Getting Personal … with Author Theresa Snyder

TeresaSnyderI met Theresa through a mutual Twitter writing friend. Theresa is a writer with a backlog of novellas. She also has a dragon that lives with her part-time and steals her Twitter account on the last day of every month in order to tweet to ‘his’ followers.

Theresa was born in California, lived in every state this side of the Mississippi. She grew up in a loving family with 3 natural born children and 23 foster and adopted children – never less than 10 of them in the house at one time. She worked at a multitude of jobs, but has been writing since she can remember. She wrote her first novel at 13 during recesses, it was called “The Fifth Beatle.”

Currently, she lives in Oregon with my elderly father, the family cat, Jewel and an often visiting dragon. She loves to read, write, garden and daydream.

So ladies, monkeys, and gentlemen, join me and welcome Theresa and Farloft!
<Theresa walks in, together with a green thing. Monkeys go wild as the green thing eyes them>

Please, Theresa, have a seat. And… uhmm, Farloft, you can seat wherever, we don’t have chairs your size.
<Farloft ruffles its wings, and takes up three quarters of the stage. My earpiece screams “has he eaten, yet?” that I decide to ignore for my own sanity>

So, how do you feel about being interviewed?

Theresa: I love it. I am a people person and enjoy the banter of the interview process.

Farloft: Honored. <bows head at me>

Great to hear that. How many books have you written, and which one is your absolute favorite?

Theresa: I have written an even dozen. I love my sci-fi and my fantasy, but my personal favorite is “We 3” the one about my parents. <Farloft narrows eyes into little slits as smoke curls from left nostril. I watch in awe for a moment…>

So, Theresa, tell us about your most recent release.

Tweeting Farloft

Theresa: My most recent release is the 5th volume of The Farloft Chronicles which I posted the 28th of December to Kindle,Three & a Half Dragons (The Farloft Chronicles), but it has been a wild seven month in which I have posted twelve books to Kindle, five fantasy in The Farloft Chronicles, six sci-fi in the The Star Traveler Series and one memoir. I have been writing books since 1990 and was encouraged by my writing group to share with the public.

Farloft: My Farloft Chronicles have received all 5 Star reviews
<Farloft puffs out chest with pride>

Glad to hear that, Farloft. Remember not to exhale your stuff when too hot, thanks. What else do you two have coming out?

Theresa: In 2014 I have plans for yet another in each of the series. I have the seventh Star Traveler volume written and am posting it to my blog for feedback from my readers.

Farloft: The Spacemen are nice enough fellows. <ruffles wings and licks tip of nose> But, I am making friends right and left. My public is anxiously awaiting another volume. <his yellow eyes fix on Theresa’s>

Interesting. When you post your stories on your blog, what do you want to make sure potential readers know?

Theresa: I like to tell them I am a people person and love to meet and greet my readers. If they have comments they can contact me via my blog, twitter or facebook. I love hearing what folks have to say and the direction they would like to see both series more fully explored.

Farloft: I too enjoy human interaction. Please come and meet me on Theresa’s Twitter account the last Friday of each month. <scowls and rakes claws on our stage’s planks!> She won’t give me my own account.

Theresa: You have your own blog, that is quite enough. <sticks tongue out>

You too definitely has things under control. What about the titles of your novels?

Theresa: We 3 was based on a bumper sticker and since the book was about mom, dad and me it seemed a good idea. The Farloft Chronicles all have “dragon” in the title somewhere. The Star Travelers Series was a bit more inventive taking a clue from each of the book’s plots.

Farloft: The mere word ‘Dragon,’ inspires. <ruffles wings and settles them back down into place>

Farloft, it sure does inspire… When are you going to write your autobiography?

Farloft: It would be far too large a tome for any human to carry. I have lived a very long time. They would need a wagon to haul it.

Theresa: e-book?

Farloft: Takes up too much memory. No one would buy it. <shakes wedge shaped head in denial>

Sounds just like a project who just spiraled down the sewer. Never mind. Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 10.42.23

Theresa: Nope.

Farloft: Never.

