Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Introducing...Tabitha Baumander...

Today my new Author Profile is with Tabitha Baumander. I asked her to describe herself in a few words: 

" I"m Tabitha Baumander and I live in Toronto Canada. I'm a novelist screen writer and playwright (who has) been writing my
whole life and (who plans) to keep writing. What I want to do is get that writing out to where it can be read. I would love to find a fertile ground for my screen and theatrical material as well. Who knows what will happen? I didn't think I'd have another book out and be in an anthology this time last year but I do."

Tabitha told me she became a Fantasy Writer initially because "reality has never been overly kind to me. With Fantasy, I can control things."

Until home computers with spell check became available though, Tabitha never felt she would ever get anywhere with her writing. "I just spell too badly" she told me. "I (also) spent years trying to act. I had fun...but I never got anywhere.The one thing I learned in those years (though) was how dialogue wounds and that really helped with writing of same.

"Once I got hold of a computer I started writing and didn't stop. I now have five published novels, a further 15 or so sitting on my hard disk and a deep need to no longer be invisible.
I am woman read me and hear me roar."

Thank you Tabitha, now on to the tough questions...


Author: Tabitha Baumander

Book: Castle Doom

Links to author pages and websites and Amazon page:

What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Fantasy, fantasy sci fi, adventure, surrealist and the paranormal. I like happy endings I like winning and I don’t have much experience with winning in real life.  Treading water yes, winning no.

What is Castle Doom about both on the surface and down deep?
I suppose it examines the close proximity of chaos and how fast you can go from real life to madness.

What inspired this? 
I was trying to create the premise for a video game. Didn’t get very far because I don’t really have the mind for that sort of thing. I kept the idea though and turned it into a book.

Who is the main character?
Colonel Len Hamilton, leader of an army special services unit.

What was difficult about penning this?
Getting the army stuff right was tricky but I had help. Also the ending was a bit different at first. I had to jiggle it a bit to keep it from being overtly Sunday school. 

What is difficult for you as a writer?
Spelling. Research. Selling my material. Though of the three selling is the hardest. (Well, maybe this will help..)

What is the best part about being a writer?
It helps me deal with the total grinding seemingly unending crap that is life. On the page I can be anything I want.

How did you begin your career?
Not sure if I have a career. I’ve written since grade school publishing is simply the natural next step. Writing is my vocation.

What advice do you have for new writers?
Get a good day job.

What writer(s) inspire you and why?
A writer that wrote back in the 20s called Thorn Smith, Rod Serling. I’m not good with names - anyone that took unreality and set it in a very real context.

What book(s) do you wish you have written?
I don’t look at others work and say “I wish I”d written that” I have said “I wish I had their audience” but My voice is mine, theirs is theirs.

Do you write for yourself or for readers?

Do you ever use dreams/nightmares as a basis for writing?
Never. My nightmares and dreams are way to disjointed.

What is entertaining/scary/ exciting to you?
Smart story telling. Stupid might sell but it bores the crap out of me.

What is difficult/frustrating about writing or being a writer?
I actually had someone say to me once, its nice that your keeping busy dear but wouldn’t knitting be more practical.?" People don’t get it and they always expect the sales to come from somewhere else. “Hey are you famous yet, hows the sales going?” (I get this - the first thing people normally ask me is how much money have you made? Errr, none yet - I just want to get my name out there right now, hopefully the money will come later....)

How is your writing evolving?
Not sure I know how to answer that one. I know it is. I’m a writer not an English major.

What work of yours was enjoyable to pen?
If I’m not having fun I can’t write it. So all of them.

What 3 words describe your writing? No clue. (That's two words Tab - Lol)

Which actors/actresses would you love to see in a movie version of your works?
I have the script all written and ready to go but I have no idea who would be good to star. They don’t make action movie heroes like they used to. Heck they don’t make action movies like they used to.

What is a genre you will never write in and why?
Literature. I just don’t have that much reality based plot in me.

Do you like to write a series or stand-alones? Why?
I do both. I have several stand-alones and two series’ with four books finished for each. Some stories just have legs. I do have two books that beg for more stories but the plots for the next stage just haven’t come to me. They’ll probably stay as stand-alones.

How did Castle Doom get its title?
From old pulp adventure novels I used to read as a kid. I'd get them from a second hand book store for like a dollar or fifty cents. DOC SAVAGE or THE PHANTOM or in particular THE SHADOW. They all had strong one or two word tittles that were just a little campy. Loved em.

How do you pick names for characters and which ones are you fond of?
I have taken names from real life. I work in Telephone customer service so I run into a lot of names. I hate naming characters. I just juggle things around till I find one that sounds good. To be honest I recently realized I over use the same group of names in my body of work likely because when I get to naming a character I blank. (If it makes you feel better, one of the great Sci-Fi writers of this generation, Clifford.d.simak often used variations of similar names such as Carter and Horton.)

Have you ever written real people into books?
Yes, an internet friend who helped me with the history research for the first book of one of my series’s got written into the first chapter of that book.

Do you outline and plan or wing a book?
Both but the outline is always very sketchy.

Which of your works ended differently than you anticipated?
None, I always know where I want to end up. I don’t always know how I’m going to get there but I always know where there is.

Do your covers matter?
They matter a lot. They grab the browser and hold the eye particularly when your name is totally unknown.

Does art/ music influence you?
Possibly but not so I can describe.

How do you begin a novel?
I work a plot around in my head and at some point something pings and its time to open a file and start putting things down.

Do you get “writer’s block”?
writers block is a simple word to describe a complex thing. Do I ever have problems getting words down? Yeah sometimes. I generally back up and go over what I’ve written polish rewrite and usually by the time I get to the end I know what to do next.  Sometimes its more complicated than that and I have to admit to myself I have to deal with other things that are distracting me from what I’d rather be doing.

Will you be prolific/ are you?
20 + screen plays 18 novels a couple of small groups of short stories (I don’t really do short) some poetry 3 two act plays 3 one act plays All done in the past 25ish years. Yeah I guess I’m prolific.

What is your goal?
Get paid.

What do you wish to learn?
How to get paid. 

DO you research books?
read  non fiction, history etc. If I remember facts or information they then get used. I tend to think lots of information tends to simply blow past a reader without really informing them. Jurassic park has a ton of scientific information; all I remember is a general idea of chaos theory and dinos make bad pets. To be honest non fiction is what I read for the most part. When I read fiction the style starts bleeding into my own work. But looking up particular information unless its very basic, I suck at.

Which books have been grueling to write?
I’ve had a couple of screen plays that have been hard because I was stretching myself out of my comfort zone but books, nope not applicable.

One of Tabitha's latest projects was The Pond; a scary JEA 666 Fish tale that is available currently on its own but will soon form part of an anthology. While you are waiting on my own JEA 666 Fish tale, you could do worse than pick it up as it is a very chilling
read that put me in mind of one of those old monster tales that you used to get in those Alfred Hitchcock Short Story collections I always read as a kid. 

 Synopsis: "It was a pretty pond, rich with history and culture and it remains a pretty pond, but now, as before, there is a danger living in the pond. When there is no tribute made, there is hell to pay; when there is a tribute, blood will color the water far more red than the usual hue. It lives in the water and there it waits, hungry, and determined to keep the pond."

I thoroughly enjoyed this and though I have not yet read Castle Doom, I have high expectations of it! With Editing, writing etc I don't get a lot of time right now to read for pleasure but it is certainly up there on my TBR list!

The Pond though is a fantastic Short Story considering Tabitha claims "I don’t really do short" - judging from this Tabitha, I beg to differ!

Thank-you for taking time to answer these questions Tabitha and thanks again and kudos to Catt Dahman for coming up with them and allowing me to use them on my Blog. Now everybody, go and check out Tabitha's work or else I will send the boys round!!

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