Topic: Author Interview
Tricia Ballad the person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Driven romantic dreamer
2. How do you think others would describe you?
Completely nuts! When I tell people about my average day, they tend to wind up exhausted just listening to it all. But somehow it all ends up working out, mostly due to lots and lots of coffee.
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
My family. My husband and I met when we were 18, just two months into our freshman year of college, and we've been attached at the hip ever since. We got married right out of college, and have three boys, with Baby #4 due in May 2008. Sometimes keeping everything running smoothly, making sure everyone has what they need (both physically and emotionally) can be crazy, but it's worth every minute.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
Oh yes - this zoo wouldn't be complete without the animals. We have a German Shepherd-Husky mix named Sheba, a sweet, cuddly cat called Phantom (or El Gato Diablo by those unfortunate to have annoyed him and who bear the scars of their misfortune) and two Parakeets called Zig Zag and Little Peep.
5. What is your most precious memory?
I'll skip over the obvious - my wedding and the births of my children. Ok, I take that back. I'd have to say one of the memories that I revisit often, especially when life seems to be crashing out of control, would be dancing with my husband at our wedding. After all the stress of planning, and the heightened emotions of the actual ceremony, as soon as he took me in his arms he whispered "It's just you and me now." and the whole room faded away.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
Um...I plead the Fifth!
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
Before I became a full-time writer, I wrote web applications. It was a good job, and I was fairly decent at it, but it wasn't my passion. I'd imagine if I hadn't had the life of a writer dangling before me, temptation incarnate, I would probably have continued on that career path.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
ACK! I don't have time to die - there's too much to do!
Tricia Ballad the writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
I think for me, that realization came in stages. Being a writer was always part of my identity, even as a young child. As I neared adulthood, the voices of reason crept in and informed me that I could be a writer, but I needed a "real" job to pay the bills. (not that there's anything wrong with that - I'm rather fond of having a roof over my head!)
The day I cashed my first check earned from putting words on paper, I realized that perhaps the two weren't mutually exclusive - writing AND paying the bills.
Then there was the day I saw my name on Amazon.com and realized I had wandered across the line from "writer" to "author."
Seeing my first work of fiction hit the virtual ebook shelves opened up another door. My next goal is to add the title "novelist" to my mental resume. I'm hoping to achieve that goal in 2008.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
I'm on track to transition from non-fiction to full-time fiction in 2008. I have several stories under consideration with various publishers, and a novel that I expect to finish in June or July.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
To write fiction full-time.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I get up around 6:30am, take my older two boys to school by 7:35, come home and write a bit until the youngest decides he's bored with independent play, or it's time to pick up my middle boy from preschool at 10:30, whichever comes first. After lunch, the youngest goes down for his nap and my middle son has quiet time, so I can usually get some writing done then too. I have about 14 hours of babysitting per week, which I use to work on non-fiction, since for me that takes a lot more concentration than fiction. If I'm behind, I also squeeze in a couple of hours of writing from 3:30 - 5:30 or 6p when my husband is home to entertain the kids. Unlike a lot of writers, I avoid working after they go to bed because by the end of the day I'm completely worn out and really not intelligent enough any more for anything more mentally challenging than staring at TV shows!
13. Why do you write?
Because I can. Because it's how I relate to my world - through stories and characters.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
It's probably trite, but J.K. Rowling is one of my heros. She wrote this great series of novels as a single mother, raising her kids and holding down a day job. For most of us - myself included - "just" being a decent parent, even with the help of a spouse, is a full-time job! Add a 9-5 job on top of that, AND somehow find the time and mental energy to write novels?
15. How do you define your writing?
I write stories that leave the reader feeling that there *is* a little bit of magic, of romance, even in the mundane of situations.
16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
"Ms. Ballad's stories always left readers seeing a ray of hope in the world."
Tricia Ballad the details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
My website is http://www.triciaballad.com/. I'm working on a MySpace page and will be putting up a blog on my website with posts about new stories, the writing process, and sneak peeks into upcoming work. I'll post links to the blog and the MySpace page on my website as soon as they're ready to launch.
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
My email address is Tricia@TriciaBallad.com. I'm always happy to hear from readers!
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
My current release is a short story called The Perfect Candidate available from Wild Rose Press. (http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=607)
20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
Here's an excerpt:
Caroline went into her office and closed the door. What could Joshua need to talk about so urgently that he'd call twice in one afternoon? Could he finally have had it with her lack of time for him? She took a deep breath and told herself if he was calling to say he was finished with her, she could remain calm-at least until she hung up the phone. Before she had a chance to imagine life without Joshua, Caroline dialed his number. A strangling wave of loneliness swept over her at the thought he might not be there by the time she finally got through the endless pile of work on her desk.
The phone rang three times as she paced the room. Finally, he answered, his voice strong and confident. "Joshua Walters."
Caroline closed her eyes and savored the image of the man she loved. He kept his sandy brown hair pulled back in a shoulder-length ponytail, but a few wisps inevitably escaped. His body was toned and muscular from long hours of heavy labor, and his pale blue eyes always seemed to be laughing.
"Hi, Joshua," Caroline said as she neatened the piles of paperwork on her desk. "Look, I'm sorry I didn't call you back the other day . I finally got out of the office around seven o'clock, and I just went home and crashed. I meant to call you back first thing this morning, but- "
"-Hey, sweetheart," his gentle, solid voice cut her off. "Slow down. Everything okay?"
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
I am an average woman, with all the hopes and stresses and worries that all women have, as we juggle work, family, relationships, and everything else. I don't write stories from a serene vacation house in some exotic retreat - I write amidst the loose ends and chaos of everyday life. That tends to come out in my characters and their stories. My characters all find that love of a lifetime, but it's rarely in the form of Prince Charming riding in on a white steed to set all the troubles of life to rights. Finding that one true love helps my heroines find the strength to face life.