Name T.A Peters
Many readers do not know my first name: Thomas. My books are published under the name T. A. Peters and there is no author photo on the back. I’ve done this from the beginning for my own amusement to see how many readers would presume I am a woman based on the subject matter of my books. Kirkus Reviews wrote a nice review of my novel Loggerhead and referred to me (the author) as “her” in the review and I didn’t bother to correct them.
I am thirty-seven years-old.
Where are you from
I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up there, but I’ve lived in various locations in Florida for about twenty years now.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
If there is any news in my world it is that I have decided to move forward with my Green Flourish series featuring the young protagonist Mary. I have two other series with characters itching to get their stories written that I am simply going to have to put on hold for now.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Since my earliest memories, story-telling has always been a part of my life. The problem always was that I was only telling myself the stories. Even before my teenage years I remember seeking out time on a daily basis in which I would be left alone to create stories in my own mind. It wasn’t until I was an adult that it occurred to me that I could attempt to make something of a career of story-telling by writing those stories down.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even as a child I wrote short stories, but I didn’t really consider myself a writer until I started putting together what would be my first published book in 2015. More than anything, at that point I got a taste for writing and was hooked on the feeling.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A lot of things influenced me, but more than anything I was influenced by other writers who had produced works I enjoyed.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing style is influenced by what I am writing and who the characters are. One thing I am making a great effort at is not writing in a manner that sounds like the same voice over and over. All seven of my currently published books are from the same series but outside of those books my style in everything I have ever written is very different.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In the case of Loggerhead, I actually wrote the entire first and second draft of the novel before coming up with the name of the fictional town (the evil, satirical sister-city to the real-world Sarasota, Florida) and ended up using it as the title. Originally, the town was going to be unnamed, but it seemed to fit on several levels, including the fact that the main character is something of a loggerhead herself when it comes to social situations.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Many, but chief among them is: Things aren’t always what they appear to be, and In the absence of biological family, make family of whoever you find yourself with.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It isn’t a huge secret that the main characters of Mary and Abigail are based upon myself and my wife. In creating the characters, I tried to consider the basic nature of the “soul”: what is there that is eternal and intangible and how much of what makes up the human self is a result of who we are, physically. In a literal sense, I took the “souls” of my wife and myself and put them in different bodies in a different time period (although, not coincidentally, in the same geographical location) and then let them live their own lives. My role as author was to simply record their experiences.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I think that it is thanks to my mother providing me with the collected works of Beatrix Potter that I first became interested in dialect. Growing up in Texas, the early 20th century British language of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny was utterly foreign and for some reason I loved it and wanted to make a study of it. When I was older, the first novel that made me seriously think of writing was Dean Koontz’s Intensity. The fact that it featured a strong female lead put into extraordinary circumstances was great, but one of the most influential aspects of that book for me was the manner in which it portrayed the perspective of the heroine. Ultimately it would be the works of Sarah Waters that would convince me that there was a potential readership for the sort of books I wanted to write.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I always say Sarah Waters is my favorite modern author, and although the basic focus of my books is different than hers, the one thing in common we have is that we write fiction based upon a study of real history. My books make serious forays into fantasy territory but they’re still rooted firmly in fact.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A lot of my support comes from other authors. I belong to more than one support group of small-press and independent authors who act to champion each other rather than compete against one another.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do see writing as a career, unfortunately it isn’t one that I make a lot of money at. It has the potential of one day being something I could make a living at, but for now I am thrilled to be able to get my books out there and connect with people who take interest in what I write.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The production of my most recent book, One Little Word, was altogether magical. Out of everything I have ever written, I did the least amount of preparation for it and yet it somehow congealed into a novel that I am very pleased with. I can’t think of a thing I would change about it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My original interest in writing stems from the fact that I am not a great conversationalist. I realized from an early age that the written word was, by far, my best means of communication.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to if any of the narrative was written. Right now I’m putting together the bare minimum of background details for the characters on paper and researching the historical reality of the themes I’m including in the book. Once that is done, I’ll begin writing and translating the existing stories in my head onto something coherent on paper.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think my biggest issue is the same with plenty of other authors: time. There is never, ever enough time. I often find that I barely have enough time to read let alone write, especially considering the amount of time required for marketing. Some writers have the money to pay for advertising and don’t have to work full-time in addition to their writing career, but that isn’t me. Also, some people can write well in fits and starts, but I’ve never been able to do so. If I don’t have a decent chunk of time in which to write, I simply read instead.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Only in my imagination.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the original covers, but after a while I looked for a professional designer and contracted with The Cover Collection to provide new covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting started! I spent three years doing research before I began the actual writing of the Green Flourish series and made the mistake of wasting several weeks writing a detailed outline that, once I began writing, I quickly found was impossible to strictly adhere to. Once I actually got started, things naturally progressed and I ended up throwing the outline out.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a lot. One of the more important things was that no matter how specific the details were of a story I had worked out in my mind, the final result on paper would never be exactly as I envisioned it. There is something magical about putting the story down in words and as I’ve found it seems that the characters tend to take over and lead their own lives when you actually go to work things out.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
To be perfectly honest, I can’t see any of my books being made into a film. It bothers me that so many authors write books for the sole purpose of trying to sell film rights. To me, literature is its own medium with its own strengths and weaknesses and the goal of writing should not be to produce a stepping stone for a screenplay. And please do not misunderstand me, I think film is an important art form as well, only it is very different. When an actress plays a part in a film, her appearance and mannerisms become a part of that character and cannot be removed from the collective consciousness of the viewers. I like the fact that in reading a book, every reader will have their own specific image of what a character looks like. To me, it somehow makes the characters more personal, and it bridges the gap between author and reader in an emotional, spiritual way that film cannot.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep at it and never throw anything out. If you write something you’re not thrilled about, don’t trash it. You’d be surprised how something you wrote years ago can suddenly come to mind again and you might be very sorry to have lost the original manuscript even if after re-reading it again you have to start the story over from scratch.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Only this: Thanks for reading!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m always reading several things at one time: right now I’m reading the Pulitzer-winning novel A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, a historical book of 19th century photographs titled Victorian Florida, and a historical fiction book about an actress turned Federal spy during the American Civil War titled The Lady Was a Spy.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I really don’t remember. It seems like I’ve always been reading something.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Sometimes my wife says the oddest things and I laugh myself to the point of tears.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
One of my favorite authors of the past is Sir James M. Barrie and I wouldn’t mind meeting him to see if he is even half as neurotic as his biographers make him out to be.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Something like: “Here lies a best-selling author”, not because I think I might be rich or particularly famous, but because that probably means at some point before I died I got to live doing what I like best.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
When I used to have more time I enjoyed to cook and try different recipes.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything my wife suggests that is bizarre or humorous. I don’t see much television, but I let her pick what I do watch.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I like food in general. It always amazes me when people say that they hate one particular food or even an entire category of foodstuffs. I’ve learned over the years that there are a lot of foods that my body doesn’t appreciate, but there really isn’t anything generally considered edible that I don’t like to eat based upon its taste. I have very eclectic music tastes, but my favorite is Classical music, especially the Concerto Grosso form of the Baroque era.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Be a musician so long as I could write music and not have to perform in front of anyone.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Extensive notes on my books can be found at http://www.greenefisherpublications.com/
Authors Amazon Page USA https://www.amazon.com/T.-A.-Peters/e/B015PK3ECU/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1