Friday, March 2, 2012

Interview with T.Z. Wallace

Hey guys, I just wanted to start with a little heads up. I'm not sure how I forget to mention it before, but we're going on a cruise tomorrow! Actually, we're going to Florida tomorrow and getting on the ship on Sunday. But still!

So, if I can't post all next week, don't be alarmed. I probably wont be able to do any blog hopping, either since I hear the internet is quite expensive.

Now to business. Today I'm interviewing one of the winners of the bloghop Knights of Micro-Fiction that takes place on the last Monday of every month, co-hosted by Kathy and me. Aldrea Alien, over at Thandrandian Thoughts will be interviewed on Kathy's blog.

Now, let's congratulate T.Z. Wallace at One Year Until Book Launch for winning an interview on my blog. Great job!

So let's get started.


Lights, camera... ACTION.

Hello T.Z.! We are so happy to have you here today! Look at all those nice, smiley faces in the crowd. You ready? Okay, good! So, my first question is: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I've always loved writing and always longed to 'be a writer,' but I felt uncomfortable calling myself a 'real writer'. I think I envisioned that a writer was someone who was able to make a living with their words. Then I realized that writers are really people who write... Not people who just talk about writing, or wishing they had more time to write, but real people with real lives and demands who still make time to write- because they love it... because they have to.

I'm a bit of a slow learner when it comes to shifting my mental perspective, so I didn't actually realize this until January 29, 2012. (That's the day I started my Book Launch Blog and the day that I announced to the world that 'I'm a writer' and 'I'm writing'.) That's when I gave myself permission to say "I'm a writer" without feeling like a fraud. That's when I allowed myself to believe it could be more than just scribbled notebooks tucked into a bottom drawer.

You know, it took me a while to actually let myself say 'I'm a writer,' too. I could only do it after I'd finished the first draft of my first novel which took about a year to write! Speaking of novels, I hear you're working your way through one. What's it called?

I don't have a working title. Unless you count 'My Book' as a working title. I'm horrible at creating titles and put it off until the very last minute in the hopes that inspiration will strike and save me.

Since this is part of a trilogy, I want to have a title that reflects that and serve to unify the books... but no pressure. (Maybe I should have my blog followers decide on a title for me so I can quit stressing over it. Is that permissible?)

I know exactly what you mean! I still haven't really thought of a good name for my overall trilogy... Sorry I interrupted. Please continue. Tell us about your novel. Can you give us a short summary?

As to what the book is about: I've always been enamored with dystopian concepts and am also intrigued by the workings and possibilities of time and space. Somehow, between those two fascinations, this story was born. It is the first in a trilogy that centers around a sixteen-year-old girl, Emma Cale, who must cope with the murder of her father.

During this time, every sixteen-year-old is required by law to submit themselves to the government for service to the war-ravaged society. People are starving and the use of many modern conveniences are severely restricted. Since Emma's mother is adamant that Emma will not offer herself for service, they seek refuge with Emma's aunt in an ancient house tucked in a tiny valley away from the political chaos. But (of course) they can't get away that easily... the government officials seek out Emma due her late father's role in the rebellion efforts.

Meanwhile, Emma's mother seems to have the life literally draining out of her, leaving Emma and her... um, "just a friend"... Saul to unravel the years of built up secrets that seem to have settled in the valley. Emma and Saul have to try to protect each other-- and the whole community-- from the unnatural powers that linger there, as well as from a government that's desperate to harness that power...

Wow. You've got me on the edge of my seat! It definitely sounds like a book I'd read! Dystopian books are awesome :)

Anyway, What are you goals for this year?

My goal is to finish this novel and have it available for purchase (via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords) this summer. I also have a few short stories (or at least, what I'm anticipating will be short stories) rattling around in my head that I hope to write and make available for free via Amazon later this year as a way to give back to those who are being so encouraging and supportive of my work. And I really want to continue to meet and get to know more writers... to encourage them and support them in their craft.

Awesome goals! I'd kind of like to know why you so readily chose self publishing. I don't know much about it, myself. But more of that another time!

How long have you been blogging and how has it improved your writing?

I started my first blog (a personal blog) back in the summer of 2009. I think blogging gives me a sense of community and accountability. Writing is really solitary work, so it's nice to find people that you can interact with, root for, and learn from.

I have also realized that I tend to write more when I have the delusion that people are waiting expectantly and, since I suffer from an over-developed sense of guilt, I feel like I 'owe' it to my readers (current and future) to get off my back side and get some words on paper and then to polish it like crazy in the hopes that it will resemble something worth reading. My followers, their encouragement, and their comments are really what keep me moving forward during those times when I still feel like a fraud.

I couldn't agree more! And everyone is so supportive and nice! It's great having people who can cheer you on as you write. Now, what do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to read. I really like finding out more about science, astronomy, physics and nature. I like to spend time outside and get back in touch with myself. Since I spend so much time in front of a computer, I have to reconnect with nature or I get cranky.

I also like to explore. When I go for a drive and pass by a dilapidated shack, I'm always compelled to pull over and peek in the windows, slide through the hole where the tree crashed in and scour the wreckage for signs of its past.

I have a well-charred antique door knob on my book case that I found when I examined what was left from a house fire at a long-abandoned home in a tiny town where I spent my summers as a child. I stood in the ashes with the wind whipping around me. I could have sworn I heard voices trickle through time... When I look at it now, I think about how many hands turned that knob... and it makes me want to tell those stories.

Ooh I know what you mean about finding about science, astronomy and physics! I love reading about things like that.

Now for our final question: is there anything else we should know about you?

Um... I have a staggering number of food allergies.

I also have a crazy number of phobias (I recently made a list of them... not that I'm likely to forget).

Also, it's been mentioned to me that my family history tends to read like some Southern Gothic novel (a novel my mother keeps urging me to write, but I've found that when you live Southern Gothic it's not nearly as entertaining as when you read it.) Honestly, you don't really notice that you're family is... rather, er, colorful... until you're retelling all those family stories and realize the room has grown quiet and everyone's staring at you.

I'm also superstitious*... wildly so.

And I hope that I can continue to find and connect with writers and readers who are passionate about books and stories and characters. (*knock on wood)

I don't think you'll have too much trouble with finding connections with other writers. *turns to audience* Right guys?

Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for today. We're so glad you could stop by today, T.Z.! Good luck with you're novel :)

So go over to T.Z. Wallace's blog and follow along!! Let's have a big round of applause for T.Z. Wallace!

Aaaaaand cut.

Have a great weekend, everyone!



Morgan said...

Fun interview!!!!! Thanks for sharing, Jess. Annnd cruise???? Phew! Girl, have fun!!! :D

Samantha said...

Great interview! Will definitely be checking out her blog.

I'm so jealous that you're going on a cruise! Have fun!!

firespark said...

Awesome interview with a wonderful writer (not that I'm biased...). You're doing good work here, Jess! Keep it up! :D

T. Z. Wallace said...

Aw, thanks! I was so proud to have been asked, and I, too, love the work that Jess and Kathy do in supporting and encouraging other writers!

meradeth said...

Fun interview! Sounds like you have a great book brewing!!

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