Monday, August 02, 2010

Make-Believe Monday with Teresa Noelle-Roberts

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Teresa Noelle-Roberts.

Teresa, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you're working on now.

Teresa:  Manuscript? Singular? If only my brain was that straightforward. 
First there's the brand-new book, Foxes' Den, which is the second work in the Duals and Donovans series from Samhain.

As for works in progress, I'm writing two paranormal series for two different publishers and have installments for each underway.
For Samhain, I'm working on the next book in the Duals and Donovans series, which includes Lions' Pride and Foxes' Den. The third book, tentatively called Shamans' Sanctuary, stars the sexy cousin of Rafe, one of the heroes from Lions' Pride. It has duals (my version of shifters), Native American shamans, evil sorcerers, a broken-hearted female cop who discovers her shamanic gifts, and guest appearances by the three main characters of Lions' Pride.

For Phaze, I'm winding up the Seasons of Sorania Cycle of slightly kinky fantasy romance (Lady Sun Has Risen, Rain at Midsummer and the forthcoming Threshing the Grain) with The Longest Night. It's a holiday story with a twist, set during this culture's version of Yule or Winter Solstice celebrations. What would you do if a sexy naked satyr stumbles into your house, desperately in need of your help, while you're getting ready for the holidays? Laeca soesn't quite tie a bow on him, but it becomes clear the gods have sent them to each other as a gift.

And if two paranormals aren't enough, I'm also working on a sexy contemporary comedy with my coauthor Dayle A Dermatis. We write together as Sophie Mouette.

Debra: Quite a few in the works then.  One good thing about having so many is that it helps prevent writers block. You can always go work on a different one when the first one starts to slow down.

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?

Teresa:  If I could, I'd travel constantly. Being exposed to new places, especially ones with beautiful scenery and/or a rich history, always sparks my creativity. Since constant travel isn't feasible on a writer's budget, I explore the area where I live with a fresh eye whenever possible. A walk in the woods, a trip to the beach, a visit to some historic spot, be it Plimouth Plantations, a museum or an old factory or cemetary, can all spark something inside me. What comes out of those visits may have no obvious connection to where I've been.

I also find that various forms of creativity feed one another. In addition to writing, I belly dance, garden and cook seriously and also knit and take photographs, both with more enthusiasm than skill. The physical challenge of dance, the multi-sensory experience of cooking and gardening, and the visual and kinesthetic aspects of knitting and photography all seem to help the writing. Needless to say, I also read omnivorously.

Debra: As a former travel consultant who has visited many countries I can attest to that. Travel expands the mind and feeds the soul.  I also spend some time as a professional belly dancer and know well the challenge of dance, but also the joy and how it feeds the soul. :-) 

As a child, did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world? 

Teresa:  Even as a child, I read anything I could get my hands on, so I could ramble about this question for pages and pages. But I'll spare you all by focusing on one book.

T.H. White's The Once and Future King, a retelling of the King Arthur legends, has haunted me for years. The first section, The Sword in the Stone, is about Arthur's boyhood and is light-hearted enough it was made into a Disney cartoon. I'm not sure my mother realized for years that I kept reading after the story becomes dark and twisted and tragic. I think the book may have influenced me more as a writer than books I reread more often. White takes a familiar story, reinterprets it through a contemporary lens (World War II, in his case), and makes even the villains well-rounded, with understandable motivations. I'm not by any means as brilliant and scholarly as White, but I think he influenced the way I look at mythology and legend as source material-and at my tendency to put wordplay and humor into even tense scenes.

Debra:  It's a beautiful thing how one book can influence a life.  The magic and power of words and how words and stories stay with us. What a wonderful craft we practice.  :-)

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?

I frequently dream in print and can see finished stories and poems on a page in front of me. Alas, when I wake up they're gone!

I have the first few chapters of an urban fantasy involving a djinn, a graduate student and the struggle for control of oil in the Middle East that grew out of a dream. I'm a bit daunted by the degree of research I'd need to make the book work, as it would weave in a lot of fairly obscure follklore and classical Arabic poetry as well as contemporary politics.

Debra:  Oh but if you were to write that one.... Well if you do, be sure to let me know as I'd want to read it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Teresa:  You can catch more of my rambles at or friend me on Facebook. I'm there as Teresa Noelle Roberts. My website is", but I'll warn you it's perpetually under construction.

Teresae, thank you for joining us here on this Make-Believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Debra's News/Debra is watching:

I will be away for several days this week visiting the Atlanta area, combining my love of travel with my love of belly dance and of course my writing.  Will share my adventures over on the facebook fan page upon my return. 

The contemporary romance is out to two agents and fingers crossed.  The novella is under revision and I am still doing research for the medieval romance.  Last week I went over the manuscripts I'd started to choose one to finish next and the novella won because it was the closest to being done.

And of course trying to stay cool in the Memphis heat.  It looks as if August is going to be a hot one.

Sign up over on my website for my newsletter and a chance to win an ebook.  Newsletters will go out once a month starting in October.

Until next time, stay cool and enjoy the rest of your summer

Love and light,

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