T.A. Henry is a Pacific Northwest transplant who loves it there. “I am a stay at home mom who home schools her only kiddo. I hike, crochet, and yoga with all my spare time. LOL. I like to think I am funny. I hear I am a good friend. I think the secret to that is I have very little judgement.”
Dan: What makes you so damn interesting anyway?
T.A.: I am obscenely boring and that’s what makes me so interesting.
I don’t think it’s possible to be “obscenely” boring. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
That’s fast! Maybe obscenely fast…
In fact, I was still typing like a mad woman at 11:51 PM on the 30th of November last year. But I made it, uploaded with three minutes to spare. What can I say, I like to live dangerously.
So it was for NaNoWriMo?
It was. I do all my novel writing during Nano. It’s a huge push during November to get a manuscript to functional. I can’t imagine asking my friends and family to make that kind of sacrifice year round. And to be honest, I’m still really slow at the rest. I needed January through April to edit my Nano novel, then July and August to correlate, analyze, and make changes based on Beta feedback. Not a lot of time in there for new novels. Not yet anyway.
What is the best part about being an indie author for you?
Total control. I choose everything. It’s published where I want. It has the cover I want. I took a departure from the norm in style and I didn’t have to defend myself to an agent, editor, or publisher.
I think I see a theme emerging: CONTROL!!! Home school, indie… is that present in your stories, too?
Whew. Dive right in there. Let’s pick apart my less than pleasant character traits right off. LOL. I never must have thought about it as control but more as responsibility. If I do it, it will get done right. With my son, I have a responsibility to provide an education that is best suited to him. With my book, I have a responsibility to give it the best chance at being read. I honestly did not believe in the case of Scripting the Truth, that was with a traditional publisher, if I could have even gotten one for it.
What’s the strangest place you’ve gotten a great story idea? Describe in detail. Inquiring minds want to know!
So Scripting the Truth started as a dream, in fact, as a naughty dream. In my dream, “the guy” is working for a porn studio and she goes to audition and they pan her because her boobs are too small so she offers to… well that’s not important. I realized of course that I couldn’t write that book. So it underwent a few modifications.
Don’t be so sure! I was ready to keep reading! (You can give your short synopsis or blurb, since readers will want to know more after reading that) Plus now I get to use the tag “boobs” so it’ll get a lot more SEO hits. I may have to add that as a question, actually: “Can you work the word ‘boobs’ into one of your answers, please?”
At loose end in post World War II London, Lady Margaret Leighton chances upon a movie poster showcasing the young soldier she gave her heart to while serving as a military nurse. Desperate to reconnect with him, she uses her wits and newly discovered writing muse to scheme her way into the movie studio where he is an actor. Molly is certain they will live happily ever after. And they just might… But first Molly has to figure out who she is and what she wants. Can she made this unexpected career work with the expectations of her elite family? She’ll try to do it all while trying to keep the seams on her stockings straight.
Speaking of stockings, let’s get to the important stuff: Can you wash light and dark clothes together? Have you even turned a bunch of stuff pink in the washer?
I used to be very anal about separating all my colors. As a kid I was supposed to do the laundry and I could never figure out where to put my dad’s pale yellow polo shirt. I turned many versions of that shirt a few colors. Then I lived in an apartment with the smallest washing machine ever and I started just throwing everything in together. It was fine. I felt so betrayed, all those years of separating, the extra work, and time, and money….all for nothing. Sigh.
It’s a damned conspiracy is what it is. I separated colors FOREVER and my wife let me just because she was happy I was doing laundry. Then I saw her doing it and I was like waaaaiiit!
What “person” do you like to write in? First Person, Third Person, etc. – and why?
Depends on the work. For Scripting the Truth, I wrote in first person. All from Molly’s point of view.
What about your blog? How and why did you start that?
The writers from my group told me I needed to get online if I ever wanted to publish. So I started to blog about Nanowrimo, a blog a day, just describing the process of writing 50 thousand words in 30 days or less.
How long have you done Nanowrimo? And do you recommend it?
