I feel like I’ve known Teresa forever! From the moment we first talked on the phone, we just clicked. And she clicked with the rest of #TeamNat. No matter what I throw at her, she is always there to tackle the challenge and she teaches me so much through her amazing non-fiction. She’s truly a star on the rise!
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I had always been drawn to speculative fiction as far back as I could remember, from the fantastic Chinese mythologies of my youth to the first Star Trek series whose guiding principles I have lived by since the age of four. Not writing speculative fiction would be like denying my cultural heritage. I also love writing nonfiction, from biographies to nature/science, because I love reading nonfiction. I write for all ages because I never outgrew children’s books and read as many of them as adult books.
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
I really wish I’d written “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams because it’s brilliant satire that still rings true nearly 40 years later. And “Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf. I wish I’d written that sublime little book.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
It might be easier to tell you what I wouldn’t be doing. LOL! When I’m not reading or writing, I can be found:
* processing homegrown veggies and fruits,
* making soap and other bath and body products,
* learning a new topic (or re-learning an old one) using The Great Courses, or taking a classes or workshops,
* attempting to reverse entropy.
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
I’ve been with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators since the early 90s. My goal is to one day attain membership with the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
What’s the last book you read?
“Mother Go” by James Kelly
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Actually, I’d just stay home. My home is located in a former agricultural valley surrounded by state and national forests. I have a breathtaking view of woods and meadows and am serenaded by owls and coyotes at night.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
“Writing is like crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub.” – Stephen King
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
This isn’t exactly writing advice, but it does apply to writing and all other aspects of my life: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” –Henry Ford
Plotter or pantster?
A pantser who dreams of being a plotter.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
I love to hate them!
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
I don’t so much get inspiration from shows and movies as I learn from them how to write by critiquing them. An excellent movie for learning about a classic plot and how to write humor that appeals to a broad segment of the population is Chicken Run (plus it really makes you want to pick up modeling clay and make funny figures!).
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Being Chinese, my default beverage is always tea, from green to white to black, whether I’m writing or not.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
I am thrilled to be part of a cohesive team that works well together. Plus, I love Natascha’s enthusiasm, her accessibility, and industry savvy.
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Read everything you can find on how to properly query agents so you don’t make newbie mistakes. Janet Reid’s blog is amazing, but there are tons of other resources out there; I recommend searching www.kidlit411.com’s page to start. Also, keep the faith! Some days, many days, it will feel like nothing will ever happen, like you’re stuck in the Groundhog Day loop of queries-rejections, but you have to keep writing, keep learning, and keep submitting. That’s how you’ll grow as a writer.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
Since I’ve already met Jane Yolen and Connie Willis, I’m pretty much set! LOL! But I wish I could have met Douglas Adams (see question about which book I wish I’d written) who passed away far too young.