First let me say, Happy St. Patrick's Day! This day has always been kind of special for me, but not because I'm Irish. My great-grandmother that I was named after was born on St. Patrick's Day. It made it easy when I was a kid to remember which day to call her every year!
1. As a child/teen you had the opportunity to live both in a city (San Jose, CA) and in a small town (Sutherlin, OR) - which did you like better and why?
Great question! Actually I enjoyed them both for very different reasons (which I can really say about any place I've lived). I lived in San Jose, until the death of my stepfather when I was 12. I went to a private Christian school and my friends were close by so there were lots of sleep overs and playdates. We went ice skating and shopping and I was close enough to my grandparents to see them often. My favorite places to go were the Rosicrucian Museum (http://www.egyptianmuseum.org/) in San Jose which has the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on the West Coast, the Winchester Mystery House (http://winchestermysteryhouse.com/) and the boardwalk down in Santa Clara. As you can see, I was fascinated by the paranormal and unusual even as a young kid.
Once we moved to Oregon, we were on a 75-acre sheep ranch six miles outside of a town that had a total population smaller than the congregation of my church in San Jose. It was quite a culture shock! At first I didn't like it (but then what tween wants to be uprooted from all their friends and plunked down at a new school?) I learned to really enjoy things about living in the country. I loved our orchard full of old pear, apple and cherry trees where you could eat the fruit right off the tree and it was sweeter than anything in the store. I loved walking in the canyon on our property in the woods. I loved riding horses with the girl a few farms over. I had fun swimming at Cooper Creek with my friends and being at a small school during high school had a lot of advantages because you could do practically any activity you wanted.
Today I've kind of found a balance between not too big and not too small. We live an hour outside of Seattle in a town that's far larger than Sutherlin, but definitely still out in the country. We have a horse, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and a small orchard on a few acres where the frogs sing at night in the Spring, but we can also go shopping or to a museum in downtown Seattle by hopping a ferry or catch a big concert at the Tacoma Dome if we want. It's the best of both worlds!
2. You state on your website, the you never saw yourself as a writer or pr person - was there an occupation you thought you would do when you "grew up"?
I thought when I was age 8 or so that I either wanted to be a painter or an attorney. My grandmother thought I'd make a fantastic attorney because she said I argued so much!
I have to laugh at that last answer. We have been telling one of our daughters this for a long time for the same reason!
3. I was browsing some of your books and came across some interesting names (Sorcha - The Spellbound Bride; Marina - A Vampire's Mistress; Grey - Shanghaied Heart; ) - where do you get the names for your characters?
Sometimes the name of the character is set for me and comes part and parcel with the personality. Sometimes the name is spelled a particular way because I've used a numerological system on my character name to figure out the character's goal, motivation and conflict and they aren't exactly who I thought they'd be. For instance with Sorcha, I wanted a Scottish name, something that sounded old and also conveyed the sound or idea of sorceress because she's accused of witchcraft in the story. For Marina, I wanted something elegant, but more European sounding that had to do with the ocean because Sicily, where the story takes place, is an island. Grey had to do as much with the spelling of his name. As far as sources, I use all different kinds - baby name books, newspaper articles, tombstones in old cemetaries on occasion. I still have one character who's story I plan to finish writing which was a name I found in a pioneer cemetary - Icephene (pronounced ice-c-feen).
Now that is a very unusual name!
4. If you had to pick a favorite character or book that you had written - who/what would it be?
Wow. That's a tougher question that I thought. I adore all my characters when I'm writing their stories, and they are all so different, so it's really hard to pick just one. That's kind of like asking which kid is your favorite.
5. If you had to pick a favorite character or book by another author - who/what would that be?
Right now it would be a toss up between Gail Carriger's heroine Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Macon in her Souless series (partly because she's Italian, partly because she's no nonsense and partly because she loves to eat) and Yasmin Galenorn's witch-sister Camille in her Otherworld series because she knows how to rock a corset, has two, well three guys (if you count dragons) who'd do anything for her and she knows how to kick butt and take names.
I always love asking that question because it adds books to my TBR list!
6. Is there a book that you wish YOU had written?
Oh, you mean besides Harry Potter? LOL. There are times when I read other authors and I think, wow, I really need to improve my craft, because that was way, way better than I could ever do. And then I remind myself that every author voice is totally unique and no one is going to tell a story like me, and that's my gift to others is to tell stories the way I tell them.
7. What is currently on your nightstand?
Actually at the moment it’s a lot of non-fiction books for research, things like MacMillian’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends, The Werewolf Book, and The World of the Faerie. LOL. Things that are guaranteed to give you all kinds of weird dreams (though not necessarily restful ones!) When I get a chance I’ve got a selection of historical, action adventure, steampunk and young adult I can’t wait to read—but those are my “reward” books for getting the writing finished or for reading while I exercise. It’s amazing how motivated you can get when you’ve got a great story for your reward!
