Tessa Teevan is an amazing writer and person!! I fell for her books when I read Incinerate and my love of her books have just grown from there. She is also one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Nope. It was never a dream of mine. I’ve loved reading since I was a little kid, fell in love with romance thanks to Nora Roberts when I was in high school, but I never had any desire to be a writer myself. After I graduated from college, my mom bought me a Nook. My husband was away for military training, so I started a book review blog and enjoyed learning all about the Indie Author Community. Once, after discussing a book with my husband, he asked me why I didn’t write my own. I just kind of blinked, staring at him. I had no answer. So two weeks later, on a road trip to Chicago, inspiration struck and I spent the next two hours writing the prologue of what would be my first novel, Ignite. So while I never planned on being a writer, I’m completely grateful my husband saw something in me that made him think I’d be successful at storytelling.
What did you do before becoming a full-time writer?
I’m actually still an intelligence analyst and I’m also in the Ohio Air National Guard. While part of me would love to write full-time, I love my job and being around people during the day.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I’m probably dating myself here, but when I was in high school, I kept a diary on OpenDiary.com full of poetry, short stories, and often waxed poetic about my romantic future. Even then, I thought of it just as a hobby, that it was just ramblings of a teenager girl’s mind. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my younger self to have confidence in myself, my words, and to hone the skills at a young age to become a successful writer.
I’d also probably tell myself that thin eyebrows just weren’t a good idea. At least not on me. I shudder sometimes when I look back at pictures 🙂
Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
For the most part, I write one book at a time. However, I have several ideas playing around in my head at any given time, so for all my upcoming novels, I have a notebook with the title on the front. I stick to typing one at a time, but if I get an idea or inspiration for a future book, I’ll write up notes in my notebook.
Let’s play favorites! Who is your favorite character you’ve written?
Man, this is a tough one. I love all my characters in different ways, so picking my favorite? I don’t know how to do that! Now, if you were holding a gun up to my head and forcing me to choose… Ahh… Umm… Gosh… Okay, fine. Kale Montgomery from Inflame is probably my favorite. For one, he looks like Jensen Ackles. Have you seen Jensen Ackles?! Not only is he sweet, sexy, and absolute hilarious, he’s an incredible dad. His backstory is one that’s a sensitive subject, and without spoiling anything, it’s one I don’t think is tackled often in contemporary romance. The loss he endured…it was heartwrenching. So when he had happily ever after in his grasp, he held on for dear life, not letting anything get in his way. I could go on and on about him, but the best way to meet Kale Montgomery is to experience him for yourself.
Have you experienced any of your stories personally?
Not completely, but there are a few scenes that have come from personal experience. For example, in my last novel, my hero plays a prank on the heroine by scaring her with a Ghostface mask. The scene was so much fun to write, mostly because it was something my husband had done to me years ago. It terrified me then, but I got a good laugh as I was writing it.
What are your biggest distractions?
Release days! I’m an avid reader and the biggest distraction for me is my Kindle. As much as I want to write my own stories, I love getting lost in romance.
What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
Promoing. Marketing is something I really need to focus on and improve. Sometimes I wish I could just write my book, hit publish, and the work would be done. But that’s unrealistic. So here’s to working on that in the future!
The cover process is daunting, as well. Sometimes you get lucky and find the perfect cover photo before you’re even looking, and other times you can look through 10,000 images and still have nothing.
Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
Nope! It’s my favorite. I love being in my hero’s mind and seeing where he goes. How filthy or sweet or sexy he can get. It’s so much fun. I’ve never not written a male POV in my books, and probably won’t ever stop.
What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
If I’m not writing, I’m probably reading. It’s my favorite thing to do! I also love bicycling and hiking with my husband, watching movies, and traveling.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
My absolute all-time favorite book is Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Heck, the entire Dark Hunters series written by her is incredible. She’s definitely my favorite paranormal romance author. The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred is one of my favorite contemporary romances. Made by J.M Darhower is another one I can’t recommend enough. I also adore Kristen Ashley, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, L.H. Cosway, and so many others!
Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
I’m really, really fortunate that this has never happened to me, even after ten novels.
Have you ever had writer’s block and how do you work through it?
I’ve definitely experienced writer’s block from time to time. I’m not one of those authors who thinks I have to write every single day. For me, I don’t like to force words I will just end up deleting later. So if I’m having writer’s block, I give myself the day off. I’ll read a good book or watch a movie to get an escape and to turn my brain off for a while. Then, I’ll wake up and start again the next day. If I’m still feeling blocked, I’ll go back and reread/revise what I’ve already written. Most of the times this helps. It brings me back into my characters, into the story.
The longest writer’s block I’ve ever had was about six weeks. I’d just written two books in three months, and I was burnt out. Mentally exhausted and completely drained. I just couldn’t bring myself to write the book I was supposed to be working on. So I set it aside and did some home projects, had some great reading marathons, and spent extra quality time with my husband. It turned out that it was a much needed break, because when I went back to writing, it was, in my opinion, the best book I’d ever written.
Do you ever find yourself jumping up from the dinner to table to jot down a scene that just ran through your head?
All the time! The best ideas seem to come to me at the most inopportune moments. Either when I’m in the shower, trying to fall asleep at night, or when I’m out in public and am trying to turn my writer’s brain off, it never fails. I’ll get an idea. Thank goodness for notebooks and phones!
What does your writing workspace look like?
My writing workspace is, generally, my kitchen table. It’s an eight person family sized oak table that I spread out my notes, laptop, and my writing tools that I like to call “Words to Write By.” I usually have a blanket, water, and tea with me, and sometimes a heating pad if I’ve been sitting for too long. So, nothing fancy, but it’s all I need! That being said, I pretty much write anywhere. I keep a notebook with me at all times and can be found scribbling in the car, in front of the tv, at my desk at work, even at dinner. Heck, I even have notes on my iPhone from when I get an idea in the shower and have to quickly hop out to write it down.
Sharing your work with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
You’re absolutely right. Sharing work with the public can be incredibly daunting. For the most part, I avoid negative reviews. As an author, I learned very early that you aren’t going to please everyone and that’s okay! Everyone has different tastes, preferences, ect.
Do you have any visuals for your characters from any of your books?
All of them! All of my covers have models and they’re exactly how I envision my characters. If the cover has only a single model, I still usually have a visual for the other MC.
Can you tell us what you are working on next?
I’m currently working on a novel called Words I Couldn’t Say. It’s a spinoff from the last book in my Explosive series. It’s a second chance romance about an aspiring actress who’s finally gotten her dream role, and the author who wrote the book that the movie is being made for. The fun part about this is that I’m also writing the novel that the hero in the book has written. So readers will get two complete stories!
What is in your purse right now?
I’m actually pretty simple when it comes to my purse. Right now I have my wallet, iPod, peppermint gum, a travel sized lint roller, my work badge, Burt’s Bees chapstick, and my car keys.
Do you have a favorite scene or book of your own?
Oh gosh, this is a tough one!
Books by Tessa
Get to Know TESSA TEEVAN
Tessa is a twenty-something book junkie who’s also obsessed with sports. She works for the government during the day, hangs out with Air National Guard on the weekends, and has been married to her best friend for nearly a decade. If she’s not writing, you can probably find her curled up with her Kindle and a glass of wine.