A self-proclaimed techie and foodie, Toi Thomas was born in Texas, but considers Virginia to be home. Growing up in Dallas, Toi had a strong interest in reading fiction and loved to watch movies. Even today, many of Toi’s friends come to her for the answers to movie trivia. Working with computers and cooking lavish meals have become reoccurring pastimes for the Virginia Beach teacher’s assistant, but now Toi wants to entertain the world, taking a journey to discover the secrets of the Eternal Curse.#cursescanbebroken
Sponsored by TheAuthorShow.com, Toi was named one of their, 2013, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Fall of 2014 saw the release of Of Past and Present, an anthology of short stories, including one from Toi Thomas. 2015 has seen the release of book 2 in the Eternal Curse Series and the adoption of pen name Glorie Townson for Toi’s none speculative works.
Toi has written many books, but three of her favorites are Eternal Curse: Giovanni's Angel, It's Like the Full Moon, and Chip and Skip Need Each Other. You can check out these books by clicking the images below, but first, here is an excerpt from her book, Eternal Curse: Giovanni's Angel.
Blurb for Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel
“You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.” — Giovanni
Giovanni has been waiting his whole life to meet someone like Mira, someone from the outside world who might be able to help him. He wonders if there really is help for him as he continues to hold tightly onto dark secrets and even darker memories. Giovanni wants to be hopeful and he wants to accept Mira’s help, but first he has to look himself in the mirror and face what he truly is- and that is a reality no one is quite ready to accept.
Searching for new purpose and meaning in her life, Mira meets Giovanni online and an exciting and, in some ways, scary friendship is developed. Mira decides one day to meet Giovanni in person, at his secluded country home, in order to aid him on his journey of self-discovery. What these two are able to discover will not only test their strength and will, but it will stretch the limits of their minds and catapult them into a world where earth, Heaven, and Hell collide.
I sat down with Toi and asked a few questions. Here is what she had to tell us.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
That’s a hard question to answer. When I’m writing, I seem to lose all sense of time. Sometimes I forget to eat or go to the bathroom when I’m in the zone, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t catch up with me. Also, since I have a full-time day job outside of writing, sometimes I feel too tired to write even when storylines and character details are swirling in my head. Sometimes, I just have to sacrifice a bit of sleep to get the ideas out. I usually pay for it later, but it’s a price I’m happy to pay.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Peter Pan, hands down. I’ve blogged about it quite a bit in the past.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I guess I’m going for originality. I’d like to think I’m writing something readers want to read since it’s something that I want to write. Why would I want to write something that I wouldn’t want to read? I am a reader, aren’t I? (What a roundabout way of making a point.) I’m a reader and a writer. Sometimes I just have to trust that I’m doing my best and hopefully delivering something entertaining.
What is one thing you wished you had known when you first started writing?
I wish I had known from early on that I wanted to be a writer. I wish I had been classically trained or gone to school to hone my writing, but I didn’t. I had to learn everything along the way.
How has your writing progressed or changed as you write more books?
The more books I write, the better my writing gets. It’s hard not to improve a skill that’s practiced daily, unless you are incredibly stubborn. I’ve expanded my writing fields, challenged my creativity, and explored difficult topics I would not have dared to consider when I first started.
How have other authors helped you become a better writer?
I’m inspired by other authors to be a better writer by learning from what they’ve done that’s good and avoiding the not so good. I’ve also learned a lot from other authors by interviewing them and participating in critique swaps.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I don’t know that I read many underappreciated novels. I find that many people will turn their nose up to genre fiction, which I adore and predominately write, but I feel like most of the books I’ve read are appreciated by the people they are meant for. I guess I sometimes do find myself liking the end of series like, Divergent or The End of Days, whereas others despise them.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
If someone takes the time to read and review my book, I feel like it’s my duty to at least view the rating, but I do TRY to read them all. I feel like bad reviews hurt, no matter who you are, but if it’s constructive I’ll learn from it. If it’s not, I just assume the reviewer is a troll and go on with my life. Good reviews can make a day, week, month, even a year seem better. When I get a good review, it’s all I can do not to reach out and hug the reviewer to death with gratitude. (I think that’s why there are so many rules about authors not commenting on reviews.)
Thanks to Toi Thomas for taking the time to answer questions, and I hope you will use the links below to find out more about her and her books.
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