Tell us about what you have written:
I’ve written three paranormal romances so far under my Tabitha Shay pen name, Witch’s Brew, Witch’s Heart, and Witch’s Moon. WM is scheduled for release in Oct. from my publisher, Eternal Press. The Winslow witches of Salem series is a combination of the past and present. Book one (WB) begins in 1692 Salem near the end of the Salem witch hunts. It quickly moves into the present and begins the story of Saylym Winslow, the youngest sister of two elder siblings, Kirrah and Nyra. The women are descendents of the royal-blooded witch, Queen Shy-Ryn who was killed during 1692. The first book centers on the fact that Saylym has no memory of being a witch. Her entire past has been wiped out by the coven to keep her safe. As her powers begin to return, she believes she is going insane. With no idea of how to control her magic, she is targeted for assassination by the Waken Guild, male witches. Thus, her hero, Prince Talon is assigned to steal her soul. Each book tells a story of one of the Winslow witches, their hero, and the struggle to save Sanctuary, their home, from demons, as well as from an evil witch who is determined to rule, a warlock who is just as determined to run Ru-Noc, and an invasion of vampires and werewolves. The Winslow witches of Salem face every kind of immortal being you can imagine. Will they win? You’ll have to read the books to find out….lol…Under my other pen name, Jaydyn Chelcee, I write contemporary western romances. Book one of the Montana Men series, In the Arms of Danger was released in June. Book two, No Holds Barred is scheduled for release in Dec….Danger’s story is unique because even though the first book is about him and the woman he meets, Lacey Weston, and falls in love with, their story doesn’t end. It continues on in the next four books running along side the main characters the story is about. I think this will surprise a lot of readers who probably believe Danger and Lacey’s story ended in book one.
What inspired you to write them?
The witch tales were inspired by the song, Witchy Woman, by the Eagles. The western series is something I’ve toyed with for years and began from a dream I had one night of a cowboy and a man in wheelchair fighting over a woman. When I woke up the next morning, the dream kept coming back to me and I thought, hmm that would make a good story. I sat down and put words to paper. I didn’t have a typewriter and few people had computers in their homes then. I finally got serious about sending it to a publisher. I offered book one, No Holds Barred, to my publisher. Originally, Danger’s story was set to be book five in the series, but I had already written it ahead of the last three books to follow NHB. When NHB was accepted, I panicked. For one thing, I never expected it to be accepted, and by the time it was, I’d decided Danger’s story should be book one and I was in the middle of rewrites. So, then I had to write the then editor and explain to her what I’d decided, thank goodness she was willing to work with me and let me have my way.
Do you have a favorite thing that you’ve ever written?
I do. I love book six in the witch books, Witch’s Touch, Nyra’s story. It should be released sometime in 2009 or early 2010.
Do you have a favorite character that you write about? If so, who is it, what makes it your favorite and tell us about the character.
Yes. Again, it goes back to Nyra Winslow, Saylym’s elder sister. Although she would deny it, Nyra is the heart and soul, the glue that holds the Winslow witches together. Her powers are limitless. She has the ability to bring back the dead, yet she is terrified of Death. I think what makes her my favorite character is the conflict she must face. Her hero is literally the Prince of Death, which tends to put a damper on their courtship….lol…eventually Nyra will have to face her greatest fears.
Almost every writer is inspired by someone else. Does anyone inspire you?
Oh yes. I’m inspired by several authors. Christine Feehan, Linda Howard and Karen Marie Moning, those three ladies know how to punch a story out.
How long have you been writing?
Over forty years.
What made you want to start writing?
Again, I have to fall back on a song. Marty Robbins was my hero when I was growing up. I listened to his western ballads until I wore out my 45’s. My favorite song was Big Iron. I was fascinated by the story in the words. It just hit me when I was listening that I could write a book from the story I was hearing in the words to that song. For the first time, I sat down with pen and paper and wrote a novel. Only I wrote it like it was a play. I had no idea what I was doing. (Laughs)
When did you start writing?
When I was fifteen.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever written? Why
I don’t think I’ve ever written anything strange, (laughs), although there are those who will probably argue that the witch books are a bit strange. I’ve been accused of being a Satan worshiper, had people refuse pictures of my book covers simply because it has the word witch on it, and I’ve been asked if I’m a witch. (Laughs) My husband might say yes to that question. (Giggles)
Some authors have said that their parents were supportive of their efforts when young, and some have said they had to sneak around and hide. What was the case with you?
