education of their girls, and not everyone is who they seem to be. In this sequel to ‘The Mage Sister’, long kept secrets are brought to light, and the truths they reveal will change the world of Kynllaria forever.
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