This week I have another Canadian gracing my blog! Shes a budding freelance writer and a long standing member of the Toronto NaNo writing community!
What would your bio say?
“Born and raised in a small town just north of Toronto, Tabitha has been a writer for most of her life. At the age of 9 she wrote her first novel during her spare time at school. She is a strong advocate for young women’s rights, a Christian and is an avid geek. Currently, she still resides in her hometown with her husband, and freelances regularly for local papers and magazines.”
When did you start writing and why?
As far back as I can remember really. I can recall begging my parents for a diary when I was 5 or 6, and scribbling poems and random ‘stories’ down into it. I still have that diary, and have often surprised myself at how descriptive those passages were. Not meaning that as a bragging point, but more as an identification of the passion that I had before I even knew what it was. I wrote my first novel when I was 9. My grade 5 teacher had one of those old laptops that could only function as a word processor and had no saving capabilities (though at the time, that was considered fairly new… eek! Now I’m dating myself..). Why I started writing? I’m not 100% sure. It was as natural to me as breathing. I was captivated by stories and the different worlds each story would create. I had started reading novels by the 2nd grade, which is when I would say the itch to write more than poems and diary entries began. So I guess I would have to say I started writing because it was natural and I had an obsession with the written word.
If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?
Not a parent yet. 🙂
Who is your favorite author and why?
Ted Dekker. He’s a Christian Fantasy/Thriller author, and could easily be considered the man who really brought those genres to light. He’s a fascinating writer, but what I love the most is that unlike the vast majority of Christian novels, which are all fluffy and feel-good and skirt the real issues in life, his books are dark, they’re terrifying, and have often been called quite controversial. He’s raw, he’s real, and he adds a sense of authenticity to Christian novels that generally lacks. More than that, he’s the inspiration behind my finally taking the dive into Christian Fantasy.
What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
Well, with some of it, I hope to change lives. I really want to get involved in young women’s ministry and rights, and raise awareness, especially within the Christian communities for depression disorders and illnesses and what it really means. The stigma about mental illness in a lot of churches is even worse than what it can be in society, and I think that people need to understand it if those who have them are to have a better support system.
With my fiction writing, I just hope to write something that engages my readers and brings them joy. There’s nothing I love more than curling up with a good book and losing myself in it for hours – I want to be able to provide that same thing for others.
Traditional or Self publishing? Why?
Not sure yet. I think traditional, just because then I don’t have to stress about making sure sales happen and all of that, but we’ll see. I haven’t spent much time looking into either yet as I still have to complete a novel and get it publishing ready.
Tell us about your book (s)
Oh goodness, there’s so many! I suppose, the main three that I’m focusing on right now would be best. The first is a non-fiction book geared towards young Christian women. Basically about being a Christian and a woman in today’s day and age, and tackling a lot of issues that the church tends to avoid. The second is a novel about young adults facing the quarter-life crisis. That one is a fictional novel that follows the main character and some of her friends as they tackle the issues surrounding the crisis including the lack of jobs and the seemingly unending pit of financial difficulties, career failings and useless education that is affecting so many of us in our twenties. The third is a project I am working on for NaNoWriMo, inspired by an article I’m writing for my local paper. It’s about the British Homechildren, and their stories. I’ll be writing about 4 children, fictional, but based off some of the stories I’ve heard and read about, and their experiences as Homechildren in Dufferin County. It’s heartbreaking that so many people don’t know about them, and I hope to join the movement to raise awareness about an integral part of our country’s history.
What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?
With the Christian one, well, a lot of my own experiences growing up in the church, and my struggles with my faith. There was so much I was unprepared for, and my faith was shaken because of it. The sad fact is that many young adults and teens lose their faith not because of a lack of belief, but because of this idea that they will never be good enough because they have struggles with things that the church won’t talk about, and thus leaves them feeling bad about. The quarter-life crisis because myself and so many others are in that. Stuck in a place where we can’t get a job because we don’t have experience, and can’t get experience because we don’t have a job. Our educations are not helping, and the cost of living keeps increasing as jobs become fewer. The intent of the book is to be relatable, but also to end on a hopeful note that we will break out of this. And the Homechildren, as I said above, I believe awareness needs to be raised, because they are such a huge part of our history as a province, and so few know about them.
Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?
Love them, because they are relatable and they are real. No fluff. Completely the real deal. In the Homechild one, possibly hate them, not because you really hate them, but because of how heartbreaking the stories really are.
Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?
Not yet, but I usually develop a soundtrack of sorts in the way of a playlist as I’m writing. Tends to be songs that inspire me or that really make me feel as if I am in the mood of those characters.
Thanks so much Tabs for coming out and sharing a little bit of your world with us! 🙂
You can follow Tabitha on her blog here!