Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Interview with Tawdra Kandle

Today, we have Tawdra Kandle here to discuss writing and her new novel, ENDLESS, the fourth book in The King Series. Let's jump right in, shall we?

Welcome to We Do Write, Tawdra. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you! I am so glad to be here. I'm a writer, a homeschooling mom of four plus one son-in-law and wife of an Anglican priest. Though I was born in south Jersey, I have lived all over this beautiful country and currently reside in central Florida with my husband, three youngest children, five cats and one spoiled pup. I'm the author of The King Series (FEARLESS, BREATHLESS, RESTLESS and ENDLESS) and co-owner of Promotional Book Tours and of Hayson Publishing. 

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing as long as I can remember. I loved making up stories as a child, and my first short story was published when I was eleven. I veered into non-fiction writing for many years, writing as a wife and a mom, and I didn't become serious about fiction again until about five years ago.

Tell us a little about ENDLESS. What's the story about?
ENDLESS is the fourth and final book in The King Series. The series follows Tasmyn, a girl with the ability to hear thoughts, from her move to a small and mysterious town in Florida, where she meets Michael, the love of her life,  a crazy power-obssessed classmate and a teacher who turns out to be a witch, through a tumultuous struggle with her powers and other life and death situations. ENDLESS  picks up Tasmyn’s story at the beginning of her freshman year in college, as she and Michael continue to recover from the train wreck that was her senior year in high school. She’s working to get her life back on track, regain Michael’s trust as well as that of her parents, and learning to control her new powers. Of course, life is never that easy, and so there are a few bumps in the road.

Very cool! How did the idea of the story come to you?
The initial idea of Tasmyn and her abilities was born out of a conversation with my sister, when we joked that our babies could hear us think about them in the middle of the night. I think a writer's best tool is the 'what if' question, and in that case, it was 'What if you had a child who possessed the ability to hear thoughts from birth. . .what would that look like?" The initial manuscript contained a lot more of that story--Tasmyn's parents' struggle to raise an exceptional child. Because I had recently moved to Florida, I incorporated some of that into the story. And the story of King revealed itself to me over a period of time.

The 'What if?' question is definitely an important one to ask when you're writing, but once the words are on the page, how do you edit? Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I used a critique group early in my writing process, but most of us are so busy being published now that we don't critique anymore! I do a lot of self-editing, but I also use an editor. I think it is extremely important.

Everyone getting published is a good problem to have! Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm a mix, but I lean more toward pantsing. At the beginning of a book, I make notes about the anticipated plot, characters, specific attributes and timing--anything that I might possibly lose track of during the writing process. It's more of a continuity board than an outline. And then I listen to my characters.  More than once I've been surprised, and really, more so in ENDLESS than in the other books.

Don't you just love it when characters surprise you? I think that's one of the best things about writing! What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
In writing itself, the middle is the most difficult. I can do beginnings without any problems, and usually, I hit a point in the book where I go ahead and write the ending. I can see where it's going. Sometimes, though, I bog down in the middle, particularly if I have to write it over a longer period of time, juggling it with other responsibilities.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
My music, definitely, and if I'm on a writing binge or a writing retreat, I need ridged potato chips and onion dip.  I'm fairly disciplined eating-wise on a regular basis, but sometimes, you just need what you need!

Mmmmm... potato chips... If only I could eat them without them taking a direct line to my hips. 

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Oh, gosh, decisions! I would love the ability to live without sleep. I could accomplish so much more if I didn't need that six hours a night...

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
I don't know specifically, but it probably had to do with translating a name or phrase into Romany... or something about athames!

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: ending, earnings, and ears.
My ears pricked as I heard Jackson murmur about our earnings, but I missed the ending of his sentence.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
. . .promoting my own work, working on PBT with our fabulous bloggers or with our talented authors at Hayson! 

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
I am tremendously blessed by a family who supports me 110%. My children pick up all the slack when Mommy's writing; they handle meal planning, cooking and keeping me sane. My husband is patient when I'm present in the body but absent in the mind, deep in the story. I have friends who step in to help when needed, and an unbelievable on-line community of fellow authors who give me the best advice and encouragement. Of course, my business partner Mandie Stevens is just the most amazing, supportive friend and cheerleader. . Amanda Long, who steps in whenever I'm losing my mind. . .and all of our bloggers who selflessly promote and share and tweet for me. . .well, I just am so grateful for them.

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
My website 
I'm on Twitter
My Facebook page 
My books are all on Amazon

Thank you for having me today!

You are totally welcome!

1 comment:

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Loved the interview. Fun stuff. Thanks Elizabeth and Tawdra!