29 January 2014

Author Interview - T.E. Ridener

I'm happy to have author T.E. Ridener here today for this weeks interview!

1. Have you always had a passion for writing? 

 Answer: Yes! It started when I was very young. I was always a very avid reader and I think it spawned from that. Even before I learned how to create sentences on paper, I would cut out people from sales magazines and glue them together to make a story. The passion simply grew from there. By the time I was 10 or so, I was writing small stories, maybe around a paragraph or so. I started writing my first big story at 14, and this is quite funny, but I was a HUGE fan of the Scream movies. I wrote my own little horror story that involved all of my classmates. It was quite a hit with them. By the time the notebook made it back to me, it was falling apart. I really enjoyed the fact they liked the story, and it means a lot to me to share my passion with other people.

2. Does what you read influence what you write and what are some of your favourite authors/books? 

Answer: I have always been influenced by the books I read. Growing up, I enjoyed Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and R.L. Stine. I think my most favourite book would have to be ‘IT’ by Stephen King. I was borderline obsessed with that book and I even enjoyed the movie-but it was also the first time I realized how much can be left out when words are transferred from paper to film. 

3. What are your biggest inspirations? 

 Answer: Is it cliché to say my family? They inspire me every day. My niece and nephew say some of the funniest things and they somehow manage to make it into a lot of my stories. My sister-in-law has always been a HUGE help when it comes to the Blood Betrayal Series. She helped me create about 80% of the characters you’ll meet in Blood Betrayal, and she helps me overcome writer’s block with incredible ideas. My brother has a lot of interesting stories, too. He’s a volunteer fire fighter, and on top of that, he’s always willing to help me with any geographical issues I may have. He also helped me figure out the name of Heidi’s kingdom in The Descendants Series. I’d honestly struggle if I didn’t have their input. They are my muses!

4. Do you have a technique in how you choose characters and/or locational settings? 

Answer: To be quite honest, I have so many characters that randomly pop up, I’ve just accepted that they’re going to make an appearance whether I want them to or not. They each have a voice. Some of them are the start to a new story, or they appear when I need a story to progress. I don’t choose my characters; they choose me. As far as locations go, I try to stick with places I’m familiar with if I can. You write what you know, right? Though, I have stuck my neck on the line before and called places I’ve never visited before. When I wrote the Rochester Reaping, I called the small town of Rochester, KY and spoke with a cashier at their only grocery store. She was more than happy to tell me about the daily life there. It was such a fun experience, and I recommend that every author try it at least once. However, in the future, I’d really love if I could just pick up and go to the places I envision in my books (aside from the planets in the Descendants series). I’m a pretty random person when it comes to characters and locations, if I’m honest. My brain is like a box of chocolates. I never know what I’m going to get, haha.

5. Do you listen to music while you are creating your masterpieces? 

 Answer: It’s actually pretty rare for me to listen to music while I’m writing. I get distracted very easily. The only times that I listen to music involve extreme sadness or action. I do have a particular liking for nearly every rendition of “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. That song has evoked a lot of deep feelings out of me. If I really need inspiration, I’ll listen to a song before I get started, or I’ll pause halfway through the scene to listen to it again. I just can’t write and listen at the same time…it’s sort of weird.

6. What do you do to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block? 

Answers: I –always- write. No matter what. If I have to jump from one series to another to avoid that little devil, I’ll do it. I hate getting stuck, but I have found it helps a great deal just to move on to something else for a little while. Even if I have to avoid my elementals for a month, I know I can come back to them after working with the vampires for a little while. However, if I can’t write on any of my stories, I will continue to write blog posts. I think that’s something every writer will understand. We are writers. We must write. We –have- to write. There’s also the fact that I have loyal readers that are dying to know what happens next. That works out as a great motivator for me.

7. How has becoming a published author (independent or traditional) changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be? (If you are not published yet – what changes do you foresee?) 

 Answer: As an independently published author, I am very happy with watching my fan base grow. I may not have a mansion with three corvettes and a movie deal in the works, but I have people who love reading my stories as much as I love writing them. That means a great deal to me. I’m not sure what I imagined the first time I decided to become a writer, but the feelings I have now are exactly how a person should feel about doing what they love most. I’m happy. I’m still reaching for the stars and I’ve got people cheering me on. I don’t imagine there are many other feelings in the world that could top that.

8. What are your biggest challenges as an author? 

 Answer: For me, my biggest challenge is always figuring out the ending. I’m pretty spontaneous with my writing. The only things I figure out before diving into a story are: character names, ages, and where they are from. Everything else is fair game once I get started. Some people have called me a free styler, and others call me a ‘pantser’. The other challenge I deal with is making the perfect cover photo. I do all of this on my own, so sometimes that can become frustrating. I feel like the cover needs to speak volumes about your story, and I don’t always have access to the vision in my head. 

9. Do you have any pets? 

Answer: Not currently. Our beloved Lucy passed away last month and we’re not quite ready for another puppy.

10. What hobbies do you have outside of reading and writing? 

Answer: Watching tv and movies! I’m a very big movie fanatic. I just recently watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and I thought it was great. I’m also a big fan of The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, American Horror Story, Teen Wolf, and the recently retired Misfits.

11. Where is the most exciting/memorable place you have been in the world? 

Answer: I visited New Orleans when I was 16. It’s the first time I ever saw a man with braided pigtails haha! I’ll never forget the atmosphere of Louisiana. It was magical in its own right. Maybe one day I can go back-though I really, really want to visit Ireland before I kick the bucket.

12. Tell us about your latest work in progress or most recent published work…

Answer: My latest work in progress is Return to Kadenburg, book 2 of the Kadenburg Shifters Series. It’s based around bear and wolf shifters that live in a fictional town in Tennessee. The first book was actually meant to be a modern adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but you know…my brain just does what it wants to do. I’m just going along for the ride. However, you’ll totally catch the references in book 1, The Truth about Kadenburg, which will be released on Valentine’s Day. Book 2 is sort of influenced by Red Riding Hood, but I can’t tell you much more than that!

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TERidener

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TE_Ridener

Amazon: http://amzn.com/e/B0072S9U8Q

Wordpress: www.teridener.wordpress.com


The Blood Betrayal Series

Blood Betrayal (book 1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008YGUV6U

Mirela and Her vampire (book 1.5): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D4CS6OS

Blood Revelations (book 2): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G4TA5A6

The Descendants Series

The Fire King’s Daughter (book 1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GF59BAE

The Water King’s Bride (book 2): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GSPLQTU

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