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Category Archives: Fifty Questions

06.15.2014

50 Questions with Tia - A…

Posted in Fifty Questions

The latest victim of my 50 Questions is Anne Barwell. Her latest Dreamspinner release is Shades of Sepia, which is why I’m putting the cover here, in case you were wondering, people. ;)

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8. Do you have a writer’s cat or a dog or some other animal (spouses count if you want them to)?

I have two cats. Kaylee is a small persian tortie (I think they’re called calico in the US), and is 9 years old. Frappy (short for Frappichino) is a short haired ginger tabby and is 7 years old. They’re both females and still trying to work out the top cat spot since my grey tabby died a couple of years ago.  They’re also both possessive of my lap and my attention and there is literally fur flying over it at times.  They have very different personalities. Frappy is quiet but pushy and tends to camp in front of the fridge and pantry. Kaylee comes across as timid in company, but is a very loud cat, and I’ve had stories from the neighbours of her exploits terrorizing their dogs. I often find large dog bones on my back door step.  Frappy has a weakness for baking, especially muffins and has been known to steal the empty paper cases to lick the crumbs off them.

They enjoy company and often I have at least one cat asleep on the chair next to me as I write, or in a cardboard box under the table.  If I’m not paying enough her enough attention Frappy will push her way onto my lap and crawl up me, making it difficult to type until she’d got the attention she wants!

I’ve always had cats as my dad was a big cat lover too, and I blame them for the number of cats in my Hidden Places series, and the mention of them in my other books too.

31. Do you still write letters by hand, or send post cards outside vacations/birthdays/etc? 

I must admit I’ve got a lot slacker with Christmas and birthday cards of late – some of which is down to time, the other to the price of postage.  These days I tend to send a text or an email.  Although the odd time I go away I send postcards back to family and friends.  I do still write letters by hand. I have a friend in Canada whom I swap letters with. We met in fandom and started writing letters then, with a bit of slackness over the past couple of years, but this year we’ve got back into it again. I really enjoy it, but it’s much harder now to find nice stationery that isn’t over priced.  I also love getting her letters in my letter box.

36. Writing summaries and blurbs, love it or hate it?

I don’t mind the summaries so much but I hate writing blurbs.  I did hit on an idea a couple of books ago which works really well though. As part of my writing process when I start writing a new story I also write the blurb and put it up on my web site. It’s one less thing to worry about at submission time, and also when people ask what I’m working on I can share the blurb.  I outline extensively before I write so I know what’s going to happen (apart from the stuff the characters spring on me as I write) so writing it first works really well for me.

42. Do you have a personal theme song? If not, when what’s the song that makes you dance in your seat every time you hear it randomly (on the radio, on TV etc.)? 

I don’t have a personal theme song, but my books/characters do. I’m one of those writers who tends to have soundtracks for my stories and different pieces of music remind me of different stories/characters/couples.  As for the song that makes me pay attention each time it’s on – that tends to change and isn’t the same as it would have been even a month ago. At present it’s Ed Sheeran’s ‘I See Fire’ which is the theme song for the 2nd Hobbit movie.

48. If you could wake up tomorrow with any real-life skill that would normally take years to master (for example; astrophysics, ballet, fine art, professional football player, chef) what would you pick and why? 

I’d love to be able to draw. My grandfather was an artist and I’m in awe of people who can transfer what they see in front of them, or in their mind’s eye, to paper.  Often I see scenes/characters in my head that I’m writing and I’d love to be able to draw them and share them with others that way too.

Anne’s Bonus Question: Interestingly I had a few ‘interview’ questions posed to me by one of my betas about the time I got your questions so using one of those for this one. Thanks, Reesha!  Her question was ‘what’s your obsession with research?’

To put it in context, I had just finished working on a novel set in WW2 and am now working on a novella partially set in WW1, so I’m on more of a research bent than usual.  Why do I research? Because I want what I’m writing to be an accurate as I can get it. I’ve found as a reader I’ll get thrown out of a story if something isn’t right. While it’s not always possible to find out all the details—phone jacks in Germany in 1943 drove me nuts—I want to at least know I’ve researched to the best of my ability.

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 Anne on the internet:

http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_426

 

06.10.2014

50 Questions with Tia - J…

Posted in Fifty Questions

It’s time for another 50 Questions post. This time we have Jay Northcote answering my silly questions. She has a story out in Dreamspinner’s Not Quite Shakespeare anthology, so go check that one out! :)

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11. Do you watch TV? If yes, what’s your favorite show? If not, why?