8. Do either one of your children show any aspirations to follow in your footsteps?
My son is a natural born story-teller and can talk your ear off for a half-hour or more about the intricacies of the story going on between his Lego knights or his Star Wars action figures. He’s incredibly creative, but hasn’t yet managed the art of boiling it all down into a summary. He wants to tell you EVERY detail (which is true of most beginning writers!) He also is an incredible artist so I could see him being a cartoonist or even a storyboard artist for motion pictures.
9. You write both paranormal and steampunk - how do you define those genres?
Paranormal is really more of an asthetic because it applies to a lot of sub-genres, for instance you can have a paranormal romance, a paranormal horror book or a paranormal young adult book and they would all be very different types of stories. What makes it paranormal is it being beyond the range of normal experience or being unexplainable by science. For me that’s stories involving beings like vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, beings with extra-sensory powers or abilities, angels, demons, fae and the like or fantastical experiences like time-travel, transition into another kind of being or being taken to another realm.
Steampunk likewise is an asthetic more than a genre because it can apply to so many things. In fiction, it’s looking at a Victorian era setting where society’s machines are driven primarily by steam and then adding in the science fiction element of inventions and machines that might not have been actually possible at the time (that’s the punk). There are certain elements you’ll see repeated over and over again in something with a Steampunk flavor. One is character archetypes like inventors, mad scientists, explorers, hunters, mechanics, airship captains, submarine sailors, air pirates, lolitas, soiled doves, aristocrats, etc. Another is fantastical technology for the Victorian era that uses period materials with today’s technology – such as an analytical difference machine (computer) that runs on steam or a clockwork automaton (robot). H.G. Wells did this with his Time Machine and Jules Verne featured Captain Nemo’s Nataulis submarine. The third is the sense of social disconnection – sometimes as dystopian society, sometimes as just going against society’s norms as an individual. And of course the last is the garb and materials. You’re not going to find plastics or polyesters, microchips or silicone in these stories. Fashion is going to be geared more toward the time period, but tweaked (or punked) for instance wearing your corset (underwear) on the outside of the dress rather than under it or wearing goggles for air travel or working on machinery.
10. Are you working on anything currently?
Lots! Right now I’m in the middle of the third book for the Sons of Midnight series, tentatively titled The Vampire Half-Breed (which will be done by May). Then I’ll be working on the second of my Legend Chronicles steampunk trilogy, titled The Slayer (which will be done by mid-July). After that I’ve got a dark fae novella in a new Shadow Sisters series to write before August titled Shadowlander, then I’ll be working on my next story for the Sons of Mindnight series which will be done by Nov. And that’s just this year! Currently I’ve got contracts for three dark fae novels in the Shadow Sisters series, and the final book in the steampunk trilogy secheduled to be written in 2012.
Thanks for inviting me by today!
Theresa Meyers Bio:
Raised by a bibliophile who made the dining room into a library, Theresa has always been a lover of books and stories. First a writer for newspapers, then for national magazines, she started her first novel in high school, eventually enrolling in a Writer's Digest course and putting the book under the bed until she joined Romance Writers of America in 1993. In 2005 she was selected as one of eleven finalists for the American Title II contest, the American Idol of books. She is married to the first man she ever went on a real date with (to their high school prom), who she knew was hero material when he suffered through having to let her parents drive, and her brother sit between them in the backseat of the car. They currently live in a Victorian house on a mini farm in the Pacific Northwest with their two children, three cats, an old chestnut Arabian gelding, an energetic mini-Aussie shepherd puppy, several rabbits, a dozen chickens and an out-of-control herb garden. You can find her online on Twitter, Facebook, at her Web site or blogging with the other Lolitas of STEAMED!
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions! And now on to the giveaway!
Pulling back the veil on a world shrouded in darkness, Theresa Meyers' stunning debut reveals a sinfully handsome vampire whose secret is about to exposed...
All her life Seattle reporter Kristin Reed sought her breakout story. She never thought she'd find it in the crimson lair of a real life creature of the night. Kristin never believed vampires existed—until with dark brooding eyes and a decadent chocolate scent, Dmitri Dionotte called out to her...
Dmitri and his clan's true nature was cloaked in secrecy until a warring vampire order threatened their existence. Kristin was just the woman he needed. She couldn't resist their story...or Dmitri. Her blood pulsed hot and furious when he touched her, and with his kiss, all logic fled. But each night she spent with her vampire lover brought her closer to death and destruction. A death not even an immortal could triumph over.
I have one signed copy of The Truth About Vampires for this giveaway, courtesy of Bewitching Blog Tours and Ms. Meyers. Just leave a comment to enter with your email address! This giveaway is open to U.S. only and will end on April 7 at Midnight CST.
Additional entries(please leave each entry in a separate comment, but only need to leave email once.):
- Follow my blog any way you would like - just let me know how (i.e. - Email subscriber and google follower would be good for 2 entries) - Only 2 ways plz.
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There are a total of 5 entries possible. GOOD LUCK!
The Truth about Vampires
Publisher/Publication Date: Harlequin Nocturne - March 1, 2011