I first met Teddi at a Realm Makers conference (I have a feeling you’ll be hearing those words a LOT in these interviews). She’s a lot of fun and we really hit it off this last year. Her novella, The Author Collector, is an incredibly spooky read–it would not be out of place for a Twilight Zone episode!
*Tell us a little bit about yourself/your novel:
If you’ve seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty then you have a glimpse of what my life is like. Far, far more happens inside my head than you’d ever guess by looking at me and watching my everyday existence. This phenomenon has become so pronounced that I’ve named my blog “Bigger on the Inside”, both as a reference to my life and as a nod to one of my favorite fandoms (Doctor Who). I’m deeply interested in humanity and our habits, our great potential and our tragic failings. I want to know why things happen and how people function internally. I want to know how to get from where I am now to where I want to be – as a human, as a mother, as a teacher, an entrepreneur, a wife, a friend.
These deep searching questions and my growing collection of potential answers inevitably end up in my fiction. Thus, I published a story about an author who longs to be recognized for his work but who feels compelled to give it up to feed his family. And then I force him to face the question of what level of control he would be willing to give someone else over his life if it meant having the freedom to continue writing. That’s the heart of The Author Collector, a novelette now available on Amazon.com.
*What’s the funniest/weirdest thing you’ve ever had to research for a story?
There has been a wide variety of weird things over the years, but the ones that come to mind at the moment are looking up how mosquitoes suck human blood and details about the numbing agent they use; how snakes fold away their fangs; how different insect life cycles work (the details of cocoons and transformations from one stage to another); and what kinds of viruses or infections might re-write the DNA or cells of the infected host. All that in the context of finding details for my specific flavor of vampires.
Another fun one was looking up posthumous publications by famous authors to get some ideas about how long the villain in The Author Collector might have been doing his collecting.
*Where do you usually write? Can you show us a picture/describe it?
*Do you have a strange quirk or habit while writing or preparing to write?
They say that the sense of smell is a powerful shortcut to the memory part of your brain. So I have an anointing oil that I dab onto the backs of my hands before I start typing. I breathe in the mix of cinnamon, mulberry and NaNoWriMo (the event where I first used it), and it settles me into an optimistic writing mood every time. The other thing I do when I need to clear my mind before writing is go for a walk around our circular driveway (breathing in the pine scent of the California Sierra Foothills). Hmmmm, it seems that my nose is a big factor either way. Ha!
*What’s next on your plate?
To my own detriment, I have scores of projects in varying stages of planning and development. The best advice for this sort of malady seems to be “Pick one and DO IT UNTIL IT’S DONE.” As of the writing of this post, however, I have not decided which one. It will be one of these, most likely:
A) Allegiance: Alpha – A continuing the episodic series starring Paul Conrad, a werewolf agent working to dismantle a global human trafficking network run by hemavores — bloodsuckers who feed on humans.
B) The Author Strikes Back — In the sequel (or continuation) of The Author Collector, author Andy Kingston searches for a way to break free of the invasive control the Collector has on his life — and his death.
C) A collection of flash fiction stories (getting the hang of taking readers on an emotional journey in 1000 words or less)