Monday, December 14, 2015

Holiday Guest Author: Teal Haviland


This holiday season, I’ve decided to promote some of my writer friends and ask some of the questions that folks ask me. Today’s guest/victim is:


Teal Haviland

 


 

First, a little something about Teal.

 Teal Haviland grew up with a love for anything fantastical or outrageous. As a teen she spent much of her time writing poetry and children’s stories, but set it aside for two decades before allowing her passion for it to take root (or, as she describes, take over her life). After years of dreaming of worlds where fairies, angels, demons, and shape shifters (to name a few) exist, she finally decided to begin writing her stories down. Inception, book one in her series The Reaping Chronicles, is her first published novel. Nowadays she happily spends her writing time penning urban fantasy novels and is testing out her horror/suspense writing abilities. In addition to completing her debut series, Teal is also working on the first book in her second series, The Silver Rift, her first horror/suspense, Whispers of Stacey Glen, and several other works-in-progress.

Residing in Tennessee with her daughter and her four-legged friends, Teal enjoys photography, travel, reading, music, cooking, daydreaming, writing (of course), and above all spending time with her family and friends.

 

At what age did you start writing or know that you wanted to write?

I don’t remember the exact age, but I know I was in elementary school.

 

Where do your ideas come from?

Oh my goodness . . . tons of places and ways, but I’m a big daydreamer, always have been, so most of them come to me that way. I’m always creating random characters and situations in my mind and just let them have a conversation. Sometimes what they talk about and/or do sparks a story idea, and sometimes they just chat and nothing else comes of it. I’ve also gotten ideas from songs, something I hear someone say, and dreams I have at night

 

Do you base your characters on people you know or know of? Family or celebrities? Surprisingly, I rarely create characters based on someone I know or celebrities. What I’ve found so far, is that my characters are all different parts of myself, the good and bad side of me.

 

Do you plot out your stories or just make it up as you go?

I’m definitely a pantser by nature, but I sometimes write out very general ideas of things I think I want to make happen to characters. Most of the time I just let my characters lead the story.

 

Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what do you listen too?

Yesyesyesyesyes. I love to listen to music when I’m writing. I used to listen to a lot of music with words, but over the last couple of years I tend to listen mostly to movie scores and contemporary classical music. Listening to music with no words seems to help me stay focused on my story. BUT . . . when I’m editing I listen to music with words, and that ranges from county to top 40 to classic rock to singer/songwriter, and pretty much everything in between.

 

Which of your characters would you most like to meet in person? Which character of another author would you want to meet?

I would LOVE to meet my character Gabrielle, The Angel of Karma. As far as someone else’s character . . .  umm . . . probably Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

 

Which of your stories/books/works do you consider the best?

The one I feel is the best is the first in a series I’m writing called, The Silver Rift. But, I’m still a new writer, really, since I’ve only published two books so far.

 

How much do you write each day/week?

Lol . . . well, not nearly as much as I need to be. I’ve only been writing about 5000 words a week, but that WHEN I actually write. I’m not the poster child for writer productivity over the last couple of year. When I’m being more productive, I write between 15,000 and 30,000.

 

Can you tell about your experiences working with publishers? Any juicy or painful experiences?

My only experience with a publisher did not go as I had hoped and didn’t end well. In a nutshell, contractually I had equal say in everything concerning my book and let the publisher do what they thought was best for my series, sometimes things I didn’t agree with, until it came to the cover. They wanted to use a cover that was very “Harlequin Teen Romance” and it would have branded my series completely wrong. When I voiced my opinion it wasn’t received well and I was basically told to sit in the corner and shut up because I was just an author. Needless to say that didn’t go over well with me, at all, and the publisher did not honor our contract. I walked away from that publishing deal and took my book into my own hands. It was a lot to take on since I didn’t know much about publishing, but I’m glad I did it. My book, hence the series, was branded properly and I’m very pleased with the end result.

 

Do you have a routine when you write?

Not anymore, which is part of the problem I’m having with productivity. I need to fix that, huh?

 

What is your latest project/release?

Currently, I’m mostly trying to get my series, The Reaping Chronicles, completed. I’m hoping to release the series in its entirety next year. I’m also dipping in and out of my other projects that are next on my to-write list, including The Silver Rift, Figments, and untitled project, Cupid’s Cousin, Whispers of Stacey Glen, and That Yesterday.

 

Do you have any signings or appearances coming up?

Only Utopia Con 2016. I’m laying low until I have more titles released. 2017 should be a busy year for cons and appearances.

 

Who were your inspirations?

Marion Zimmer-Bradley, JK Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien, J.R. Ward, Neil Gaiman, and Kristin Cashore, to name a few.

 

Favorite authors?

All the above that I cited as inspirations.

 

What book do you read over and over the most?

Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Graceling

 

Is there a book or book series that you recommend to people?

Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Graceling.

 

Do you have a dream project that you want to write in the future?

Not one in particular. All my writing projects are “dream projects”.

 

Do you have a special way of generating story ideas?

Daydreaming.

 

How much of you is in your characters?

Part of me is in every one of them, how much depends on the character.

 

If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be?

Definitely Gabrielle, The Angel of Karma.

 

What genre do you prefer to write?  To read?

Fantasy, of any kind, for both writing and reading.

 

Do you prefer writing short stories or novels?  And why?

Definitely long. I’m not sure why. I just have a very difficult time writing short stories. I just always have so much more I want the characters to do.

 

Is Writer’s Block ever a problem for you?

 If so, how do you deal with it. No. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it’s just us writers getting in our own way because of fear. When that does happen to me, I find if I just write something . . . anything, I’ll find my writing flow again pretty quickly. Now, procrastination, on the other hand, is a HUGE issue for me. I’m working on that, though.

 

What 3 things do you feel every aspiring writer should know?

No one’s work is perfect, so stop trying to make yours that way. You won’t please every reader with your writing, so let the negative reviews go, with the exception of if you keep reading the same issues over and over. If that happens, you might want to pay attention to what the readers who didn’t like something about your book are saying . . . they might have a valid point and fixing the problem in future writing can make you a better author. And, finally, find other writers to spend time with. There’s nothing like having awesome writer friends.

 

Do you read reviews of your books? 

If so, have you ever engaged a reviewer over comments they’ve made? I do, but I have a pretty strict rule of not engaging a reviewer or comments others have made. That goes for the good, bad, and the indifferent.
 
 
Thanks Teal. To find her books, click below: