Welcome to Trisha Wooldridge, the first interview on my blog tour. She's got some great insights and great information to share. This is just part 1.
Trisha J. Wooldridge, a member of the Broad Universe Motherboard, is a freelance writer, editor, and educator whose experience includes Dungeons & Dragons Online, animal rescue public relations, and web-based learning. She loves interviewing goth and metal bands, reviewing food and wine, helping other writers, and giving words a dark yet whimsical twist. Her fiction is in Bad-Ass Faeries 2: Just Plain Bad, the upcoming Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory ( both co-authored with Christy Tohara) and Fantasy Gazetteer. www.anovelfriend.com
1. How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
Hi! I'm Trish Wooldridge, and you can find me at www.anovelfriend.com, novelfriend.blogspot.com, novelfriend.livejournal.com, @novelfriend on Twitter. (There's this theme thing…) I'm on Facebook and LinkedIn as Trisha Wooldridge, or Trisha J. Wooldridge.
I've done my best to become Google friendly.
2. Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?
I write in non-fiction and fiction. In non-fiction, I love writing about writing (of course), food, wine, horses, animals, art, education, music, feminism, and various spooky things.
In fiction, I tend to lean more towards action-packed contemporary and urban fantasy. That said, I have a Blade-Runner-esque android story in the works and a mid-grade/YA science-fantasy about a deaf girl destined to hear the future from the songs of stars that I'm querying.
In May, the latest Bad-Ass Faeries anthology, In All Their Glory (Mundania Press), includes a piece by me and Christy Tohara, my co-author and good friend. Faerie is more than a little pissed when relations between human and fae have ended in nuclear war as surviving human and fae factions battles decide whether Faerie will take over the human realm--or leave it forever. Also, in May, I've got a poem coming out that I wrote for my parents, "To Me, You are Holy," in Eye on Life Magazine's Poetry Locksmith.
3. What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
You mean writing for hours over a keyboard isn't relaxing? Shoot… I must be doing it wrong. I kill stuff in writing to get over a bad day. Mercilessly and with utmost cruelty and fervor.
But… when my wrists are in pain because I have horrific posture… I do occasionally watch TV. My favorites include House, MD; Caprica; Burn Notice; Castle; Fringe; Bones; Doctor Who; and Eureka when it comes back. Movies… my husband could open a branch of Netflix, so it's hard to pick a favorite when I can pick just about anything.
For non-writing hobbies, I work with horses at the Bay State Equine Rescue. It's an amazing experience to communicate with these majestic creatures who have suffered so much by human hands… yet still want to trust us more than anything (except food. They want food most of all. Even if they are a pushing the limits of a healthy weight.) I also have a few artistic endeavors: I love painting, drawing, wood-burning, and other crafts. Hiking and playing with pets and hanging out with my Husband-of-Awesome are the rest of my favorite things.
4. What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
Music. Music, music, music! I have very eclectic taste, but the Crüxshadows are almost always in my list, as is Nightwish, and frequent regulars (because I still use a CD player and not my mp3 player for writing) are Voltaire, Blackmore's Night, Roger Cline & the Peacemakers, Within Temptation, Loreena McKinnet, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Omnia, Emerald Rose, Brobdingnagian Bards, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Bruce Dickenson (apart from Iron Maiden), Ozzy Osborne, Unto Ashes, and some soundtrack of something or another.
Current CDs: Crüxshadows' Birthday, Lady Gaga's Fame, Band of Skulls' baby darling doll face honey (from their being featured on an episode of Castle), Omnia's Pagan Folk, and Nightwish's Once.
5. "All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
I have found this to be mostly true. I have a few writing friends who are exceptions… they may be the exceptions that prove the rule. Who knows. I have both a cat and a rabbit. In fact, I've had three rabbits in my life; two have since passed away. I've noticed the rabbit trend among comics, however, and know of at least two top webcomic artists who have house rabbits… which I include as support for a project I haven't done a LOT of talking about yet, but will when more is done on it. ;)
My sweet cat (well, sweet to me; my husband is another matter) is Nylis, a mackerel tabby. My brother adopted her from the MSPCA, then a couple years later, got a promotion and had to move to Florida - so she moved in with me (an act which required great feats to obtain the forgiveness of my otherwise Husband-of-Awesome). Her original name was Nile, which didn't work for any of us, so with the suggestion of a fellow writing friend of mine, she became Nylis - the name from a race of cat-people from said friend's work-in-progress. For as fabulous as my kitty is, she is in the running for the Dumbest Cat in the World.
Loki is my appropriately named rabbit. He is a grumpy 10-year-old, 3-lb Siberian Rex who has no problem letting people know his opinion of everything (which can be summed up "I am the most awesome being in existence, worship me now! With food! Or nose pets! Better yet: Both! Now!") At his venerable age, it goes without saying he usually gets what he wants - including getting the cat in trouble/injured for his amusement and knowing neither the H-of-A nor I have the heart to scold him. (So we occasionally find ourselves apologizing to the cat when we find out she was NOT, in fact, chasing the rabbit - or at least not without due cause of him teasing her first.)
6. What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
Broad Universe!! Some of the best contacts I've made as a writer have been through my work and membership in Broad Universe.
Besides Broad Universe, I'm also a member of the Editorial Freelancer's Association (which is on the higher end of membership dues), where I've gotten several jobs in editing and writing (such as editing the text for the MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons: Stormreach!)
I follow the blogs of Writer Beware! and QueryTracker, and have found both some of the best resources for information and advice on the business of writing.
There are two important pieces of advice I can offer. One is to read everything you can get your hands on: fiction to enjoy and study, blogs, books, and articles about both the craft and business of writing, and each other - with heart and mind to help one another. That leads me to the second piece of advice: be part of the greater community. There are some wonderful communities for writers out there, and we should seek them out and put our positive energy into them; it really does get returned exponentially. Science fiction, fantasy, horror, speculative… our niche has one of the most amazing communities of fandom. If possible, get to know the community online - or in one of the hundreds, thousands, of conventions across the world. Being involved in the community - and sharing my active reading within the community - have been the two most important parts of making my career happen.
7. What writers inspired you to become an author?
I wanted to be an author for as long as I remember, so you could really date things back to Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, whoever wrote those many Classic Children's Stories that my mother read me… and Jane Yolen and Ruth Sanderson are in my childhood collection. I have always been a voracious reader, but one of the key persons who showed me how amazing writing could be was Madeleine L'Engle, who I discovered at 11 with A Swiftly Tilting Planet (kudos to the person who decided to throw a unicorn on the cover!) From there, I found even more SF & F lit, like The Last Unicorn, and eventually the pulp series of DragonLance and Forgotten Realms and other Dungeons & Dragons-Lord-of-the-Rings-esque stories. (Though, I never read LOTR until college.) Currently, I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman for the same reason I loved L'Engle: the breadth of each work. Gaiman also works in multiple media, which I also want to do. Besides Big Names, there are many colleagues who inspire me to no end, particularly members of Broad Universe, who write mind-blowingly amazing work and are Real People I have gotten to know on a regular basis - like the other women featured in this blog series. I've read a lot of their work and just love it!
8. Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
Not in April; it's my birthday month - along with about 20 of my closest friends and family. However, in May, look out for the release of Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory at Balticon, and my poem in Eye on Life Poetry Locksmith. I'll be at the following conventions: Wiscon, Readercon, Pi-Con, and Dragon*Con… and I'm considering World Fantasy. On June 12, there's a Massachusetts release party for Bad-Ass Faeries 3, at Generations Herbal Apothecary and Gift Shop. My good friend who through the successful MA release party is holding it again.
Lastly, thank you Jaleta for organizing this blogging event - and to all of the wonderful Broad Universe authors who are taking part!
And for all you readers who made it this far, don't forget to comment. One lucky commenter will get a free copy of my book Nexus Point. For the rest, use download code TF69P to order the ebook for only $2.99 at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/10672