Tessie, Tess, Tessa, T . . . no matter what you call her, Teshelle Combs is just one huge batch of awesomesauce! She’s a UCF graduate like me (except she wasn’t afraid to take a chance and actually majored in English/Creative Writing), a soul singer with goosebump inducing abilities, a brutally honest Beta reader, a super nanny, and frequent volunteer for all things at our local church.
Now she can add published author at the ripe old age of 24! Add having a baby to the midst of all this, and well, you can see why I named one of my new characters in 18 Truths after her! Not even sure if she knows this, since it’s after page 100 where she left off in Beta reading. She might totally be creeped out now while reading this, but too late! I already got my interview *shakes fist in the air* Haha, sucker! Oh, and you can stalk her too at her new official FB author page!
Thanks for joining us today, T! Help me introduce you to my 5 fans (heehee, inside joke from last week’s blog). Give us 3 words to describe your personality
T: Happy. Loving. Kind. –I actually just cheated and asked my husband for the answer for this one. Apparently, he likes me or something.
*mutters*Not as much as I like you!
T: What’s that Jaim-O?
Oh, nothing! Nothing at all *coughs* Can you give us a sneak peek into what it’s like to be a debut novelist? Any insights about self-publishing?
T: I am very, very new at authorship. My debut novel, Core, was just released on June 1st. So far, my favorite part is being able to hold it in my hands. That tied with my very first sale. I did my crazyhappy dance for about ten minutes, which is pretty impressive at 7 months pregnant.
Self-publishing –or indie publishing, which is what I call it because it makes feel all cool –is a lot of fun and a lot of work. The fun part is designing everything, choosing exactly what I want to say, setting my own royalty prices, and involving a team of people I love to help me. The hard work part is the marketing, the ordering of three proof copies because you can’t figure out how to set the margins just right, the hiccups that you have to figure out to fix everything all on your own.
I was afraid I wouldn’t feel like a “real” author if I indie published, but honestly, I was wrong. I feel accomplished, like I worked hard for what I have.
You should! The world of publishing is constantly changing, and wise is the author who changes with it! Tell us about what you write.
T: I write contemporary YA fantasy and sci-fi. Core falls into the fantasy genre. The story is about an emotionally calloused boxer, Ava, who is catapulted into the world of dragons, sirens (nightfolk and werefolk), and danger. She’s chosen to be the rider of an honest, caring red dragon, and life-wrecking mayhem ensues.
Besides boxing, there are a slew of combat scenes, utilizing dragon abilities and swordplay, which makes for action-packed reading. (I like to run these scenes by my brother, who’s great at all things action).
I love bad guys, so I have quite a few villains in my novel, and–rather disturbingly–they are some of my favorite characters. The more twisted, the better.
What else? I also like to travel to places (even if it’s through research and imagination), so my characters start out in Miami, and get to visit Peru and Ireland in this story.
Oh, I’ve been to Ireland! One of my top 5 moments on my life list! *Shameless plug: If you like life lists, you should check out my debut novel too, 18 Things* Speaking of books, what’s your favorite craft book? Favorite fiction book?
T: My favorite craft book is probably Research in Writing. I love to include interesting facts in my work and before I wrote Core, I probably typed up about 30 pages of research on dragons, Chimbote, Peru, Ireland, sirens, and some other secret little tidbits.
My favorite fiction book? If we’re going fancy-pancy literary, it’d be Beloved by Toni Morrison. But if I’m thinking all-time favorite, changed-my-literary-life, pee-my-pants-it’s-so-good? THE HUNGER GAMES. I love kick-butt female protagonists, I love dystopias, and I love the dryness of it all, the reality woven through the make believe.
I also have a problem peeing my pants while reading books. Started 13 years ago . . . well, you’ll see after you give childbirth! Oh, I see you’re doing the potty dance yourself, so I’ll just ask one closing questions. Tell us anything FUN about yourself, related or unrelated to writing.
T: I have these special powers: my toes can swell to remarkable sizes in just a few minutes. I can smell anything unpleasant, even if it’s miles away. I can go to the bathroom 15 times a day. I can use my belly as a portable reading desk. I’ve evolved past the need to remember anything, even details that would be significant to other people, like what the current month or where we parked the car.
Jealous yet? Well go incubate your own baby! This one’s mine!
