Today I’ve brought along fellow Crooked Cat author, Teresa Cutler-Broyles, to put in the interview firing line. If you don’t know Teresa, yet, here’s your chance to learn a little bit about her.
Teresa Cutler-Broyles began writing professionally in 1992 with articles in print publications such as WesternHorseman and BoysLife. The story of One Eyed Jack sprang from her experiences working with a one-eyed horse she bought from a ranch in Colorado, and from a life with horses of all kinds.
Teresa has a Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, and is a PhD candidate in American Cultural Studies with a focus on American / Middle East involvement, Film Studies and Performance Studies. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, in the heart of the American Southwest where she teaches Film and American Cultural Studies classes at the University of New Mexico. Through her small company InkWell International LLC / TLC Cultural Writing Tours she organizes and successfully runs writing workshops in Italy and Turkey; this allows her to travel as often as her family – husband Robin, step-children Marshall, Kenny and Leslie, and dog Emma – will allow her to be gone.
And now for those promised answers:
I believe you’ve had a few books published already in different genres? Can you tell us what they are?
I had one book of travel essays about Italy published in 2007, and have published some short fiction and many travel articles.
My Young Adult novel will be published through Crooked Cat in just a few days, and I’m quite excited about that!
That’s quite a spread of genres. Do you have a favourite at the moment?
I very much enjoy writing young adult novels, especially because I remember how much I enjoyed reading them. And, I like writing Westerns; they allow me to indulge my love of horses and history, and relive much of my own horse-related adventures.
I am enjoying my current writing project – a kind of historical fiction set in Italy with overtones of fantasy and time travel. I’m not sure that’s a real genre, though I have a few more similarly-multi-genre ideas that will be developed in the future.
You clearly love the challenges of different styles. If you decided to try to write a new genre, or sub-genre, what might you have a go at next?
I’m kind of all over the map already, but I think I would try fantastical fiction in the vein of Neil Gaimon… though that might be what mine are. Hmmm. My first novels were Mysteries with two main detective characters. They were never published so maybe I’d go back and revive them.
Where would you set a new novel?
Three novels are waiting after the current project, and they are set 1) in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, 2) under the Mediterranean Sea, and 3) Istanbul, Turkey.
I love the researching, writing and editing of my work, though I’m no so stirred up about the necessary marketing. What about you?
I love the first draft. I don’t do outlines; instead I start with a scene that comes to me when I visit a place, and then I get an ending, and from those two elements I let the characters show me their stories. Therefore I never know where they’ll take me, never really know what they’ll say or do… it’s very exciting.
What’s the name of the book that’s soon to be released from Crooked[Cat}Publishing?
One Eyed Jack
Okay. Imagine it goes all the way to a film. Which actors would you choose to portray the main characters?
I think Abigail Breslin would be great in the movie version of the book. She has a great essence about her, at once strong and a little bit vulnerable. For her best friend, there’s a great young actress named Brooklynn Proulx who I think would be excellent. And for my main character’s potential new boyfriend, a younger Thomas Brodie-Sangster, the kid from Love Actually. He’s too old now but would have been perfect. When Hollywood comes knocking I’ll look for a younger actor.
Do the names for characters just pop into your head as soon as you start a book?
Yes, they name themselves. I don’t have to do much other than start writing and the names are there.
How much research did you have to do?
For this current YA novel I did very little research other than live my life. It’s about a girl and her one-eyed horse; I owned and worked with horses for more than 25 years, one of whom had only one eye. For the Historical Fiction / Italy / Time Travel novel I am currently writing I have done extensive research. It’s all part of the process, and for me the research is just as exciting as the writing.
You’ve an invitation to a stay in a fabulously expensive hotel- all luxuries available in an exotic hot setting. Which of your characters, or a character in a novel you’ve recently read, would you ask to accompany you?
Oh, that’s a fun question. I think it would have to be Repairman Jack, (from a great series by F. Paul Wilson). Jack would be able to handle any contingency, real or supernatural, as well as be fun to hang with and watch movies. If he was too busy to go, I’d take Eve Dallas from J.D. Robb’s In Death series. (Seems to be a theme here… my fictional companions are both characters who are hard-core self-reliant protective types. I wonder what that says about my perceptions of this luxurious hotel setting….)
Do you ever have days when you think maybe I’ll not bother doing any more writing? And if the answer is yes, can you tell us why?
Not anymore. I quit writing for a year once (1990), to see what it would be like, and found that it felt closed off and strangely isolating. Odd when in reality the writing process can be isolating in itself, I suppose, but as soon as I broke out the computer and sat down to start a new project I felt a huge sense of ‘coming home,’ and a great deal of excitement. That taught me that there’s no ignoring this part of who I am.
In what ways has your life changed since you’ve become a published author?
After my first published piece, an article for an international magazine in 1992, the boost in my confidence surprised me. I suddenly felt that anything was possible, that any writing project was doable. So in reality what changed wasn’t my life so much, but the way I approached it. ‘Graduating’ from articles to books, first with the book of travel essays and now with this YA novel, has given me another boost, and I am at full throttle now on a number of other projects that I feel great about.
What’s your writing goal for 2013?
My husband would want me to say my PhD dissertation… and that is an important goal in the academic realm. In the fiction world, I will write Mountain Jack, Book Two of the YA series, and will finish the rewrite of the Historical Fiction / Italy / Time Travel novel.
One Eyed Jack blurb:
When 12-year old Lauren Miller buys a young Thoroughbred hunter/jumper on impulse to save him from being put down, she has no idea just what’s in store for her and her first horse. Jack, a bright red sorrel, has lost his right eye in a tragic accident, and Lauren is determined to help him adjust and then enter him in the Trail class at the end-of-summer show. But the path is fraught with challenges. Will he ever overcome the loss of his eye? Will she ever be able to trust him? Will he jump again, even just the small fences required in the Trail class?
Lauren and Jack’s summer soon becomes one she will never forget as his fears put her life in danger, and as she continues to believe – despite the mounting evidence to the contrary – that he will get over the loss of his eye and be the horse of her dreams. That belief is put to the test when her best friend Christie is thrown from a horse and lies unmoving on a trail far from home. Lauren and Jack must go for help, and there’s no time for hesitation.
Will Jack rise to the task?
Follow Lauren and Jack as they find out just how far trust will take them.
One Eyed Jack will be available from www.crookedcatbooks.com
from Friday 5th October.
from Friday 5th October.
Thank you for visiting today, Teresa. I've enjoyed reading your answers, and wish you all the best for your book launch.