Allow me to introduce Theresa Van Spankeren–author of Lost Soul and Pursuit into Darkness.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up and currently reside in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. I enjoy hiking and swimming. I find gardening enjoyable. Some of my odder hobbies include checking out local haunted places and helping with home improvement projects.
I used to work at an ice cream store and currently grade standardized tests. My family usually fosters kittens and puppies at least once a year.
2. When did you start writing?
I dabbled in writing back in elementary school, but I got serious about it in high school. I wrote X-Files fanfiction through my junior year. I wrote the first draft of Book 1 of War of Destiny Series my senior year for an independent study course. Currently there are two books published in the series: Lost Soul and Pursuit into Darkness.
3. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for your novels?
Yes, the concept for both installments came to me during English class. Lost Soul evolved out of the X-Files fanfiction in high school and Pursuit into Darkness came during one of my college English classes.
4. How different are your final products (the books) from your original vision? That is, did the structure and content of your novels change with the passage of time?
The structures of both books have evolved a lot since the first drafts were written in 5-star notebooks many years ago. I would say the content of Book 2: Pursuit into Darkness has changed the most since the first draft. A lot of things were changed or added to improve the book.
5. Tell us a little bit about your books’ titles.
I chose both titles from a list I compiled many years ago. I wanted each title in the series to convey the theme or overall feel of each installment, while connecting to the series as a whole. I have no idea where that list is anymore.
6. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
I enjoy writing from Julia’s perspective, but I am unsure if I have a favorite character. When I was writing the first draft of Lost Soul, she was my favorite but as I got older I have found it more difficult to choose one as my personal favorite. As the series has progressed, I have found different characters had been my “favorite” at that particular time or for that installment.
However, when it comes to the character that was (still is) the most fun to write would be Matthew. Writing his parts have never failed to delight me. He has a different personality from me – I have never been talented at being quick-witted. I admit I enjoy having the ability to write a character whom has that temperament.
7. What does a typical writing session look like for you? Do you set daily goals for yourself (in terms of word count)?
I often write listening to music of some sort. It varies by mood and scene. I usually write late at night, but I will write whenever the mood strikes me. I enjoy being by water when I write, although that is not always practical. I seek out isolation, but have learned to tune out people when I need to while writing. Unlike many authors, I do not set a daily word count for myself. My creation tends to start out like movies in my head and if that “movie” isn’t ready, it doesn’t matter how long I sit and try to force the words out, it won’t happen.
8. What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading the Dresden Files. I have just finished William Bradshaw and War Unending and have several books of various genres on my to-read shelf.
9. Any project in the works?
I am currently revising and editing the third installment of the War of Destiny series. I am hoping for a release sometime late this year or sometime next year, but that is very tentative. Occasionally I write a short story and post it on Booksie.
And now for a game of “Which (Do/Would) You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
2. Dogs or cats?
Do I have to choose? I love them both equally.
3. Summer or winter?
Summer for sure.
4. Cake or ice-cream?
5. Ebook or physical book?
I still prefer a physical copy.
6. Living in the city or living in the country?
Living in the country
7. Making a phone call or sending a text?
8. Staying in a hotel or going camping?
9. Staying awake for forty-eight hours (continuous) or walking for twenty-four hours (also continuous)?
Hmm, staying awake for forty-eight hours.
10. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
Never watch another film
11. Travelling by car or travelling by airplane?
12. Finding yourself caught in the middle of a hurricane or finding yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm? (Note: in both scenarios, you’d be outdoors and have no access to shelter.)
I guess the middle of a hurricane.