I don’t watch a lot of TV these days, mainly because it’s such a time suck and I prefer to spend my spare time doing other things (like reading and writing). I do watch Teenwolf though, because I’m in the fandom and I’m hooked on it. Another bonus is that my hubs and kids like it too, so it’s fun to sit down together and snuggle under the sofa blankets. I also love The Big Bang Theory because it makes me laugh, and laughing is always good J

20. Are you a caffeine addict?

I’d say yes, even though by most people’s standards I don’t think I drink that much of it—maybe three mugs of tea a day (I rarely drink coffee at all). But I definitely get withdrawal symptoms if I have a day without it. When I go on holiday and am out of my normal routine I get terrible headaches if I miss my midday/early afternoon fix. I have actually had to resort to keeping caffeine tablets on me, just in case, otherwise I feel really grim by mid afternoon.

22. What’s a scent you like? How about something smelly you hate?

I’m a very scent oriented person, in that I notice smells and find them very evocative. I love natural scents—flowers, plants, herbs etc. Rosemary and lavender are particular favourites of mine. This might sound weird, but I also love the smell of people, the ones in my ‘pack’ anyway. I always joke that it was love at first smell with my husband because he smells amazing to me. Same with my kids—not so much now they’re bigger maybe, but when they were babies I used to sniff their warm little heads like a drug.

Conversely I loathe artificial scents. If I wear perfume I find it overpowering and it can sometimes make me feel quite sick. I also hate things like air fresheners and really strong deodorant smells.

35. Have you been good at some sports at some point in your life?

I’ve never been much good at team sports. At school I found them frustrating and hated the aspect of competing against other people. But I am an active person most of the time and enjoy sports/activities that can be done solo. I’m pretty good at swimming and running and I used to do quite a bit of rock climbing too.

43. Who is your celebrity crush? Would it change if you knew you could get that person?

God, I have loads of celebrity crushes. It’s very hard to pick just one. But given that I’ve already mentioned Teenwolf I’ll pick Tyler Hoechlin today because damn, he is an extraordinarily beautiful specimen of manhood and he seems like a nice guy too, from what I’ve seen.

I’m not sure it would make a difference if I knew I could get him. The idea of actually getting a celebrity crush is kind of weird really. The whole point of celebrity crushes is that it’s all about letting your imagination go a little wild. I’m not sure I’d ever want to hook up with any of my crushes in real life. Even if I wasn’t married—and way too old for most of them (sob)—I think it would be awkward and probably a disappointment in reality, because they’d never live up to the fantasy.

 

Jay’s Bonus Question: When you were a kid what did you want to do/be when you grew up?

I don’t remember ever having any sensible/conventional career goals as a kid. I dreamed of crazy, impractical things like being an acrobat or a bareback rider in a circus. In my teens I had a secret desire to be an actress—not in the movies, I wanted to be in the Royal Shakespeare Company and play all Shakespeare’s heroines. But when I mentioned it to my parents they weren’t very supportive. My dad told me that 99% of actors were out of work and had to work as waitresses instead, and that I should probably come up with a better plan if I wanted to be able to support myself. What a buzz kill. He’d probably have said the same if I’d wanted to be an author ;)

 ***

Author Bio
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Links

Website: www.jaynorthcote.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jay_northcote

Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/dellamere

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction

Jay’s books: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_953

 

 

05.18.2014

50 Questions with Tia - S…

Posted in Fifty Questions

 

Part two is sadly late but nevertheless here now!

My fellow Dreamspinner author Suki Fleet answered some of my crazy fifty questions and added one of her own. Again, with lack of a default picture for the series, I’m going to use the cover of Suki’s book This Is Not a Love Story (Harmony Ink YA novel) instead.

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3) Name an author from the M/M romance genre you admire, then tell us why.

Harper Fox. I greatly admire her style, some of her writing is just so so beautiful.

12) If you could live a day in your favorite film, knowing to come out of the experience alive and well whatever the genre, would you?  

Um…I’ve no idea what my favorite film is…but yes! I’m up for the action/adventure (and it would be action/adventure).  Horror scares me shitless and I cannot stand watching romances (reading and writing them is something else entirely J)

18) Do you like puzzles? If so what kind?

Yes, anything that involves picking out patterns and shapes. And Sudoku. I’m very bad at word puzzles :P

41) Adopt a baby polar bear or a baby tiger. Pick one and why?

Tiger. I’d probably be more scared of a polar bear than a tiger- has anyone ever successfully trained a polar bear…?

46) What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

Pink champagne. Bubbles!!

51) Bonus question by Suki:

If you could no longer write (for whatever reason) through what other medium would you want to express your creativity (art/drawing/painting/sculpture, photography, music etc..)?