2015 will be my fourth Nanowrimo. As I mentioned I lost the first two years, partly due to bad time management and partly due to the complicated nature of my first novel attempt, which I am still working on. LOL
Oh, man. Nano is amazing. It’s like super charging your creative drive for a month. I highly recommend getting completely involved locally if you can. I am lucky enough to live in a Region where the MLs make a huge effort to host a write in a day the month of November. Write ins for the uninitiated involved a bunch of writers gathering at a coffee shop, library, restaraunt, and writing together. We have word sprints, how much can you get out in ten minutes, in five, in two. Faster, faster, faster. Yeah, now you won a silly little prize. People will help you work through plot issues, or character problems. You can shout out, I need a name for a twenty something male jerk and eight responses will come back instantly. Support. Nano equals support. And for me, I am about one and a half times as productive at a write than I am at home, and I take my kiddo to write in half the time. The pressure of hearing everyone else type, I come up with something to get my own keys clacking.
Plotter? Or Pantser? And prepare to defend your position!
Pantser all the way.
Oh, I hate you! WHY pantser?
This comes up a lot in Nano discussions and I think people who plot have practically written the whole thing before the month even begins. The joy of writing 50 thousand words in 30 days or less is actually writing it during the month. If you follow a detailed outline you might as well not even Nano, you’re a cheater. >raspberry<
What’s a good writing secret or time management secret?
So I failed my first two Nano endeavors…
That means you didn’t get 50,000 words written in 30 days?
Yes, and then one year my husband bought me No Plot, No Problem (Chris Baty). He recommends tracking your time usage for one week and seeing what you can give up, if only in the short term. So I did this and discovered I was spending way more time than I thought on email, Facebook, surfing the web and TV. Granted I had a small child and I was pretty worn (um, this is actually the word I meant – threadbare, in tatters) by the time I got him down at night, but still. I cut all that out the next November and bam, I won.
Have you ever been recognized by a fan in public for your writing, or when was the first time a fan came up to you in public (not an author event or signing)?
Ok so I don’t have any fan stories, probably because I don’t have any fans…
(Laughing) I still remember the first time someone quoted me to me. I was having a conversation with someone and they were like “I just read this interesting bit about….” Yep, from my blog. They were using it as a factoid for the argument. LOL. And then recently someone texted me to tell me they were reading a great book they thought I would love. I reminded them I reviewed it a few months earlier and their response was great: oh so that’s where I got this, thanks for the recommendation.
Still, to have somebody quote you to you – pretty cool? Did you let them win the argument for that?
I totally did. I also rubbed it in that they were quoting me to me and we had a good laugh about it.
If writing suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do?
Buy a Morgan. Hire a nanny for a few hours every day. Oooh, and a weekly house cleaner. My wants are pretty simple.
I hear you have some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?
Scripting the Truth launches today! Available on Amazon in print on demand and kindle versions.
Awesome! Give us a little taste!
Okay, here’s an excerpt:
By the following morning I had concocted a plan. I dressed in my favorite Schiaparelli suit for the aura of professionalism it lent my visage, which I desperately needed if I was going to pull off the plan I had in mind. I rang for a cab to drive me to the Lime Grove Studio, timing my arrival for mid-morning in hopes that most of the office staff would be having their elevenses and I could successfully parry with a lesser office being. Sadly, there was but an office boy in total at Lime Grove. I moved onto Islington as the next closest office of Rank Organization. Here I struck pay dirt. The office was busy despite it being almost upon the sacred lunch hour. I straightened my beret, checked my lipstick, and powdered my nose before tackling the gargoyle in charge.
“I have business with Patrick Dumount. Please let him know Lady Margaret Leighton is here to see him.” I hoped my no nonsense verbiage combined with my most brisk tone would get me past the first hurdle.
“You have business do you?” The woman’s tone was designed to mock. I got a little nervous.
“I do.” Simple and direct. Act as though there is no reason she shouldn’t do exactly what I wanted her to do. That was the trick.
“I’ll bet. You must be the ninth girl this week who tried the business sham to get to see Patrick, and the 200th since that film hit the box office. Now be off with you before I call security.”
“Oh but I know Patrick. I am sure if you told him Lady Margaret Leighton was here he would want to see me.”
“Listen sweetheart pretending to be nobility is actually an offense punishable by law. So take yourself off now.”
“My father really is the Duke of Richmond and I am Lady Leighton and I need to see Patrick Dumount on urgent business.” I found myself getting a bit short in the temper.
“Tell you what honey, bring the good Duke down here and then maybe I’ll believe your story.” With that she picked up her phone and began to slowly push buttons. “I’m calling the security officer right now. I’d be long gone before he arrives if I were you.”
Unless I was prepared to involve my father in this mess I had no choice but to retire bested. As I slowly made my way to the door a flyer on the cork board caught my eye.
Good stuff. Good luck with the book launch and thank you so much for dropping by!
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Check out his other works HERE.