Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm thrilled to introduce my dear friend and American Title II sister, Theresa Myers. Theresa has sold her first book and we're all thrilled for her.
Theresa, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript
you’re working on now.
Theresa: I’m currently working on what can be best described as a regency Mr. & Mrs. Smith, called Lord & Lady Spy. James Ryland, Earl of Grayston, and a spy for the crown, was directed to find and eliminate the French spy, Le Fantom…the only thing stopping him was that Le Fantom turned out to be his wife.
The daughter of a British Marquis and a French aristocrat mother, Giselle was the perfect foil to disguise his spy work and a constant mystery to him. But after seven years of marriage, and an ever-increasing emotional gap between them, he is beginning to wonder if he really knows his wife at all.
For years Giselle has had a secret of her own. She has purposely deceived her husband as a double spy seeking to avenge her family lost to the revolution and assist those who were not as fortunate to escape as she was. While she secretly owes her allegiance to England, she is known as a spy for the French in order to gain the inside information no one else can obtain. Yet, even as she secretly works for the English against the French, her own personal goal is about to be realized. She has only one chance to save her brother being held by Napoleon’s forces. And no one is going to stop her.
While the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith inspired me to start thinking in historical terms, the characters have really given the story a life of their own. Normally one doesn’t have the chance to put in sword fighting scenes where the heroine is a near match to the hero. It’s kind of fun seeing this alpha male have to realize that there’s every possibility his wife is capable of being his match professionally, as well as emotionally and that the secrets they’ve both kept really in the end are what bring them closer together.
Debra: I love sword fighting scenes and I can't wait to read this!
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Theresa: Usually as soon as I have an idea who they are in terms of personality, they become very vivid for me. I’m a very visual person, so when I write it’s like I’m transcribing a movie in my head only with taste, touch and smellovision. The first draft through I am just writing down the basics of what is going on, who is where and what they are saying. Then I rewind the movie and find out what was happening around them and fill it in. As far as characters being real. Oh yeah. I’ve had some flat out refuse to do things and go walking off in an entirely different direction (which always makes the story stronger).
Debra: They can be stubborn that way, can't they? ;)
As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?
Theresa: Absolutely. My mother read to us using different voices for different characters. She was a total bibliophile and pretty much turned us into bibliophiles too. When she read a Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle you could feel the tesseract pull around you and pulsating energy off of the giant brain. When we read The Tower of Geburah by John White, you could smell the must in the attic where they find the televisions that transport them and the tingle in your fingers as Lisa picks up the book for the first time (by the way if your kids like the Narnia series or the Harry Potter series, I highly recommend The Tower of Geburah which is part of the Archives of Anthropos series.)
Debra: What a wonderful gift her story telling must have been. The way tales were once told around the campfire.
If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?
Theresa: That’s a good question. In some measure I already have. The book is called The Morelock Project. It’s a sci-fi romantic adventure – think James Rollins crossed with James Patterson--where two scientists uncover a mummy of a centaur and are asked to find it’s origins by the government to uncover the possibility of genetic hybridization and how it would work. They crisscross the globe from the ruins of a ancient Etruscan site to the jungles of Thailand, where they encounter a secret sect bent on protecting humanity from the truth, that all those monsters we learned about in Greek mythology, weren’t myths, but oral history. They did exist and the humans on this planet were being used as colonial resources for experiments by the colony of “gods” at Atlantis. When they uncover the truth in the South China Sea, revealed by the tsunami, they have a choice to expose the truth or save the world.
Debra: That sounds fascinating!
Theresa, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Readers may visit Theresa at http://www.theresameyers.com/