Would you like to expand your two words?
<Farloft absently inspects extended claw, I decide to change subject at once>

What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel?

Theresa: Editing, I read what I ‘think’ I wrote. I need another set of eyes to catch all those typos that make it through ‘spell check.’

Farloft: Don’t look at me…I am the subject, not the writer.

And more than one set of eyes. Successful writing is countless re-writing. Do you research your novels?

Theresa: I might research a space fact, but my books are all very character driven and not techno.

Farloft: Dragon driven is more like it. <leans over and huffs into Theresa’s hair>

Theresa: Stop that. <swats at dragon>

Don’t you just love that? Interracial relationship to its best!
<audience cheers and claps. My monkeys do somersaults and manage to send me kisses at mid-air>

So, FarlofTheresa,  how much impact does your childhood have on your writing? And did you meet then?

Theresa: In a word, a lot. Wait that was two words. No, really, I have incidents and people from my childhood scattered all through my books. ‘Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.’

Farloft: She has been dreaming of me since she was a hatchling. <grins and blows a smoke ring into the air>

Do you admire your own work?

Theresa: Do I have to answer this question?

If you please…

Theresa: It’s going to sound so narcissistic. I periodically pick up one of my books and reread a particular passage for the emotion in it. I like moving readers and sometimes I move myself. So yah, shoot me.

Farloft: It really is quite embarrassing. <clucks tongue>

Describe your writing process. When and where do you write?

Theresa: I am most motivated to write in the morning. I often wake up with a plot twist or an idea that has percolated overnight. I take a minute to fix that cup of tea I spoke of earlier, put on some instrumental music, usually piano or guitar, boot up the laptop, kick back in the recliner and write. I often get so involved I will forget to eat or even refill my cup until the thoughts are down and to my liking.

Farloft: I lie on a pile of pillows and eat while she writes. She runs out of food, I go home.

Do you have any favorite books or authors?

Theresa: Too many to count, but I will list a few here. “West with the Night” by Beryl Markham has such superb prose it cries to be read out loud. James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small” series makes me cry in joy and sorrow so hard I have to put the books down even after having read them several times. Any of Janet Evanovich’s books make me laugh and Anne McCaffrey’s are magic… “The Velveteen Rabbit” I could go on and on.

Farloft: “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” I love his quotes about flying.

Of course you do, Farloft 😉 What are you planning on writing in the near future?

Theresa: I have plans for a new volume in each of the series this year – perhaps two of The Farloft Chronicles. I also have an idea for a paranormal which will take me into places I have not gone before.

<nudges Massimo> TWO Farloft Chronicles. The spacemen only get one. <grins>

Readers, take note. What’s your drive for writing?

Theresa: I know it sounds clique, but I write, therefore, I am.

Farloft: And she loved my company. <licks Theresa’s cheek in a dragonic show of affection>
<monkeys go wild and the stage fills with screeches and jungle cryes>

And if I were to ask you what are books for?

Theresa: Wow! Do you have a day and a half to talk this through? Before we learned to put thoughts down in writing we told stories to each other, but that was only good as far as the voice could carry them. Books bind words together and take them to wonderful new places that they never would have seen before. Farloft is being read by a group on facebook. They are 500+ folks around the world trying to teach themselves English by reading it. They listen to his audio book and read along with the e-book. What are books for? Teaching, communication, entertainment, the exchange of ideas, and the thoughts of genius’.

Farloft: Silly interviewer, they are for reading. Even a dragon knows that.

Hehe Farloft, you said it before. Humans can be quite embarrassing, at times 🙂 Especially now because it is time to GET PERSONAL!!
<Cheers, shouts and whistles as the audience get ready for the spicy part of the show. Monkeys in the back try to flap arms like wings and spit fire but they only spit… well you know…>

So, the easy one to start with, Theresa. Do you ever write naked?
<audience erupt in raucous yells>

Theresa: Once again, seriously… ‘You have people who answer this question?’ As Marilyn would say I always wear Chanel <snickers>

Every single time, Theresa. Every single time. I love Chanel. Number 5, I guess? Two drops? 🙂 Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

Theresa: Stephanie Plum in the Evanovich books, eating donuts without much guilt and two hot guys who think I am crazy, but cute. Yeah, Stephanie Plum for sure, that’s me all over.