Hahaha! You’re a hoot, T! I love you . . . in a completely sisterly way, I promise! *watches T bolt from the room and shrugs*
Well now that it’s just the eight of us (last week proved I have at least 7 fans!), I want to thank you all for your encouraging comments after sharing my pity party publicly. If you missed the blog, you can find it here. My family cheered me up by taking me to Disney. We hit Hollywood Studios the first half of the day for Star Wars weekend, then moved on to Magic Kingdom!
Also, thanks for giving me some easy questions! Cheryl wanted to know what kind of coffee she should drink. I’m still scratching my head at the fact she’s never drank a cup! If you invest in a Keurig machine,
which you should because it’ll allow to try hundreds of flavors any time of the day whenever you want within seconds with just the press of a button . . . even though it may cause you to be all hyper and write really long-winded sentences, you could also drink tea and hot chocolate if you end up not liking coffee, but I think you will love it. I have a sweet tooth, so I love the Cape Escapes, especially the caramel. So sweet you don’t even need cream and sugar! When I’m not using the Keurig, I’m slightly less squirrely and like Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas with some Baileys coffee creamer. But I’m a coffee snob and Barnie’s can be damn hard to find, so Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla will also do the trick. I do love Starbucks, but their coffee is rather bold, so you may need to ease yourself into it.
Now for Marisa’s question . . . what movie should she rent? This is sooo easy since Oz the Great and Powerful just released today on DVD! Saw this one in the theatre and it quickly became a family favorite 🙂
What about you guys? Any good picks for coffee virgins? Any other movies we should rent from that big red box? Interested in reading Core? Hope you’ll all join me next Wednesday for the tale of one amazing squirrel–it’s gonna be nuts!!!
I love this interview. Congratulations, Teshelle!
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’re enjoying your summer 🙂
Great interview! I’m a Sagittarius, the Traveler of the Zodiac, and also love going new places, even if sometimes it’s only through characters. One day I hope to visit all the places my various characters have lived and traveled, even Iran.
I’m not a coffee person either. I’ve had coffee maybe five times in my life—on my 13th birthday (a huge disappointment after waiting till I was old enough!), twice by accident (didn’t realize I pushed the wrong button on the machine and didn’t want to waste it), and then while being hosted by Bedouins and Druse in Israel. I didn’t want to offend my gracious hosts by refusing any of their food and drink.
You were hosted by the Bedouins and Druse? How cool . . . I’ve taught about both cultures in school!
Thank you! I’m jealous, though! I want to have coffee in Israel, too. Actually, right now, I’d just settle for coffee, period. I like the fancy kind packed with sugar, whipped cream, and chocolate chips (hoping my husband reads this and brings some over) 🙂
Just make it a small! You don’t want that baby kick boxing you all night!
“Being able to hold it in my hands.” That will be my favorite part to should a book of mine be published.
Holding it, petting it, sleeping with it . . . I’m not sure I have healthy boundaries with my book yet. Maybe I’ll be a little less crazy with the second one–kind of like when you don’t do as much scrapbooking with your second kid, lol.
Oh my goodness. Such a cool feeling. I liked to stack up a bunch of novels and then slip “Core” into the pile.Then every time I saw the pile, I’d gasp: “That one’s mine!”
Another cool feelings is when you’re reading it and you think, “Man, this is good. Who wrote this?” Then you remember YOU DID!
Very fun (and funny) interview, love the premise and the cover–so cool. Thanks for sharing your Teshelle with us Jamie!
Sharing fantastic people I don’t have a problem with. Sharing my chocolate, now that’s another story 😉
Jamie loves chocolate more than me??? …I can’t blame her!!
I agree! Jamie’s pretty awesome. And I’m glad you like the cover! My hubby made it for me 🙂
Congratulations… just followed you on facebook:) Loved the interview and responses.
If anyone would like to try to win a free copy of CORE, enter my mini writing contest! http://teshellecombs.com/2013/06/13/core-writing-contest/
I love this interview, and the book looks fantastic. I’m excited to read it. 🙂
Thanks for answering my coffee question, Jamie 😀
My pleasure! Let me know when you try your first cup 🙂
Great interview. Sounds like a super cool book! I read and write fantasty, too, and my son and I love our dragons 🙂
Great pic of you at night at Disney, Jamie!
Disney is always FUN! We’d live there if we could 🙂
Thanks for sharing this super fun interview! I’ll have to go take a look at Teschelle’s book. 🙂