I’m so lucky to share with you a very special extra Tuesday visit from Theresa Meyers. Theresa is the progeny of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile, Theresa learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot. A former journalist and public relations officer, she found far more enjoyment using her writing skills to pen paranormal novels in the turret office of her Victorian home. She’s spent nearly a quarter of a century married to her Prom date, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show Supernatural, and has an indecent love of hats. Find her online at www.twitter.com/Theresa_Meyers or at www.theresameyers.com.
Theresa was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing and her latest release, THE VAMPIRE WHO LOVED ME which is part of the Harlequin Nocturne line.
And now without further ado, here’s Theresa!
At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know that I wanted to become an author so much as I was just born that way. I always told stories. I’m dyslexic and so when I was younger I couldn’t read, but I adored being read to. My mom gave me a tape recorder and let me ramble on for hours telling the stories in my head.
I got into journalism in school and found I really enjoyed writing and started writing my first novel at age 17. At one point (after writing for 20 years and NOT being published in fiction yet) I was in the American Title II contest (the American Idol of books) as one of 11 finalists in the nation up for a publishing contract. When I got kicked off in about round three or four I decided I was going to give it up. After all, I had a thriving PR agency, what did I need to beat my head against my keyboard for?
Yeah. That lasted about half an hour.
I realized no matter what, I was still going to have these ideas and characters mulling around in my head and have to find a constructive way to deal with that constant barrage of stuff. I figured I could A) tell it to my friends, and potentially lose them all after hogging all the conversations over the years; B) take a second job so I could afford to tell a therapist all my stories and get them out of my head or C) keep writing. I like my friends. I don’t need another job. Writing seemed the best option to staying semi normal and if I was going to keep writing, why not keep sending it out?
What genre is your current release and what made you decide to write in this genre?
It’s a paranormal romance. Most everything I write tends to have a paranormal edge to it in one way or another. I mostly blame my mother for that. As children she always encouraged us to see beyond the mundane and look at the world as a very magical place. I guess that’s created a world where the paranormal is kind of my normal.
Tell us a little something about the hero.
I adore Achilles, the hero of The Vampire Who Loved Me. He was actually a secondary character in The Truth About Vampires who demanded his own story from the moment he stepped on to the page. I had to promise him his own book to shut him up long enough to finish writing The Truth About Vampires.
He’s a Spartan warrior who became a vampire through the original ancient cult in the ancient world. The problem is while he’s a warrior and a vampire, he’s also a Halfling. He bonded with his mentor, which in my vampire world means more than an emotional attachment. A bonded pair share not only each other’s powers, but each other’s pain and a love that lasts past death and can be reborn again. But his mentor, Ione, was killed during the Inquisition, which left him tortured and unable to truly feel emotions. Without the clan, he’d go insane. He tries so hard to joke around and tease feelings out of other people because he can’t experience those emotions himself.
He’s the ultimate tortured hero, who sees his past repeating itself as is terrified of it. I found the song “Wake Me Up Inside” from Evanescence perfectly described him and I ended up playing it over and over again as I wrote scenes in Achilles’ point of view.
Did you do a substantial amount of research for your novels and if so, are there any tricks you do to keep all that information readily available?
Well, for this book in particular I had a lot of research on bio-engineering, DNA replication and how vaccines are manufactured as part of Beck’s background on creating the vampire vaccine, Vanquish. Obviously a lot more is in my notes than the actual book because Nocturne’s are fairly short! For each book I try to keep a file (both on my computer and in physical form) that has my notes, websites, interviews and other information I’ve used in creating the story. In addition, because this is a mini-series, I have an ongoing series folder that holds things like the rules of my world, what emotions correlate with which scents for my vampires, names of characters, etc. so that I can keep it all straight from book to book. I’d love to say I can keep it all in my head, but there’s just too much!
Do you have any rituals that you do before starting to write?
Yes! I usually start off by “running the numbers” on my character names until I find a spelling that fits the character traits I’m looking for. By running the numbers I mean using numerology to figure out who my characters are, or, if it’s a really common name, I can shortcut by using You Are Your First Name by Ellin Dodge. From there I do a brainstorming session on the different scenes, a plotting board to kind of organize it all and then create a sound track for my book that I only play while writing that book. Often I’ll also get a specific scent of candle and only burn it while writing on that book. (Involving as many senses as possible helps stimulate the subconscious, creative part of the brain.)
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop in, Theresa! It sounds like a great book.