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H. M. Mills aka Hayley Interview

photo of Hayley Mills

H. M. Mills Bio: Award-Winning Author & lover of Paranormal Dark Fantasy Romance & an Avid reader living in Tasmania, Australia.


When and how did you start writing?

I’ve always had stories going around in my head. I created plays for family and neighbours to watch. My ideas were always a bit too grandiose for my abilities. Like, where was I going to get an elephant from? I began writing again in 2013 and burnt my entire first completed manuscript. I had no intentions of publishing any of my work, but in 2019 I was encouraged to self-publish for the experience, and eventually, I did, publishing Lord Have Mercy.

Tell me about your books

cover of  Lord Have Mercy

-      Lord Have Mercy is my first published work and Book 1 of The Mercy Aymes Series. A YA Paranormal Dark Fantasy story filled with Gargoyles, Archangels and Demons. Mercy comes in as a confused teenager, warring against her conflicting natures. Years after the strange disappearance of her parents, Mercy is thrust into life at the Lincoln Boarding school, where friendships develop, bullies are inevitable and life-changing discoveries are made. In a bid to escape her tormentor, Mercy stumbles across the secret of the Lincoln Towers, and takes comfort in the lap of a stone Gargoyle, spilling her woes to the silent creature.


cover of Have Mercy On Your Soul

-      Mercy on Your Soul is Book 2 and follows the hunt of Mercy and the Lincoln Gargoyles by Lucifer and his horde, and the Archangels. It’s a chase that has them fleeing to France and the Notre Dame Gargouilles. The war’s coming and price of victory might be too high.



-      Book 3 in the series is currently being written and should be out early 2024.

How does a story begin for you? Is it an idea, a conversation, a title, or an image?

Usually, a character hounds me to pay attention to them and flashes images at me. They get sassy if I don’t listen. The more persistent they are, the more I know it’s a story not to be ignored. No matter what I’m writing, they won’t leave me alone until they get their time in the spotlight.

The character Talus (An Angel Warriors Soul placed in a Gargoyles form) was already dominating my thoughts before I had the plot. But, by the time I’d walked across the beach and back, the entire story was in my head and Mercy Arriella Aymes was born. For the third book, Lucifer badgered me so much with his antics that I had to write the entire book around him. He's quite pleased with himself.

What have been your greatest obstacles to overcome when writing?

Hmm, my greatest obstacles would have to be pushing through my self-doubt (Imposter Syndrome) and getting out of my own way. I’m a daydreamer and a procrastinator, battling my own demons, so staying on track is an effort. I would say another obstacle is continuing to learn the theory of writing, its rules, and structures at my age. My early schooling years were quite disrupted, and eventually I left school. I was very young. Despite going back to studies as an adult, missing English basics has made my writing journey harder to navigate. I’ve come a long way, but I’m always learning. 

What writing advice have you been given that really helped you?

To write without worrying about it being perfect; that’s where editing comes in. I was already an avid reader but the advice to read everything and anything, not only the genre you write in is advice well worth passing on.  Most of all, believe in yourself and remember you’re never going to please everyone, so don’t let the less favourable reviews drag you down and don’t give up.

How does being part of a writing group help with your writing?

Writing can often be a lonely occupation, where we sequester ourselves for long periods of time. So, being a part of a writers' group is a great way to re-enter the world outside your head while still connected to your work. It’s also a great way to gain friendships with like-minded people and learn through other writers' experiences. In the Ink Pot we share: articles, questions, posts, excerpts, author spotlights etc. We support one-another and share knowledge rather than focus entirely on our own journey. It can be a bit of a dog-eat-dog world out there, so the writers' group reminds us to be better people and find success with a clear conscience.

What do you want your readers to feel when they have closed the last page of your book?

That’s a good question. I’d hope that when my readers close the last page, they’d feel sad it ended, happy they were entertained, and left thinking deeper about my characters and the world I built for them. Of course, I’d hope they leave readers wanting to read more of my stories.

Has a book really touched you? Made you rethink your views on life? If so, what was it?

I’ve been touched by a great many books, like Jane Eyre, War and Peace, Outlander, The Secret Garden, and a mafia romance that had me sobbing and traumatised for weeks; just to name a few. (Unfortunately, I don’t remember the title or the author of the mafia story).

I don’t think they’ve changed my views on life, but they have made it clearer I’m more comfortable and happier living in my own head or within the pages of books, particularly the fantasy genre.

What would you do if you didn’t write?

I studied and worked in the equine world before I started writing, but a change in circumstances left me having to redirect my life. Writing is my only other passion. If I didn’t write, I’d go mad.

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

I think my writing dream is fairly simple; I want people to be excited to read my books and fall in love with my characters and want to keep them in their lives. I’m still learning how to make that happen.

What are your current projects? What should we be looking out for?

I’m writing book 3 in the Mercy Aymes Series, Sweet, Sweet Mercy. It’s been a tricky one to write but I’m almost finished.

I’m also working on a standalone I wrote before the Mercy series, Fragile Wings. It’s completed and in the editing process.

I have a few chapters to complete on another standalone, yet to be named. I’m excited to get back to it. Both novels are Paranormal Romance.

I’ve also started the research and planning on a Paranormal Mystery series that I think is going to be a real challenge and exciting to start on.

And I have a children’s book in the works. So, I’ve got a lot to be working on.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my work and a bit about me as an author.

H. M. Mills

Amazon: Lord Have Mercy

Amazon: Mercy on Your Soul






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1 Comment

Catherine Mellen
Catherine Mellen
Dec 08, 2023

A wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing your writing love and journey with us all ❤️

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