Monday, March 02, 2009
Make-Believe Mondays With Theresa Meyers
Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm pleased to introduce my AT2 sister, Theresa Meyers.
Theresa, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Theresa: Hi Debra! The manuscript I’m working on right now is a paranormal romance set around four sisters, who live by three rules and have one really big problem. Most people only believe in what they can see. The O’Connell sisters would tell you they’d prefer not to, especially since they’ve been gifted with the ability to see faeries. Not your mother’s cute little Tinker Bell types, all sunlight and sparkles, but the deeper darker fae of the Shadowland and Wyldwood—the ones that are more akin to creatures of the night like vampires and demons, whose shapes vary from black slickness, to blue devil that morph and change—the ones that are dangerous to humans and will stop at nothing to reclaim the world they believe we’ve stolen from them.
Debra: Shiver. I'm not sure I'd want to see them either. But I can't wait to read their story.
Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?
Theresa: Actually I’m having a lot of fun at the moment creating just those sorts of things for my fae kingdoms. It’s a challenge to find things that are familiar to us, but give them either slightly skewed attributes or use them in unexpected ways—with different names—in the fae world. But the majority of time it isn’t so much the language itself that I play with as the description of the items. For instance, in my latest book the fae hero uses something called a Tace Candle to seal a jar and a letter. Tace is Latin for silent. And the black wax has the property of an breakable lock. The person sealing the item can tell who or under what conditions the item may be opened, rather like a secret access code, and the wax obeys.
Debra: Oh, fun! It's great to be able to play when we write. Wax that obeys. I like that very much. ;-)
Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Theresa: For me creativity comes in lots of forms. When the weather warms up, I love to go outside and garden, planting herbs and flowers that I enjoy all season long. During the winter months I like to experiment with baking different things. I also like to sew and paint, watch movies and act. I find if I’m really stuck in a scene, going and doing something else active usually loosens the block and the ideas start of flow again.
Debra: Yes, there is something about movement, isn't there? Something about moving our bodies that gets the stories moving again.
For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?
Theresa: Funny you should ask. The vampires in my debut Nocturne Bite, Salvation of the Damned, came about for two reasons. First I had this incredibly vivid dream of a man and woman dancing together in a ballroom full of candlelight that later involved a casket with a fanged skeleton that seemed to morph into her, almost as if invisible spiders were weaving a web that filled out to become her body. Weird, I know. I’m still not sure what I ate for dinner that night. But it was so intense that I woke up and had to write it down. Once I wrote it, I started to think about it. Then I asked one simple question. Why is it you never hear of vampires that are thousands of years old? They are always hundreds of years old. If they are immortal, why is that?
Debra: After doing these interviews for several years it has become clear to me that some of the most unusual and creative stories emerge from our dreams. I think we should listen to them more often. And those are great questions! I'm interested in reading how you answer them
Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?
Theresa: I think the act of writing is like stepping into the unknown. Despite plotting or character sketches, I’m never really sure exactly where the story is going to go. Often the characters take over. Indulging the imagination is absolutely critical to getting deep into the writing. It’s one of the things that took me three years to master because of my early training as a journalist. You can’t be objective when you are in the story, because the story consumes you; you feel, you think, you experience things along with your character.
Debra: This is so spot on. I agree completely.
Theresa: Imagination and make believe is probably one of the most critical components to what our country has been able to achieve in the past two centuries. We came up with automobiles, the electric light bulb, the telephone, space travel to the moon, the personal computer revolution. All of those came from some one’s imagination and dreams. It concerns me how little we encourage our children to use their imaginations these days. We have become a society that discourages the imagination and feeds them entertainment instead. Ironically, the importance of imagination it creating reality is said best by Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” There are no limits. We alone decide what the boundaries are by the limits of our own imaginations.
Debra: Beautiful, Theresa, and well put. Thank you for joining me here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Theresa: Thanks for letting me visit!
You can find me online at www.theresameyers.com and Salvation of the Damned at www.nocturnebites.com
Debra's News/Debra is Watching:
I am the featured author for the month of March over on Rae Lori's A Writer's Dream blog
We had 8 inches of snow the other day, which is unusual for the Memphis area. So today I am watching it slowly melt. I don't know about you, but I am ready for spring already. We are going camping in a few weeks and I am hoping it warms up before then.
I am also watching for another package. My new bookmarks should arrive this week, thanks to my husband who worked on it while I was calling every friend in my cell phone to tell them my first novel had arrived.