Sunday 28 October 2012
Author Interview: M. K. Theodoratus
Snarly elves are my specialty. My scattered reviews consider, my take on elves different, even though conflict over magic is a cornerstone of their society. The general tone of the reviews? My Half-Elven stories are fast-paced, thrilling, exciting, and engaging.
Yeah, I do the fantasy writer thing, mostly in the world of the Far Isle Half-Elven, a hybrid elf/human population that survived genocide by religious fanatics. You can learn more about the history and heroes of the Marches at my website: http://www.half-elven.com.
A writing assignment started my "writing career". My sixth-grade teacher asked for a short story for an English assignment. She got a Nancy Drew pastiche and gave me a "C" because, at 25+ handwritten pages, I hadn't finished the story. [Most of the other kids only wrote two to four pages. *snarl*, *snarl*.] The next summer, I finished the MG novel -- "The Clue of the Clay Cats".
After four or five "writing careers", I now write fantasy. The Far Isle Half-Elven absorb most of my time, but I also explore the world of Faerie and ghosts in some of my tween fantasy WIPs.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I do a combination. Planning comes from a general outline of the story arc, character descriptions, and devising conflicts to hinder the main character’s journey through the story. Flow comes from I set up the situations and let the characters do their thing.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Not really … since they have to fit into the story arc.
What is your favourite food?
I like many different ethnic spice combinations. I enjoy crunchy foods the most, especially well-made popcorn.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl. It’s hereditary since my Mom was a night owl and my kids are.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I don’t really dream -- except for characters running around on my mental stage. Where I like to travel is to interesting beaches which are found in abundance along the US Northwest Coast. In Britain: I’d have to say the Welsh coast though Skara Brae had one of the most lovely beaches I’ve ever seen.
Do distant places feature in your books?
Not really … unless you consider fantasy “distant places”. My tween stuff is mostly set in Northern California where I grew up.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes … a lot of Celtic, though I should probably say world music and classical. I use heavy metal for fight scenes.
Troublesome Neighbors is set in my Far Isle Half-Elven world -- which is an alternative Britannia -- just after the High-Elven won the war to save themselves from genocide by religious fanatics to the south who hate magic. Renna, a veteran of the fight, seeks a peaceful civilian life: setting up a weaving workshop on her holding. Only she has the misfortune of having a powerful, greedy neighbor who coverts her lands. In the process of defending her people, she is drawn into the larger conflict of political control of the Marches.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started? I’m a hermit. Have been for decades. So, I learned marketing my stories a particular pain. On the other hand, I embrace the new e-publishing paradigm. It allows me to share my Half-Elven stories. -- I’ve been writing/thinking stories since I was a kid. I’ve watched the publishing industry change from small houses to corporate conglomerates to fragmenting again. Lesson? I think writers must be adaptable.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I’d write faster and more efficiently than I do.
I’ve always read fantasy. Started when I was a kid and was introduced to the Oz books … all 30 of them … in the library. I still read fantasy, and every author that hooks me into their world influences my writing since I study the way their construct their stories. A couple of my favorite authors [who I reread regularly] are Patricia Briggs, Simon R. Green, Laurell K Hamilton, Jim Butcher, Lee Child, Yasmine Galenorn, Kay Hooper, and Mercedes Lackey. They can all teach writers a lot about drawing three-dimensional characters and keeping the action moving.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Write. Write. And, write some more. Also, find some good critique partners who can help you build your craft skills. Real novels are produced during the rewrite process after you learn what you did wrong.
What are three words that describe you?
Grumpy educated peasant
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
Don’t really have ‘A’ favorite. A list of some of the writers whose worlds I like to get lost in are listed above. Of course, there are others. It all depends on my mood. [Can I mention Nora Lofts and Georgette Heyer?]
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book:
All Lady Renna, a veteran of the Half-Elven Rebellion, wants is respect. But she’s caught between two millstones – her neighbor who covets her lands and her steward who still treats her like a child. People don’t look beyond her small stature and crippled gait. Considered a weakling, Renna lets people think what they want. She’s a weaver, not a fighter.
Renna may be sick of bloodshed, but as the holder of Ren Creek, she is expected to protect her people. When Lord Gorsfeld, her neighbor, starts vandalizing her holding, she is force to confront him. Her friend, Mariah, decides Renna has stayed on the sidelines too long. She pulls Renna into the power struggle with Gorsfeld that reaches beyond Renna’s holding. With pressure coming from all sides, Renna must find her own way to live as she wishes.
Troublesome Neighbours is out now at amazon and amazon uk
List of previous books if any.
All my stuff is short. WolfSinger Publications published my Taking Vengeance novella set 400 years after the Rebellion. I also offer two free short stories set in my Half-Elven world.
I used to sell a lot of short non-fiction to small magazines, but it isn’t pertinent now.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
My Half-Elven website: http://www.half-elven.com
Twitter: @kaytheod and @TakingVengeance
Thank you, Kay and good luck with your books :)
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.