I’m very visual. My day job involved working with patterns and I have always wanted to be able to draw.

***

http://sukifleet.tumblr.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7919609.Suki_Fleet

05.06.2014

50 Questions with Tia - A…

Posted in Fifty Questions

Here’s the first of my 50QwT. Because I don’t have a suitably sized image for the 50Q posts yet, I’m going to use the oh-so-awesome cover for Anna’s upcoming release, the third book in her Another Way series. Having read To Say I Love You, I can vouch for the book. It’s awesome, and it will be released on May 19th.

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1)      You’re going to end up on a desert island, all alone except a couple from one of your published stories. You get to choose, but keep in mind you’d probably end up witnessing them trying to kill boredom with sex. A lot. Which couple would you choose, and why?

Oh, it’s got to be Jesse and Will from the Another Way books. Partly because I think they’d let me join in with the sex.
Plus, I think we’d have plenty to talk about (when we weren’t all fucking like bunnies) and I know I like them both a lot. There’s no chance of us wanting to kill and eat each other (I hope).

10)   What’s the weirdest bit of inspiration that has led to an actual published story?

Probably learning that there’s a ski resort in Utah called Solitude. (Tia knows all about this…) I thought it was so interesting that a town would be called that, and decided I wanted to write a book set there. I sort of plot-bashed it with Tia for a while – we do this a lot – and we decided to write the story together. The whole thought process around what sort of person would run away to a place called Solitude really intrigued me. I think it’s going to be a great novel, I’m really proud of what we did with that idea.

16)   Do you believe in the supernatural (using the term loosely here)? If so, what kind, i.e. UFOs, ghosts, rebirth, poltergeist?

Nope. Not at all. I’m probably more agnostic than atheist – I believe that there are forces of good and evil in the world but they come from within us, rather than external sources. As for the whole ghosts, UFOs… there’s an intense need for humans to feel like there’s something else watching us. Dylan Moran, who’s one of my favourite comedians ever, puts this really well in a skit. To paraphrase; when we’re kids, we like to show off for our parents – “Mummy, Daddy, look at what I can do. Watch me do this.” And we’re still doing that as adults, but we replace Mummy and Daddy with God, or aliens, or ghosts, or whatever. We like to think that someone’s watching. Someone’s noticing the things we do, and that they matter.

To think that it’s all for nothing is actually bloody depressing.

32)   Think about yourself fifteen years ago. What would you want to tell that person that’s not too personal to share with us?

Fifteen years ago I was… twelve. Oh, pre-pubescent, angsty me was a whole bundle of laughs, I’m sure. I’d say “Invest in mobile phone companies. No, really. It’s gonna be a thing.” Also, “Be at the top of the Empire State Building at 2.30pm on Monday 17th May 2010. It’s very important,” just to freak myself out.

37)   Almost everyone has a quote that has stuck with them for a long time. Do you have one?

Probably my favourite is “Luminous beings are we, not this dark matter.” Which is from Yoda in Star Wars, of course.
Here’s another, just for fun:
“Unknowingly, we breathe the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a cup of rain.” – Ihab Hassan

And from my tattoo:
Alis volat propriis – which is Latin for “she flies with her own wings”.

51)   BONUS QUESTION by ANNA

What’s your biggest regret in life?

To which I’d answer, my dad always told me, “regret the things you do, don’t regret the things you didn’t do.” I regret letting my health and weight run away without paying attention to the signals my body was giving me. I knew there was something wrong, I just didn’t know how to articulate the problem, so it got consistently worse over a number of years. Now I’m fighting a huge fight to get my weight, health, and life back under control. But I’m winning. So it’ll all be okay in the end.

***

Anna’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annamartinfiction

Her website: http://www.annamartin-fiction.com/

And her Dreamspinner Press main author page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=489

04.30.2014

Heads Up!

Posted in Fifty Questions

Hi everyone! I wanted to give you a heads up, a forewarning if you will, to keep your eyes glued to this spot here. *points* Why? Because there’s this AWESOME thing happening soon right here on my blog and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

The thing is called 50 Questions with Tia, and it goes something like this: I have a list of 50 questions (posted below), and I’ve asked my fellow Dreamspinner Press authors to participate in the madness. They were able to pick two questions from those fifty and then they also had to come up with a bonus question of their own. To add to those three, I hand-picked three more, bringing the total up to six questions. Then they answered those, and I’m about to start posting them here on my blog weekly, sometimes twice a week.

Authors that are participating include Anna Martin, Zahra Owens, Jay Northcote, Raine O’Tierney and KZ Snow and many, many more.

So what are those questions, you ask? Well here you go, the complete list of my questions. Whichever did your favorite author pick? You’ll see soon enough!

