Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trina L. Talma Interview

First off, tell us a little bit about you
My name is Trina Talma, though people I meet on Twitter more often see me as an anagram of that name. I am very nearly half a century old, and I live in the more civilized part of North Dakota with my husband, my son, my mother-in-law and five cats. I also have a daughter, who lives with her own menagerie elsewhere. Besides being a writer, I am also a jewelry designer; most years I make way more money from craft shows than I do from book sales. My hobbies include spending not enough time reading, spending too damn much time on Twitter, attempting to grow vegetables during the summer, playing The Sims, and watching to see whether the birds or the squirrels will win the Battle of the Feeder. I love music and animals, and hate housework and bigotry. I speak English and sarcasm, and can read a smattering of French and German.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books?

Over the past 12 years I've self-published a total of nine books (one is no longer in print). I have a fantasy-adventure series (the Zania series) of five books: Silver and Blood, River's End, The Throne of the Sun, Return To Dawn and Dreams of Darkness. My other series is a mash-up of YA, speculative fiction and action/adventure, and so far consists of two books, The Time of the Wolf and Cherish the Fire. I also have a mixed-genre short-story collection, Unlikely Muses. A few years back I produced a “free sampler” book with novel excerpts and short stories, which I give away at shows and conventions.

When did you start writing?
Somewhere in the dim distant days of my very young youth. I didn't start seriously considering it as a career until my middle teen years, though.

Why do you write?

Part of it is that I like the process of capturing a scene or a moment in time as it appears in my head, and I can't draw. The bigger part of it is that I just like telling stories. I'll take the dumbest little events from my life and when I tell somebody else about them, they become stories that are way longer than necessary. I suppose that might be because I started reading at a young age (pre-kindergarten) and telling stories is just a natural thing for me.

What would be your choice for a superpower?

The ability to stretch time. I could really use a day that lasts for 48 hours or so.

Who is your favorite author?

I used to say Tolkien every time, but nowadays it's a toss-up between Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

What are you reading now?

I'm currently re-reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon series for the third or fourth time, and I'm just about to start Terry Pratchett's Nation. I generally have one paper book and one ebook going at the same time.

Who is your favorite character to write?

Considering that most of my first-person narrators are female, I'm surprised to find that I (somewhat) prefer writing about their male companions. Kahri Aldien in my Zania series is one of my favorites, as is Yvan Landbru from the same series. I like them for their own selves as well as for their relationships with Zania. Then there's Sharrec Fehr, who turned up briefly in Dreams of Darkness and is now a main character in a new book. He interests me because I know a lot about his back-story but he hasn't revealed much of it to the reader or to his friends in the book.

Do you have a writing process?

Not really, apart from the fact that I write all my first drafts on paper first. Back when I started writing, the only writing “machinery” I had access to was a manual typewriter that was probably 20 years older than I was. It was quite a while before I had an electric typewriter, and I didn't have my own computer til I was in my late 20s. So the paper was a necessity that became a habit I still cling to. New notebooks and pens make me happy.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Read, read, read! Read in your chosen writing genre, read anything else that appeals to you, read fiction and nonfiction. You never know what's going to lead to interesting ideas. And don't spend too much time thinking about “the book I'm going to write some day”. Start writing it. It'll be crap – everybody's first book is crap. But if you're really determined to write, and if you're any good at it, you'll learn from everything you read and everything you write. Never think you've learned everything you need to know, either. You can't improve if you don't keep learning and keep writing.

What inspired you to pursue writing?

Apart from realizing that all of the books I loved were written by ordinary people – if they could do it, I could too – I had some really excellent English teachers when I was in high school and college. They were the ones who told me that I showed some talent for writing when I wasn't sure if I did. I probably would have given up if they hadn't told me that I was good at what I wanted to do.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing?

I tend to gravitate toward fantasy and SF genre shows more than anything else, but I'm picky. A lot of the shows that are really popular right now just bore me. But I love “Supernatural”, and “Doctor Who” is great (most of the time), and I still love re-watching older shows like “Buffy”, “Charmed”, “Quantum Leap”. For movies I split about 50/50 between fantasy/SF and comedies. Everything that's good enough to stick with me for a while eventually becomes idea fodder for writing.

What are your current projects?

Right now I'm working on sequels for both of my series, plus I have a fanfic going just for fun. I'm hoping to finish the book in my YA/spec fic series within the next month or two – although I've been hoping that for several years now! After that's done I have another book planned for that series, and I'm hoping to get some more short stories going soon too.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?

Hi readers! How are you? If you like my books, could you please leave me a review somewhere, or visit my Facebook page or my Goodreads page or my Patreon page? Writing is way more fun when I get to hear from my readers in some way.

Quick Fire:Cats or dogs? I like dogs, but I love cats.

Coffee or tea? Tea. Herbal varieties please.

Favorite food? Pizza – and yes I am one of those weirdos who likes pineapple on it.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Chocolate – with brown sugar and/or whipped cream on top

What are 3 things you never leave home without? Phone, wallet and pen. You can pretty much travel the world with just a smart phone and a credit card these days.

Laptop or desktop? Desktop – better for playing the Sims

Who are 3 famous people you would like to hang out with? Uhhhh.... Peter Tork (my cousin met him last week and I'm very jealous), Neil Gaiman and... ummm... Misha Collins

TV or Movies? TV, but only because I don't often have time for a whole m

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