Interview with Teddy O'Malley

Describe your desk
Well, it's usually pretty messy. I try to keep everything I need close at hand and at ends up just being crowded. Right now, a few things on my desk are my inhaler, my plushie friend Mackenzie (made by fellow author, Melinda Kinsman), and a stack of kids' fashion magazines so I can stay up to date on styles for kids. Oh, and a toy catalog, because, why not?
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up mainly in a town near St. Louis, but we moved around a lot. I ended up living in quite a few different cities in Missouri and a few in Florida as well. St. Louis, in particular, is a melting pot. It's influenced my writing by teaching me to be more understanding and aware of other cultures. I was always asking my friends about their cultures as a kid in school!
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first real story as a writing assignment when I was in the second grade. We were told to write about a day at the beach. It could be real or fictional. I was only supposed to write a few paragraphs. After a page and half, the teacher ended up taking it away. I went home that day and wrote my first personal story. It was about a girl named Sarah who lived in a tree house with her cat. She taught the cat to do tricks and they lived happily ever after. I wish I still had the little piece of paper I wrote that short story on.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Destiny And Faith Get Stuck In The Country, is about twin girls, Destiny and Faith, who go to visit their aunts in the country. They have to deal with their aunts' eccentricities and meet some friends that give them new challenges. I was inspired to write this book by some time spent in the country when I was a kid. I really enjoyed climbing trees and playing in the big open fields. I wanted to show kids that it's still possible to have fun without technology as well. Technology is great, but once in a while we need to go outside without any tech and take a deep breath. And play!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I first decided I was going to become indie when I realized it was the difference between whether I would get to illustrate my work or not. That and a few other things that I wanted to stay in control of helped sway my decision. I did a lot of research and read about the experiences of both self-published and traditionally published authors. I was really moved by some of the stories of the indie authors. They worked so hard, pushing themselves to be better and better. Their stories really inspired me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me writing is like breathing, while real life is like holding my breath. In real life, we have all these limitations, mental and physical. I started writing, because in writing there are no limitations. You can write about literally anything you want. It can be your happy place. And that's what I think brings the greatest joy.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a book about two girls. One is a fairy who has trouble handling her powers and the other is an average school girl who is sad that her sister is leaving for college. The two girls both have problems, but they'll learn to handle them when their worlds collide. While the book is not religious, it does have an underlying message of faith and believing in yourself.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not writing or illustrating, I usually spend the time playing with my dogs. We like to go get some fresh air in the park and talk to old trees. I also like to watch movies with my mom. We try to get to know and watch movies in lots of genres. I feel like it makes me more well-rounded as an author.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Most of the eBooks I read are either recommended by friends or written by friends. That might sound a little odd, but I know tons of other authors and so many of them are really great writers. I would be crazy not to read their stuff!
What is your writing process?
I plan the book out mentally in my head. Then I write a paragraph or two about what is going to happen. After I've got the problem and solution worked out I'll sit down and write. Sometimes I'll write the whole thing at once. It depends on what the book is about and how long it is. I wrote Cool Kids Wear Glasses in a day. I had mentally mapped the story and spent a long time thinking about it. So when I sat down, the story just fell out.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I remember reading was called The Best Mistake Ever. It's about an anthromorphic cat that is sent to the store for groceries. He forgets the list and goes off of his memory. Instead of buying the healthy foods that his mother wanted, he ends up buying party snacks. Everything turns out okay because his mother forgot she was planning a party.

It influenced my illustration style. After I read it I started drawing my own anthromorphic cats and created a series around those illustrations. Most of my writing practice in my early days was spent on short stories about a cat named Michael, his best friend Kate, and a few of their other friends.
Published 2015-11-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Mia's Lists of Ten
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,120. Language: American English. Published: February 25, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / New Experience
14-year-old Mia can’t seem to stop making lists. Somehow, Michael Across The Hall gets into all of them. Before long, he and Mia are involved in a crazy adventure. And Mia’s lists now include murderous ducks and an out-of-control singing chef!
Destiny And Faith Go To Twincentric Academy
Price: Free! Words: 4,620. Language: American English. Published: November 19, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Family / Siblings, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / New Experience
(5.00)
Destiny and Faith enter second grade in a school for twins. They make enemies and friends and have to step in when friends fall out. This is the least of their troubles however. When the principal has a plan to force all twins to dress alike, Destiny and Faith take a stand. There is going to be trouble - on the double.