Name: T.R. Cupak
Age: Haha…I will go with forever 29.
Where are you from: Born and raised in the Bay Area, California
A little about yourself (ie., your education Family life etc.):
Where to begin? Well, as I stated above I am California girl through and through. I live relatively close to where I grew up with my loving husband of eight years and our little fur-baby, Harley. The difference between where I grew up and where I live; I traded city life for country life (queue Green Acres theme song).
Although I wish I could write full time I sadly cannot. I have been in the construction industry for approximately 17 years. I started off in general construction but currently work a very busy, full time schedule for one of the largest public utility companies in the United States. I just count down to retirement and to the day that writing will be my full time gig.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Something I’m excited to share is that I just found out I will be doing my first book signing in March at Booking in Biloxi. I’m nervous as all get out but I will have friends/veteran authors and my Twinkie there to help guide me.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When I was younger I used to love to tell stories to anyone who would listen. Once I hit elementary school I found a love for reading. I would devour books in one sitting. Roughly around junior high years I began to write short stories and poems, continuing to do so throughout high school. No, I don’t have anything from my childhood to share otherwise I would. In my twenties I disconnected from my love of the written word for a while. It was about six or seven years ago I rekindled my love of reading. I used reading as an outlet to escape everyday chaos. After reading was no longer enough to quiet the storm in my mind someone suggested I try journaling. I soon realized I absolutely hated journaling. I wanted out of my mind, not in it so I grabbed my laptop and started to type out someone else’s life. Before I knew it I had written an entire book. It was a surreal moment when I clicked “publish”.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Haha, I’m still a writer-in-training. There is still so much more to learn in addition to developing and improving my writing skills before I ever give myself that honored title.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The constant voices in my head are what persuaded me to write my debut novel, Alexa Crushed. I love that I can say that and the people in this literary world wouldn’t bat an eye or want to have me committed.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to write in first person with multiple POV’s. I may try something different one day but for now that is where my comfort level lies.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
You know, I couldn’t tell you what exactly was my deciding factor on the title but since my heroine’s name was Alexa and she suffers loss and heartbreak in Alexa Crushed it seemed fitting.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not everyone deals with loss the same, especially when you are younger.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
This series is purely fictional aside from the mention of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are quite a few similarities in Alexa’s character/personality that would mimic my own and Devin has characteristics of my husband but other than that, the story is my own imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
I can’t really say there is a particular book or books that influenced my life but I do have a few authors that I truly admire and aspire to be like. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Eyre but most recently K. Bromberg, Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, are just a few.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
What’s reading? Haha. That’s a funny question. I tend to stay away from reading while I write and since I’m writing I’m not reading. I have 145 “new” books on my Kindle. I can’t wait to read again.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Bromberg has my attention 100%. I one-click her books no matter what. The woman could write a book on watching paint dry and I would most likely still buy it.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am working on a standalone novel that falls in the dark erotica genre but have two other projects I’m outlining that would fall under erotica.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My long time best friend Anisa has been my cheerleader since the day I sent her my completed PDF.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope to one day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change anything in Alexa Loved (second book) but I would totally re-write Alexa Crushed and release it properly. Maybe someday I will actually re-write Alexa Crushed, just not any time soon.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Just from the love of telling stories when I was little.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to. The below is protected under the copyright laws. Also, it has not been professionally edited.
This story isn’t about love, like, or a happily ever after. This story, my story, is about struggle, pain and suffering. Fighting to stay afloat while being pulled under by what feels like the murky and powerful undertow of the ocean. Fighting for strength I so desperately need when all I am feeling is desolate and weak. I’m a girl who exudes hatred when a normal girl of my age and pedigree should be the picture perfect portrait of love.
Alcohol consumes me. Drugs numb me. Sex for money feeds the hollow abyss deep within me. How does a soon-to-be twenty-five year old escort turn her life around when the last seven years of her life was spent traveling down a very dark path?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Definitely, sex scenes are brutal. There are only so many ways to write them before it all starts to sound repetitive. Also, time to actually write.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
You’re going to get tired of reading her name but K. Bromberg. Something about her writing pulls you in and doesn’t let go. She writes about things that really hit a nerve and the way she tells the story just keeps you wanting more.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’m still a newbie so no. One day I hope to.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Deborah with Tugboat Designs is my awesome cover designer and formatter. I cannot say enough good things about her and her talent.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Again, the sex scenes were difficult. You want to grab the reader without numbing them to the same ole same ole.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The one thing I learned was that no matter what research I did it didn’t prepare for this adventure but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Of course I do. You will be told no on many different fronts, or your writing will be criticized and all I can say is that if you truly believe in yourself and your writing then grow thick skin and keep doing what you love. Don’t let the “no’s” and a few bad reviews hinder your decision to put yourself out there, because for every bad review there are 5 great ones that will make you smile.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love each of my readers and I couldn’t do this without them. They are “my heart”.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
For school, one of those Dick and Jane books but for leisure and what made me fall in love with reading, the Great Gatsby. It’s the only book that stands out from my formative years.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Besides a good book, my husband and my dog make me laugh daily, that and a good comedy. Missing my dad and mum during the holidays makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Taylor Swift. There is something truly inspiring about her that makes me strive to be a good person.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’m going to be cremated so I don’t have to think about that.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Reading (when I can), movies, wine connoisseur, and spending time with my loved ones.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Way too many to list so I will name three must watch shows and three absolute favorite movies.
Shows: The Big Bang Theory, Scream Queens and Chopped
Films: Pitch Perfect, Goonies and the original Great Gatsby
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
Food: Italian and Mexican
Music: I love most genres of music but my go-to is House/Trance music (Tiesto, Kaskade, Deadmou5, David Guetta)
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Well since I write on the side I do love my day job supporting a regional manager, 7 construction managers and a supervisor for gas transmission.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? I don’t have one yet but I promise to send it once I do.
Alexa Crushed (Book 1, Alexa Series)
Alexa Loved (Book 2, Alexa Series)