|I'm Anne and I like warm hugs!|
I remember the good old days when I interviewed badass writers and introduced them to you every week. Well, that's happening again. I'll give you a moment to scream with delight.
This week I had the pleasure of working with none other than the fabulous Anne Tedeton! I asked her a bunch of silly questions and she answered them so goddamn brilliantly, I just had to share.
We’re sitting on the same park bench, reading the same novel. You realize that being friends is pretty much inevitable at this point. Let’s get talking. Introduce yourself to me, but wait, there’s a plot twist. Introduce yourself like a five year old.
HI HELLO HEY THERE I'M ANNE, AND I AM THE SPOOKIEST KID EVER. (No, seriously, even as a five-year-old, I was spooky. I started decorating for Halloween in August, and even at twenty eight, I barely resist that impulse. I've been spooky all my life, and I'm not about to stop any time soon.)
What’s the big deal about writing anyway?
For me, it's all about the characters. Every time I start a project, I get to know a whole new cast, and they constantly surprise me. I start off with a basic sketch, and as I write, I get to know who I'm working with. The best part of writing is following around all these strange new people in my head.
Do you have a system you follow when you begin a new story or do you just wing it?
I'm more of a plotter than a pantser. I compile an outline before I begin, and build a plot wall to keep track of the overall structure. I keep the outlines loose as things tend to change on me, but they help me figure out where to move next.
Would you rather be a hero with no powers, or a villain with badass superpowers?
Villain all the way! I don't care if you give me superpowers or not. The most memorable villains are almost always more interesting in terms of psychology and backstory. They're the heroes of their own story, after all. Once you see it that way, whether or not they're right becomes a matter of perspective.
Tell me the funniest joke you can think of right now. I want to snort with laughter.
I don't really have any funny jokes, but I do have funny stories. One of my favorites was a rather unfortunate adventure my grandfather had with a lobster. At my grandmother's behest, he made a two hour drive to get fresh lobster. And because my grandmother deserved only the best, he purchased the biggest lobster he could find, loaded it into his trunk, and off he went. He was confident he'd made a good choice until the lobster—still alive, mind you—started clawing its way into the backseat. So my grandfather pulls over on the turn pike, grabs his tire iron, and proceeds to do battle with the wily crustacean. I'm not sure what people thought, seeing this grizzled old man swinging away furiously at a lobster with a tire iron, but I'm pretty sure it didn't look good.
The best part of this story? When he returned home, my grandmother took one look, sighed, and said, "You know, Oren, the bigger the lobster, the older it is. The older it is, the tougher the meat."
To which my grandfather said, "Damn it, Betty, I killed it, and we're gonna eat it!"
The lobster's revenge didn't end there. Everyone was sick for a week.
And that's why I respect lobsters entirely too much to ever eat them again.
Okay, it’s time to get creative. Describe the color red to me without using the word red.
Think of the last time you were well and truly angry. Remember the way it swept in from your fingers and toes straight to your core, nerves sparking with fire the entire way. Adrenaline flooding your veins until you shook, your pulse pounding faster and faster until you broke out in a sweat. Something sharp twisting in your gut, screaming for release, screaming to get out, run, punch, scream—that's the color red.
Which fictional character would you want to be your roommate?
Can I have the Darkling as a roommate? One, sass. Oh, that sass. Two, I wouldn't have to remind him to cut off the lights every time he left a room. And three, he has an excellent sense of style. I would hire on the Darkling as an interior decorator in a heartbeat.
(I think it goes without saying that being able to stare at him day in and day out would probably be the best part. Let's be real here.)
Would you rather be stuck in a video game like Street Fighter and forced to battle, or a television screen where you exist in whatever show is on?
Well, that's a trick question, because no matter which one you pick, odds are you're gonna get the crap beaten out of you on a regular basis. I think I'll pick the latter. I mean, the infomercials will suck, but there's a possibility I could end up on Supernatural, and that would be kind of awesome (provided I don't die in the first five minutes).
What are you working on at the moment?
Everything I write is dark and gloomy, and my WIP is no exception. It's tentatively titled THE WILD HUNT, and it's about a girl who has to save her mother's soul—and herself—from a rather sinister fairy horde. Set in the mountains of current day North Carolina, it's equal parts horror story and contemporary fantasy. The best part? It takes place during October and features a countdown to Halloween. I'm having a blast writing it.
Tell me an embarrassing story.
I was phobic of kissing as a teenager. Here's why.
In June of 1998, I was thirteen, walking through the mall with my first boyfriend. He was two years older than me, his name was Joe, and he had an electric yellow Mohawk, wore silver pleather pants, white fishnet, and purple contacts—and this was why my mother was trailing along behind us, keeping a very close eye on Joe. I can't blame her for being protective of her youngest daughter, but it doesn't get much more awkward than having your mother chaperone you on a date at the mall. Having her present for Her Darling Baby's First Kiss Ever? Downright freaking traumatic.
And this is why I ran screaming after kissing people as a teen.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? What would be the main plot?
The title would be TRAGICAL ADVENTURES ON THE FUN BUS, because pretty much everything awesome that has ever happened in my life has happened because of my car. I've had different cars over the years, but they've all been party central. Dangerous rescue missions, haunted adventures, multiple road trips, stolen road cones, and more than a few illegal experiments with fireworks…you really could create a book out of the adventures that have happened in my car.
Which TV show would you love to guest star or be an extra in?
Did I already mention Supernatural? Shoot. *snaps fingers* I'll take Hannibal as a close second. I don't even mind dying a really grisly death. I know it'll be a work of art.
What’s the first thing you usually do when you get on your computer?
I check to see if the webcomics I follow have updated, and then I make an attempt to check Tumblr quickly. Anyone who has a Tumblr understand this is an exercise in futility. Quickly. Ha. Not gonna happen.
Pretend I’m super demotivated about writing and can’t seem to get started. Inspire me. Make me excited about it!
Okay. So. You're down. Things with your work in progress have ground to a halt, and your WIP has become the equivalent of an angry significant other. You barely know your WIP, and yet they're all up in your business. Harassing you about "wasting valuable time" doing things that aren't hanging out with them, even when doing just that means doing nothing. WIP has started questioning why the two of you have a relationship at all and stares at you balefully in the mornings, judging you over a bowl of cereal. All you can see is a dry, barren wasteland, and you wonder where that meadow of unicorns used to be.
WIP used to look so good, you think to yourself, staring glumly at your Cheerios. Just thinking about my WIP used to get me hot and bothered. What happened? Where did things go wrong?
Your WIP wants that solid marital commitment, but you're not sure you're ready for that. You're only 17,000 words into the first draft, and this is the time you should be enjoying things, flopping around all willy-nilly and having fun. But you're not. Where is the sweet meadow filled with flowers?
Here's the thing. It's up to you to take that barren wasteland and turn it into something else. Your setting sucks? Set it on fire! Turn those cracked and barren fields into a smoldering deathscape, and populate it with unicorns made of fire and lightning. If something doesn't work, turn it inside out. Break every rule you've made for yourself and imagine the complete opposite of what you have right now. You have the power to make worlds or ruin them. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
So. GET TO IT.
This question is open for you to answer with whatever the hell you want. You can talk about how ridiculous this interview is, or tell me more about that story you’re working on.
On top of being a writer, I'm also a doodler. I'm working on polishing up some comic pages for the blog. Come by sometime and check them out, or follow me on Twitter for occasional drawings.
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