Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thea Atkinson Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

Actually, any time works for me. I scab out time wherever I can find it.
When I was freelancing, though, I divided my time: nonfiction was in the
morning and afternoons were for my fiction.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the

I used to write longhand, but when I got tendonitis, I moved to dictating
using software that recognized my voice. I found it allowed me to 'hear' the
rythmn. I still use it when my arm is too sore to type.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

My environment, and that means anything I come in contact with. I find music
helps me, and I listen to a lot of Tool, A Perfect Circle, Incubus, and
others. When I'm stumped, I find picking up a book and reading gets me going

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word

I try to write 2000 words a day when I'm writing a novel or at the very
least, a complete scene. I have found, lately, though, that if I leave off
in the middle or toward the end of a scene, it gives me a place to start the
next day without having to stare at a blank screen for a while.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up
with your cover art?

I've been published by others: literary journals, ezines, glossy mags, but I
've had to self-publish my novels. I like graphic design, and photography is
a hobby, so I create my own covers. So far, I've had to learn a lot about
book cover design and what works so it's still a bit of a mystery. I go with
some theme or metahor from the story, but I know there's more to it than
that so I've got more studying to do on that one.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

Writing isn't a choice for me. Once I thought I'd give up. I spent 2 years
just playing with my camera and telling myself writing was a pastime I'd
moved past. I ended up writing 2 novels during that time that I thought I
was done. As a career, I'd have to admit it isn't mine: I teach full time,
so that's the breadwinner. I know I'm not the next Stephen King or Margaret
Atwood. I have no delusions. I just like to tell stories about characters I
care about. That keeps me going even when I think I can stop.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Depends on what the device is. I have a PC and a phone. I'd love a dedicated
device, but I just don't have the extraneous cash at the moment.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I love Stephen King and I used to love Anne Rice. Nowadays my favorites are
more in the lit vein with some really talented Canadian writers like Anne
Marie MacDonald and Alice Munro . I'm one of those folks who loved the Harry
Potter series and the Outlander series; I read in so many veins that I
couldn't name just one author or one genre. I'm not reading anything right
now: I've pretty much glutted myself over the last two months with 9 books
in 8 weeks. 4 of those were the Twilight series in 4 days. I need a bit of a

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I haven't seen one yet that made me want to tackle one, really. I'm sure
that'll change.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

Secret Language of Crows started with a story that happened in my own
backyard where a murder was calling out to a dead companion. It was eerie,
the way they swooped over it and called to it, almost like they were hoping
it would get up again.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Anamoly: a piece I'm very proud of and very scared I've not done right by.
It's a story of gender and bias and self acceptance and it's way more
layered in my mind that I probably have given it the life of on paper. I'm
taking my time in edits to make sure I get it as close to the vision as I

I've also started a metaphysical YA series, but I'm so close to the
beginning there's not much to say.

At present, I have a website, but I'm loaning out the space to a good cause.
It should be back up by January.

you can also find me on facebook at thea's writing page

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