I am excited to have had the pleasure of interviewing Toi Thomas, author of the Eternal Curse series.
- What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Toi Thomas and I live in Virginia. I grew up in Texas, so the lone star state holds a special place in my heart.
- Do you have a pen name?
Not at the moment, but it’s something I’ve toyed with. I have a few alter egos friends and family would find amusing to see in print.
- What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel is an awkward marriage of love and terror, but there’s hope in the shadows of angels.
- Is the above book part of a series?
Yes, it’s book one in the Eternal Curse Series.
- What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Always a fan of reading, writing my own stories seemed like the next logical step, plus I find it therapeutic. I adore the creativity of J.M. Barrie, L. Frank Baum, and most recently Erin Morgenstern. I’ve written my whole life, but I’ve been pursuing writing as a career for three years.
- How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
Its current cover was a collaboration between me and my artist, brother-in-law, Eric, who also did a few sketches for the interior. I wanted to express, to prospective readers, a sense of isolation and darkness, but not an overwhelming feeling of terror. I wanted the reader to focus in on the main character’s struggles even before opening up the book.
- Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
Yes and no. I like quiet when I write, but I do use music to motivate me or get me out of a slump or rut. I have a varied selection of soundtracks on hand for when I need a very specific kind of motivation.
- How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
Coming up with a title for this book was a little tricky, especially because I didn’t know it was going to be part of a series when I first wrote it. The title is a play on the importance of the characters. Before the end of the book, the read has no doubt who Giovanni’s Angel is and why that is so important to the story.
- Do you have a book trailer? If so where can we watch it?
Again yes and no. I will have an official book trailer made by my publisher soon, but what I currently have available is a sorry excuse for one. It’s something I threw together for a promotion I was doing. Readers are more than welcome to look for it on youtube, but I’m not promoting it here and now.
- Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
Another tricky question. I find that audio books and paper backs are a close tie for me. I adore the way a good paperback that’s been really read, has its own special character within its bent page corners, cracked and aging cover, and faithfully yellowing pages. I enjoy being told a story; it goes along perfectly with my big kid personality. I’ve pretty much replaced TV with audio book. Because of how economic times are, I’d rather read than not read, so I do have many ebooks.
- Are you a self-published/Indie author?
Both. My first book was self-published but has since been picked up a publishing house. I have several other books in the works outside of my Eternal Curse Series. I will be self-publishing many of those.
- If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?
I submitted and submitted like many authors before me. I decided that while I would not give up the pursuit of traditional publishing, I would go ahead and invest in myself and in my dream. If I could make a little money while waiting to be noticed by the big boys, why not? I do believe however, that some of my works will never to traditionally published, because I will want to keep those all to myself.
- Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
When I was a kid I read several Peter Pan stories over and over, but as an adult it hasn’t really happened. I do find myself going back to read my favorite chapters or passages over and over. I think I’ve read the death of Elphaba from The Wicked Years three times, still trying to figure out what happened on that roof.
- What is your opinion of novellas?
I’m ok with novellas, but don’t read them often. A collection of short stories makes perfect sense to me, but one on its own, I don’t get. Novellas are good and bad because they are quick short reads, but I usually feel like I’ve been shorted. I always want more.
- Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
No, but I’ve pass up on books because of the cover. With so many books out there, I have to have a filter and the book cover it is. They only thing that will usually override a bad book cover is an outstanding personal peer review or recommendation.
- What is your favorite film based on a book?
Not fair. You can’t ask a movie buff and reader/writer a question like this. Off the top of my head: Lord of the Rings.
- What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
No favorites, anything fiction. I have to be in a mood for non-fiction.
- What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
Skylark by Meagan Spooner- I love the premise. Wish I came up with it.
Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay- Can’t get enough fairy tales.
And The Affinity Bridge by George Mann- Want to check out some steampunk.
- What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Ghost in the Wires- audio
Firelight in Darkness- ebook
- If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Etta James- to tell crazy stories and serenade us.
Audrey Hepburn- to look pretty and tell us stories of humanitarian adventures.
Terry Crews- to keep my husband busy asking him to do something to make him laugh.
And Will Weaton to balance out the uneven level of geekness.
I can’t image what these guys would have to talk about, but it would be entertaining.
- What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
I subscribe to several newsletters and blogs that give writing trips, but the tips I find most helpful are about reaching fans. Very seldom do they talk about sells. It’s all about meeting desires and needs.
- Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
Uh, yeah; cooking, painting, collecting, geekery, vinyl records, dancing, movies, and tea drinking and tea cup collecting. There maybe more, my mind has trouble focusing sometimes, in case you hadn’t noticed.
- Where can your readers follow you?
- Blog: Eternal Curse Series Blog, ToiBox Blog
- Facebook: Toi Thomas Author
- Goodreads author page: Toi Thomas
- Twitter: @toithomas
- LinkedIn: Toinette Thomas
- Google+: Toinette “Toi” Thomas
- Pinterest: Toi Thomas
Thank you Toi, for taking the time to share your thoughts and process with us. If you, my readers, are as interested in Toi’s Eternal Curse Series as I am then please be sure to check our her blog (link above) to learn more.