Welcome Trisha Wooldridge!
Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Free time, what's that? ;) I make time to spend with my horse and pets and husband. (Not necessarily in that order.) My husband and I love hiking, and we share a love of fandom--so we watch Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, My Little Pony, and several other shows. And we go to conventions together when we can. I thoroughly enjoy hanging out with my cat and Giant Baby Bunnies at home. And I adore my horse, Calico Silver. It's a half-hour drive out to the barn where I keep her, so I have days where I'm like, "I don't wanna leave the house grumble, grumble, grump," but then I get out to the barn, and even if I only get to brush her and take her for a walk, it's so worth it. And if I get in the saddle and just futz around for ten minutes, it's so, so, so worth it. It puts me in a place of peace and balance I don't get any other way.
Tell us something about your book that we wouldn’t know just by reading the blurb.
One of the difficulties that Heather has in dealing with the challenges before her is that she went through some Hellish times at school. I know a lot of kids' writing has protagonists who are outcasts and bullies, but there is a reason for us. Most writers think and act differently than "regular" kids when they're growing up…and so many of us turned to books as our tools to get through things. The picked-on kids were something special.
However, the reality of it is that after having been out of middle school and high-school for nearly two decades, having had a great college career, being married to the man I call "Husband-of-Awesome" who treats me like a queen, working--truly--in my dream job as an editor and an author for a company I am so proud to be part of…you know what my first reaction still is to a new situation? To when perfect strangers are laughing on a bus or a train? I'm afraid: Afraid of being picked on, being bullied. And I know I'm not alone in that. Many of my friends have this defensive streak; it's a survival instinct.
When you're bullied and picked on, the results are far more insidious and pernicious than people realized, even in the current level of bullying-awareness we're seeing in society. It affects how you deal with life for a large part of your life, even when you've left the abusive situation. You could have a wonderful, loving family (I did and still do) who supports you no matter what (even in the crazy plan of being a writer), but that's not always enough.
So, for Heather, I got to show a little more of that. She's not even in school at the moment, but her experience still affects her choices, her desire to protect people, her ability to trust others, and her self-esteem.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you!
I'm pretty good at reading Tarot cards and tachometry (reading things based on touch.) I also do some massage and energy work, but only for close friends and family.
Which came first for you--the characters, the idea for the setting, or the plot?
For novels and short stories, the characters always come first. I need to know who I'm going on this journey with before we can attempt to plan--and then detour from--this journey together. For The Kelpie, Heather's parents actually came to me first, which is why her family is so freaking complicated. Heather came after some years of playing with Michael & Aimee's stories--and Heather's was a much simpler one to tell. The one type of writing, for me, that's different is poetry and story-poems, and only with those things, the idea/plot comes first and I don't have the same tie to characters.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I always wanted to be a writer of some sort. (Though, for a while, I thought I could actually make good money and write as a lawyer, but reality that I wouldn't enjoy that set in pretty quickly.). When I was in first grade, I couldn't wait to bring home my vocabulary sentences and share them with my mom. I always loved being creative with language!
Is there one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you before you started writing?
I always find these questions interesting because, as a fan of time-travel fandom and Doctor Who, I'm a firm believer that if people were to go back and try and change something, either with advice or to change an action, they would no longer be who or what they were currently. We're an amalgamate of every good and terrible decision we make; we have to learn things the way we learned them. To circumvent that would avoid learning the lessons we needed. And, honestly, if there were some key piece of advice that would have me at Neil Gaiman or J. K. Rowling levels of author fame and fortune, I probably would have totally not listened well. Because, well, most of us wouldn't.
Stop by Trisha's website to find out more
about her upcoming and previous releases!
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The Writers Voice