TABITHA: My parents were always supportive. I think it impressed them when I wrote that very first novel when I was fifteen. I had an uncle at the time (passed on now) who was so impressed, that when he returned to California from vacation, he bought a brand new typewriter and mailed it to me to Oklahoma. Can you imagine an uncle having that much faith in a young girl? I wore the ribbon out on it…Laughs…If he was still living today, he’d be so tickled. He always said I’d be a published author one day.
Who drives the story, you or your characters?
My characters, definitely my characters, I head in one direction, and they firmly turn me in another.
Who proofreads and critiques your work?
I have a very good author friend, Laura Herbertson, who is my critique partner. She keeps me between the lines, so to speak.
Where do you get your ideas?
Everywhere. Songs, dreams, sometimes they just pop into my head from nowhere when I least expect it.
Where do you write?
If I’m in the car and an idea or a bit of dialogue pops into my head, any scrap of paper will do yo jot it down until I can get home and get it down in my computer. But mostly I work in my bedroom. My desk is there, along with my computer. That way, if inspiration strikes in the middle of the night, my tools are right there. (Laughs)
When do you write – set times or as the mood moves you?
I have no set time, but I like to get up early for some quiet time and work. I can think, my mind is rested, my hubby isn’t talking, and the phone isn’t ringing off the wall. (Giggles) The rest of the day, I work off and on as the mood hits me.
If you could take a character from someone else’s book on a date, who would it be and where would you take him/her/it?
Whoa, now that’s a great question. Hmm, I’m in the mood for a vampire, so I’d take Christine Feehan’s character, Rafael De La Cruz, from the book, Dark Secret. I’d insist he take me to one of those wonderful underground caverns with all the aromatic candles and steamy pools for bathing, then I’d insist he have his wicked way with me…you know, a few bites here and there….(Giggles)
If you could invite any other writer to dinner who would ask and why?
(Giggles) That has to be obvious, Christine Feehan. I don’t know, maybe I’d love to find out how she manages to write such hot, sensual romances about a race of males who are admittedly dominate, Alpha males and who manages to make the woman like it. (Laughs)
Do you use the Internet to check facts, or the library?
I mostly use the lnternet and what I remember of history. There’s a world of history at my fingertips without my ever having to leave the house. Not too much one can’t find there.
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
Well, obviously I love to read, so I relax with a book, or I watch a movie. I love the TV show, Primeval, so I try not to miss it. It’s time I get to spend with hubby too. We go four wheeling and I love searching for coins in pawn shops. I’m an avid coin collector.
Do you ever have a problem with writer’s block?
Rarely. My mind rarely shuts down. It’s always humming with idea or dialogue.
Who’s your favorite author (other than yourself)? Why?
I have three favorite authors, Linda Howard, because she has everything in her books, love, romance laughter, mystery, murder and sometimes a touch of paranormal, Christine Feehan because her males are so dark and daring, but sooo romantic and loving, and Karen Marie Moning, just because her books are incredible reads.
What’s your favorite book (other than one of your own)? Why?
Dark Secret by Christine Feehan. It’s one of her vampire novels in her Dark Series. It’s been my favorite for a long time now. Why? Rafael is a very strong-willed character, a bit on the dark and ruthless side, who refuses to take no for an answer from his heroine, Colby Jansen. He wants her and he lets nothing stand in his way, but he pays for it and he has to learn, he doesn’t have the right to do as he chooses. I like that.
What’s the last book, other than your own, that you read and really enjoyed?
Turbulent Sea, another Feehan novel. (Laughs)…that woman owns me….lol…
Some writers say that they have to write a certain amount of words every day. Do you do this? Why or why not?
No, I don’t set a certain amount of words for my day. I write. I don’t care how many words I get out in a day. I check my word count frequently just to see how I’m progressing, but I never set a daily goal. What I set is a total word count for when the book is finished. I like to maintain a word count of somewhere between eighty-thousand to a hundred-twenty-thousand. That’s when I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal.
If you could be any character (other than one of your own) from a book or movie who would it be? Why?
I’d be Jane Austen’s character, Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Why? Who doesn’t love Jane Austen’s work? Elizabeth is special, an outspoken character, but a young woman who loves her family deeply and is very determined to see to her elder sister happy. I love the concept of the way she stood up for herself in a time when young women had few rights. She had to marry, but she wasn’t about to be pawned off on just anybody. She’s a very strong character.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I love for visitors to sign my guestbook and I check it frequently to see who has been there and left me a message. It’s a joy for any author to hear from her fans, so please, feel free to email me at email@example.com
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