Geetanjali Mukherjee

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How I Write: Authors on Their Writing Process - Theresa Van Spankeren

Today's interview is with Theresa Van Spankeren, a paranormal and historical fiction author based near Chicago, Illinois. 

Thanks Theresa for participating in this interview!

1.      When did you first start writing? 
I have been writing since I was a little girl. I remember writing my first stories when I was eight years old, based off The Babysitter’s Club.

2.      What are your books about? Are you self / traditionally published or hybrid? 
I write about vampires mostly, although I dabble in short stories and other writing. I am self-published.

3.      What led to your love for literature? Any favorite books / teachers / writing mentors? 
My love for literature comes from my late grandparents and parents who all loved to read. I have too many favorite books to list them all here, but they include Christopher Pike’s Thirst series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series as well. I had some great teachers throughout my life, but I owe a shout out to Mrs. Nilan – my favorite, Mr. Pavliga who was remarkably tolerant when I was writing instead of paying attention in class, and my professors at Elmhurst College who pushed me to strive harder with my writing.

4.      What's your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you write by hand / type / dictate?  
I make some notes about the story and where it is going, but I don’t outline the traditional way. I play out the story in my head like a movie. The first drafts of all of my books were written by hand. I then type them into the computer and revise and edit from there.

5.      What's your editing process? 
I do most of my own editing, which consists of reading and re-reading drafts over and over again. I also utilize a local writer’s group to help me out.

6.      Who or what inspires you? Where / how do you get your book ideas? 
I sometimes get inspiration when places and people around me, but often the ideas just come to me.

7.      When in the day do you usually write? For how long? 
I often write at night, but I will write at any time of the day or night the mood strikes me. Often I write for an hour but it varies.

8.      Where do you feel most inspired to write? 
I am most inspired around water, whether it is a lake or a fountain.

9.      Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music? 
I listen to music a lot when I write. It is usually some kind of soundtrack, but what it is varies by mood or the type of scene I am writing. It can be anything from the soundtrack of “Inuyasha” to “Pocahontas”.

10.    Do you ever get writers' block? What are some ways you get around it? 
I get writer’s block from time to time. I have used various techniques to get around it including meditation, brainstorming with other writers, and listening to music.

11.    How much research do you do? What kind? 
I have done a great deal of research for different books in my series. It tends to be historical research of various places and people, but occasionally I have had to look up medical thing or other information.

12.    How much marketing do you do? Which platforms are you most active on?  
I am fairly new to the marketing part of this process. I do a limited amount of marketing with limited funds. I am most active on Facebook and Goodreads, but I am also active on Booksie.

13.    What project are you working on now?  
I am currently revising Book 3 of the War of Destiny series. I expect the process to take me at least a year, maybe more. When I am not working on that, I experiment with short stories and essays if the mood strikes me.

14.    What books do you like to read? What are you reading now? 
I enjoy a variety of books, although I really like to read paranormal and horror books. I have just finished reading Fire’s Love by Alex E. Carey. I am looking forward to reading more of the Dresden Files along with several other books.

Theresa Van Spankeren lives in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She has been writing since an early age and wrote the first draft of Book 1 of the War of Destiny series back in high school. After several unsuccessful attempts at publishing through major publishing houses, she seized the opportunity to bring her story to the public through self-publishing. She has recently published Book 2 of the series, Pursuit into Darkness. There are at least 6 books planned in the series at this time. When she isn't writing she enjoys hiking and swimming, and also loves checking out local haunted places. 

Pursuit into Darkness (War of Destiny Book 2)

Seventy years have passed since Julia took Samuel’s deal and agreed to help the Resistance overthrow the Vampire King. She and the rest of her ka-tet have lived in relative peace as her strength and abilities develop.
Her tranquil life is shattered with the arrival of Valentino, who seeks to destroy the rising threat to his power. Samuel knows his fledgling is still too young to defeat the King and intends to flee before the enemy gets too close.
When the plan fails, Julia has no choice but to fight.  However, the danger is unlike any she has faced before, and the perils to her ka-tet’s safety are everywhere, including her own mind. Can she find a way to stop Valentino, or will he destroy everything she holds dear? 

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