I’m inspired by places, which must be why I love travelling so much. And I love listening to people’s stories, trying to understand what they dream about, what makes them tick; wondering what our lives would be like if I’d been born in their place and they'd been born in mine.
Lily Hyde is a British writer who has been living in and travelling around Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the far east for over fifteen years. In addition to writing fiction, she covers Ukraine affairs for international media including The Guardian,The Times, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, New Internationalist. Lily also works as a consultant in public health and human rights.
An author profile here. See my blog for what I'm working on and thinking about right now.
Here are the answers to some questions I get asked a lot about me and my writing:
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the book, but in general I’m a very slow writer. The quickest of my novels to write so far has been Dream Land, which took about a year to complete the first draft.
Which is your favourite of the books you’ve written?
Dream Land is probaby the most important to me, because it tells the story of a wonderful people, the Crimean Tatars, who suffered a huge injustice once when they lost their homeland, and are at risk of suffering the same again. But in purely writing terms, my favourite is usually the book where I've just typed 'The end' .
Are you famous?
Well, you’ve heard of me, haven’t you?
Are you working on a book now?
I have two books in stages of completion.Research for one includes going to the ballet, being harangued by Socialist Workers, practicing handstands and reading Dostoyevsky; the other is about taxonomy - which is more fun than it sounds.
Who does the covers of your books?
My publisher chooses the illustrators, but so far I really love all my covers. I get to see a draft version and have an opportunity to say whether or not I like it. In the case of Riding Icarus I wanted a few things changed, and as a result the cover’s now green instead of blue, and some of the details are closer to how they are in the book itself.
What would be your advice to budding writers?
Have faith in yourself. If you don’t believe in or are not really interested in what you’re writing, then for sure no one else will be. Write because you enjoy it, but remember that if you want to write well, you have to be prepared to work hard at it. And when you’re not writing, read!
Why are you obsessed with trolleybuses?
I am not obsessed with trolleybuses! Oh, alright, I am… a bit. Because they’re (relatively) ecologically friendly. Because they squeak. Because I once got offered a lift home in the driver’s cabin of one when I was stuck out after midnight in Kiev. And because they have the greatest name that makes you want to sing it to the tune of the Lollipop song.