The Lit Ladies are so excited to welcome award-winning author T.W. Fendley to discuss her novel, Zero Time, and about writing in general! Best of all, if you enter our ZERO TIME giveaway with the Rafflecopter form below, you have a chance to win an ebook download of ZERO TIME.
I met T.W. at the 2014 Missouri Writers’ Guild conference in Saint Louis this spring. Writing can become an isolating occupation unless you get out there and meet other writers. On The Lit Ladies blog, we encourage writers to join writing groups, work with critique groups, and network/learn at conferences and workshops. Writers love to tell stories, so there’s always lots of fun and interesting conversations on top of all the information you’ll take away from these experiences.
Let’s find out the details about T.W.’s writing journey.
Spirit Lady: Welcome to the Lit Ladies blog, T.W. We are so honored to have you! I officially initiate you as a fellow Lit Lady who followed her writing passion until your dream of publishing came true. Tell us about your book, Zero Time.
T. W.: Thanks so much for inviting me! I think of Zero Time as a 21st Celestine Prophecy that melds ancient Maya history with New Age spirituality and time travel. When Philadelphia science writer Keihla Benton joins an archeological team at Machu Picchu, she learns ancient prophecies about 2012 have special meaning for her. As Zero Time nears, only she can save two worlds from the powers of Darkness. But first she must unlock the secrets of Machu Picchu and her own past.
Spirit Lady: I love The Celestine Prophecy and am very into spirituality and travel, so this sounds like a book that needs to go on my summer reading list. How long have you been writing? Tell us a little about your writing journey.
T. W.: Let’s just say some of my earliest fiction featured the adventures of my Breyer model horses! I had a couple of winning essays in elementary school and eventually honed my nonfiction skills in college, earning a journalism degree. I resumed writing fiction in the mid-1990s. A small press published my debut historical fantasy novel, Zero Time, in October 2011. When the rights reverted last year, I self-published it and some other stories. Lately I’ve been having fun working with narrators on audiobooks of my short fiction (Solar Lullaby andJaguar Hope). I have a few free copies left—if interested, contact me at email@example.com.
Spirit Lady: Very cool. What does a typical day in your life look like? How does writing fit into your schedule?
T.W.: I took early retirement in 2007 (lucky me!), so I’m able to focus on my writing. After more than two decades of working long days in the world of corporate communications, however, now I’m quite resistant to following schedules. The exception is when I have a deadline to keep me at the computer. As a result, my critique partners usually write about twice as many books as I do…but I have more fun.
Spirit Lady: I completely understand; writing isn’t much fun if it starts to feel like a daily grind. All of us Lit Ladies balance family, work/school, and writing. Any advice for maintaining life balance?
T.W.: Living a balanced life is definitely tricky. I have a lot of interests, and I probably volunteer more than I should. I try to spend quality time with family, especially our seven grandkids. My basic rule is that people come first, but that also means making time for me and my writing. Generally, I’m at the computer at least half the day and often longer. A lot of the time is spent on blogging, marketing, networking, researching and editing.
Spirit Lady: What’s the biggest tip you can share with people about making a dream or goal into a reality?
T.W.: Persistence is key. For many years, with a full-time communications job and kids at home, I had little creative energy left to write fiction. Sure, I did some short stories, but I spent most of my time taking small steps toward my goal of writing novels: reading books; traveling to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru and American Southwest; visiting museums; taking courses on archeoastronomy and writing; participating in writing groups; and exploring spirituality. Have some fun, and don’t give up!
Spirit Lady: I’ve never heard of archeoastronomy, so here’s a link for anyone who’s interested. Thanks so much for sharing your words of wisdom, T.W. It was nice meeting you at the Missouri Writers’ Guild conference. I know the readers here are going to gain lots of insight from your interview. Anything you would like to add?
T.W.: I enjoyed meeting you, too, and I share the Lit Ladies’ belief that writers need each other. I even describe writing as a “team sport.” Once you complete the first draft of a novel or even a shorter work, you begin to realize how much more you have to do to get it published and find readers. It’s a continual learning process, and I wouldn’t have any publishable work without the writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, and others who’ve helped me along the way. Check out writers’ groups (like Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime or Broad Universe), readers’ groups like Goodreads and Library Thing, writers’ conferences, and your local writers’ guild. In particular, find some people you trust to read your work. Good critique partners and beta readers are worth their weight in chocolate!
Spirit Lady: Excellent advice, T.W. And everybody remember to fill out the Rafflecopter form below and get points to enter the contest for checking out T.W.’s website!