Interview with Tawanda Freeman-Thompson

What do your fans mean to you?
Well, I don't currently have any fans. When I get some they would mean a lot to me. That's the reason why I have contact information available so that they have a way to contact me directly instead of through a publisher, for example. I would encourage aspiring writers to write even if it all comes out as nonsense. I have a couple of poems that have some made up words and don't really make sense, but I was freewriting and because people told me that they were good, they are in the book "Shadows" instead of in the trash.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on 2 other poem books. One is about a difficult relationship and one is about World of Warcraft. I'm also working on 2 fiction books, a memoir of part of my life, a book on understanding Schizophrenia, and a book on understanding computers. That's a lot of projects, but I work on whatever I'm inspired to work on at any random moment. I'd complete a project faster if I focus on just one at a time, but it wouldn't be as much fun and while working on writing projects this way I don't have the excuse of writer's block.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors are Angie Sage and Orson Scott Card. They each have many books that I've enjoyed. Angie Sage wrote the Septimus Heap Series that started with the book Magyk. Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Game several times from many points of view. I have also read his book about writing Science Fiction. I have enjoyed the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, but after that series ended I haven't been interested in her other titles, so I don't know if that makes her one of my favorite authors.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
On days when I have no family schedule, such as the weekend I'm inspired to get out of bed by the sun rising and beginning to spread light into my bedroom. I start the day by playing a game such as World of Warcraft and later in the day I start writing. I don't write everyday, but I think about what I might write everyday.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend my time playing World of Warcraft, thinking about writing, watching funny things on Netflix or YouTube, getting my family ready for their activities, burning dinner, and editing what I've already written. On occasion I take the kids to the recreation center and park. I love going rollerskating, but haven't been since the rink in my former neighborhood closed 10 years ago. I watch videos, but not television. Television wastes a lot of time with commercials and often doesn't show me the tv shows I like to watch. I do try to catch Seinfeld on tv, even though it's a concluded series. Watching funny videos and tv shows is calming and helps with my writing, sometimes I even write while watching them. Sometimes I write while my World of Warcraft character stands in town crafting or waiting for a raid or dungeon.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I discover Ebooks by searching for the subject that I want to read about at that particular time. Sometimes they are books that I've already read in print or books that I've seen by coincidence and thought I might be interested in.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My school counselor would give me storybooks that were completely blank with blank hard covers and that's when I started writing. I wrote my first story when I was 8 years old. It was about a goblin family with wings that lived the same as people do. The goblin son got into trouble for doing something and was punished. My second story was based on a dream I had that didn't make much sense and it didn't have an ending, it was as nonsensical as my former favorite book "The Phantom and the Tollbooth", but scarier. The traumatizing part of that story I wrote took place in my grandmother's basement.
What is your writing process?
I think about things I might like to write about. When I think of an interesting subject I start writing things relevant to it. If I'm writing a poem I write anything I want to say about the subject on scrap paper and I write words I might include and words that rhyme well or almost rhyme with those. If it's a fiction book I just start writing from any part of the story that comes to me, I may start at the beginning, middle, or end of any book. I write in any area that I have an idea for. I started one of the fiction books that I"m working on with chapter 2. For an instructional book that I'm working on I'm writing all the Chapter and section titles that come to me, I write words in parentheses describing a picture I want in certain places that I don't yet have, I add things to a list of everything I can think of that someone new to the subject wouldn't know, things they need to know, and things they'd like to know. In the book "Shadows" I took a poem I'd already written and used it as a chapter title with relevant poems following it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I remember was called "People Need People" I wasn't old enough to read, but had my mother read it almost every night. It was about a woman who became ill and didn't make her daily pot of tea. The entire town timed their day on her pot of tea and so everyone was late. The town went to check why her tea hadn't been made and were concerned when they found her sick in bed. I hoped to be that important one day.
How do you approach cover design?
When I'm designing a cover I think about what picture might fit well with the title and content of the book. I then search for words related to what I thought of. For the book "Shadows" I searched for "Shadow". I then look through hundreds of pictures until I find one that looks like it belongs on the cover. Then I check the license to see if it's okay to use the picture, if it isn't then I continue searching pictures and may change my search word. I like searching for pictures on Flickr.com, there are filters there that will show me only pictures that can be downloaded and used.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction novels for children, teenagers, or adults, and autobiographies. I've tried reading biographies but have always found them boring, so now I stick to autobiographies and memoirs, people can tell interesting stories of their own lives.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read ebooks on my phone. I really want to own a Kindle Fire, but haven't gotten around to adding it to our slim budget. I keep thinking "If only 1,000 books would sell, I can buy (insert fun item here)."
Describe your desk
My writing desk or my computer desk? They are separate even though I sometimes write while using my computer. My computer desk is on wheels, has a pack of printer paper that I may use for writing on it, my computer monitor, speakers and my headset if I'm not using them. My writing desk is kept clear except when I'm writing because when I'm done writing I take my laptop, pen, and journal book with me so that I can write anywhere I happen to go. I write most often while sitting on the sofa and using my laptop, I write notes about my book on a pad of paper and I write poems on loose printer paper or graph paper except on those occasions when a complete poem runs around and around in my head.
Published 2014-06-04.
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Books by This Author

Shadows: Ebook of Poems
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 8,130. Language: English. Published: September 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - single author, Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
A book of poems titled Shadows on subjects such as beauty, love, being alone, tragedy, the horrible ways people interact sometimes, and overcoming the Shadows.