Friday, April 26, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday - Torie James

Today I am very excited to bring you someone whose writing I've greatly enjoyed and now finally the rest of you do too.  Please join me and welcoming author and poet Torie James to Finding Fiction Friday ... first a brief self-introduction ...

Torie is the "other" voice of me, Teri McGlade (nee Schuffert), brought to life before she was even ten years old but given a voice in her teen years. I've always loved reading since I could hold a book (just ask my mother!) and writing is just a natural extent of that for me. One of my favorite quotes is "If you haven't read a book yet about something you want, then WRITE it". Welcome to my world...Wonderland has nothing on the stories dancing through THIS head.

Torie, how did you get started writing? 

Funny as it seems, I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing in some form or another. As a child, I had such a fantasy world in my head already and it was a natural extension to simply put it all down on paper. And if conventional paper wasn’t to be found, I can assure you napkins, toilet paper, flyers, advertisements and *cough cough* the inside of some books even knew the feel of my pen or pencil. However, I have to say I was 17 years old before I considered the notion, in earnest, to undertake writing in a more serious manner. No shame in admitting a lot of seniors in my high school got GREAT marks in Creative Writing during fall semester. And if they ever read this, they know who they are. A few of you still owe me $5. Just saying.

You are an avid role player and have been for some time, taking characters that have been started and giving them a depth and personality beyond what we’ve seen from them before.  What from that experience are you able to translate into writing for publication?

Role play intensified an already smoldering desire to have a voice that people heard, possibly identify with. I like taking characters that seem one dimensional and unlikable and telling “their” story as I feel and see it. I’ve always said that some of the most brilliant writers are anguished souls who have walked through hell itself in their personal lives, only to come out on the other side with soulful transformation. EVERYONE has layers. Good, bad…..all about point of view. And rooting around in role playing, taking on the guise of another being, honed my skills, I think. Twenty years ago, anything I wrote was raw and unfinished.  For me, I had to live life first, experience some things and through role playing, I was able to try those experiences out to see how well people, how well readers, could identify with “me.” Writing for publication, this time around, has been easy, fluid. Sometimes painful and terrifying. Which makes it real. I was lacking reality before in my characters, I see that now.

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you? 

I am surprised, and pleased, to see so many authors and publishers, both on line and standard print, trying to help one another out these days. I’ve been in the publishing industry myself for several years, copy editor and moving up to assistant editor at my last job, and I can say in all honesty, it was far more cutthroat in an office environment. Oneupmanship ran rampant. But I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing people, fellow writers, artists, editors, in the last year, who want to share the largesse of their experience and bounty with others. I am proud to count myself among that number.

So you’ve got your first publication, in the poetry book “Whispers in the Dark”, a collaboration with a pair of other authors, Stacy Moran and Ashley Nemer (who was our first guest in this series as it turns out).  Tell us about how this book came to be and what it’s like becoming published for the first time.

Ashley(and Stacy are more than just fellow writers, they are my friends, too. So it just happened to be that shortly after Blood Purple (Ashley’s premiere novel) was released that she asked me if I’d be interested in perhaps doing a poetry book with Stacy and herself. I was thrilled and honored and we set about right away to compile some of our works. What surprised me was that we are three distinctly different personalities, with different life experiences and yet our poetry collaboration has a cohesive feeling to it.  Being published the first time? It’s a dream come true. However, I am kept firmly in line and not letting it go to my head. I still have to do laundry and take out the trash like everyone else.  I just look for lurking paparazzi now. I kid!

What’s the biggest difference to you between writing poetry and writing a narrative?

I used to think there was a world of difference between the two, honestly. I loved to spout off how, when writing poetry, you were baring you soul, your darkest thoughts, the essence of all you were. Having hit my forties, I realize that was just a childish perspective. Writing narrative verse can be just as enlightening, even more so since in a narrative, you’re afforded more of a opportunity to reveal the complex, and adversely simple, layers we all possess. Outside of not having to use precise punctuation or grammar in poetry (Thank you, T.S. Eliot), they are more alike than different.