Farloft: Sure Sean Connery in Dragonheart.

Of course 🙂 What’s your favorite fruit?

Theresa: Peaches. Sweet free-stone peaches. I wish I could grow them in my garden, but they bloom too early for my area of Oregon. I do grow apples and plums though among other things.

Farloft: She grows the apples for me. My favorite. <flicks imaginary apple in mouth with big green paw>

created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, grains or hops.

created by fermenting honey with water, and frequently fruits, spices, grains or hops.

Free-stone peaches? Wow, they’ve yet to reach old Europe. What is your favorite bedtime drink?

Theresa: Tea is my favorite drink morning, noon, & night. I love a good black tea with milk and sugar.

Farloft: Mead of course. Quiet’s the blood.

Do you read reviews of your books? How do they affect you, whether positive or negative?

Theresa: Of course I read reviews. I love it when the reader gets it. When they say my writing is character driven. When they say they were surprised at the turn of events. After all, I think all of us are a bit insecure and the feedback is what we live for.

Farloft: She was over the moon when The Farloft Chronicles received their first review. <hugs with a wing>

Ohh, what’s not to love in Farloft 🙂 How would you react to a bad review of one of your books?

Theresa: Once again, I haven’t experienced it yet and I hope I am not jinxing myself by saying so. When I do, I will think seriously about sending Farloft to see them personally.

Farloft: <enfolds Massimo in wing and draws close to whisper> I’m not nearly as mean as I look <smiles toothy grin>

<whew> So, no one said any demeaning about you as a writer?

Theresa: I am lucky. I have not been published long enough for anyone to have said anything demeaning about me yet. Or maybe they are just afraid of my dragon. <Farloft extends wings to the limits of the stage and puts on a scary face with lots of sharp teeth. Girls in the audience giggles but not too much… Monkeys SCREAM>

Reviewers, don’t come back and say you weren’t warned! What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?

Theresa: My folks taught me that honesty was the best policy though I might tell a ‘little white lie’ to make you feel better.

Farloft: The only correct way to handle the situation. <confirms with a nod of his wedge shaped head>

How many people have you done away with over the course of your career?

Theresa: Hundreds, my Star Traveler guys were mercenaries in the first few books so there were a lot of battles fought.

Farloft: Writing? None. Real life…Let me see… <golden eyes glaze over in thought>

Farloft, no need to answer 🙂 Ever dispatched someone and then regretted it?

Theresa: I hated to see one of my main characters die in my sci-fi series, but he wouldn’t have wanted to grow old and there is always the lure of time-travel if I want to revisit him.

Farloft: I cannot say as it would give away too much in my story. <forcibly snaps jaws shut>

I guess Farloft has no regrets… Have you ever been in trouble with the police?

Theresa: You actually have people who answer this question? Nope…Never…Nah dah…

Farloft: Not police, but there was a King once… <growls deep in throat and flicks tail upsetting a camera stand> Oops! Sorry…

No worries, we replace cameras (and technicians) at every show. You know, the monkeys… So when were you last involved in a real-life punch-up?

Theresa: I’m a girl and my mom taught me to be a lady. I punch with words.

Farloft: Dragons do not punch, we bite! <golden eyes squint menacingly and lip curls to show teeth>

Riiight… If you were going to commit the perfect murder, how would you go about it?

Theresa: I’d have Farloft eat them.

Farloft: I would never eat a human – too many preservatives.

Well, at least this combo doesn’t seem to be into perfect murders… yet. What do you consider your biggest failure?

Theresa: Not having enough confidence to self publish earlier in my career.

Farloft: Failure? Dragons do not fail.

Of course they don’t. It’s a human thing, Farloft… Are you jealous of other writers?

Theresa: Envious, not jealous. I sometimes read a great author and think, ‘geez, I wish I could write like that.’

Have you ever found true love?

Theresa: Nope, but I was told by several tarot and chart readers that I will find that person very late in my life. So there is still hope.

