Tima is a former ancient historian and archaeologist who accidently smashed a 3,000 Egyptian vase while on her first dig! Her supervisor made her glue it back together again. It took a week. From there she went on to specialise in late Roman-British archaeology, and the military forts along Hadrian’s Wall, because buildings don’t smash as easily. Now she’s combined her love of history with another passion—story-telling—to create a dark tale of Roman soldiers cursed by a British witch.
Is your recent book part of a series?
My recent book, Bloodpledge, is Book 2 of my gothic series, The Dantonville Legacy. Before this year ends, I hope to release Book 3, BloodVault.
What are the special challenges in writing a series?
There are a few. Contradicting yourself is one of them. By that I mean, if you’ve killed off a character in Book 1, make sure they don’t suddenly make an appearance in Book 3! Unless, of course, you’re writing sci-fi and they’ve been resurrected. I remember reading one series, by a well-known traditionally published author, where the main character’s name was changed!
To avoid inconsistency, I keep detailed notes of all my characters and their world.
How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?
It definitely chose me, lol! Being an archaeologist and ancient historian, I always thought I’d write a historical novel, so it was a surprise to me when I began to write a paranormal gothic suspense series. I’ve always loved paranormal suspense mysteries, so maybe it was inevitable. But saying that, possibly Book 4 or 5 of this series will be set in 3rd century Britain, where the story began.
If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?
Are You Bloodgifted?
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?
For me, yes. When I began writing Bloodgifted, I knew the story from beginning to end. In a way, I was working backwards from the end as most mystery writers do.
How important is the choosing of character names to you? Have you ever decided on a name and then changed it because it wasn’t right for the character?
I find the name has to fit the character and their world. For example, I chose the name Dantonville because is the English version of the French D’Antonville, which is itself derived from the Latin, Villa Antonii—the House of Antonius (Marcus Antonius Pulcher), a cursed Roman soldier.
You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Can you tell us about your road to publication?
I didn’t consciously set out to be an indie author, but the more I researched it, the more I thought to give the indie road a trial. After entering a couple of writing competitions and reaching the finals, I was offered a publishing contract, which I seriously considered.
I’m still not sure if I made the right decision.
How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?
Before I began writing Bloodgifted, I was working on my Masters in Romano-British Archaeology. After I handed in my introductory thesis I had a two-month break, and being bored, I began to write a fictional story based around my research. Bloodgifted was born.
Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?
Okay, I learnt this the hard way – you ignore it. Take what you can from it and move on, because no matter how good your work, you will never please everyone. There will always be someone who will hate it.
That’s their problem, not yours.
Write for the readers who love your books and ignore the rest.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?
Get off social media and write that next book!
It’s important to have a social media platform/presence, but, it can suck your time (excuse the pun) and take you from what’s really important – your writing.
If you’ve written a good book (great story, good plot, professionally edited and formatted) readers will be hanging out for the next one.
That won’t happen if you’re forever on facebook or twitter or tsu or tumblr….
What’s your favourite comfort food? Least favourite food?
My favourite food is my mother’s amazing Czech potato pancakes. Three words – To. Die. For.
My least favourite food? Tripe. Wouldn’t eat it even if my life depended on it!
What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?
Sincerity. To me a genuine friend is the person who loves me for me, and no other reason
If you had a million dollars to give to charity, how would you allot the funds?
I’d give it to one charity that is close to my heart—cancer research. A member of my family suffered breast cancer, and I thank God she’s in remission. I would love to see that horrendous disease eradicated
What’s your favourite film of all times? Favourite book?
I have a few favourite films, but topping the list has to be the 1940s movie version of Laura
My favourite book is Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre
What simple pleasure makes you smile?
Eating potato pancakes; playing with my baby grandniece (she’s so cute!); sitting in a cosy corner reading a book on a cold, rainy afternoon.
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