1. How long have you been writing?
CK: Oy, I feel like I’ve been been writing for a loooonnnngggg time. I wrote stories when I was a kid, wrote and drew comics and eventually got away from it. I worked at being an actor for while, which is still story telling of a sort. Then I wrote a fan fic almost 20 years ago, just to see if I could do it and finish it, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Not the fan fic, just the writing.
2. What kind(s) of writing do you do?
Tia: I don’t believe in limiting myself. Usually I write whatever strikes my fancy at the moment. I’ve written short stories, flash fiction, the novel, poetry, erotica, fantasy, horror, inspirational and even a fable.
3. What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?
CK: Pretty much across the board, my goals are to finish what I start, tell a good, entertaining story and improve my skill every time. I would be very happy to find and enjoy a degree of success as I do it also.
4. What inspires you?
Tia: Thats a tough question. So many different things can inspire me. Sometimes it’s something as simple as a new experience. Sometimes it’s a memory of something I want to capture and hold on to. There are so many experiences that we have every day and so many people we meet on our path through this life. I like to hold on to some of them by putting them into my writing.
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5. Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.
CK: Wow. Fallen in love with one of my characters or somebody else’s? Yes, I’ve fallen in love with both. I have characters that I’ve written that I absolutely loved. One is in a series of stories that may never see the light of day, but he is a wizard over 35k years old. He was born at the time the human species was making the evolutionary jump from Neanderthal to Cro Magnon. He had been around so long that there was nothing that intimidated him. He seemed so arrogant and so fully in command of his life that it was fun to show just exactly how different he really was from the image he propagated. Other authors characters. . . Mycroft from Heinlein’s “The Moon is Harsh Mistress.” Who doesn’t cry when the break-down of power and infrastructure happens? Oh, and I absolutely adore Susan Sto Helit – Death’s Granddaughter from Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series. Gorgeous in a severe sort of way, I suppose, and doesn’t put up with a lot of nonsense, but a heart as big as her grandfather’s domain.
Sorry, no romance.
6. How do you find or make time to write?
Tia: I definitely have to set aside time to write. I work a part time, regular job, but also have teenage children that still require a significant amount of attention. I try to schedule time to write and if that doesn’t work, I just work in the writing whenever I can.
7. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
CK: I don’t think I favor either over the other. A lot of it depends on the needs of the story. Sometimes I start with a firm plan and scads of notes and work from there. Sometimes I have a vague idea where I want the story to go, sit down and start writing. In either case, I often find myself surprised at where the muse takes me. Outlines are good as long as you don’t let them become the dictators of content. Organic construction is good as long as you don’t let it become reason something doesn’t get finished.
8. Who would play you in your life story?
Tia: I’m not sure there is anyone out there that is similar enough to me, that they could capture the incredibly diverse and unique person I am! I think the universe broke the mold after making me, figuring one me is probably enough for anyone to have to deal with. Lol j/k. I’ve always liked Charlize Theron as a kick-ass actress, but Julianne Moore looks more like me. If I could combine the two, they would come close to being my perfect me.
9. What projects are you working on at the moment?
CK: Stories, stories, and more stories, some books and maybe a good night’s sleep. Oh, and a new roof
10. What process did you go through to get your work published?
Tia: That, is a very long and involved story, but I’ll see if I can write a digest version. Hidden Design took ten years to write (not kidding). It started out as an idea to write a book similar to what Penelope Ashe did in 1969; get together a bunch of people from our writers’ group, have them each write one chapter of the book—with the caveat that all the chapters must contain a sex scene—and then compile the chapters into one novel. We started out with thirteen writers, ranging in age from twenty-one to fifty-two years of age. A few of the writers did write chapters and submit them for consideration, but somewhere along the way most of the writers lost interest in the novel and it fell to the wayside. About six years ago I came across the old manuscripts and put out a call to the original members of the writing group, asking if they wanted to help complete the novel. Only two did. We threw out anything written by anyone not actively involved in the continuation of the story and then spent two years revising, rewriting and polishing the story until we felt it was reasonably ready for a publishing house or agent. We spent the next year sending out the MS to publishing houses and agencies. I must have sent the MS out to no less than twenty-five agents and about fifty publishing houses—I kid you not. We finally found an agent willing to represent the novel, but not the authors. The novel then sat with the agency for two years, without us ever seeing a contract from this agency. After multiple queries to the agent that was representing this novel, and waiting months to get a reply that was nothing more than a few lines about how nothing had changed but they were “going to” do this or “planning on” doing that, we pulled the novel and decided to Indy publish. The third author that helped finish the writing decided they did not want to be a part of the Indy publishing so they removed themselves from the publishing of Hidden Design. It took CK Stone and I about a year to rewrite (again), find an editor, find a cover artist, fully edit the book and prep it for ebook and print book. And here we are. The novel was just released on Oct 1, 2016. The entire experience has been a strange and sometimes frustrating journey but mostly a test in patience. Thankfully, I have a ton of patience and just as much perseverance.
11. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
CK: I think it’s the hardest part for both Tia and me — making the time to actually sit down, with nothing else to distract or pull us away and actually write—put words constructively on the page and have then tell the story you’re working on. Ideas are there without end, words exist in glorious abundance, time is the most limited resource we have to work with.