For our final week in this round, we are very lucky to have the uber talented Toi Thomas with us.
Please enjoy her lovely interview and then treat yourself by entering her lovely giveaway. Enjoy & Good luck!
1. Tell me a bit about yourself. I’m a very quiet and private person, but I know how to be social. I like to have a good time. Though I have my set of standards and beliefs, I am a pretty open-minded person. In all, I guess I’d say I’m a big kid blessed with maturity. I love comic books, action figures, movies, music, books...
2. What inspired you to write your first book? My first book started as notes taken on a reoccurring dream. There’s so much I don’t remember of the dreams, but once I started taking notes, a story began to develop. Then I just started writing to keep my mind of anything or everything that was troubling me at the time. It worked and I ended up with my first book.
3. How did you come up with the name for your main characters Mira and Giovanni? The truth is I don’t remember how I came up with Mir’s name. I guess I just liked the sound of it. At first, Mira was just a minor character in the background of my original story idea, but that was completely changed when I made her a pivotal character in the story. As for Giovanni, I originally wanted to name him Gerod, after my dad, but the spelling seemed to confuse people. I wanted his name to begin with the letter ‘G’, for a whole other reason I write about on my blog. Finally, I saw the name in the credits of a movie and fell in love with it.
4. How are you the same/different from your main character Mira? I’m like Mira in so many ways. I wrote her as an idealised version of myself with sprinkles of my older sister. In my head, she looks just like my sister, only taller and less fashionable. (My sister is a diva) Mira and I have the same straightforward communication methods and the same quiet, yet, social personality. Where we are different is more material. Mira is extremely successful and quite wealthy, and she is a borderline genius.
5. What would a twitter conversation look like between you and Mira? I guess we’d communicate with one word questions and answers that no one else would be able to follow, at first.
Toi: Tea. E-book?
Mira: Hardback. Desk?
Toi: Bed. Time? #how you need to read
Mira: Night. Time? # how you need to read
Toi: Anytime. Wear? # how you need to read
Mira: Glasses. Wear?# how you need to read
Toi: Soft socks...done # how you need to read
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? I’ve learned that having a good story to tell isn’t enough. These aren’t the days of Homer. Most of us writers aren’t going to be able to share our stories through spoken word from the start. While being able to tell a great story to a group of friends is easy for me, writing that same story down to be read by someone else isn’t. Books need hard work and labor to become good books.
7. Why did you decide to make Eternal Curse: Giovanni's Angel into a series? Once I passed the halfway point of the first book, I realized that I’d developed a back story that was worth perusing. Having that idea also prompted me to think there was more to tell about the characters once this book was over. It wasn’t until after I published the first one and read it again that I knew I just had to continue the story. I didn’t end my story in a way that makes a sequel inevitable or impossible, so there is something to work with.
8. What was your favourite chapter to write and why? I think Chapter 3: Expectations was the most fun chapter to write. This is the chapter where all my major characters meet for the first time. In this chapter, I describe where Giovanni lives and set the standard for how the relationship between the characters will develop.
9. Have you ever done anything strange or weird in the name of research? I wouldn’t call it strange, but I did actually try out a recipe for a meal the character eat in my story. I wanted to see if it was a truly comforting meal as I describe it in the book....It was.
10. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? I don’t have a schedule. I pretty write whenever I’m not doing something else.
11. Do you have any writing rituals? Yes. I wish I could say I didn’t, but my husband would probably rat me out. He’s not fond of my command station. When I write, I form a blockade around myself. I surround myself with books and note pads and beverages. The books are for inspiration or temporary distraction in case I get stuck on something and need to clear my mind. The note pads are for notes and doodles. They help me organized my thoughts, which I always type into Word documents later. The beverages are for hydration and reminders. Each time I finish one, it’s a sign to look up and see if there’s anything in the world I need or, maybe even, want to do besides write at the moment.
12. What book are you reading now? Several. My main focus is Ender’s Game.
13. What books have most influenced your life the most? That’s a hard one. Books have all kinds of influence, some good and some bad. For motivation, I’d say The Dream Giver. For inspiration, I’d say A Little Princess. For creativity, I’d say The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. For guidance, I’d say The Bible and the Bill of Rights. Lastly, for dreaming, I’d say the Night Circus.
14. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I like just hanging out with my husband; he makes me laugh. We collect vinyl records, comic books, and action figures. We love movies, music, and art. I enjoy cooking and painting (I have no skill in the area of painting). We like trying new things and I definitely enjoy reading.
15. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Have an open mind and jump in. I think anyone who gives this story a chance will get something positive from it. It’s just entertainment; don’t take it too seriously.a Rafflecopter giveaway