1)      You’re going to end up on a desert island, all alone except a couple from one of your published stories. You get to choose, but keep in mind you’d probably end up witnessing them trying to kill boredom with sex. A lot. Which couple would you choose, and why?

2)      What’s your go-to book of any genre when you want to feel good?

3)      Name an author from the M/M romance genre you admire, then tell us why.

4)      Sometimes authors say they have voices in their heads that comment on mundane things even while we’re not writing those exact characters. Do you have any experiences on such a thing? Has a character piped up surprisingly in your head?

5)      Is there, or has there been, a person in your life you dreaded telling about writing M/M romance?

6)      Everyone hits a pothole sometimes when writing. How do you cope with temporary writer’s blocks?

7)      Do you prefer to write one story at a time, or do you have several WIPs at any time? Have you ever gone back to a really old WIP you’ve abandoned and finished it?

8)      Do you have a writer’s cat or a dog or some other animal (spouses count if you want them to)?

9)      Have you studied anything that you consider backs you up as a writer? Research doesn’t count.

10)   What’s the weirdest bit of inspiration that has led to an actual published story?

11)   Do you watch TV? If yes, what’s your favorite show? If not, why?

12)   If you could live a day in your favorite film of all time, knowing to come out of the experience alive and well no matter the genre of the movie (for example, horror), would you?

13)   Are there things or themes you regret writing, when you look back at your published works?

14)   Is there a theme you would like to explore in your writing? Not necessarily a genre, but a theme like HIV, poverty, domestic violence, addiction, insta-love, that sort of thing?

15)   Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists for stories, or do you consider some song the “theme” to a story you’ve written?

16)   Do you believe in the supernatural (using the term loosely here)? If so, what kind, i.e. UFOs, ghosts, rebirth, poltergeist?

17)   Do you consider yourself a spiritual/religious person?

18)   Do you like puzzles? If so, what kind?

19)   Computer games, yes or no?

20)   Are you a caffeine addict?

21)   Quick, a shooting star! What did you wish for?

22)   What’s a scent you like? How about something smelly you hate?

23)   Do your bras and panties match? If you don’t use those, what kind of underwear do you prefer? (Look at me being gender neutral!)

24)   Do you work better under a deadline or not?

25)   I have a theory about many writers suffering from depression at one point of their life or another. Are you one of those authors?

26)   You’ve just submitted a work to a potential publisher. Do you get the “post submission slump” some authors get? If not, do you realize how lucky you are (ha ha…)? If you do, how do you deal with it?

27)   For some reason, you are required to uproot your life and move to another country. You can only take your pets and your immediate family (spouse, kids, but not your parents or other relatives). Where do you move and why?

28)   Could you just stop writing, for the rest of your life? (You can figure out a reason of your own if you want to.)

29)   What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in your life and why? (Can’t be about writing, this one.)

30)   You can only watch one TV show for the rest of your life. What show is it? Why?

31)   Do you still write letters by hand, or send post cards outside vacations/birthdays/etc?

32)   Think about yourself fifteen years ago. What would you want to tell that person that’s not too personal to share with us?

33)   Do you belong to a fandom? If so, which one/s?

34)   Who is your literary idol and why?

35)   Have you been good at some sports at some point in your life?

36)   Writing summaries and blurbs, love it or hate it?

37)   Almost everyone has a quote that has stuck with them for a long time. Do you have one?

38)   What’s the event that has most shaped you as a writer?

39)   You can time travel safely, knowing that you won’t be harmed and will come back in a week.  You can go back in time (50 years) or into the future (100 years). Which do you pick, where will you go, and why?

40)   Do you consider yourself a romantic? If so, what’s the last thing you did you consider romantic?

41)   Adopt a baby tiger or a baby polar bear. Pick one and why?

42)   Do you have a personal theme song? If not, when what’s the song that makes you dance in your seat every time you hear it randomly (on the radio, on TV etc.)?

43)   Who is your celebrity crush? Would it change if you knew you could get that person?

44)   If you were drunk, who would you like to look after you?

45)   Do you have a lucky number? Why?

46)   What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage? If you don’t drink alcohol, favorite soda?

47)   Confess something.

48)   If you could wake up tomorrow with any real-life skill that would normally take years to master (for example; astrophysics, ballet, fine art, professional football player, chef) what would you pick and why?

49)   What Hogwarts house are you in?

50)   Do you have tattoos? If you do, tell us about it/them? If not, would you have one or not, and why?

First post will be my dear friend and co-author Anna Martin, and I hope to get it posted this coming weekend! I hope you’ll enjoy the madness!

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