Interview with Zara Elise Thelms

What do you read for pleasure?
I like to read young adult books the best because they are fast reads and easy to get into. However, when I'm feeling writer-ly I enjoy reading classic novels such as "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Oliver Twist."
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a very simple, black and white kindle so that I use it only for reading.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Groups on facebook that are used only to promote books and blogs. By posting a lot with very specific tags, I have learned how to market my writing to very specific readers that enjoy certain topics.
Describe your desk
An utter mess. I have notepads, pens, highlighters, books, chargers, scissors, thesauruses, and dictionaries on it at all times. Essentially, when I'm in my writing zone, I don't want to go very far for something that I need.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up mainly in the south and Midwest of the United States, so I tend to use that kind of diction in my writing. My characters toss out y'alls and have a bit of a southern ring when I imagine them in my mind. I very rarely have a character that I don't see as being from places such as Alabama and Georgia. I only have one character that isn't southern inspired in any way and she's still a very rural, country girl from the Midwest.
When did you first start writing?
When I was about four. I actually wrote a god-awful story called "The Loss of the Titanic." Looking back, it was completely ridiculous. However, writing that silly story is what started it all. From then on I couldn't put the pencil down. I had a big book that I carried with me that I used as a desk for loose leaf paper and whenever I got the urge I just wrote, and wrote, and wrote - no matter how ridiculous the story.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Trans* is simply about acceptance, growing, and learning to live without negativity. It discusses how family is family but when they treat you badly, discourage you from doing good things, or just simply don't act as family does then it is okay to form bonds with people who do all the right things and encourage you. It also tells you to accept yourself for who you are, even with your past and the mistakes it may hold.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
A passion for writing. I wanted to pursue my dream and becoming an indie author was one of the ways to get there. Plus, I made so many amazing friends in the indie author community that I wouldn't give up for the world.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Just creating these characters and using them as my own little therapists. Writing is a way for me to get everything off my chest and if I can give someone that same experience from reading the characters I've written, my dream will be fulfilled.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean the world to me because they are the ones who encourage me when I'm low and remind me that I have a talent for writing and that it would be a shame if my talent was wasted.
What are you working on next?
I am working on R.E.G.I.N.A. with a writer friend of mine, Arianna Sinclair. It is a cyberpunk novel that I really think people will enjoy. I am also personally working on Red Amerika, a war and military story, and The First Moon, a science-fiction story about life after Earth.
Published 2014-06-16.
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