Welcome back for this week’s author interview! Today I am thrilled to spotlight the awesome Tabitha Thompson. Tabitha’s horror fiction has been featured in multiple issues of The Sirens Call, and she is currently hard at work on new stories that are sure to be as amazing as her previous work!
Recently, she and I discussed her inspiration as an author as well as her current projects and where she sees the trajectory of her career headed in the coming years.
A couple icebreakers to start: when did you first decide to become a writer, and who are some of your favorite authors?
Although I’ve been writing stories since I was 5 and started horror fiction when I was 16, I never thought of myself becoming a writer honestly until I was published at 23. Even to this day however, I still continue to gain knowledge and find my voice when writing and I have found it to become more than a hobby but a passion. I can honestly say however that I didn’t find writing, it found me, and as of late it hasn’t let me go. Some of my favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury, Toni Morrison, Pheare Alexander and Shane McKenzie.
Do you have any rituals as a writer (e.g. writing at the same time of day or at the same place)? Also, do you have any tips for how you work through writer’s block and/or creative slumps?
I have to admit, it’s rare that I have a set ritual, given that I’m pretty flexible when it comes to my writing, but I always start off with coffee, in my book coffee is life. But aside from that, before I start writing, I listen to motivational videos and do yoga, meditation and prayer to get a healthy mind, body and spirit. Now although factors like work take up some time, I try to write at least anywhere from 1,000-1,500 words in the evening. My tips for dealing with writer’s block and creative slumps is I would take a break from writing and listen to music, preferably rock or classical, and read various books to keep the creative juices flowing.
If forced to choose, which is your favorite part of the writing process: crafting dialogue, plotting the story arc, or developing characters?
My favorite part of the writing process is celebrating that I haven’t gone gray or completely insane afterwards. Jokes aside, I love plotting the story and developing characters simply because I become easily inspired by a simple conversation, actions or emotions from other people as well as my own personal experiences.
Even though it has been a while since I’ve released any new stories, for this year, I’m currently working on a few stories titled “Black Sheep”, “Evil, I”, and “Haunted”. I like the direction each of the stories is going and it makes me even more excited to finish them and put them out.
Out of your published stories, do you have a personal favorite?
My favorite published story has to be “West Nile”. It’s my first apocalyptic story where the protagonist is written in the first person and can resonate with readers. Given that I live in Florida, a tropical state that is notorious for mosquitoes in the summer time, the story shows the worst case scenario of a simple mosquito bite. Once I’m done with my other projects, I’m planning to write an extended version of that story.
Where would you like to see your writing career in five years?
In five years, my goal is to be able to write full time, have a #1 bestseller, and to make an impact in horror fiction. As ambitious as it may seem as a black female writing horror fiction, which is considered a rarity, I would love nothing more than to not only change the game but to inspire and motivate other girls to take a risk and follow their own creative path with no regrets whatsoever. Plus I would love to prove that not all of us black females write literature that involves the hardcore streets, but we can also write some hardcore horror.