Interview with NP author Teresa Geering
This is the part I most like to play. How I love it to be able to announce the birth of yet another book by one of my friends. This time the talented prose writer and poet Teresa Geering (lovingly called Tee) is the lucky gal. On Tuesday 7 June her second book Shasta Summer came out and Teresa will tell you all about it herself. Tee writes mainly fantasy and her style is lyrical and precise with the feel of a warm, pleasant summer evening to it. Exactly the time to pick up one of her books and immerse yourself in it in your hammock.
A bit about Tee’s personal life:
Where do you live (town, country)? Were you born and bred there?
Hello Hannah, nice to meet up with you at last. I live in Ashford Kent in the UK. Just down the road from the Ashford International railway station which will take you to Europe. I went over to Belgium via this route. An awesome journey and so fast.
I came to Ashford in 1970 when I got married. We went our seprate ways but I stayed in Ashford.
I was actually born and bred in Hasting Sussex. A seaside town well known for the famous ‘Winkle Club’ which my great grandfather introduced back in the early 19th century. Royalty, (including our own royal family) Heads of State, and stars of screen stage and tv are members. My uncle was Chair for many years and when he passed over a few years ago I had a lovely letter from the Queen Mother offering condolences which I found very touching. They were the same age I believe and he always presented her with a rose when they met up. In fact I think he went to the Queens’ garden party on one occasion.
What kind of food do you like?
I love nearly all kinds of food including Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, to name a few, but I’m not keen on sushi, or some of the other raw fish. Remember that I was brought up in a seaside town. My non immediate family had their own boats and used to fish for a living. So it wasn’t unusual to get a standard answer from my mother when asking what was for breakfast/dinner/tea. Having said that I love cockles, whelks, shrimps, that sort of thing and of course who can resist fish and chips in batter with lashings of vinegar and salt. Yummy!
Are you a good cook?
If I’m in the mood, especially when I entertain. Having said that I’m just as likely to get take in with wine, dependant on the company I‘m entertaining. I do tend to buy a lot of Marks and Spencer ‘ping’ meals though for quickness if I’m busy writing.
How important is food to you?
VERY! I love food. I can just taste a medium rare fillet steak now with all the trimmings. If you were to offer me chocolate or a lemon, I would go for the lemon as I don’t have a sweet tooth. Every so often though my body sends out a request for a sugar surge so I will eat a mars bar or something.
Do you do any sports?
I used to play a lot of squash and badminton but I’m just not fit enough now.
Regularly with my boss who was a fitness freak. You should see him now. Not quite so trim these days J
What does exercise mean to you?
Watching other folk working up a sweat! Larfs… I put my back out again recently pulling the duvet up on my bed.
Any other hobbies?
Concology, Candle making, gardening. I love being at one with nature, and I get my inspiration for writing not only being in my garden but walking in the woods close by.
Do you have kids/grandkids? If so, please tell us a little about them?
I have a 28 year old son called Matt, with long, jet black eyelashes that almost curl back to his eyebrows – I would kill for them. His partner is called Charmaine and they have a beautiful daughter Madison Teresa (Mad Tee after me). She’s three and calls me ‘nana faeries’ mostly ‘cos I’m away with them when writing.
Do you like travelling?
I always used to be travelling somewhere at one point – mostly to Spain where my friends lived.
Where do you go then?
Recently I have ‘travelled’ to Germany, Spain, the West Country, Yorkshire and up North. Mostly on my Nimbus broomstick. Yes that’s me streaking across the night sky on my way home from wherever I fancied. My black and white cat rides pillion. J
Do you have another job apart from writing?
