"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

An Interview with Toinette Thomas - Eternal Curse

Pronounced ToY-Net! (Or Toi for short)
Toinette Thomas is the writer of inspirational fantasy series, Eternal Curse. Better than that, she's a terrific person with a  delightful sense of humour and an understated, modest way of recounting her achievements and aspirations. Here, the Chesapeake VA resident talks to Wiz about her life, her work and her e-book, Eternal Curse.

1. Tell us all about Toinette Thomas the person? Who are you? How did you get here? Where do you live?
I currently live in Chesapeake VA, but I work in Virginia Beach and lived there for ten years. That’s where I tell a lot of people I live, who probably have no idea where Chesapeake is. Born and raised in Texas, I came to Virginia with my parents at the age of eleven. Both teachers, my parents wanted to work in a better school district and get away from the crime of city life in Dallas. I currently work as a teacher’s assistant having done my time in corporate America, and now I’m enjoying the creative freedom of authoring my first book series. I typically tell people to call me Toi and publish under that name, simply because I grow tired of hearing my full name mispronounced. 
Just in case you are wondering, it’s Toy-Net.
2. Thanks for that! I was wondering haha. I'll keep that in mind. How did you come to be a writer?
I was always good at writing in school and used to be a fairly good poet. I grew out of the writing and reading habit in college. If it wasn’t required reading or writing, I didn’t do it. Life goes on and years pass, and I began to start truly reading and enjoying the whole experience of diving into a book again. At the same time, I began to have a reoccurring dream. The dream wasn’t scary, but it was disturbing to just keep having the same dream over and over. One day I started to try and write what I could member about the dream, and essential began the first steps to write my first novel. During a very stressful and chaotic time in my life, writing my book helped to keep me focused and sane.
3.Tell us all about Eternal Curse?

Eternal Curse e-book cover Front

Eternal Curse is a series that follows the life of one character, Giovanni, over eons. This is an inspirational fantasy series that is dark and serious, but not scary. The first book in the series “Giovanni’s Angel” tells the story of how he meets a doctor named Mira and both their lives are forever changed.
While Mira is successful in her career, her personal life is a joke. She longs to have a sense of home and family that she’s never had. Giovanni’s main struggle is just fitting in a world he obviously doesn’t belong in. It doesn’t take long for Mira and Giovanni to figure out that they can help each other, but that’s just the beginning.
The whole story is filled with eerie dream sequences, enchanted locations, dark mysteries, hidden secrets, distant battles, and a huge span of time revealed through intense dialog, flashbacks, and foreshadowing dreams. 
When Giovanni and Mira determine that he’s not of this world, it’s only a matter of time before he undergoes a dramatic  transformation and sends them on a journey to battle the forces of good and evil.
4.Who are your influences as a writer? Are you influenced by people, music, words, or your environment?
I can’t say that I’m influenced by any one particular person or thing. I feel that I am influenced by life itself. I write fiction and am a firm believer that all fiction is derived from some level of reality. So, of course, I’m influenced by things that stimulate my mind. Who isn’t it?

Erin Morgenstern - "Night Circus"
 Book’s I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, people I’ve admired or hated, have all influenced me. I could probably better list the people and things that inspire me, but even that list is too long to ever complete. I’m inspired by people who aren’t afraid of being a standout individual. Some people inspire me to emulate qualities within them that I like, while others inspire me to do things my own way. As far a writing goes, I’d have to say that L. Frank Baum, J. M. Barrie, and most recently Erin Morgenstern have created stories and styles that I admire and, in my own unique way, try to emulate, though I don’t really write like any of them.
5. I know you are a big comics fan. Who are your favourites? Do you collect? What do you think of superhero films? Which is your favourite?

Now you’re trying to see just how much of a geek I really am, but I will try to keep my composure. My favorite of all time is Batman, but I try not to get caught up in the Marvel vs DC drama. I like them both. I think Batman is my favorite because, no matter how he’s changed over the years, series, and formats, one thing remains true…he’s only human. He’s a tough guy who’s smart enough to take you down with the power of his intellect, if he has to, but a swift kick will usually do it first.
Classic Jim Starlin Batman Family: Detective 481

Yes, I am a collector. I have comic books, graphic novels, action figures, and more. As far as superhero films go, some I like some I don’t. It doesn’t really matter whether I like them or not, as a fan of the genre I feel obligated to watch the films and support the stories, characters, artists, and writers, because I know that not a lot of people will sometimes. I feel bad telling the world that I haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises yet, but life happens. The most recent hero film I saw that’s now at the top of my favorite list is the Avengers, and that’s even after seeing The Amazing Spiderman, which should have been called Ultimate Spiderman ;).

Spiderman clone - a Doc Ock Plot?

6. I'm a massive comic fan and collector, Toi, so that's two geeks together! Okay,three books, two CD's and one DVD for your desert island, Toi
My one DVD would have to be “Star War episode IV”, the special edition directors cut. 
(We Brits just don't get Star Wars, Toi! haha. Did you know that? Ed.)
My two CDs would be the soundtracks to “Look Who Talking” and “Gone is 60 seconds”, just for the variety.
My three books would be “Peter Pan and the Star Catchers”, “The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America”,  and the Holy Bible, NIV. I’m sure I would still lack a few books of the New Testament by the time someone came to find me, but at least I’d given it a good go at reading it from cover to cover and had plenty to read during my isolation.

7. Tell us about writing? How do you write? Longhand? Straight onto Word? Are you a binge writer or a 500 a day disciplinarian? Do you suffer block? If so, how do you get out of it?
I have no method, rhyme, or reason to my writing. I just write. That’s not to say that I don’t organize my thoughts. I have notebooks filled with ideas and notes, and charts, and graphs. I also use my laptop quite a bit…well, a lot really. Usually if I write something down on paper, I immediately type it into my laptop, but sometimes I skip the paper and go straight to typing. I make every effort to document everything I do and write, while the ideas and juices are flowing. I think that’s why I never suffer from writers block. When I think I have nothing to write about, I just look back at all my ideas, either completed, incomplete, outlined, or just noted.
The only thing I can say about my method is that lately I have organized my time better. I do set aside specific times for writing and then times for living my life.
8. What are your other hobbies? How do you relax away from the word processor?
I have lots of interest that serve me well to get away from my writing, at times, as well as providing me stress relief. Aside from collecting comic books, I also collect vinyl records. (Nice one, Toi! Ed.) Just sitting back and listening to one of my records while having a cup of tea, suits me just fine. I also love to cook and bake, and I even like to paint. 
My painting, of course, is one of those hobbies that others wish I would let go, but it makes me happy. Finally, I love watching, critiquing, and talking about movies, especially old ones.
Norma Desmond from "Sunset Boulevard": the best film ever made?

9. What do fans of Toi Thomas and Eternal Curse have to look forward to this coming year?
Fingers crossed and hands pressed together, The 2nd edition of Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel will be released this September, with its sequel EC: Battleground release in December or maybe January. 
My main focus at the moment is my Eternal Curse Series, but I have been working on many other stories that I plan to present to the public in the coming month. I am working on a novella and a short story compilation, as well as a children’s book.
No matter what the future holds, I will continue to move forward with my dream and continue to write.
Eternal Curse Back Cover.
Toi, it's been an absolute pleasure to talk to you. Make sure you come back and talk to the Wizardwatchers about Giovanni's Angel!
I will do, Wiz. Thanks for having me. It's been fun!!

Contact Toinette Thomas at:

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