The Write Way Café welcomes T.F. Walsh, who takes us on a ride-along into her world of fantasy.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
As a child I remember scribbling short stories on the inside cover of my sister’s books, and I have no idea why. Perhaps I was pretending my stories were published, or I secretly wanted everyone to pay attention to me, after all I was the middle child, but whatever the reason, one thing is certain, I’ve always loved telling tales. It may have something to do with my father’s passion for writing. He’s a well-respected Romanian poet and author, and holds the same dedication to books I do. It was only later that I found myself drawn toward romances. J
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I’m a plotter. I need to know where the story is going, what I want to happen at the end, and who the characters are before I start writing. So I always start with a lot of details and research. For Daciana, I didn’t need to do a lot of research. Even before I started writing, she was in my head loud and clear. I knew exactly what she was like, what she wanted, and how she’d respond in different situations. But when it came to Romania, I did spend many hours reading up on setting, animals, Carpathian Mountains, cultures and I even watched YouTube tourist videos of the city of Brasov. And after enjoying every show / documentary I watched on wild wolves and packs, I feel comfortable to answer any question about them. J
When it came to publishing, I did a lot of research to find the right publisher for me, who their target audience were and where my book would best fit in. J
Where did the idea for your story come from?
I grew up listening to bedtime Romanian stories that could only be compared to the Brothers Grimm tales, and ever since then folklore and mythology has fascinated me. These influences have trickled into my stories, and in particular The Wulfkin Legancy series, which is based in Eastern Europe—a place steeped in legends. Now, when it comes to love, I’m a sucker for stories about two people from different worlds falling madly in love and fighting against the odds to stay together. This is the story I wanted to tell; showing how far someone was willing to go to hold onto true love.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
Cloaked is set in Romania, more specifically Braşov. Braşov is located within what is the region traditionally known as Transylvania. I was born in Romania so I have a special place in my heart for stories based there, particularly those stories set in Transylvania. The region is steeped in lore and history and is about 30km from the Bran Castle, one of the historic homes associated with Vlad Tepes. Vlad Tepes is also known as Vlad the Impaler and is often cited as the historical basis for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Whilst many people consider him a villain, the local populace generally consider him a hero. Interesting fact is that is it is said Vlad the Impaler never lived in the Bran Castle, despite the Dracula stories. The region of Transylvania also contains stretches of the Carpathian Mountains. The Carpathians spread through a number of European countries. Large tracts of forest, deep gorges, steep cliffs and cave systems make it a dangerous and beautiful area. With a large population of animals including wolves and bears it makes a wonderful setting for any story. And that’s exactly why I set Cloaked in Braşov.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
They are completely imaginary, but I won’t deny the fact that all my characters have traces of me in them.
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
Absolutely. I’m not sure if there’s a writer who has zero blocks while writing. For me, I wanted to write this book fast to meet a deadline, and the difficulties were building in time for research. So, I spent my days writing / editing and at night, while hubby watched TV, I read up on bears and wolves and the black market of animal kidnapping.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
Actually not very much with this book. I knew the characters already since they were in a previous book I’d written – Cloaked in Fur. J
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about wulfkin, and the paranormal world?
I learned that mixing up non-fictional facts with fictional ideas makes for a solid world-building. Story ideas that lend themselves to real life always make a novel that much more interesting for both me, writing it, and the reader. J
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
In the living room, I have a corner table with my desktop mac, bottle of water and lots of writing pads. Actually I have lots of books too and other things I should clean out, but I keep ignoring it to write. J It’s my little spot where I vanish into fantasy worlds.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
I love the Anita Blake series by Laurell Hamilton. It was one of the first series I read that made me want to write about strong heroines and alphas, who wanted those heroines.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on book 3 inof The Wulfkin Legacy Series.
Cloaked – Prequel – Coming out Jan 4, 2016
Cloaked in Fur – Book 1 –Already out
Cloaked in Secrecy – Book 2 – Coming out March 2016
Cloaked in Blood – Book 3 – Coming out May 2016
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
I’ve always wanted to write noir mystery thrillers. My stories always have mysteries in them, but the idea of just writing a detective based story has always appealed to me.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Editing. While it gives me the most trouble, it’s the part that brings the story alive.
Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
I really can’t go past my characters in Cloaked and Cloaked in Fur. Daciana and Connell.
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon