M. K. Theodoratus - Heroes Come in all Shapes and Sizes, Human or Gargoyle
Theodoratus is one of those strange people who has lived with fantasy since she started playing with imaginary friends. Now, she shares stories about two worlds: Andor where invading demons seek to conquer the world and the Far Isles where the Half-Elven struggle to survive. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, There Be Demons.
Please give us a short introduction to what There Be Demons is about.
After her parents' divorce, Britt Kelly ends up living in the projects with her step-sister. But her life becomes more complicated when the Gargoyle Guardians of Trebridge recruit her and her friends to fight invading demons.
What inspired you to write about someone who is recruited by Gargoyle Guardians?
I wrote a short story in response to a prompt for a writing class which eventually sold to a British ezine--Night for the Gargoyles. But I kept wondering what would happen when Brit and Gillen bonked heads. It took a complete novel, There Be Demons, to complete that story.
Tell us more about Britt Kelly. What makes her tick?
Britt is angry because her previous life has been shattered, but she is smart and caring. Love of her family, in spite of its bumpy spots, is her strongest guide in making her decisions.
Why fantasy? What drew you to the genre?
All fiction is fantasy because it starts with the assumption of "What if?". I play in the fantasy genre because I like to retreat from the tactile world; have since I had an imaginary playmate as a small child. Maybe, you can blame Andre Norton, who wrote both space opera and magical fiction. She was one of the first authors I encountered at the used book box at the used hardware store. Anyway, I still have some of those books on my shelves
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Don't have any secrets really. I'm sort of a what-u-see is what-u-get kind of person.
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
I'm not a plotter, but I'm not a pantser, either. I usually have an outline in my head about the major events that will happen. I think you might say I listen to what my characters tell me. I expect to go back to write significant scenes or add details, even in final drafts because people don't think in the same paradigm as a novel is constructed.
Does writing about surreal worlds and enigmatic scenes present any particular problems?
"Surreal worlds and enigmatic scenes" seems to describe the world we live in pretty well. Maybe I write fantasy because it's easier to control.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
That's a difficult question to answer succinctly. I might say that I try to reinforce the idea that you can remain a decent, caring human being when solving your problems.
Why did you pick a teenager as your unlikely hero?
Being a teenager is one of the most exciting times of life, the time when you are putting the pieces of your puzzle together to form who you are as an adult. All the drafted novels in my computer have "coming of age" or "realization" points as basic plot components. I don't think "teenager" is unlikely, except maybe by the norms of US society.
Where do your best ideas come from?
There Be Demons forms part of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
The series is like me--weird. Yes, the two books can be read alone, though they are set in the same world. Britt and Pillar are both mages and don't meet until the third book where they start out disliking each other. Maybe 2/3s of it is drafted. But my husband died and I had period of iffy health around that event. The result is I really didn't get much written in the last couple years. When I started writing again, I picked up my Far Isle Half-Elven world. I don't know when I'll play with Andor again. I do have some Dumdie stuff drafted, but she comes in after the demons have been contained by Britt and Pillar. [I don't consider that a spoiler because the expectation of reading fantasy is that your heros suceed.]
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Not really. Basically, I try to sit down at the computer and write for at least an hour a day. That's about as long as my neck can stand looking at the screen. I do shorter stints of other computer time like watching news blather or playing games.
What are you working on right now?
I'm writing about the aftermath of the Rebellion that freed the Half-Elven from the Suthron kingdom--a novel called The Pig Wars. Problem: My editor said I needed a prologue to explain the Rebellion in more detail. Result is a 50 page draft, and I still don't have a prologue. I have an idea of having my villain reminisce about my main character on the day of the battle. But the version in my computer is plodding and is going to be thrown out except for a couple of paragraphs, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
In addition to my two novels, my short stories are mostly free on Kindle, Nook, kobo, and iBooks. My social media presence is haphazard. I have a website [www.mktheodoratus.com]. I used to do a blog but Goggle locked me out. Frankly, it's been about a year since my husband died, and I think I'm just beginning to be coming out of the shock.
I'm mad at Facebook , but that's probably the best place to contact me [https://www.facebook.com/M-K-Theodoratus-Fantasy-Writer-235376633158175/]. I don't go on there every day, but I do comment when other people comment. Or, I used to.