Yes I work in the Police Station at Ashford. It’s purely voluntary and I have now done nineteen years in the busy Neighbourhood Section, which is mainly working with Neighbourhood Police Officers who each have their own area to deal with. I mostly worked for them. They would advise me of the current crime on each day I was in the station and I would deal with it from there. Spookily enough we had a contingency of Police over from Holland who spent several hours with me. They wanted to know everything I did, how I was treated as a volunteer. What I thought about being a volunteer – that sort of thing. They seemed pretty impressed by everything which pleased my sargent as he knows I speak what’s on my mind. Even as a volunteer I have to watch my P’s and Q’s. (I used that frequently but never sure what it stands for)
For how many hours?
Mostly two days a week or more if I’m needed but if the liaison officer was on holiday or whatever I covered for him.
How do you feel about the ‘other’ job?
I loved it but having done nineteen years I decided I would like a change and ironically as I was feeling this, I was head hunted by another Police Officer who co-ordinates the Police Specials. He needed an assistant to help him co-ordinate. Having known him for years (we have the same silly sense of humour) I didn’t need asking twice – I was there and I love it and he loves having me there. So it works out well. He’s very supportive of my writing and bought a copy of Erasmus. He’s just waiting on the next publication now He also promotes me to others.
How do your family/friends react to you being a writer?
My family love it and sing my praises at every opportunity. They have also instigated some of my book sales.
My friends (mostly Police Officers) in the Police Station brag about me all the time which I find a bit embarrassing at times.
Have their opinions changed since you became a published author?
Nah! They still think I’m an utter screwball.
Which remark from your surroundings has stuck most with you?
My favourite inspector now calls me his very own JKR J Aw …
Would you call yourself a social human being?
I like to think so honey.
Do you have time for going out and spending time away from the writing desk?
Oh yes, a girlfriend has an allotment not far from either of us and it’s great to just go up there and potter around and of course we reap the rewards of the veggies that we sow. We are also very like-minded about nature etc. I also wine and dine with friends quite a bit, but mostly during the summer months as we prefer al fresco. The Police are normally a very close community and I feel very privileged to be considered one of their own so to speak. They include me in most activities, whether eating out or just chilling in their homes or mine. The only time I’m not included is when they knock on doors with their size 12’s. Having said that I have done the graveyard shift a couple of times with my section and it’s quite an eye opener. Yep we had the blues and twos going as well. Strangely you don’t hear it when you’re inside the car. You’re just aware of other traffic moving aside. I did ask for a brake pedal on my side though. It’s a bit scary going at those sort of speeds but sometimes a requirement of the job. Someone’s life may depend on the time it takes to get to a call, and there were a couple of hairy moments.
Which character trait do you like best about yourself and why?
My overall loving personality. I love everyone, because I’m a great believer in karma. Just a complete nut cake really and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.
Which trait would you rather do without?
As a Pisces I’m very calm and take everything in my stride. However every so often someone will push too many of my buttons and then my eyes turn almost black (I’m told ) and I blow.
Can you describe the place where you write + the view?
At the back of my lounge I have a small intimate square bistro table, made of apple wood where I eat. This has lately been taken over by my laptop. The view to the left is a large picture window which overlooks my rear garden. It has a couple of flower beds but mostly overrun with 7ft approx.. bushes, – buddliah, mock orange forsythia and such. I was going to do a massive prune but discovered that birds are nesting in some of them! I’m also surrounded by trees. My garden is constantly full of birds as daily I scatter bird seed (bit like feeding chickens) and I have a squirrel I called Cyril after Soooz‘s croc from Dudes Down Under. I could watch his antics all day trying to get at the nuts. There are a pair of magpies – one with a broken leg so he has to hop everywhere. His mate feeds him, dropping seeds into his mouth. Awesome stuff. Isn’t nature just wonderful. I have a spoked wooden wheel with a china sun face hanging from it. I’m going to paint the wheel with the seasons, Beltane, imbolc etc. J Here is where some of the birds perch to eat the nuts. Below this a young fox is buried. He came into my garden injured and he allowed me to stroke his head until he let out the final shudder. A very rare privilege and I was amazed, but he obviously realised I wasn’t going to hurt him. My son came over and buried him for me. My mock orange tree above him now flourishes. It truly is a magical garden and gives me endless inspiration.
