Interview with T.L. Bodine and Tagestraum!

Today I’m interviewing author T.L. Bodine. First let’s take a look at her latest book: Tagestraum.

Working as a child welfare agent, Adrian has seen a lot of disturbing things. Nathaniel Weaver isn’t the first kid in the city who’s ever gone missing, but his disappearance haunts Adrian in a way he cannot entirely explain. Maybe it’s because the child looks so eerily similar to himself. Maybe it’s the drawing that Nathaniel gave to him the last time they met: a cloaked nightmarish figure that Adrian recognizes from his own dreams.

When Adrian returns once more to the scene of the disappearance, he finds a doorway leading to another world: Tagestraum, a bizarre and often treacherous faerie realm powered by human dreams. The world itself threatens the safety and sanity of any human that crosses into it, and several of its denizens are eager to harvest errant humans for a little raw energy.

Adrian knows that he’s the only person who can find Nathaniel – but to do it, he must battle both dangerous inhabitants and his own worst nightmares, and each night that passes brings Adrian closer to losing himself completely.

**

1.     So much of your writing has a fairy-tale element. What fairy tales captivated you as a child, and now?

When I was maybe six or seven, my grandmother gave me a book of fairytales that were broken out into days — 365 sections, each one meant to be read at bedtime throughout the year.  These were the original Grimm’s stories, and I was completely fascinated by the violence and death in them compared to the Disney movies I’d seen.  The one that really stuck with me was Cinderella, when the step sisters are cutting off parts of their foot to fit in the slipper.  I just remember reading it and thinking, “Wow, they definitely left that part out of the movie.  This is so much cooler!” (I was kind of a weird kid lol)

In college, I read The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, and it was kind of a transformative experience.  I knew right then that I wanted to revisit some of those stories from my childhood and try seeing them in a new way.

2.     What do you find the biggest differences are between writing fiction and web content?

They’re almost like apples and oranges.  When you’re writing for the web, you’re giving somebody exactly what they want.  Your number one job is figuring exactly what they’re looking for and delivering it to them.  You spend a lot of time researching and creatively reorganizing information into an effective or accessible format, but everything you need already exists — you’re just packaging it differently.   With fiction, you’re creating things as you go, and you have to go slowly enough to figure out what you’re trying to say.  I can write 10k a day easy for my “day job”, but if I get a thousand words out on a novel it’s a very good day.

3.     If one song out there could define your book, what would it be?

Is it cheating to use a poem?  Because I’d totally say “The Stolen Child” by W.B. Yeats.  Some people have done musical arrangements of it, so it totally counts right?

4.     If you met your main character at a bar, how would you interact?

Well first off I’d be pretty concerned because he’s not a drinker.  He watched both of his parents drink entirely too much and ruin a large chunk of his childhood because of it.  He toyed with drinking socially in college and realized he couldn’t control himself around it, so he’s never been back since.

But I’d buy him a Shirley Temple or something — dude’s earned it– and try to get him to open up.   Sure, I have the unfair advantage of knowing him better than he knows me, but I’m sure there’s things he hasn’t told me yet and I’d love to know them.

5.     If you could live in any literary universe, which would it be?

I’d be perfectly content with a Hogwarts acceptance letter 🙂

6.     Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A bit of both.  Writing for me is kind of like driving on the highway at night.  You know pretty much where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, but at any given time all you can see is what’s right in front of you, and sometimes things jump out at you from nowhere.  Only difference is that writing, the unexpected bits are usually good.

7.     How has writing changed your life?

I’ve been making up stories since I can remember, and writing them down since I was about 8, so it’s been a huge part of making me who I am now.  There’s kind of an old cliche about writing as therapy, but I think there’s a lot of truth to it.  Obviously the number one thing you want to do when you write a book is to try and tell a good story.  But underneath that, you’re also working out problems — trying to figure out how the world works, and why, and whether that’s a good thing.  So I think writing can give you a lot of self-awareness in that respect, and it’s something I turn to for comfort in those situations where answers aren’t always easy to find.

