Thrilling new mystery novel encourages readers to explore the uncertain path of self-discovery.
It’s such an honour to host author interviews with inspiring women, so I’m absolutely thrilled to publish my latest with the incredible Opa Hysea Wise. Her debut novel, No Place To Hide, was released on November 3rd in the US. The book is a captivating and fast-paced mystery thriller that is stunningly existential. The book examines deep and topical issues such as racial discrimination, indigenous injustices, the unscrupulousness of big business, our ingrained belief systems, and above all, the innate human need for belonging. My review of the book will be coming to the blog next month, so while you wait, take a look at our interview!
- Your new book released on November 3rd – tell us more about what we can expect!
No Place to Hide is a modern day twist on the hero/heroine’s journey coined by Joseph Campbell. In many ways, the story is a metaphor of the ways a journey can unfold. The protagonist, Smythe Windwalker Daniels is a mixed race, queer woman seeking to find meaning in her life, and comes face to face with a choice that will impact no only her life, but the lives of people an ocean away.
Loosely woven, the story examines issues around racial and indigenous discrimination, our ingrained limiting beliefs and the innate human need for belonging.
- In this novel, which has been your favourite character to create and why?
I’ve enjoyed the character Joao and the wisdom he brings to Smythe. He feels like someone I would want in my corner when I need clarity. Oftentimes I, like so many can get caught up in a train of thought which does not serve. Joao offers a shift in perspective. Then of course there is Artie. She is simply badass. I admire her courage, no-nonsense approach to life. She is the strength Smythe needs until she can build her own.
- Are there many emotional scenes in your book? If so, do they affect you in any way or can you write them without shedding a tear?
If by emotional you suggest heart wrenching, there is one very large scene that brought me to tears. The main protagonist has a secret, and knowing the character as well as I do, the reader will come to understand why she does some of the things she does. Look we all have a story–every single one of us. And if we knew each other’s story it would bring us to our knees and hopefully an understanding that each of us is doing the best we can given the knowledge, skills and abilities available to us in the moment.
To more answer the second question, I tend to write better if I am sitting in my feelings. The ability to examine those emotions, understand the texture and depth of them, how they are connected to the character allows my pen to flow.
- Tell us more about the plans you have for any future novels.
Aaaah yes. No Place to Hide is the first in the series of three books. The other two have not been written – yet. Since quarantined in my hovel, I have begun to write the first draft of the second book. Sooo, stay tuned.
- Which author do you look up to, or who has been your biggest inspiration for your writing to date?
Without a doubt, Paulo Coelho, Elizabeth Gilbert and Toni Morrison. Each unique in their writing style and topic, and each set my heart on ablaze as I read their work.
- When did you first decide to write a novel and how has it changed you over the years?
No Place to Hide is my debut novel. I’ve noticed far too many of my acquaintances who rarely read self-help or self improvement books. A few years ago I participated in a year long program that would serve as an adjunct to my work as a life coach and speaker. One morning, while diving into some of the material, I had an inspirational thought to write a book of fiction that would incorporate some of the basic life principles I’ve been exposed to. At first I just flicked the thought aside, believing it to be a hair brained idea. Yet the thought would not go away. So I began to explore the possibility of writing a story– structuring the novel around a queer mixed race woman who sets out on a journey. A year later, with a publisher in hand, the story came to life. Writing the novel has allowed many of the principles to become cemented in my own life and in some cases, I’ve more fully explored other areas of the human condition to write about in the next book.
- What are you working on at the moment?
Besides working on the second book in the series, I am taking a stab at blogging. Those can be found on my website, Opahyseawise.com and my Facebook page. It’s an opportunity for people who follow me, to get a peek inside of my head. Blogging also allows me to develop a new writing skill.
- Tell us your favourite thing about being an author.
My favorite thing about being an author is looking back at the journey to see how I’ve grown as a result of the process. An unintended consequence but lovely nonetheless, has been to hear from people who have shared their own story of woe with me, and to express their appreciation and gratitude for the book. To have your work impact someone — yeah that has to be my favorite thing.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I don’t know where I see myself in 5 years at least concretely. My plan is to move near the Pacific ocean, own a home amongst Monterey Pines and continue to write. I have a sense the third in the series will be complete and perhaps I’ve started a new series. It’s on my vision board at least. Yet everything is uncertain. Therefore I remain present in the eternal moment and allow myself to be carried by the flow of all things.
- What is one piece of advice you’d give to authors just starting out?
How about if I offer two pieces of advice.
Write, write and write some more. Do not allow Fantisized-Events-Appearing-Real, otherwise known as fear to dissuade you. Make considerations of what you must do and then go for it.
Second, build a community. Surround yourself with people who will support you. It only takes one but if you can cultivate a diverse group, all the better. Let them steady you when you feel unsure, shoulder when you need to cry (and you will cry) and allow them to be the first people you run to, to share your successes.
About the author
Opa Hysea Wise is an American author, born to mixed race parents. Like so many people of color, she came to experience a sense of “otherness,” which fueled her desire to discuss diversity as the woven fabric within the American tapestry. She worked as a Training and Development specialist and manager in Government and Corporate organizations. Often tasked to develop and deliver diversity courses, Opa brought a sense of understanding, compassion and a call to action to her audience, with the firm knowledge that returning to the connection we all have would be but one step to returning to love. As both a Jack Canfield Success Coach and an author, Opa Hysea Wise looks to set a fire within the hearts of both her students and her readers. Her book No Place to Hide released on Nov. 3, 2020.
For more information, visit: https://opahyseawise.com.
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Fancy answering a few questions to allow your readers to get to know you better? Please do get in touch!