Grab your cups of coffee and some biscuits for we have on-board, Teshelle Combs, author of the YA contemporary Fantasy novel, “Core“.
Q) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
As a little one, I wanted to be what most little kids want to be: everything.
I wanted to be a teacher, a firefighter, a gymnast–you name it. My parents were amazing, too. I remember during my astronomer phase, they bought me a telescope and sat with me while I mapped out constellations on our back porch. They tried not to cringe when I went through my forensic pathologist phase (at one point I decided that stopping to examine road kill was my calling).
And when, in college, I decide to be an author….well, that one took a little convincing since I was first on track to becoming a chemist, and then a philosopher…but they loved me, and they were proud of my crazy choices no matter what.
Q) How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me about two months to hammer out a book. Spilling my guts out is the easy part, but after that, editing takes months and months. Plus, I tend to go through an oh-no-this-isn’t-as-good-as-I-thought period, which is way worse than writer’s block. Once I get past those nasty spells, however, it’s back to editing, cutting, slashing, and burning my story up.
Q) Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?
From movies! Of course, I love to read, but I also love to watch TV and movies. They’re stories too, after all, and every story I experience, including my life story, helps me to be a better storyteller. My favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice! Just…beautiful.
Q) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m also a singer/songwriter, actually. I sing with our worship team at my church (Cape Coral Vineyard), and my husband and I spend a lot of time writing and playing together (I do a little guitaring).
Q) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating books?
I learned that fiction is a good way to find out the truth about myself as an author and as a human being. Through the protective barrier that is make-believe, I find themes and motifs that speak to me about me. Every time I write a story, I grow, and I get a glimpse of myself through my words.
Q) Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
My readers are spectacular people. I’ve always dreamed of having real, opinionated people peer into my soul and share in the dream I’ve typed up. And when they do, most of them say “I want more!” It’s very fulfilling. I owe them all so much.
Q) What do you think makes a good story?
First: character growth. If my characters are stagnant, there’s no point to the story, even if the plot and conflict are swirling around them like cyclones.
Second: villains. I LOVE me a good, twisted villain. It’s possibly the best part of a captivating story. I hope the villains in Core are up to par.
Q) How did you choose what genre to write in?
Simple. I like to write what I like to read. YA fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure captivate my interest way more than the oldies and classics I was made to read and analyze to earn my English degree.
Q) What was your favorite chapter or part to write? Why?
The very last chapter, of course. When I started the plot of Core, I only knew how I wanted it to begin, and how I wanted it to end. So when I finally made it to that last scene, when I could finally write it out, it was extremely exciting. It came out just as I’d hoped.
Q) Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
You are more than readers and more than fans. You are wish-granters and dream-makers. You make me smile. You give me a reason to write; you give me hope that I will not only be read, but understood.
Q) What projects are you working on now?
I have two projects in the woks right now. First and foremost, the sequel to Core. I’ve had a lot of requests for it, and I’m still stuck on the first chapter! I’m also half way through a novel of a different series–so far untitled and very awesome. But halfway isn’t finished, now is it?
Q) Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Yes! I literally do have a theme song for my book! My hubs, Nate Combs, is a composer (as well as an editor and the cover artist for Core), and he so kindly wrote me a theme song! Also, I’m singing in it, so check it out!
Q) What TV show/ movie do you watch, and/or what book do you read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?
Okay, I have nothing against Twilight. Good stuff. But it’s the reason that I re-read the first book in the saga that’s kind of embarrassing. Stephenie is so good at laying out those romance scenes that I use them for “research.” So basically, I whip out Twilight and read the kissy scenes over and over…don’t judge me!
Q) What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Mocha Frappuccino. Nate Combs. Jaxter Combs (my 2 week old baby boy). Too many dvd’s from redbox. Nowhere to be.
Q) What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with the most amazing, fun, crazy family in the world.
Because of them, I’ve caught and killed my own dinner. I’ve fallen off of a cliff while free-hand rock climbing. I’ve spent entire days wrestling with my brothers in crystal clear waters. I’ve eaten a six-gallon bucket of mangoes in the back of my dad’s truck with saltwater drying in my hair.
Maybe it’s not surprising, but it’s pretty sweet.
From the moment Cale sets his eyes on Ava Johnson, he catches fire to their fates, locking them both in a wild spiral, tied to a world of betrayal and chaos.
Cale Anders lives a normal life–as normal as any eighteen year old dragon could hope for. He has always managed to straddle two worlds, one of underground fight clubs and siren hunts, and one of family barbecues and backyard football. Still, for as long as Cale can remember, he’s been the middle man–the ambassador for his own family–bent on reconciling the stark differences between his fiercely intelligent blue dragon relatives and the boisterous, passionate red dragon nesters.
But when Cale picks the steely-eyed human, Ava, to be his rider, he must choose between the family he’s always loved, and the only girl who can unlock his potential and spark his core. Ava, her heart entrapped in a prison of callouses, is caught off guard by the rawness of the Anders’ life and the honesty of the boy who claims to belong only to her. But even more alarming than her immersion in a world she never knew existed, is the realization that love can grow slowly, steadily, and painfully, no matter how furious her resistance.
Together, Cale and Ava upturn the balance of the dragon world, leaving their very lives vulnerable to the wiles of forces neither of them truly understand.
Teshelle Combs is the author of the YA contemporary fantasy novel, “Core.” She’s one of those crazies who majored in English in college at the University of Central Florida and she daringly works as a full-time writer. Teshelle grew up in the beautiful St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and currently lives with her composer/voice actor hubby, Nate Combs, and their soon-to-be born baby boy, Jaxter, in Cape Coral, FL.
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