I’ll like to welcome Tonya Macalino to my blog today. She was kind enough to answers a few questions for me, and I had the chance to read and review of her book, Spectre of Intentions, for you. Tonya is also giving away to different prize packages. all you need do is fill out the form.
Check out the details of the prizes here.
The Space Elevator Gift Pak includes:
All you need to do to enter is click on the form below and fill it out.
What first got you interested in writing? What has kept you doing it?
I’ve written since before I could write. My grandmother transcribed my first masterpiece for me. (Still don’t understand why that one didn’t shoot straight to the bestseller list. Especially with those amazing crayon illustrations!) But I can remember when I really grasped and embraced the power of the storyteller. Long, long before Disney got hold of the tale, The Little Mermaid had relived her story over and over with a much darker ending. There is no happily ever after when the hero falls in love with another and the heroine’s choice is between her own life and his.
It pissed me off.
And that’s when I realized that little girl’s fate had been entirely in the hands of Christian Andersen. And that I had the power to change it. She didn’t have to die.
Pretty potent stuff.
And addictive, too. So, what has kept me doing it? Compulsion. Even during the bad years where my head was so occupied by life that the quality of my writing turned embarrassing, I was still driven to put words to paper. I don’t expect that will ever go away.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
I have been very fortunate to have the support of my parents, siblings, husband, and children. My parents supported me through all the contests and ultimately through the Creative Writing degree. My sister and brother are still my first readers after all these years. My husband has been a steady source of encouragement from the very beginning and is always the first to make sure I have the time and resources to make this career a reality. He actually has a children’s book coming out next month, DAMIEN AND THE DRAGON KITE. We’re all very excited!
As for my kids, amazingly enough, they willingly sit through me blathering on about my research and plot ideas. We even sit down and make books of our own—somebody’s got to carry on that tradition of crayon-illustrated bestsellers
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
I’ve become very mercenary in my writing habits by necessity. When you have two small children and a small business, writing rituals are a luxury you can’t really afford. The only thing I HAVE to have to write is a either a mediocre night’s sleep or some really potent chocolate.
On the other hand, when I was a teenager, I always HAD to make sure my room was immaculate before I could settle down to write. My parents must have loved that.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
There are only two things that deliver writing competency: butt-in-the-chair time and studying until you’ve mastered the tools. And understand that each type of writing requires different tools: novels, screenplays, poems, short stories. So hit a class, determine your weaknesses, research the best coaching tools, and get ready to pay your dues. Some of us more than others! Eh-he.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
I think the first challenge was deciding when my writing had progressed enough to produce a solid product, i.e. book. You always think that what you’ve just finished writing is a masterpiece. Then you go back a year later and slap your hand over your eyes in humiliation. Hopefully, eventually, the hand-slapping gets less frequent, but then you are second guessing yourself as to whether that’s just ego talking. But finally I started hearing positive feedback from people whose opinions I really respected, people I knew would be violently honest with me. So I closed my eyes and jumped.
The second challenge was and continues to be the marketing. Getting your name out there when you are a nobody…well, you figure out pretty quickly how small your circle of influence is. Then it is a matter of figuring out how you can reach beyond that. That’s when the real work begins. Oh yeah, and don’t forget you have to get a new novel out within six months while you’re at it!
Has a reader ever complimented you on your writing? What was the best thing you ever heard, and who told it to you?
My absolute favorite thing to hear is that a reader stayed up all night to finish the book, or that they kept telling their spouse to hush because they were so absorbed. I’ve heard that from several different people and that is always so gratifying. Although I also got a big kick out of one the newspaper gals who said she’d already started casting the characters and she was only a few chapters in. How fun!
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
Right now I am working on the first book in my SHADES OF VENICE series, titled FACES IN THE WATER. The lead character, Alyse Kate Bryant, is a sensory immersion artist—kind of like a foley (sound) artist, but she actually uses her own body to capture sensory data and then lays it digitally into the holographic movies. She’s already a lunatic daredevil and the story opens as the death of her father has her teetering on the very edge of reckless sanity.
That recklessness finally has consequences.
Alyse finds herself trapped in the flooded ruins of Venice in a quarantine camp for the carriers of Sleepers’ Syndrome, a terrible disease that causes any child exposed to a carrier to fall into a stasis-like coma. But the carriers are no longer as human as they seem and as the dark legends of Venice begin to rise again, Alyse will have to fight to escape with her life…and her soul.
FACES IN THE WATER is due out in early December 2011.
Tell us about your latest book.
SPECTRE OF INTENTION is the story of Kaitlin Osgood, a woman with too many secrets. Once a member of a breaking and entering gang, she fled when the game changed from broken locks to broken lives. Now a high-profile international security consultant, Kaitlin lives in fear of the day that criminal past is discovered. When her latest assignment takes her to the cruise-ship platform of a space elevator isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, she finally believes she might be free of her past, free of Stephan Chen, the ex-lover who led her into the darkness. She finally believes she might be free enough to take a chance on Cam Glaswell, the sexy, enigmatic head of Port security.
She underestimated the depth of Stephan’s obsession.
Now the runaway must face the man she fled. But Kaitlin has another secret, the cause of her quick rise in the security field: Kaitlin sees the ghostly incarnations of people’s intentions before they enact them. Will she find the courage to turn this weapon against Stephan and his new gang? Or will she let the mistakes of her past destroy any hope of a future free of fear and lies?
How can people find out more about you?
SPECTRE OF INTENTION is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in print and ebook format.
Thanks so much for having me by for a visit, Theresa!
“Secrets, Kaitlin. Secrets.”
Kaitlin Osgood has a stowaway.
Underneath the glossy shell of the Senior VP for Countermeasures International lurks the tattered remains of the girl she once was: street rat and thief, Ashley Porter. Every day, every decision is brittle with the fear of discovery.
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the cruise ship acting as the platform for the latest space elevator, she should finally be safe…
…safe from the sexy, enigmatic eyes of Director of Port Security Camden Glaswell who seems to see through Kaitlin’s ruse.
…safe from the relentless, burning pursuit of master thief, Stephan Chen, the chief architect of Kaitlin’s former life of crime—the onetime lover who haunts her still.
But Kaitlin has another secret: her talent for security comes not from the latest technology, but from her ability to sense people’s emotions, to see the ghosts of their intentions.
It’s a talent she must learn to wield as a weapon before the mistakes of her past cost Kaitlin her life…