About T.W. Fendley:
T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults. She began writing fiction full-time in 2007 after working twenty-five years in journalism and corporate communications.
She fell in love with ancient American cultures while researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since then, she’s trekked to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru and American Southwest. When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. She currently lives near St. Louis with her artist husband and his pet fish.
What inspires you to write?
Sometimes I’m inspired by dreams, but often what sparks my creativity is encountering ordinary things and asking “what if?”
I think this has to do with my personality type – I’m an INFP (Introverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving) on the Myers-Briggs test. I have a talent for making strange connections between unrelated things, and that usually gets the creative wheels turning. I love cycles of all kinds, but particularly those involving the Sun. An early fan of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, I was totally inspired by Hari Seldon and psychohistory. You’ll also often find undercurrents of Andean and Mesoamerican mythology and history in my work.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m definitely a pantser. I’ve tried outlining many times, but never succeeded. Now I’m trying to learn to use Scrivener to see if it will help me get more organized, particularly with the more complex works.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I mostly listen to my characters, although if I’m writing in the Point of View of one character, it becomes more like talking.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t give up. And don’t try to do it all on your own — seek out writers’ organizations in your genre, and find critique partners you trust. You need friends on this journey to becoming an author.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I pitched to the publisher for ZERO TIME in 2010 at the Missouri Writers Guild conference. Sadly, the small press folded in 2013 due to the death of one of the partners. While my publisher was wonderful, several of my friends had bad experiences, which made me want to maintain more control over my work. I chose to self-publish ZERO TIME rather than seek a new publisher. I’ve also self-published some short stories, a novella, and a young adult fantasy novel, THE LABYRINTH OF TIME.
I encourage new authors to explore traditional routes to obtain a publisher through an agent, but don’t let it stop you if it doesn’t work out after a year or two. Be sure your work is as good as it can be–edited, with a professional cover, etc.–before you go the indie route.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I’m encouraged by new opportunities within the book publishing industry.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: science fiction, fantasy, historical fantasy, horror, mash-ups, adult, young adult
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print