Today I welcome to the blog fantasy and scifi author T. J. Wooldridge, who also writes as Trisha J. Wooldridge. You can find the other four parts of the Blog Ring of Power interview with Trisha on the following blogs, so please check them out to get the whole story!
Emily LaBonte Sandra Ulbrich Almazon http://terribruce.net/ T.W. Fendley
Why did you choose to go with a small/independent press?
I met the owner, Kate Kaynak, through Broad Universe and worked on an anthology, UnCONventional with her. I loved what she was doing as a publisher, how she was taking care of her authors, and the overall commitment to quality work and growing authors’ careers. There was a lot of good chemistry the more I worked with Spencer Hill Press, so when I had a chance to submit my own manuscript, when we opened up to doing Middle Grade (we’d started off doing only Young Adult), I was very happy that I could find a home for Heather and my kelpie there.
What are the most important elements of good writing?
This is such a subjective question… for me, it’s good writing if I can connect with the characters. If I’m thinking about the characters long after I’ve finished the book. It’s even better writing, to me, if I’m thinking of the issues and other things that got dealt with in the book. I want to care about the characters and care about what they care about. I want my own world and viewpoints to change just a little because I’ve read a book.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do a lot of research on the paths to publishing as well as on the content of your work. In both cases, a lack of research will hurt you.
In your writing, I lose faith in you if you’ve got your facts wrong. And I see a lot of that. I also see people making grammar errors that can be checked with simple research to, and that annoys me. If you can’t take the time and effort to make sure your book is as perfect as possible, why should I spend my time and money–both of which are at premiums right now–on your book? We live in a world full of libraries, the Internet, and so many methods of research that it’s nothing but utter laziness for a writer to not do his/her research. That sounds awfully harsh, but I know how many manuscripts I reject for lack of research.
In publishing, we are at an amazing time where there are so many opportunities: opportunities for all types of writers. If a writer has a good business mind and enjoys marketing, finding covers, and can create a budget and plan, she or he can produce an amazing book and get it out there. If someone doesn’t want to do all that, but wants some control, there are all sorts of small-presses that can offer other alternatives. And if someone wants to go the traditional route of agents and large presses, that option is still there to. But, like in creating the story, finding the right path for you also requires a lot of research. There are lots of scams out there and, in my other, other, other job of working at a bookstore, I do see a lot of poorly constructed, unedited, and/or poorly marketed self-published books. There is no one correct path for everyone, and I hate seeing the stupid arguments of one way being better than another: The information is available. Research, research, research and find the publishing path that best suits your needs and your personality: what will make you the happiest in the end.
What are your current / future project(s)?
Projects! I haz many projex!! The Kelpie just came out in December. My next novel, another middle grade but more science fiction, Silent Starsong comes out in July. And the sequel to The Kelpie, titled The Earl’s Childe, comes out next December.
Besides that, I know I have a short story under Trisha J. Wooldridge coming out in the Once Upon An Apocalypse anthology this year some time. And there are a few more that I can’t make announcements about yet, but I’m working on them!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I didn’t have a chance to note this earlier, but I have it set up that a portion of all proceeds from The Kelpie (and any future books in this series) will go to the Bay State Equine Rescue: a non-profit horse rescue that led me to meeting my awesome horse, Calico Silver. I do bring up some issues of horse rescue in the novels, as well, as Heather’s mum, Aimee, is very much into animal rescue, horses in particular. It meant a lot to me that the family was strongly supportive of responsible animal care.
T. J. Wooldridge is a professional writing geek who adores research into myth, folklore, legend, and the English language. Before delving full-time into wordsmithing, she has been a tutor, a teacher, an educational course designer, a video game proofreader, a financial customer service representative, a wine salesperson, a food reviewer, an editing consultant, a retail sales manager, and a nanny. While infrequent, there are times she does occasionally not research, write, or help others write. During those rare moments, she enjoys the following activities: spending time with her Husband-of-Awesome, a silly tabby cat, and two Giant Baby Bunnies in their Massachusetts home hidden in a pocket of woods in the middle of suburbia, reading, riding her horse in the nearby country stables and trails (not very well), reading Tarot (very well), drawing (also not very well), making jewelry (pretty well), making lists, and adding parenthetical commentary during random conversations. She also enjoys dressing up as fey creatures, zombies, or other such nonsense at science fiction, fantasy, and horror conventions.
Follow T. J.:
Blog: http://www.novelfriend.blogspot.com and
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NovelFriend
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6556819.T_J_Wooldridge?from_search=true
Book Back Cover Blurb:
I can’t honestly say I was joking when I suggested to my best friend, Joe – Prince Joseph, eldest son of England’s Crown Prince – that we could probably find something the police had missed in regards to the missing children. After all, eleven and twelve year olds like us did that all the time on the telly and in the books we read…
When Heather and Joe decide to be Sleuthy MacSleuths on the property abutting the castle Heather’s family lives in, neither expected to discover the real reason children were going missing:
A Kelpie. A child-eating faerie horse had moved into the loch “next door.”
The two barely escape with their lives, but they aren’t safe. Caught in a storm of faerie power, Heather, Joe, and Heather’s whole family are pulled into a maze of talking cats, ghostly secrets, and powerful magick.
With another child taken, time is running out to make things right.
Read more about/Buy THE KELPIE:
Amazon: The Kelpie on Amazon
BarnesandNoble: The Kelpie at Barnes & Noble