NEW Mystery Fantasy by author T.M. Winters
Today we visit with T.M. Winter from Columbus, Ohio, USA. She is a first time author, and this her début book.
Life for Whisper, Rajah and Serene Clandestine could not have been more normal until the day their mother was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. They quickly learned their lives would never be the same.
While in the hospital, their mother, Akila Clandestine reveals to them that there are things about their life and family that she had withheld from them to keep them safe.
Before they are able to digest all that they’ve learned, they find themselves fighting to survive a world now turned upside down. They must leave their home behind and try to escape the people that are after them. Things are not looking good for the Clandestine Family.
1. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old. I used to use reading and writing as an escape or a way of coping. They soon became a love that I couldn’t separate myself from. I saw a story in everything from children playing on the street to a slip of conversation accidentally overheard while standing in line waiting. I would wake up in the middle of the with poetry and short stories begging to be put on paper.
At the age of 16, I received my first typewriter and of course, my love for writing grew considerably. I dreamed of getting my words out for other people to be able to read and experience. I wanted to give other people the escape and comfort that reading had given me throughout my life. As I began to share my work, I found that there were a lot of people that my writing actually helped and I think I loved that more than I did reading and writing.
2) What inspired you to write your novel?
About a year ago, I was talking to my niece Mynika Winters, who suffers from Sickle Cell Disease, and she asked me why her disease was not common knowledge. So a friend of mine and myself, gathered up some people and we wrote a book of poetry called Emotional Breakthrough: A Book of Hope. So many people told us how that book helped their lives and how they could relate to the poets that I decided to try my hand at writing and (now that I know how to self-publish) publish a book on my own. A year later Book one to my series, The Clandestine Family: Secrets Revealed was born.
3) If I understand correctly this is your first novel. What did you find most difficult in writing the story?
The most stressful part of writing the book was trying to keep the timeline and character information straight and trying to make sure the story I am telling will be clear to my audience. There has been so many times in this story alone that I have gone back, read my book, and confused myself. I’ve also had to remember that when fixing one chapter you have to make sure you didn’t end up messing up something you had your characters say or do in a previous chapter.
The writing process is something that is very time consuming if you’re really trying to do it correctly, but it’s all worth it to see your work in print and to be able to hold the book in your hand and say this is the work that you created.
4) What did you learn about yourself as a writer, in writing your book?
In writing this book, I learned that I have a much more active imagination than I ever gave myself credit for. The short stories I wrote when I was younger were dramas that reflected and magnified the situations that I had lived through and watched other people I knew go through. In order to write The Clandestine Family: Secrets Revealed, I had to pull ideas from the depths of my imagination.
I also realized I tend to disappear into the scene of what I’m writing and become one with the characters and that helps me get on paper what I would like my readers to experience.
5) Can you tell us a bit about your book?
Whisper, Rajah and Serene Clandestine are all at different stages in their young lives when they receive a call saying they need to get to the hospital as soon as possible. While there, they learn that their mother has been withholding a huge secret from them, a secret that will change their lives forever.
Their world of blissful ignorance has come crashing down at their feet in just a few short hours. While trying to cope with their new life situation, they encounter members of an organization of Seekers that have come together to hunt them and people that hold the same secret as them. These people will stop at nothing short of death to obtain the secrets that have only recently, revealed to the Clandestine Siblings.
Danger hides behind every corner and fear behind every closed door. Who will help them? Who can they trust?
6) Can you tell us three things each, about your characters Whisper, Rajah and Serene Clandestine that we do not learn from the blurb?
Whisper Clandestine is the eldest of the three. She was one of the highest-ranking detectives at the precinct where she worked. She’s a no-nonsense woman that has never met a case she couldn’t solve and today, Whisper is on her way to fulfill her dream of working with the District Attorney of Sacramento, California.
Rajah Clandestine has dreams of one day becoming a well-known architect. He’s has always thought of himself as a playboy and the man of the family, both things that he takes very seriously. He’s charming and sweet to all that know him. Always ready to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.
Serene Clandestine is the baby girl and a major Diva. She often finds herself trying to prove her independence, while her family still sees her as the baby. When she sets her mind to something there is nothing that will stop her from accomplishing her goals. To calm herself when she’s stressed she writes poetry in her journal.
7) Do you have a favorite part of your book that you would like share with readers?
LOL, One of my favorite parts of this book is when Serene is finishing up her lunch at the restaurant and something peculiar begins to happen. I love her reaction and the irony of the situation.
8) How many books do you have planned for your series?
As of right now, I hope to have at least 6 books in this series.
9) Do you have a writing routine, or writing ritual, before you sit down to write?
Before I sit down to write I turn on whatever music, movie or tv show I want to use as background noise. Grab a caffeinated beverage and a snack to nibble on, such as popcorn, chips, etc. (Nothing that will mess up my keyboard or paper), close my door. Then I either write out notes and ideas of what I want to happen in my book or read over the ones I already have. I read over the last few paragraphs I’ve already written so in can sink into the character I’m working with and take off from there.
10) Do you have any advice for a first time novelist, or someone Indie publishing?
I will recycle some advice that was given to me. When you decide to write your first book, write it because you love to write, not because you expect to get rich. Do not expect to make a lot of money off of your first book, if you do GREAT! But if you don’t make any money, DO NOT get discouraged. Take some time and bask in the knowledge that you have accomplished something that many people wish they could but still have yet to do.
11) How long has this whole process taken for you from the writing to the publishing of your novel?
It has taken me every bit of a year to write my first book.
12) Before we go can you tell us what your personal goals are?
My personal goals are to get my name out and write as many books as I possibly can. I dream of one day buying a house big enough so that if ever my children or future grandchildren need a place to stay, I will have space to actually be able to help without everyone getting in each other’s way.
13. Is there something you would like to share about yourself with your readers?
I want to help my kids accomplish their dreams, and it wouldn’t hurt to one day see my book being turned into a movies either.
My name is T. M. Winters. I was born in Columbus, Ohio in the year 1977. I am the second oldest of six siblings and a mother of three, a blooming artist, an author and a very young comedian. I come from a hard past, but I fight to bring happiness; hope and positivity to my future every single day of my life.
When I was in high school, I was given my very first typewriter to work on since I was always writing short stories, songs, and poetry. To say I fell in love with it would be an understatement. It was around this time that I began writing the poetry section on the school newspaper. After high school I wrote poetry for family and friends until the year 2012 when I collaborated with a poetry group and wrote a book of poetry called “Emotional Breakthrough: A Book of Hope” to bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease.
Sometimes it’s hard to get my words to say exactly what I’m feeling, when that happens, I pray and then take a good look at my children and gain newfound strength to keep going. It is because of my babies and the lives I might touch that I know I have to keep going.
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)
T.M. Winters Bookstore Website: Book Store Website
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