T. Hammond feels writing is not a calling so much as a compulsion. No one is more surprised than her when characters take over the plot and dialog, (re)directing stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. Although she starts with a basic framework, she finds that one or two chapters into each novel, not only have characters shredded her outline into tiny unidentifiable pieces, they use the resulting confetti in a nose-thumbing parade. She is fully convinced the writer is merely the tool a story uses to tell its tale.
T. has written six books in the Team Red series—spicy, LOL, romance with a paranormal twist. T’s first Urban Fantasy, Posse: Legends, is scheduled for Winter 2015
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have completed the scheduled books for the Team Red series, and I’m ready to expand out of the Paranormal Romance genre. I’m currently working on the first book in the Posse trilogy, Posse: Legends, which is a blend of historical events and urban fantasy. The series is challenging, as I’ve been tackling the huge responsibility of world-building (making rules for your fantasy world). World-building needs to be consistent and make sense—well, as much sense as writing about vampires and Fae can make. Researching historical events to meld into the storyline, is another layer of time-consuming nit-picking, but I feel if an author fools around with actual events, they have a duty to portray the timeline, clothing, and other small details to enhance the tale. The story is told from eight points of view (PoV) which is a delicate dance, giving each character enough face time to tell their story and build reader empathy, but not so much as to lose reader’s interest with too many scene changes or confusing timelines.
Who designs your covers?
The Team Red covers are done by Sami Hensler (feel free to contact me for her email address). The Posse trilogy is designed by Hang Le (www.byhangle.com). She’s done an awesome job on the first two covers already and we are working on book three’s. The cover reveal for Posse: Legends will be around October 1st.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
This is a subject I talk about in my Facebook author group “Author Coffee Break” as well as on my personal and Goodreads blogs.
PROFESSIONALLY EDIT YOUR WORK!
It is almost impossible to self-edit. Most people have a tendency to look right over their mistakes. Get a good editor—in fact, get an awesomely excellent editor (If you’re only paying $200 for a 80k document, then save yourself the money and do spell check—that’s pretty much all you get for that amount, and you could do your own in 30 min). I have a Goordreads blog post https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/6257152-blind-rage-the-writing-process which talks about the writing process as a whole.
Nothing beats an editor who specializes in line edit, and or developmental edit. Expect to pay $600-1000 for your 80k manuscript, depending on how well you self-edit first. You will be charged more for sloppy work (which is as it should be, an editor is your associate, not your mom who follows you around to wipe up your mess). After the edit, I also recommend a flock of proofreaders. They will always find something, no matter how great the editor or how many times you’ve reviewed the darn thing yourself.
Do you have any writing rituals or certain things you do to aid your writing process?
Coffee. Copious amounts of dark-roasted nectar from heavens.
Next, I start a “Characters” spreadsheet to jot down names, character traits, ages, associations (to other characters)
I also start a “Notes” document to track recurring things, such as my preferred way to do a date stamp—for example: ** Early Morning, Tuesday Jan 6 ** or, in my Team Red series, Teresa is blind and has a talking alarm clock. I want to keep consistency with how the clock recites information so I have an example of the clock: six-fifteen a.m., Tuesday, January sixth. My notes also contain snippets of dialog I may want to include. Also, in my main document, I sometimes find a paragraph or two may not be as relevant as I’d initially thought, although I may really like the wording; I’ll cut it from the document and paste it to “Notes” to possibly insert somewhere else later.
Favorite snack and thing to drink while you write?
Everything goes with coffee. I keep a candy dish on my desk (anything from Milk Duds, to Hot Tamales, Sweet Tarts, and Spice Drops), but I don’t eat too often when I’m writing. When I do, I step away from the desk and eat and read in my recliner to take a break.
Ebook or Print? eBook (Print books for favored authors)
Junk Food or Sweets? Sweets
Dogs or Cats? Dogs! The bigger the better
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Dark Colors or Light Colors? In between? My closet is mostly shades of gray.
Angels or Demons? Demons
Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance? Paranormal
Boxers or Briefs? Naked, definitely commando!
Control Freak or Careless Jerk? Control Freak.
Must read books (in no particular order)
1. Archer’s Voice, Mia Sheridan
2.The Execution, Sharon Cramer
3. Shadowboxer, Cari Quinn
4.Blackbirds, Chuck Wendig
5.Falling Into You, Jasinda Wilder
Check out all of Tina’s novels
and come visit her during her takeover August 11
at Rising Indies United @ 6:00pm PDT
at Rising Indies United @ 6:00pm PDT