hennwick Presents: Get to Know Me!

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Hi guys! I'm so excited to be included in another Wattpad Block Party! I have a bad habit of my post being a sneak peek of an upcoming story that ends up not being written, and I was going to do a sneak peek of "Fish Out of Water" for this one until I realised that I should already be at least 1/3 done with it by the time this goes up! Instead, I've decided to do a "get to know me" post. If you have any more questions, I'd love to answer them in the comments below. Enjoy!

So, who are you?

Those of you who knew me before 2018 will know that I used to be anonymous on this account. I went by the name that is still my username – Hennessey Wick – and tried to keep my online and offline lives separate. However, it got hard when I had been so active on my old account (justlyd, which is still alive complete with my old novels) and I had several people comparing my style to ... well, my style. They just didn't know it. So on New Year's Day, I packed in the anonymity act.

I'm Lydia and I'm testing out my author name as Lydia Hephzibah – my real middle name, one that I still misspell sometimes – rather than my last name, which is very boring. I'm 22 years old, from the West Midlands in the UK, and currently about to go into my last year as a Political Science undergraduate at the University of Birmingham. Yes, I'm late, I know. I took a gap year and an incredible year abroad in Canada, so I'm a bit behind my friends!

I'm the second of four very different children: my 24-year-old brother is into music, food and football, and wants to own his own travelling food company someday; my 20-year-old brother is a computer wizard who is into internet security and all things tech, and my 15-year-old sister is at a drama academy studying musical theatre with dreams of the West End and Broadway. The four of us couldn't be much more different – especially when our parents are a doctor and a nurse!

What's your Wattpad story?

I've been writing since I was about five and writing novels for a decade now. Writing is my passion, something I hope can one day be my career, as creating stories is my life source. I first joined Wattpad in 2013 and in 2015, I was thrilled to be asked to join the Wattpad Stars program (though back then, it was the Partners program). I even got to write a commissioned piece for Cadbury that year, which was pretty awesome!

I eventually left my old account in 2016, when I outgrew it. Friendships had fallen apart and readers had drifted away. I no longer enjoyed being on the account and logging in made me feel weird and kind of sad. There were times that I thought about just quitting all together, but I couldn't possibly when writing is in my blood. Instead, I decided to just up sticks and move to a new account.

Cue hennwick! New account, new identity. I rehauled myself and started writing what I wanted to write, rather than what I thought my old 30,000 followers wanted me to write. It was the best decision I've made. I absolutely love this account and am so thankful for everyone who reads my works and comments on them.

I decided to reveal my identity at the start of this year as the decision had sort of been taken out of my hands. I was scared of revealing who I was as I worried that people would be angry, but I became aware of a lot of people – including former friends – who were going behind my back, digging for information and spreading rumours. It made me so uncomfortable that I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I'm so glad I did, as the reception I received was so much better than expected. Thank you to everyone who made me feel so at home when I decided to shed my anonymity!

What's the lowdown on your works?

There isn't one, really. I had a random idea one day in April 2016 that led to Twenty-One Night Stand, which grew crazily popular somehow, and when I started planning my second book, I decided to tie it into the same universe. I now have 9 books in that universe, plus more than 20 that have yet to be / may never be written, and I'm taking a well-deserved (in my opinion) break!

I did get a little carried away with the length of the timeline I used in my Farnleigh universe, with the MC of one book being the grandson of the MC of my initial book. While I loved revisiting those characters, who really feel like a family now (I get so sad when I remember they're figments of my imagination), I found myself getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of potential stories in that genre.

In November 2017, I decided to break out of my shell and write a werewolf book, despite never having read the genre or known much about it other than clichés. I wanted to write my own version of a werewolf story, without the alpha/beta/omega/luna tropes, instead focusing on the relationship between a wolf and his human mate, and a terrible organisation trying to kill the wolves.

I never expected to love writing it so much, or for it to go down so well, but I am so excited to write the second book in the trilogy this November – it's not a series I can write during summer when it's so dark and set in the Scottish winter.

This year, I decided to break out even more. After years of writing exclusively very English third person, past tense books, I decided to write a novel in first person, present tense, set in America. I wanted to write a protagonist I really related to – a fat, autistic girl in university who struggles with self-confidence and overthinks every tiny thing – and it wasn't long before Storie's voice was hounding me.

All of Me – Storie's story – is my pride and joy. It's the book that I want to be my debut someday, the one I want to polish and publish and throw out into the world. If you haven't read it yet, it would mean the world to me if you did!

Where to next?

Onwards and upwards is always my motto! I have now developed a love for writing in first person, present tense and really getting into a character's head, so I have more works in that style up my sleeve. I will be querying All of Me once it's edited, and continuing to write on Wattpad of course! In October, I'll be at WattCon in NYC, which I am over the moon for. If you'll be there, let me know!

I love to interact with you guys so if you want to know more, please feel free to ask away! You can always find me on Twitter (lydiauthor), where I overshare and retweet a lot, and Instagram (lydiauthor), where I post all things bookish, every day! 

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