Please welcome Tess Grant, one of my fabulous critique partners and an awesome author.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
After nearly ten years as a forensic anthropologist, I semi-retired to a farmette in the backwoods of Michigan to raise organic veggies, free-range children, and novels. I have worked in places ranging from a decomposition research facility to a medical examiner’s office to a U.S. government lab. I write YA suspense as well as adult thrillers. My publishing credits include the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Chicken Soup for the Soul, as well as the YA series, The Kitty Irish Trilogy.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
Life has a habit of becoming habit, the same old routine repeating over and over again. I attended a webinar where the speakers described a book’s beginning as taking place “the instant before the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.” That’s my favorite thing…taking an ordinary life and making it extraordinary.
How do you develop your ideas?
My ideas come to me at the strangest times and places. A book I read years ago will pop into my head, and I think, “That subject. That’s what I want to write about next.” Or I walk down the street and see someone or something and think, “That. That will be a book.” Just recently I had a chance to go to a luthier’s shop, a place where stringed instruments like violins and cellos are made and repaired. I’ve already written down the seed of an idea taking place there; now, I just have to wait for the rest to come to me.
Where do you write?
I dream of having a writing space—an office, an alcove, a Hobbit hole—with a desk all my own and a cute little lamp for light. But even if I did, I would probably end up back at my dining room table, which is where I write now. The sliding doors next to it give me lots of sunlight (when there is some!) and a view out to the pasture. The space is a bit cramped at the moment. My nearly 16-year-old Labrador has his bed under the dining room table now, and I can’t even fit my feet under. I type with arms extended.
What is the best book you’ve read lately?
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. An asteroid will hit Earth in six months. Society unravels. People commit suicide or go Bucket List all the time. Detective Hank Palace gets handed yet another suicide…or is it?
Coffee or tea? Easy! Coffee. Check my Twitter profile. 🙂
Favorite superhero? Captain America (with a little leaning toward the Winter Soldier, who is more villain than hero).
Sandals or boots? Boots. Unless my toes are painted. Then probably still boots. With a little heel.
Werewolves or vampires? Werewolves! Reference The Kitty Irish Trilogy. Unless they’re vampires like Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. Then definitely vampires.
Typing or handwriting? Equal parts both. I lean toward typing. But when I spend a lot of time in school parking lots waiting for my kids, I write by hand…with purple paisley pens.
I’m a sucker for purple paisley pens also. I may have even stolen one from Tess. To keep up with Tess, here are her blog and twitter links: