Sunday, July 2, 2017

Interview with Author Veronica Tabares

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Amy Lignor is talking with Veronica Tabares, author of Time Without

FQ: Right off the bat you talk a bit about your character’s dreams and how there’s a theory of dreams being the brain’s way of coping with problems, etc. Your character’s dream is seriously amazing, though. Fans would love to know if you are a dreamer and, if so, what they may be like?

TABARES: Yep, I’m a dreamer. Many a morning have I bored my husband with convoluted plots that made sense in my head but defied retelling.

But I do have one recurring dream that doesn’t melt away before I can fully grasp it. It has to do with a house, my house. Sometimes the dreams occur years apart, sometimes only months.

I’ve had these dreams since childhood, each one slightly different. Maybe a change of location, or different size house, etc. But it’s always my house, and I always discover that if I look hard enough, I can find all kinds of secret rooms and passages.

FQ: Along those same lines, when it comes to the vivid tales you tell – do you get ideas from dreams? Where do the plots and/or characters come from?

TABARES: Only once have I gotten my ideas from dreams. When I was writing Behold the Eye: Braumaru, my first book, I kept having these crazy dreams that refused to go away until I wrote them into the story. So annoying. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen anymore!

Most of my plots start with a single word, or even an object, that implants itself into my brain and starts playing with the other words and objects that are already there. Before I know it I’m talking through potential plot lines with my family, and a story is born.

FQ: Even though you speak of a time, 3027, that’s certainly far away, it is also important to note that in the 70’s it seemed the “21st Century” was a foreign object and would never actually arrive. How do you feel the scientific world has changed for the better? Is there an area of life you hope will do far better in the future than it’s doing now?

The author's family at the Univ. of WA
The setting for the book


TABARES: We can travel further, faster, cure formerly incurable diseases, and communicate with millions in seconds. Yet we don’t always know our neighbors, we expose ourselves to a widening array of chemicals on a daily basis, and if what I read is correct, more people feel isolated than ever before. I’m going to sound a bit cynical, but it seems to me that every solution we find creates a new problem. So maybe that’s where we can improve. We can learn how to fix one thing without breaking another.

FQ: What about the writing world? There remains a debate in regards to everything from self-publishing to the digital world. What are your views regarding the path of publishing and the changes being made?

TABARES: As much as we want to think this is a time of great innovation in terms of self-publishing, Ben Franklin did it, and he wasn’t the only historical figure who took that route.
Therefore, I’m going to focus on the digital world, that fascinating virtual space that feels suspiciously like the Wild West. It’s full of pioneers, innovators, thieves, and scoundrels.
I’ve had run-ins with the thieves and scoundrels myself, multiple times. Creepy comments, scammers, and even pirates. Imagine my surprise when I found my books available for free, all for one low monthly price. At a site my publishers knew nothing about.

I wonder how hard it would be to build a virtual prison?

FQ: If you could go back in time and alter something – knowing that no bad repercussions could occur whatsoever – is there a moment in time that you would change, and why?

TABARES: In all honesty, I wouldn’t change a thing. I really couldn’t trust that “no bad repercussions” thing. If time travel ever really does become possible we’re going to have to be very, very careful!

FQ: Because this book will be released in paperback in July, can you tell readers a bit about what’s coming up next? Everything from book events to what project you’re working on now?

TABARES: I don’t see any book events listed on my calendar, so sorry, I can’t tell you about any of that right now.

As for what I’m working on now, I have a few screenplays I’ve written in the last few years that I think will make wonderful novels. So I’m adapting them. Which sounded easy when I began the project, but is really much harder than I expected. No matter, it’s great exercise for my mind muscles. Don’t want to get a flabby brain!

FQ: Could you finish this sentence: If I wasn’t a writer, I would be a ...?

TABARES: That’s easy! Archaeologist! I studied archaeology for my undergraduate degree and absolutely adored it. I had every intention of getting a doctorate in archaeology, but life rolled a huge boulder on that road so I had to shift gears and head in another direction. Not that I regret it...now. ‘Cause I also adore writing. And I still get to dig to my heart’s content, only people usually call the type of digging I do now research and I don’t get my hands dirty.

FQ: Is there a special “fan moment” you could share with readers?

TABARES: Sure! When I published my first three books, the Behold the Eye trilogy, which are for kids, I was Head Librarian in a K-12 school. One of my regulars, a fifth grader, came to me with a pained expression on her face one day.
“I read your books,” she said with a glare.
“You did?” I asked.
“Yes.”
One look at the disgust on her face and I didn’t want to ask any more questions. But she wasn’t done talking.
“I hated them! Absolutely hated them.”
I didn’t know what to say so I just shrugged and bit my lip.
“But for some reason I wanted to read them again,” she continued. “And by the time I’d finished them for the fifth time, they became my favorite series of all time!”
I smiled in relief, and she returned the smile.
“Are you going to write more?” she asked, her eyes glowing.
In my eyes, it doesn’t get any better than that!

The author's children at the Univ. of WA
The setting for "Time Without"

FQ: Lastly, I ask this of every author because fans love the answer: If you could have dinner with an author (living or dead), who would that be and why?

TABARES: Agatha Christie is my absolute favorite author of all time, mainly because she was a master at breaking the rules she felt were silly, and following those she felt made sense. Plus, she had no problem laughing at herself and society. And although I would prefer to have had the chance to eat dinner with her while she was living, I guess I could make do with having a spot of tea with her ghost. I bet even her ghost is interesting.

FQ: Thank you so much for your time, and the book. It was a whole lot of fun and I can’t wait to read what comes next.

To learn more about Time Without please read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.