Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Interview with Tabitha Blake
Tabitha Blake is a paranormal romance, paranormal suspense and short story writer. She resides in the heart of the bustling city of Houston, Texas. Passion for the written word started at a young age and has molded her into the author she is today. Her most recent project is titled Soul Extraction, a paranormal suspense with romantic elements. She recently graduated from the Stratford Career Institute. Tabby is a member of two critique groups and works closely with her crit partners to hone her craft. She believes strongly in inspiring new authors to follow their dreams.
Most of my interviews are with published writers, Tabitha is not yet. However, with her determination, I’m sure she’ll join the ranks of the published soon. Her interview is below:
If you could describe yourself in only one word, what would it be?
Determined. I was taught you fight for what you want. Nothing worth getting is going to be easy. You have to be strong and push through the tough times, and as writers there are going to be a lot of let downs.
Name the people that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I would have to say it’s my crit partners. I have an amazing group of ladies I crit with. They have helped pull me through the tough times, and yes, there have been times I wanted to quit. But they picked me up and dusted me off. But I believe all writers go through tough times and feel it is easier to quit but then that determination I was talking about kicks in and I am up and running again. I have to say a good support system really helps in the dark times we all face as writers.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have loved writing since I was very young. I aced English. I was one of the weird kids that got all excited when we were given a book to read and do a report on. I would fly through the book in a couple of days and have my report done shortly after. I spent a lot of time in the library and read like crazy. I only wish I had some of the papers I wrote in High School but most of them were kept by my teachers to use as examples for other students. So my love for writing has been a pull for many years and now is an obsession. I find so much joy in creating my characters and their worlds.
What books have influenced your life most?
C.S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I loved that book. The story was magical. It swept me away to another time and place. It is so vivid in my mind like I just read it yesterday. As a kid I was fascinated with his vibrant world and the characters just jumped off the pages. As a child I remember reading it over and over again. I guess it is every child’s dream to step out into a magical world like Narnia. I guess it would be the equivalent of the Harry Potter series now. I think all children love the world of magic.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Well there are a couple that have really inspired me. I would have to say Gena Showalter and Larissa Ione. Their stories take you to worlds that are fascinating and magical. They create characters that jump from the pages and you find yourself wrapped up in their joys and sorrows. I need a character that grabs me and pulls me into the story, and these ladies do that with the utmost grace.
What are your writing goals?
I am three quarters of the way finished with the paranormal suspense I am currently writing. I hit a dry spell there for a while, but it blew over, and I completed two chapters in one day. So I am hoping to finish it by the first of the year. Then it is off to the hard part-- edits. I really dread edits but it’s part of the process.
What is your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
I think it’s getting to know my characters. I start off with a character chart and then as I write they turn from one and two-dimensional characters to three-dimensional characters. I also like to find pictures of what I think my characters look like. The joy of seeing your characters come to life is amazing. By the time I am done with my ms I feel as if my characters are close friends. I know what they like and don’t like. I know how they talk and how they react to different situations. The real thrill is when someone reads my ms and they get my characters and love them. That is the ultimate rush for me. I know I’ve written them well when others love and understand them.
How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?
Well I write very strong heroines and I think a lot of that reflects on how I was raised. My mother taught all three of her daughter to be strong and independent women. I don’t think it is in my spectrum of thought to write a weak woman. I believe women should be strong and able to stand on their own. I am married and depend on my hubby to an extent but I also know I could make it on my own. Which I think makes our marriage stronger.
Describe your ideal reader.
My ideal reader would have a strong love of the paranormal. They would enjoy seeing a strong alpha male brought to his knees by an equally strong heroine. It is amazing how love can change us. My stories are fast paced and full of action. So they would need to be comfortable with a story that starts in the middle of the actions and continues through the book. I want my readers to come away feeling they are sad it is over.
After hours of intense writing, how do you unwind?
That would depend on the time of day. If it were early evening I would probably turn on one of my favorite TV shows and veg out for a while. I love shows like Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Hardcover Mysteries, Dangerous Women, CSI, Law and Order SVU. Those are just a few. The other thing I love to do is read. A good book relaxes all my stress away. I love to read anything paranormal. I love characters like vampires, werewolves, demons, and witches. They fascinate me. I read at least two books a week. Sometimes more.
What are your current projects?
My current project is a paranormal suspense called Soul Extraction. (Heroine) Lyric is a hardened FBI agent that is on the hunt for a sexual demon that is sucking the souls from unsuspecting women. Only she doesn’t know he is a demon yet. Then she meets (Hero) Craigen a fallen angel sent to find the demon she is searching for. Of course there is a battle of wills when Craigen tries to keep her safe. She is a very strong willed woman and he has met his match when it comes to defiance. But along the way the sexual tension spikes and they find themselves trying to fight the attraction to one another. Things really spiral out of control when (Demon) Nyx decides he wants Lyric. Craigen wants Lyric to hide out while he tracks Nyx but Lyric will have no part in that plan. With mummified bodies piling up she refuses to stand by and do nothing.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I have s few places they can read more about me.
I also run my own crit group called Enchanting the Muse.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I dread the editing process. I realize it is a necessary evil, but when I get bogged down with edits, I lose my excitement for the story. I thrive on writing the first draft and figuring out the story and the characters. With all the repetitiveness of edits I find myself sick of the story. You can only read your first chapter so many times before you want to scream. LOL!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
All I can say is this is a really tough business and you have to be strong to make it. But I also think if you are persistent and don’t give up you will get there. I look at it this way being a published writer is my dream. And no one can take your dreams from you unless you let them. Believe in yourself and your writing. Find others that write and understand the trials we go through as writers. They will be the rock for you when you get that bad review or a rejection.
Here are a few quotes I keep on the wall above my desk:
“A writer who never quits is called published.”
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”
“Each rejection brings me closer to publication.”
Thank you Bobbye for having me. I really enjoyed it.
It’s great to have you, Tabitha!