Hello and welcome to Spyglassviewer! Today I have something amazing arranged for you. And what might that be? Today for the very first time we will be hosting an interview on Spyglassviewer! *clap* *clap*
To say I am excited will be an understatement, so without further ado let me introduce you all to our guest today. Say hello to Tina Tolley! *applause* (I like dramatics; deal with it. 😛 )
Tina was the winner of the Spin-an-EPIC-Tale Contest I had organized a while back on a fabulous website for writers and readers called Wattpad. To read more about the contest head over to this link here. One of the prizes for winning the contest was an exclusive author interview on Spyglassviewer and here we are.
Tina Marie Tolley, or Tina as she likes people to call her, is a twenty-four-year old, stay-at-home mom of two little girls she thinks the world of. She is based in Virginia, U.S.A and loves writing. She also works part-time as a cake decorator and loves the creativity involved in her job, in fact she is known as the ‘artsy’ one in her group.
Me: Welcome to Spyglassviewer, Tina! Tell us more about yourself.
Tina: I am a stay-at-home mom with two kids. You’d think it’s the life, never having to work, but I promise, it’s not! I hate being cooped up inside all day.
Me: How did you come across Spin-an-EPIC-Tale Contest and what sparked off your creativity?
Tina: I was just browsing through all of the discussion threads and saw the title. It caught my eye so I clicked it. I’d seen other contests before but none ever really interested me, but this one was different than ones I’d seen before. I liked how it gave the first paragraph and you had to go off of that. I knew I had to make it into a romance because that’s what I love most, but the first paragraph just gave me a horror vibe. I’d never written horror before so I thought, eh… it’s not my thing but hey who knows. Maybe horror is my thing now.
Me: *smiling* Having read your entry, I will have to say, definitely! So how did you feel when you learnt that you had won?
Tina: Completely surprised! I was not expecting to win at all. I read some of the other entries and thought, wow! These are good! I thought mine was decent, but again… I wrote a horror, and horror isn’t really my thing.
Me: You definitely had some tough competition. But ultimately you did win the contest and that’s what matters. So what motivates you to write? Any particular person who inspires you?
Tina: My boredom and the total lack of anything interesting going on in my life. I think I kind of live through my writing. I like everything to be dramatic.
Me: Ah, I seem to have found a soul sister! *smiles* Anyway, how would you describe yourself as a writer?
Tina: I write mostly romance. I love it! I write to entertain myself, not just for others to read. Although it is a plus if others do enjoy reading it. I just love making stuff up and putting it into words. And I’m very spur of the moment about it. Sometimes an idea will pop in my head at the most random times and I’ll have to stop what I’m doing right then and go write the idea down before I forget it.
Me: Are you passionate about writing?
Tina: I do love writing. I’m constantly thinking, ‘okay… what can I write next?’ I’ve been writing for about 12 years now. I used to have this GREAT book of poems, but I seem to have lost it, which is really depressing because it had every single poem I have ever written since I was 13.
Me: Oh, I am sorry to hear about that. I would hate it too if I lost my old diaries. I must admit they have inane things written in them but they do make me laugh and realize how far I have come. Anyway, If you could be a character in any book who would you be and why?
Tina: Ally Hamilton from The Notebook. I love her bubbly personality. She is nice to absolutely everyone. She’s always happy and having fun but knows when to be serious.
Me: Back to writing now, how would you describe your writing process?
Tina: I guess I have kind of my own pattern. I get an idea in my head and I’ll write it down or save it on my computer. If I can’t do anything with the idea right then, then I’ll come back to it later and make the idea into a poem or a story. But once I get going with the idea it just flows and flows.
Me: Now for a question based on a condition every writer dreads, what do you do when you are hit by a writer’s block?
Tina: Oh gosh, writer’s block. I’m really bad with writer’s block. When I get it I don’t write for days. I’ll stare at my computer screen with my fingers on the keys, just waiting for something to come to my mind to write down. Then I’ll get distracted by the TV and forget about it for a while. Then stare some more. I really hate it. I eventually get an idea though and it passes.
Me: Okay, let’s play a game. I am sure you would like that after the last question about You-Know-Who for writers. The game is called Word Association. If you don’t know about it, here’s how you play it: I will give you a word and all you need to do is tell me the first thing that comes to your mind on hearing that word. Are you ready? *Tina nods her head* Okay, let’s play. Literature.
Tina: Tosh.0 *laughs* I love that show.
Tina: A really pretty girl.
Tina: On Earth.
Me: Ah, that was fun. I once read an Agatha Christie book featuring Hercule Poirot where the famous detective used the game to dig into a suspect’s subconscious. *smiles* Not that you are a suspect here. Anyway, back on track, what are you currently working on?
Tina: What I’m currently working on is a story about a group of highschoolers in a small town with nothing better to do than gossip about each other. I started writing it about 5 years ago and abandoned it. I had it saved on my flash drive and recently came back to it and decided to continue it. It’s hard to finish it though cause my writing style is very different than when I first started it, but I will finish.
There are four main characters and a bunch of other smaller characters. It’s written in third person, which I don’t really like anymore but that’s how I started it five years ago. It doesn’t have one main plot. It’s a bunch of small plots all in one. Kind of like a television series but in book form.
Me: That’s an interesting idea. You can of course change it to first-person, but it’s upto you. How do you create and mould your characters? Do you base them on real life people?
Tina: I don’t think I know anyone in real life that are like my characters. I just pick qualities for them and put them together. And I try to make it balanced with the good and bad so they seem real.
Me: That’s a fascinating way of putting together characters. I find it rather hard to do. So what have you learnt as a writer?
Tina: Take your time and think about what you want to write. Do not rush it. Things come out so much better if you really think about how you want it to sound.
Be descriptive. It helps readers really get into the story if they can visualize the scenery and the characters in their mind, and in my opinion it makes reading more fun.
Word choice. Look up words in a dictionary to make sure its really the word you want. And use a thesaurus to make your sentences more vibrant.
Me: And now for the last question, what would your advice be to other writers out there?
Tina: I think the biggest things to remember are description and word choice. It’s so much more fun to read something that paints a picture in your mind and not the same as everything else out there.
Instead of using the word “said” at the end of every thing a character says, use other words such as screamed, begged, joked, prodded, groaned. It really conveys the characters feelings more.
Me: That was some good advice. *smiles* It was really fun having you today with us, Tina. I hope my questions weren’t too bothersome. And on behalf of my readers I would like to wish you all the best with your writing, and those wishes include mine too. Best of luck in life.
Tina: Thank you. *smiles*
There you go. The very first interview on Spyglassviewer and dare I say that it went smoothly. So how did you find it? Interesting? I did. Have you ever been interviewed? And I am not talking about the one in an interrogation room (Yes, Tom I am talking to you!).
One last thing, I was supposed to add a brilliant piece of anecdote Tina wrote for this interview so that you all could have a taste of her sparkling personality. But due to an overexceeding word limit, I think it’s time for me to bid you goodbye with the promise that a subsequent post will hold the piece you missed today. So keep an eye out for that.
If you liked this post, how about trying out these:-
3. Interactions on Wattpad: Did You Just Say a Contest? (In case you missed the link to the contest details above.)