I featured Teresa’s book, “Goblin Moon,” on Friday and am happy to post her interview today. In addition to re-publishing her backlist and writing new books, Teresa is also branching out into freelance developmental editing. I think this is awesome; she obviously knows how to write a darn good book, and now, she’ll help other writers perfect their craft as well! Brava, Teresa! Way to live the guerrilla wordfare spirit!
Lizzy: What do you wish you’d known starting out as an author that you know now?
Teresa: Actually, there is one big thing I am so glad I didn’t know, which was how long and
how hard it would be to write my first novel. If I had known, I doubt I would have even begun. I was very naïve about so many things, but on the whole that worked to my advantage. I had some talent, and people were always telling me I ought to be a writer, but though I was always starting stories, I never made any serious effort to finish them. I thought that when I did, I would just sit down and write the story. It would be as easy as
that. And for a long time, at the end of each draft I’d look at all I had learned, and feel absolutely certain that the next draft would be the last one. That’s what kept me going.
I wish I had known how passionate I would be about my writing. That would have been
an encouraging thing to know. I wish I had known enough to be a better writer — but I always wish that. I want to go on improving forever.
Lizzy: What’s the most inspiring piece of feedback you’ve received from a reviewer/reader?
Teresa: Letters from teenage readers who identify with the characters, who feel they’ve gotten more out of my books than just a good story.
Lizzy: You’ve written a million books whose rights have now reverted back to you. Do you have any idea when you’re backlist will be up and available for readers.
Teresa: As of now, I have the rights to eight of my books, but I should have no trouble getting back the rights to the ninth. Most of my books were written before ebooks were invented. That’s one reason why I am reprinting Goblin Moon now. I’m eager to introduce a new generation of readers to this book, and I think it’s the right time to do it. Readers are turning away from epic fantasy and are more adventurous than they were just a few years ago. But the books I wrote under the pseudonym Madeline Howard are technically still in print because they do exist as ebooks, and getting those rights back may be a challenge. At this point I don’t really care. The books are available, and that’s enough for now. There are so many other books I want to publish first.
My hope is that I can reissue a book every 6-9 months. I am resolved to see Hobgoblin Night published no later than this coming summer. I could release my books faster, but I have new books to write and publish, and I want to devote several months a year just to working on those. I am a perfectionist . Or, less charitably, you might say that I am obsessive about getting everything exactly the way I want it.
And I’m also doing freelance developmental editing, helping new writers to improve their books by working with them on the basics of plot, characterization, style, etc. Even so, between new books and old books, I might be able to publish two novels a year.
Lizzy: Do you have any plans for new books in the future?
Teresa: Absolutely. I am entirely committed to finishing the last book in the Rune of Unmaking series. I hope to publish that one within the next twelve months — maybe less. After that, I intend to write a sequel to The Queen’s Necklace. I made a detailed outline for that one a long time ago, and now that the choice of what I will write and what I will see published is up to me, that’s what I want to write. The Queen’s Necklace will be the third book of my backlist to be published, so that should work out just right for the sequel.
And I think there will be short fiction, too, some of it about familiar characters from the books. Actually, I’ve been writing a lot of very short fiction, 75 words and 300 words long, for competitions on a website I help moderate. I think some of those stories are worth
expanding, so maybe I will someday soon and collect them all in one volume.
Where to find Teresa: