Thursday, June 21, 2012

THE AUTHOR INQUISITION

Welcome once again to the Author’s Inquisition. This is the place where we learn the deep dark secrets of authors. I’m tough so that you, my readers, don’t have to be.

Today, I’ve hooked, I mean asked Theresa Sneed to visit and answer a few questions. [Little does she know. Moa-ha-ha!]

Theresa, come on in and join us.

Theresa: I see a bright light at the end of a long tunnel. [feels her way along the wall] I'm afraid.

[rolls eyes]That’s the hallway, dear. Come on in. Now that your second novel is on bookshelves, I figure you have some sage advice to dole out.  So, tell us, what’s your favorite advice for writers?
Theresa: Excellent question! [smiles enthusiastically] My favorite bit of writing advice would be this one simple thing: If you have a desire to write, you probably do have the talent, but I do not know of any author who was “born with a silver pencil” in their hands—all writing needs to be developed, regardless of how natural it comes to you. So, here’s my advice—do not fall into the trap of thinking you’re ready to publish, until you really are. If you publish something below quality, you’ll automatically loose a chunk of your readership. Take the time to develop your craft—and it will take a significant amount of your time, but if you really desire to be a writer, you’ll be more than happy to do so.

So you’re saying that writers need to be better developed? That sounds kind of personal.[chews lip and glances worriedly into the shadows.] No one's told me that since high school.

Theresa: No, that’s not what I mea—

Let's move on. [takes deep  steadying breath] Tell us, Theresa. Do you have regrets?

Theresa: Other than this interview???

So you're feeling it too? [whispers off stage--I should have worn my Wonderbra. Who knew she'd notice?] Let's try to keep to the interview, dear. Stay focused. [pats Theresa’s hand] On your road to publication, what one thing would you NOT do over again, and why?  

Theresa: I just expected from observation (mostly Hollywood style) that an editor would kind of help you rewrite whatever didn’t work. Wrong. I caused my editor undue stress and work, because of that assumption. I was LUCKY that she was so willing to educate me in the finer points of submission.
Sounds like the angels were with you.

Theresa: You might say that.

What do you do now?

Theresa: Now, I utilize my writing group to the max as I’m writing, and after I’m finished, I revise and edit my manuscript then it gets read by no less than four or five beta readers, after which I revise again from their advice. Then and only then does it go to my editor.

Bitty readers? [looks flabbergasted] As in small people? That sounds kind of prejudiced.

Theresa: [glowers] Hey! That’s not wha—

[waves her off] Have you experienced the big WB? [whispers off stage: Those with a sturdy constitution know I’m talking about writer’s  block]

Theresa: You mean today? Ha ha! Of course I have, but I don’t think of it as a negative thing at all—in fact, writer’s block has saved me from taking my story in the wrong direction many times. When I experience writer’s block, it has always meant that I’ve gone the wrong direction with my story.
Kind of like walking that dog named Plot into a ditch, and then having to dust him off and take the higher road.
Theresa:[eyebrows wrinkle] I don’t have a dog named Plot.

Of course you don’t. [smiles slyly] Tell us, what do you do when you feel stumped. In your story, I mean.

Theresa: I archive where the story began to take a different turn (usually the scene I’m stuck on) and rewrite. It always amazes me how much better the story becomes when I change the direction my story was going.

How about snacks? Do you do it? [opens desk drawer, feels around with hand and pulls out a small box of raisins]

Theresa: I only snack on fruit and veggies, because writing is already so sedentary—I don’t need to be adding calories to that as well. I only drink water too, for the same reason, and I try to take a nice walk sometime during the day.

With your dog, Plot? Haha, jk. You must feel lighter than air when you’re finished. But, honestly, I’ve heard that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health. You should take a walk. And when you get back, have a big bowl of ice cream. What flavor do you like?

Theresa: I love vanilla, but I’m pretty picky about the brand—I love Breyers.

Ah. It makes total sense. Vanilla is white, like angel wings. It’s the heavenly choice. [closes eyes and rubs forehead]  Do you have a favorite writer’s memory that you’d like to share?

Theresa: My favorite memory is seeing the long line in Barnes & Noble for No Angel’s book launch last September. It nearly brought tears to my eyes, but even more than that, are the incredible responses I receive on a weekly basis from satisfied readers. It amazes me and thrills me beyond imagination.

A crowd of people all moving forward in a long line. All walking toward the light? Are you saying now that it wasn’t the light from the nearby window—it was your happy-author glow?

Theresa: Makes the motion of zipping her lips and tossing the key.

Don’t zip your lips yet, we need the name of your newest book.

Theresa: It’s called, Earthbound, and it is the prequel to No Angel.

Kind of like going back in time. Will you share a short blurb?

Theresa: Earthbound is the story about the couple at the beginning of No Angel who are on the departer passageway heading to earth—the ones Jonathan snaps at to “Hurry along! You’ve already said your goodbyes!” It’s their story—and a fine one at that! The main character s are Sophie and Daniel, members of a valiant group in heaven called the Freedom Fighters, but the handsome and ostentatious Coe—one of the leaders of the No Choice movement, also has his sights on Sophie and will stop at nothing to claim her as his.

Sounds interesting. Do you have any more heavenly books in the works?

Theresa: I have already completed two additional books in the No Angel series and have about three more in mind. [glances at her watch] Thanks for the great questions, Tina! You’re the best! [Theresa jumps up and runs out the door.]

Theresa? Theresa! Hey, where’d you go? [astonished] I just blinked, and she was gone. How’d she do that?
Well, if you’d like to get to know Theresa Sneed better, go to her website: http://theresasneed.com/




4 comments:

JoAnn Arnold said...

I have to tell you that I loved your review. Humor with wisdom combined. Excellent.

Stacy Coles said...

Very entertaining! Good advice, too.

Marsha Ward said...

Awesome interview, ladies!

Joyce DiPastena said...

I literally laughed out loud all the way through this! You're a master, Tina. (Master Inquisitor, that is.) ;-)