Farloft: Yes, my mate Clearair. <golden eyes sparkle>

I wish you plenty of chicks <Farloft eyes squint into thin slots and I feel danger> I mean, whatever little dragons are called, that is… <I clear my voice> What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

Theresa: You have to remain sane? No one told me that. I didn’t read it in any of the fine print. Where? Show me…

Farloft: We’re in trouble if that is a requirement. <nudges Theresa with paw and grins>

<They seem to be a lot into nudges :)> What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Theresa: To read. That might sound funny, but reading was a challenge for a kid that never went to kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade and was immediately immersed in 3rd. I was lucky when I reached high school to have the school librarian take me under her wing and teach me what a joy books and fine literature could be.

Farloft: I believe Ms. Keating was part dragon… ‘under wing’ very revealing…

<wink> A series now of fast little questions. Answer the first thing that comes to mind without thinking too much. What makes you cry?

Theresa: Everything, I cry when I’m sad, when I’m happy, at movies and concerts, at weddings and at recitals. I have been known to cry over a Hallmark commercial. I am an emotional being. <Farloft encircles in wing huggle>

What makes you laugh?

Theresa: Everything from twitter pics to human first-hand interaction. I laugh as easily as I cry. <Farloft huffs into hair again> Stop that. <pushes dragon on snout>

 

What are you ashamed of?

Theresa: That I am not smarter. I am going to come back as a genius with a figure like Cher in my next life.

Farloft: Dragons are very proud creatures we are rarely ashamed of our actions.

What’s the loveliest thing you have ever seen?

Theresa: My mom and dad snuggling after 64 years of marriage.

Farloft: Ditto

But I guess, Farloft, that would be 640 years of marriage for your parents…  Are you fun to go on vacation with?

Theresa: I hope so. I have decided when I become a famous writer and the money starts flowing in by the bushels, I am going to take all my friends on paid vacations of their choice. Of course, I get to go too, so I have a traveling companion and they get a free vacation.

Farloft: I have been told I am a delight to fly with.

Eh, where do I sign for a ride? and keep me in your list, Theresa 🙂
Do you laugh at your own jokes?

Theresa: I don’t tell jokes. I am a lousy joke teller.

Farloft: She tells very funny stories though.

I’m sure her readers agree, Farloft. How many times a day do you think about death?

Theresa: Depends on what I am writing at the time.

Farloft: Almost never. Dragons are very long lived creatures.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Theresa: Science fiction or fantasy, it’s a toss-up. But with reference to the question above, I will read most anything you put in front of me including the back of the cereal box during breakfast.

Farloft: She is not joking. <rolls golden eyes upward>

Hey, you should join my readership, Theresa. Farloft: I can picture that well. I read boxes, too, at breakfast. So, tell me, guys, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Theresa: A dragon rider or a star traveler, isn’t it evident from my writing?

Farloft: A wiser dragon than I already am.

A dragon wiser than its writer… 🙂  What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Theresa: We all say it, but it is true, you need to be an avid, voracious reader. In addition to that you need to write. Don’t say you are going to write one day, write now. Hone your skills by writing and writing and writing.

Farloft: Think up a great dragon adventure. Everyone loves dragons. <stands up and stretches huge iridescent green wings to the spot-lights rails>

As a last question for you, guys. Why do you think what you do matters?

Theresa: When a little girl reads your book and tells her mom she wishes dragons were real, I think that means what I wrote touched her and that matters to me and her. If it goes no further, I would be happy.

Farloft: Dragons are really the most magically of all beings. Of course, what we do matters. What would the world be without our influence? Not real…imagine…unthinkable… <hunches shoulders and ruffles wings>

 

Great! Thanks Theresa, and Farloft. Is there a question you’re really burning to give an answer to?

Farloft: How many more Farloft Chronicles will there be?

 

Ladies, monkeys, and gentlemen. Theresa Snyder and Farloft!
<audience standing ovation. A queue for our first dragon signing forms up>


That’s all Folk! You can find more about Theresa and Farloft online:

Amazon Author’s Page
Theresa’s Blog
Farloft’s Blog
Twitter
Facebook

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