New year, new author interviews. For 2019 I will be posting more frequent interviews so check back weekly to find out about some of your favourite authors or perhaps find a new one.
First up for this first week of January is sci-fi author, N. R. Tupper. Not only is she a novelist but she plays piano semi-professionally too. And unlike me she enjoys the editing process.
Thank you for participating!
About Writing/Books/Being an Author
1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?
The Truth Trap by Frances A. Miller. Honestly, I think I was way too young to be reading it. If I recall correctly I was around 10 or 11? It’s a pretty hefty story for someone that young and it left a pretty deep mark. In it the main protagonist is falsely accused of murdering his sister and while dealing with the searing pain of her death he also has to deal with being horribly abused while in prison. It left a lasting impression. I don’t think I could read it as an adult but I also don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to write?
I’m not sure it was a matter of realizing I wanted to write so much as knowing I wanted to tell stories. From as far back as I can remember I loved telling stories. At first I would hear stories, then repurpose them in my own way before retelling them but eventually I started telling my own original stories based off the things I love. I guess you could say I got my start in oral fanfiction!
3. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?
Joan D. Vinge. Robert Ludlum. Justin Cronin. Pierce Brown. Suzanne Collins. Many, many others but if those names are on a cover I’m 99% likely to buy the book.
4. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?
I despise the drafting process but adore the editing process. There’s something so satisfying about polishing that rough draft!
5. Where do your ideas come from?
Anything/everything. I once got an idea from a story from looking at a wind chime and my most recently published series came from a documentary on cults.
6. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?
I play piano semi-professionally, I knit, crochet and enjoy sewing (though I’m not so great at sewing), and I can type at 140wpm (I figure that’s a talent!)
7. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?
Definitely the Passage by Justin Cronin! That world is both terrifying and interesting. I’d love to see it first hand but I’d hate to live in it.
8. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?
They are generally completely made up but might resemble an IDEA. For example, in my latest series the main character was born from a cult documentary and the thought: What is it like to have to choose living a false religion or being forever separated from your family? After the fact I sometimes think a character I created reminds me of someone I know but I never deliberately model them after anyone.
9. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?
Kind of! Haha. When I was 13 and struggling with self esteem and confidence I created this character named Jardia. As an adult I realized that I modeled MYSELF after HIM. It was almost as if his personality was the person I wished I could be. Funny, now I kind of am him but I certainly wasn’t way back in the day when I first started exploring his easy-going, flirtatious confident self. I guess he was a Mary Sue?
10. How do you come up with titles for your books?
It’s a painful, horrible, soul-wrenching process. Generally, I try to find a title that ties into the story in some way. During the drafting stage I almost always give a ‘standing title’ that changes when the story is done. Sometimes I’ve stumbled upon the perfect title right from the start though.
11. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?
I am currently struggling to finish the third novel in my series. After that I am hoping to move onto a lighter children’s story to cleanse my palette before tackling the NEXT book in the series!
12. Have you won any awards for your writing/books and if so what?
No, but I’ve never entered any contests where awards would be given.
A Little More Personal
13. What is one thing you haven’t done but would like to do?
I would love to travel out of country. I have lived my entire life in this country (Canada) and have only glimpsed the border of the U.S. but have never actually gone anywhere.
14. Can you tell us about an embarrassing/funny moment?
I embarrass myself daily. I think the funniest moment I can recall from recent memory is this hilarious customer I had at my old job. We had this sale called 10 for $10. So, you could buy 10 items of a specific type for $10. This lady came up to the tills all disgruntled because chocolate bars were supposed to be 10 for $10 but they were instead marked $1 each. Watching my assistant manager try to explain to her that $1 each equals 10 for $10 was the funniest moment I’ve experienced in awhile. I would have felt bad for her but her attitude was so horrible it was hard to feel any sympathy! Making mistakes is natural, yelling and berating store employees and calling them stupid when you’re in the wrong? Yeah, not so natural or forgivable.
15. Have you ever experienced something weird you could not explain?
Absolutely! I am a bit of a skeptic but I’ve seen things that make me wonder. I know the brain is tricky and often seeing ‘ghosts’ or hearing voices can be attributed to a fault in the brain, like a circuit that fires off when it shouldn’t. But, I’ve had experiences that were shared and that’s when I take pause.
16. Are you superstitious? Do you have any rituals for good luck?
17. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
I have tons of food allergies so I have to admit I don’t do weird food! I think the weirdest I have ever gotten with food is eating oysters. I know! Not weird, but that’s about as spicy as I get.
18. Do you have a favourite vacation spot? Where?
I love Southern Alberta. I think it’s just beautiful. Mountains AND prairies AND deadlands? Yes, please!
19. Can you tell us about one of your favourite childhood memories?
LARPing. There were these neighbor kids I used to play with and instead of playing with Barbies or toys they would LARP (unofficially). If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically taking on a persona, deciding on a storyline and then acting it out. We were never scripted, it was all impromptu imaginative play but it was my absolute favorite play activity ever. Sadly, there weren’t many kids who would participate.
20. What makes you happy?
My husband. My family. My cats. Reading and writing. And my piano.
21. If you aren’t writing (or doing anything associated with writing), what are you doing?
Playing video games, playing my piano, knitting or crocheting most likely. And if none of those, I’m probably organizing some random part of my house or creating countless ‘wish lists’ for the future.
22. Have you ever met anyone famous – who?
The closest I’ve come to a famous person is some famous rock star who came through my old workplace. I didn’t recognize him though. My coworkers all freaked out but I served him like any other customer because I just had no idea he was famous! Haha. I still don’t know who he is really, despite them telling me.