8.     What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Read widely.  Write all the time.  But don’t forget to go outside and live, too.  Every experience you have will enrich your writing, and you owe it to yourself to gather as many of those experiences as you possibly can.  Sitting alone in front of a typewriter is a romantic image, maybe, but it’s not what’s going to make you a better writer.
About the Author
Inline image 1
T.L. Bodine is a fantasy author, web content writer and fly-by-night video game writer.  Most recently, she’s collaborated with Ginger Goat on the anthology “Trust Me,” about dolls who sometimes tell lies, and her work can be seen in the newly released Holdfast gamebook from Black Chicken Studios.  She has three books in print: Tagestraum, Nezumi’s Children, and The Beast in the Bedchamber.

Interview with Krystalyn Drown @KrysteyBelle , Author of Spirit World

Spirit World Cover

About the Book:

All Riesa Adair wants is a normal life. With the end of high school only months away and an outstanding GPA to bolster her college plans, that doesn’t seem like too much to ask. Unfortunately, the voices screaming in her head keep getting in the way. Somewhere between her summer in a mental institution, and her stepfather’s attempt at an exorcism, she’s learned to keep quiet about her situation. But, pretending to be normal hasn’t prevented the spirit world from taking notice of her. Both sides of an ever-present war have focused in on her. Now she’ll need all the help she can get to escape a powerful spirit threatening to fulfill a prophecy that engenders the entire human world.

Today I am pleased to present Krystalyn Drown and her novel, Spirit World. I had a few questions to ask her about her journey to publication.

***

Were there ever any times you were scared while writing the book?

Scared? No. There were a million other emotions though. Frustration that I would never get my book seen. Joy in the kinship I found with my characters. Amusement at the secret little jokes that I put in just for me (some of which were eventually cut.)

What (if any) mythologies  inspired the world in Spirit World?

There weren’t any classic mythologies that went into Spirit World. It was inspired more by modern day sci-fi movies and shows, Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer among them.

If one song out there could define your book, what would it be?

Hm, I am not a person who listens to music while I’m writing. I need absolute quiet. If I had to pick one, I’d say “Carry On” by Fun.

If you met your main character at a bar, how would you interact?

Well first off, Riesa is 17, so she most likely wouldn’t be in a bar. But if she managed to sneak in, it would probably be to drown out the voices in her head. She would hide out at a corner table, doing her best not to attract attention to herself. There, she would drink until the walls began to swirl. Then her best friend would show up to take her home.

If you could live in any literary universe, which would it be?

Probably somewhere peaceful and drama free, like at Mistlethwaite Manor in The Secret Garden.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a panster. One of my critique partners and I write in very similar ways. We send each other chapter by chapter what we’re writing. That way, if we see a strange path or something that isn’t working, we can point it out to each other.  That said, I usually have to start over about halfway through my first draft, because I’ve gotten to know my characters better and know better what needs to be in the beginning.

How has writing changed your life?

I’ve gotten to meet lots of wonderful authors online and in person. It’s a great community. People are very welcoming and helpful.  My life hasn’t changed in too many other ways, since writing is something I’ve always done.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid to write a terrible first draft. They are all terrible. Just get it down, so you can revise and make it better. Find at least two critique partners. They are invaluable. There are plenty of websites that frequently host critique partner connections, kidlit.com among them.

***

My Review:

Spirit World is a refreshing read with interesting characters and a unique take on paranormal romance. Reisa is a high-school senior dealing with her fair share of problems: stress, family issues; Oh, and hearing voices in her head. Then she meets Garrett and is thrust into a world where carries the reponsibility of using the gift she once thought as a curse to keep the world safe.

Krystalyn Drown has weaved a nice tale with great writing. The characters are real and interesting, and Reisa’s background has some interesting twists. It’s a quick, enjoyable read, and is unique from other paranormal romance works that seem to bleed into each other.

***

About the Author:

Author Photo

Krystalyn spent the past thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there.

Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author.

Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie with a Napoleon complex.

Find her here:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

                                                                                           Goodreads

***

Look for Spirit World, due April 8th, from Entranced Publishing