Interview with Judy Teel
What genre do you write and why?
I write in the Urban Fantasy genre, although a more accurate category would probably be Urban Fantasy Mystery. I love the genre and all the variety of story lines that are possible within it. It’s been a good match for me.
Tell us about your latest book.
Savage Magic is book three in a five-book series and continues the story of Addison Kittner kicking butt and taking names as she uncovers her secret heritage. It’s also the midpoint in Addison and Cooper’s romance arch.
In this adventure, Addison uses her PI skills to uncover the cause of a mysterious pandemic that’s decimating Cooper’s werewolf clan and inadvertently calls forth an immortal monster bred to destroy the paranormal races protecting humanity.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
When I release a new book, I usually do a blog tour but other than that, not too much promoting. I really prefer building relationships with people rather than selling to them. Taste in entertainment fiction is so personal, I don't feel comfortable nagging people to buy my books when what I write might not be what they enjoy.
What formats is the book available in?
All my books can be read on most platforms—Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Android and so on. They’re also in paperback.
Who are your favourite authors?
I always look forward to new releases by Jim Butcher and Ilona Andrews. Also Ava Stone’s Regency romances and anything by Kimberly Frost. All of them very fun reads.
What advice do you have for other writers?
- Finish the book you’re working on.
- Take a break to take a class, workshop or read a book on the craft of writing (continuous learning and improvement is key).
- Then start and finish another book. Rinse and repeat.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Ernest Hemingway
What's the best thing about being a writer?
The magic of storytelling. Out of one person’s mind come people and places, feelings and thoughts. All that becomes words on a page and from there goes into someone else’s imagination where it’s lived out as if it were happening.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
I’d have to pick Addison (shh, don’t tell the others). I love her snarky mouth and sharp wit, her courage, and her moxie. Addison keeps fighting no matter what life throws at her. I can’t help but admire that.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I don’t think anyone can really say why a reader likes a book. Entertainment fiction is such a uniquely individual experience for everyone, as reader reviews will tell you!
I can offer you a quote from a reader though:
“There's plenty of action and suspense to keep you hooked. I love the characters and the writing flows perfectly off the page I felt like I was watching a movie in my head, I could picture everything and everyone.
OMG when I got to the end I wanted to throw something at the wall I was so upset. I can't wait for the next book I need to see what's next.”
I rest my case. :)
How long did it take you to write your book?
Savage Magic took a long time to get out because of a serious family illness last year that had to take priority. Once that was resolved, I worked a lot of hours and got the book done in about two months. Happily, readers won’t have to wait that long for Dark Magic, which is Book 4. Meanwhile, they can enjoy Secret Magic, a novella which is already out.
Who designed the cover?
My fabulous graphic artist, Niina, at For the Love of Reading Cover Design. I think it’s one of the best in the series so far.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
If you really engage with digging down into those harder feelings that we all like to avoid, writing a book can be a lot like going to therapy. Savage Magic had an element of that for me. But by going to that scary internal place, I was able to bring a depth to this book that I hadn’t achieved before as a writer. As controversial as Savage Magic is in the series, I’m still very proud of it.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
All the major eBook vendors are carrying it — Amazon, Nook, iTunes, and Kobo. As well as some of the smaller stores like Page Foundry, Scribd, Oyster and Tolino.
What are you doing to market the book?
Not much else now that the tour is almost over. When I decided to become an indie author, I did it because I wanted to take my product directly to consumers and let them decide if I could tell a story well or not. I still have that philosophy. If readers love the books, they’ll tell their friends and talk about it on Social Media. If they don’t care for the series, then they have the right to talk about that too. Either way, I believe that readers and fans are much more qualified to spread the word than I am.
Who inspires you?
One of my very best friends from college—Diana’s always been encouraging of my crazy dream called being an author. Also my sister-in-law, Joyce. She’s one of the most amazing women I know, and I think my brother showed remarkable wisdom in snagging her before someone else did.
How do you research your books?
Using the greatest gift to authors since the printing press—the internet. I love that I can pause from writing a scene, look up what happens to a dead body hour by hour, and then move right back into writing. True story, by the way.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Book 4, Dark Magic, is currently in the works. In Dark Magic, Addison tackles practitioner training and in the process uncovers a plot to kill key paranormal leaders, including Cooper and Lord Bellmonte. With only days before the expected assassinations, she finds herself forced to play bodyguard to both of them while she and the team try to find the source of the threat and stop the murders before it’s too late.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
Both platforms have a lot to offer an author. In fact, I’m always going back and forth about the advantages and disadvantages of both. Indie-pubbing gives a writer a tremendous amount of autonomy. You have full control over your covers, your titles, the stories you write and just as importantly, how you market your books. For example, as an indie-pub author, I can keep Book 1, Shifty Magic, free indefinitely. I couldn’t do that for readers if I were traditionally published.
On the other hand, traditional publishing takes the burden of all the moving parts of publishing off the writer. They provide in editing team, they have a cover team, they have a marketing department (although these days most writers have to do the bulk of their own promotion). My solution is to eventually do both. In fact, I have a new series in a different genre that I plan to take to a traditional publisher next year.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
It started by being wired this way, I think. Then as I was exposed to wonderful books, movies and plays, the need to write my own stories grabbed hold and off I went.
Does your family support you in your writing career? How?
Absolutely. My family, both immediate and extended, is very proud of how I’ve refused to give up and stuck through all the disappointments, mistakes, and slow downs that are part of any journey to being published. My wonderful husband was the one who sat down with me when I was miserable in my corporate job and told me I needed to quit and write books.
What are you currently reading?
Well…looks like the time has come to confess to being a book hoarder and multi-reader.
While I waited in line at Costco yesterday morning, I was reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. But tonight before I fall asleep, I might read a section from Writing Habits Mastery by S. J. Scott, or maybe check out Kimberly Frost’s newest book. Although with hundreds of novels on my iPod, that could change.
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Mark Twain, especially his humorous essays. Also C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. And then my favorite modern writers, Jim Butcher and Ilona Andrews. Love how they both do action.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
There always seems to be errands to run no matter how many times I go to Target or the grocery store. I also spend about half of my workday taking care of the business side of my job like posting quotes on Social Media, answering emails, and things like that. In the evenings, I like to read or watch something on TV with my husband or our daughters, and in some cases if the show is right, all of us will watch one together.