Name: Cecile Tellier
Where are you from: Originally I am from Lowell, Massachusetts and moved to Upstate NY when I was 21 to be with my then boyfriend (14 years later he’s my husband).
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I’m a married mom of two awesome kids (even the teenager) and 3 furbabies. I have two Masters Degrees, one in Special Education and the other in Criminal Justice: Law. My family shares a love of zombies, pumpkin patches, obstacle courses, and tattoos. We all definitely march to the beat of our own drum, usually loudly being banged by my youngest in a drum circle with faerie folk…
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am writing for both Siren and Evernight Publishing now. I have an upcoming release from Evernight and then another in an anthology with some other awesome authors coming out soon! I am also a photographer and have many great shoots coming up.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I grew up in an inner city, my mother supported a family of 6 on one single digit an hour income. She worked very hard and we simply couldn’t afford many of the entertainments that cost money. Writing was free, and I love to read so I would frequently spend time writing in journals and entering contests. I won three poetry contests by the time I was 13. I started writing Truthful Silence when I was 14 and discovered I really enjoyed the idea of being in love. From 8th grade on I was a contributor to school newspapers and enjoyed sharing my work with others.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As early as 11 I would say. I won an essay contest at the local college that was open to adults as well as children. Even though the prize was a binder and calculator I was heartened by that victory.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Truthful Silence was inspired by what was actually happening to some extent in my life when I was 13/14. Minus the paranormal theme and some of the other specifics obviously, as I did not have rich family nor a boarding house, and I was able to speak (too much). I had my first real crush, and he was the absolute nicest guy about it. He was only a year older than me but we became great friends immediately and are friends to this day. It never evolved into more but he definitely saved the day more than a few times when I was taking some risks as a teen. I think he actually inadvertently saved me from many bad choices as I held a candle for him so long I avoided potential jerks in the meantime.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t know that I have a specific style; I would say that I tend to inject humor and potential references to past and current pop-culture. I like witty characters that can hold their own.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For Truthful Silence I combined two of the main themes of the story. Hazel’s silence, and Eric’s physical need for truth in all things for reasons one can find out in the book. Hazel’s silence was the purest form of truth that Eric ever experienced.
For Binding Dreams the theme of this novel is that Raerdel and Sindri actually bond in her dreams far more than they did in person. It helped them and also was their biggest risk.
For Binding Blood the theme of this novel was Raerdel and Sindri fighting against the blood ties that bound both of them to make their own bonds stronger.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would say all of my novels have messages, Truthful Silence deals with the way people react to those they consider “defective”, and all of my stories really deal with the issues of family dynamics. Not everyone was raised by the Brady’s, not everyone has a nuclear family, and not everyone has blood family that is good to them. I try to relate to everyone and all situations.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I write paranormal at this point and much of that is not realistic. I would say the interaction between my characters is organic and as real as I can make it. The situations they deal with are the same that everyone deals with to some extent. We have conflict, even with those we love. We have betrayal, even by those we love.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I mentioned how my first book was largely influenced by my experiences in 7th-9th grade, though the piece where they were adults was not. I watch interactions of people often however and I do draw from these experiences for my writing.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Honestly the first romance novel I ever read was Sweet Memories by Lavryle Spencer and I absolutely loved it. It was so different to me than the typical tropes. I won’t spoil the story but I really enjoyed it. I’ve been lucky enough to have many mentors in my life both professional writers and local artists when I was growing up. I was accepted into a group that did weekly poetry readings at our local bookstore growing up and I was the only teenager. They were very kind to me and would trade my computer skills for tips on writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I read so many books a week I couldn’t even tell you one in particular.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Hmm, I’m newer than many of my favorites including this one but I really enjoy SD Hildreth. At first I thought I was going to be off-put by “dark erotica” but honestly he writes some of the funniest and heart-wrenchingly adorable characters. I also pick up a lot of fun slang from his books.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have The Pale Emperor, which is a novella that will be in an anthology tentatively coming out in November. I am finishing edits on Kendall’s Promise which is being released by Evernight, date to be announced. After those are done I am working on a contemporary piece as well as the third book in the Binding series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My critique circle that we lovingly refer to as the Round Robbins has been a crucial support system. They have been with me since before the first book was published and we all support one another. It’s nice to have authors that have gone through it with you.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do, I put in at least as many hours with writing, marketing, promotion, web site development, blog writing, photography, editing, etc. as I do in my day career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I think I did it the justice that I could. If I changed it too much it wouldn’t be my story.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have been reading since before kindergarten. I would read anything that was left out and even did a book report on “The Mafia Wipeout” in third grade. I vividly remember having pneumonia at one time and staying up late reading the readers digest collection of stories. I think kids who read as much as I did and do inadvertently develop the ability or interest in writing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I really can’t but know that it’s coming soon and that if you like paranormal I will keep your fall busy!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time management, as I have ADHD. It’s hard to balance sometimes and when my brain wants to do one thing I have to force it to do something else.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would say my all-time favorite is Christine Feehan. She just has a fabulous way of writing paranormal that has me crying almost immediately, and then loving the characters. Yet she never lets me down in the end. She’s the only author who I waited –years- for a story about a particular couple, and it was satisfying!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
For conferences mainly the distance can be great but I love travel!!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Truthful Silence was done by the lovely Christine Kirchoff.
Binding Dreams and Binding Blood was done by the awesome Harris Channing.
I’ve been very lucky thus far in my covers as I’ve had all wonderful people to work with!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Honestly the hardest part is always starting it. Once I hit about 15,000 words they start to fly!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that sometimes you may think you have the book all plotted out in your head and then your characters tell you they’ve got a better idea. You have to be flexible in this creative process.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you want to write, write. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t let people dissuade you. There are always people who want to talk others out of it or say things like “I could write” but then never do. Don’t be one of those people, if you have a story to tell then start writing!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for supporting me, and encouraging me to keep putting words to paper. You’re all amazing and I enjoy interacting with you!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first book I actually ever remember is Billy Goat’s Gruff…my mother had a huge collection of fairytales and fables. This was my favorite because she did all the voices and had a particularly fun way of saying “Trip trap” that made me love the troll. I’ve always had an affinity for trolls…
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love over the top angsty romance in books and movies, and I love comedy. When someone combines the two I’m good!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
John Wayne…I absolutely have had a connection with him since I was born. I have so much John Wayne memorabilia that I’m the easiest secret Santa to pick ever! I also have most of his lines memorized…
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I won’t have one as I would prefer to be cremated and scattered in a library but if I had to have one I would want “She cared about people”. I can think of some funnier things to put on it but I wouldn’t want to offend the cemetery people…
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’m a photographer, and I have a huge music addiction. I’m a retired flat track derby player but I played for five years before so I still enjoy roller-skating. I’m an avid tattoo enthusiast as well.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Ohhhh boy. Outlander, The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, American Horror Story. Films? The Avengers, Thor, Only Lovers Left Alive, The Duff…I could go on forever…
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite food is steak…my favorite color is blue, and my favorite music is Breaking Benjamin (rock).
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve done a lot of different things in life including managing a band, derby, photography, etc. I don’t think any chapter has been closed yet!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog is actually on my website and that address is: www.ceciletellier.net
Links to my Amazon author page and book links: