Monday, August 4, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Theresa Sneed

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I have been writing all of my life. I wrote a poem in third grade and then gave it to my friend because she was struggling with the writing assignment. Well, it won first place and was put in the local newspaper, the Piscataquis Observer under her name! Later in sixth grade, I remember writing a skit that my friends and I recorded during recess on a cassette, which I have somewhere.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

Ideally, I write Monday through Friday starting early in the morning and going until I tire of writing. Sometimes, I'll write from morning until bedtime, but usually it's a few hours sometime during the day. I prefer to use my laptop near a window or better yet, outside.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is creating the story line. I love to put words together in ways that entertain, uplift and inspire. My least favorite thing, hands down, is marketing. However, if you ignore marketing, you probably will not sell many books, so I sink lots of time into marketing.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

I come up with characters from many sources, but the interesting thing is that though some of my characters are patterned after real people, none of my characters are that person. My characters have their own personalities, likes and dislikes. It's kind of interesting to see how a character develops over time. One of my favorite characters is Jonathan Stewart in my No Angel Series. He was patterned after Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory, but took on his own personality from those roots.


Why would my readers like my characters? In writing, an author needs to create characters that are first believable and second have some kind of endearing flaw that they can surmount by the end of the story. Jonathan is a reluctant guardian angel. He's actually annoyed that he was even chosen to be one, especially after specifically writing on the Guardians Unlimited application that he had no desire to return to a place he abhorred or to be a guardian angel to someone he could care less about. At the beginning of No Angel, you will not like him, but by the end of this fun story, you will love him!

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I "work" the social media by maintaining an active  facebook author page; online book launches with Tristi Pinkston; blogging with Loving the Book Launch Party; twitter; pinterest; and my own website www.theresasneed.com. I participate in events like this author interview, and I pay it back by making myself available to others for their launches, etc. Most recently, I participated in Tammie Clark Gibbons', Big Author Virtual Ebook Fair. It's important for authors to make themselves visible in the public eye.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I'm a recent empty-nester, so time for me now is perfect for writing. I believe though that time slips away unused, if not scheduled, no matter how much you have of it. I write while my husband is at work, but if I'm on a deadline, then I pretty much write nonstop, except for Sundays.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Yes. I have two new books out so far this year. Elias of Elderberry is climbing the charts with 158 books sold in just this past month. It's a Harry Potter-like book with wizards, fairies, castles, elves and dragons. I envision a  minimum of four books for this series, but it could be longer.

Escape is part of a three book series and is about a 15 year old girl who gets abducted by a corrupt sheriff in the late 1970's. He keeps her captive in his cellar for five years, until she escapes with his truck and his five year old daughter, Sally. 


I'm working on a stand-alone, time-travel called the Salem Witch Haunt. It is about Bess North, a 17 year old student at Danvers High. Because she is the 7th great granddaughter of one of the women hanged as a witch in 1692, she is annoyed with all the media hype and tourism in her town, which used to be Salem Village. Losing her way in the woods, she stumbles upon a quaint, but antiquated village that she thinks is Amish. After the initial shock of discovering where she really is, Salem Village 1692, she sets out on a mission to save her grandmother from the gallows, only to put herself in grave danger.
I have thoroughly researched the historical characters and every possible theory about what happened in Salem Village in 1692. Salem Witch Haunt is a believable story steeped in suspense and intrigue with a touch of sweet romance.
My goal is to release it this Halloween, October 31, 2014, as Halloween, October 31, 2001 was the date that the state of Massachusetts exonerated my own grandmother, Susannah North Martin, 309 years after her hanging.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Yes. I have already written two additional books in my No Angel Series and would like to get book four out this December. I have started book two in the Sons of Elderberry Series. And I have a good part of book two in the Escape (Sandee Jae) Series written too.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

If you love to write then you're 75% there - honest. The other 25% is essential though, and that is to actually do it. I recommend joining a reputable writing group or even getting a few writers together and starting your own. Be willing to seek out informative classes and workshops on writing, attend them, and apply the things you learn. Don't be afraid of constructive criticism - take it for what it is. If someone takes the time to criticize your work, glean what you can from their words - it will make you a better writer. Do NOT take criticism personally, take it professionally.




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Thank you, Theresa!

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