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Author Q&A with @torigw | The Fergus Book Tour and $25 Amazon GC #Giveaway | #YA #Fantasy

The Fergus by Tori Grant Welhouse is on virtual book tour. The young adult fantasy stops at Readeropolis with an author intervi...

The Fergus by Tori Grant Welhouse is on virtual book tour.

The young adult fantasy stops at Readeropolis with an author interview.

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a $25 Amazon GC and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

Fiction writers, in no order:

Barbara Kingsolver
Alice Hoffman
Emily Brontë
Georgette Heyer
Gail Godwin
Suzanne Collins
Laini Taylor
Virginia Woolf
Jane Austen
Angela Carter

What book do you think everyone should read?
Angela Carter is largely unknown to the American reader. She was a revelation to me as a writer and woman.

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing poetry and fiction since my teens, so over 40 years.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
Some are clear and immediate. Some come to me after writing in accordance with what the story requests.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I am an etymology geek, so I will spend time on words and their meanings. I also feel I am something of a writer of place, so I will Google map places important to the story and immerse myself in detail, which I may or may not use.

Lastly, I will work through many of the exercises from The Weekend Novelist, by Robert J. Ray and Bret Norris.

Do you see writing as a career?
I agree with Elizabeth Gilbert that you should not make your writing carry the burden of being your *work.* I strive for writing to be a big part of my life, but my day job is something else. I hope as time goes on, I can write more and day job less, especially as I look toward retirement.

What do you think about the current publishing market?
The power to self-publish and be successful feels like it adds democracy to the process. An author can choose to try the traditional publishing route or self-publish. Regarding traditional publishing specifically, I feel we are at a watershed moment. It is great to see more people reading and more diverse voices emerging.

Do you read yourself and if so, what is your favorite genre?
I am an eclectic reader and engage with fiction, nonfiction and poetry. I also belong to a book club of diverse readers. For fiction, I love to read fantasy and magical realism — both adult and young adult. I also enjoy historical fiction. For nonfiction, I enjoy learning about creativity, turning points in history, language, art and psychology. I also read autobiography, especially “group biographies” about a movement of writers or artists. For poetry, I read both modern and emerging poets and the formative poets.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Mostly silence or instrumental music, Celtic or new age. (My husband calls it my “spa music.”)

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I can only focus on one fiction book at a time, but I do write fiction and poetry simultaneously. I published a new book of poetry this year, too, called Vaginas Need Air, in memory of my mother who passed in 2017.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
I feel like I should pick a classic like Wuthering Heights, which I do admire, but I would pick Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer. It is a book I return to, often in the dog days of summer. I love how she deftly weaves the three women’s stories together while teaching us about the natural world.

Pen or typewriter or computer?
Computer. I can type fast, over 100 words a minute, and a computer allows me to keep up with my thoughts. Longhand feels slow to me.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I love Jane Austen’s Emma, a character she envisioned that only her author would love. I also Love Gail Godwin’s Odd Woman, both eponymous characters.

What made you want to become an author, and do you feel it was the right decision?
For me, it is less about being an author and more about writing. Writing helps me figure out the world and how I feel about it. (I also like hanging out with other writers. I like how they think.)

A day in the life of the author?
The best kind of writing day begins with coffee and the sun coming up over the pond. Hopefully, I have left myself a starter line from a previous day of writing, so I have a place to begin. Even better if I have outline notes. I reread what I last wrote to plug myself back into the story, and then I will set met myself a word count goal, which helps to motivate me. I will listen to instrumental music on headphones if my husband is watching TV. Ideally, I will write for 5 or 6 hours, and then I will need to step away from my desk and walk for an hour or more in the woods. I enjoy cooking, so I will return home to make dinner. (I like to try new recipes.) After dinner in the summer I like to read on the patio for a few hours with a glass of wine. When the bugs come out, I will join my husband for a movie of a binge series. That is a good day. 

Advice you would give new authors.
I guess the biggest ones are write the story you would like to read and do not worry so much about originality. You are original by nature. The other platitudes also apply. Keep a journal. Write *something* every day or almost every day.

Describe your writing style.
I am a poet and a fiction writer, so I hope my writing style has an elegant sense of language. I also approach scenes from the viewpoint of a cinematographer. I *see* it first.

What makes a good story?
I like character-driven stories with a flawed protagonist I can empathize with, ideally in a farfetched or reimagined situation.

What are you currently reading?

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? 
I like to think through how a book begins and how it ends, and then I do a rough outline of scenes to connect them. The outline is not always complete, and I do not always stick with it, but the attempt serves as a series of steppingstones.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Self-doubt is the worst. Feeling that you do not have anything to say. I waited for maturity to overturn this thinking in my mind, deluded by the idea that I must live life before I can write about it. I am over 50. I mean, I must have learned a thing or two, right? I do not think this kind of gestation is necessary. You can write a coming of age story when you are coming of age (or soon thereafter). Or any other kind of story, for that matter. Every perspective counts.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
The internet. I get distracted easily and can find myself down a rabbit hole of pointless inquiry. Colleagues joke with me when I do this at work, calling out “squirrel,” a reference from the movie Up.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what I would like to read and believe I will find a community of readers who like to read the things I like to read.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Do not worry so much about originality. It has taken years to realize that I can not help but be original — I am a one-of-a-kind mix of background, experiences and influences.

What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I think our thoughts are more similar than dissimilar but capturing how a man moves in the world felt tricky to me. That body awareness.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
The first draft of The Fergus took me three years, and then another seven in revision. The drafting in three years feels right to me. For my next book, I would like to expedite the revision process, but we will see.

Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do not believe in writer’s block per se, but I do believe in dormancy. There are times when a writer might be fallow, and that is okay. Everything is cyclical.

The Fergus
by Tori Grant Welhouse
Genre: YA Fantasy 

In the mystical Highlands of Scotland, Rork, missing his beloved gran, wakes up with the ability to hear voices. And not just any voices. Fantastically Rork can hear voices of the dead, which lead him to a charismatic banshee and a colorful near-death survivor. The three are bound together in a time-tested banshee tradition with perhaps a side-goal or two. In the course of their adventures, they are pitched into an otherworld of before-death, after-death and in-between-death.The Fergus will appeal to fans of ghost stories, parallel universes and life-not-being-how-it-always-seems as in the worlds created by Laini Taylor, Stephenie Meyer or Helene Wecker.

Tori Grant Welhouse is a poet and writer from Green Bay. Her most recent poetry chapbook Vaginas Need Air won Etching Press’s 2020 chapbook contest. Her YA paranormal fantasy The Fergus won Skyrocket Press's 2019 novel-writing contest and will be released Summer 2020. She is an active volunteer with Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$25 Amazon

1 comment

  1. Here's a mood-making trailer created by my talented illustrator brother. Enjoy! EXTRAS on the website, too.


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