I understand you are working on a novel.  Tell us a little about that story, and do you have a working title?

I am! I just finished it a month or so ago and am still polishing it up with edits. My beta’s are on standby and harass me daily. It’s called “Timeless Night”, a contemporary paranormal romance with a dash of magic and some of our fangy friends. Except in the world I’ve created, actual vampires are little more than cast offs from the Walking Dead. What my protagonist and his crew are remains to be actually, fully revealed. Yes, they have fangs. No, they don’t sparkle. Yes, they drink blood. But with a twist that I won’t let onto just yet. I’ve planned several more books to follow this one, each one drawing the reader a bit deeper into the mythos. What I can say is that involves Welsh mythology, Excalibur, Merlyn, Camelot and assorted surprises. This isn’t your mother’s Round Table. The first book spotlights Alexander Lakeland, a thousand year old warrior, once known as Lancelot. Yes, THAT Lancelot. He’s been the guardian of an ancient prophecy, all alone in this last crusade. Until he meets Sabrina Foxworth, a sassy, vulgar modern day woman who bears the mark of Merlyn. Only one other being bore that same symbol in the same spot…his dead wife, Vivianne. Or as history remembers her, The Lady of the Lake, in Arthurian legend. Not everything was a myth….

Do you have any other upcoming works or even just ideas bouncing around in your head? 

I do! The New Camelot series (which Timeless Night is the first of), then I have another idea for a second series of books about some key figures in history who weren’t what they seemed. I also have plans for a several short stories I’m working on AND a book about The Tudor Dynasty, which I’m obsessed with.

What is your push, or your “muse”, that makes it a need for you to write? 

Some people need to breathe. I need to write. It’s a serious living, breathing thing to me. I write something, every day, without fail. Whether its notes for a book, jotting down ideas, research or role play, I make sure to leave something behind. It’s as simple as this: I can’t NOT write. It’s a physical and mental need with spiritual comfort.

What does your family think of your writing career so far?

They are ALL so supportive! My sister, Wendy, is my cheerleader and Mom, Bonita, is the coach. Every day she asks if I’ve finished my edits. It’s a wonderful feeling to have that filial backing. Although, with or without it, I’d still be writing. It’s just nice I can have discussions with my mum, an avid romance reader, shooting things by her.

  1. What is your favorite word? {Egregious. Don’t judge.}
  2. What is your least favorite word? {Later.}
  3. What turns you on? {Books.}
  4. What turns you off? {Mayonnaise}
  5. What sound or noise do you love? {The sound of rain.}
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? {The bark of dachshund at 2am.}
  7. What is your favorite curse word? {Fuck. And thank you. I’ve been holding it in since the beginning of this interview.}
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? {Jedi. Or Sith.}
  9. What profession would you not like to do? {Anything that involves Port-a-Potty}
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? {Shit. We’re just letting anybody in these days, huh?}
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? {Teri, if I dump Kate, will you be my Princess? And by the way, my answer to William would be “maybe”.}

Torie, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?

Aaron, thank YOU for having me, it was such an honor! I can be found my own author Facebook page at:

I also can be followed on Twitter at:

And this just in: My new website that’s still being fine tuned:

And if anyone is interested in Whispers in the Dark, here’s the link on Amazon!

(And a note from me, Aaron, look for Timeless Night coming soon ...)


Patricia and I can also be followed here:    Facebook              Twitter


Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies.  You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories!  Here's where you can find them:

Evernight Volume 1:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Evernight Volume 2:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe


  1. As usual, a very interesting and informative interview. It's nice to hear about someone who has experience with RP'ing.

    1. Thanks for coming by Nya! Some of us roleplayers are ok *wink*

  2. Thank you for stopping by and reading Nya! *laughs* And I agree with Aaron! *cheeky grin* Some of us RPers aren't bad at all!