Is there something you always need to have near you when you work (beverage, cigarette, mascot, music, quote, etc)?
If I’m editing a book for someone – of which there have been a few – I listen to classic FM in the background. If I’m writing, or maybe preparing an interview I prefer the quiet, although I did have my Dirty Dancing cd on full pelt recently.
What genre(s) do you write in?
Mostly fantasy, as I keep getting endless ideas centred around that subject. I have ideas for at least another four novels or more. So much to do and so little time as they say.
How did that develop?
I was sitting in my garden among my Shasta daisies, which grow wild at one end, on a very hot summer evening enjoying a glass of red wine. I was watching a spider spinning a web and suddenly a story started to form in my head. That’s when Erasmus popped in. I wrote the trilogy within the year.
When was your first book released and how did that make you feel?
The Eye of Erasmus was first published in June 2010. I was elated and did a Youtube video which has had many hits, to celebrate. I actually saved the opening of the package to do it on camera. The video was done in the evening and I received it in the morning. The suspense of waiting was awful.
How did you get the idea? How long did it take you to write and edit it, is it part of a sequel, how does the published book make you feel now?)
As I said earlier Honey the idea came to me as I was sitting in my garden one summer evening. First I kept imagining faeries and Shasta The Enchanted Garden was born. I knew there would be a sequel as she had to go back into her past life to try and change fate. This became Shasta The Village. The third book was Eye of Erasmus of course and he kept on pushing to get in the lime light as I was writing the first two. Then as it happened, by popular demand, he was published first. Having it published by Tim was just the icing on the cake.
I had already bought the writers and artist year book and started at the literary agents beginning with ‘A’ and worked my way through to ‘Z’ I did have an American agent who ‘pushed it’ for six months and then we parted company. Oh yes I have a draw full of rejections – no different to other writers. All par for the course I guess.
What are your writing habits? (every day, number of words, etc.?)
I’m very lucky, as living by myself I can please myself. I just go with the muse. Some days I may write chapter after chapter and other days maybe just a few lines. I never force it and just go with the flow. My interviews for AOS are of course done on a weekly basis at the moment and I understand from Lorraine at AOS that they are very popular as the stats have shown.
Who’s been your biggest inspiration and why? Since when?
I can’t honestly say anyone has inspired me to actually write, although I love to read the classics of course. Oh and ‘Roots’ by Alex Haley (I think he is the author) Oh and Jilly Cooper has written some raunchy novels which I enjoyed very much in the past. Oh and Jackie Collins J Where do I stop?
What does Night Publishing mean to you?
Night Publishing has become everything to me. When I interviewed Tim way back at Nights’ inception in Feb/March 2010 for Struggling Authors I just knew it would become something special. We were both on Authonomy at that time. Tim has achieved so much since then and of course Night has grown tremendously during the last 12 months. Writers are wising up to the fact that Night is a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world, and we are such a lovely world-wide family who stick to each other through times of strife and times of elation. In fact we share each other’s elation as if it were our own. When one falls down we pick them up, dry the tears and put them back on the right road.
Where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time?
Aw well now you’re talking honey. My books will be selling by the millions. Films and stage plays will be made of the books. I shall buy my Carrib island and push Richard Branson’s nose out of joint.
Writers will say ‘so that’s where Tee is’ because I will send you all invites to stay and it will be ‘Dudes Down Under’ again eh Soooz.
Final fun question. If you had to choose: are you a Houdini or an Edison? This is for
the official NP tally.
Oh defo a Houdini…. My Police Colleagues are always saying …..”How the hell did you get yourself out of that one!! ”
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
My pleasure honey, and thank you.
Get in touch with Tee or read her work?
Video trailer for Eye of Erasmus http://www.jaiya.ca/firedance/cds/invocation.htm
Eye of Erasmus on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Eye-Erasmus-Omnipotent/product-reviews/1453634754/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
Shasta Summer http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65025