This interview with Tinthia Clemant is going to give you office envy. She certainly gets her writing done in the midst of quite an inspirational environment. I’ve always felt surrounding one’s self with beauty helps the creative process by making the soul feel settled and ready to write. Beyond that, Tinthia Clemant’s writing holds appeal for anyone who believes in the power of love. I for one certainly do even though the relationships in our lives don’t always last, each one teaches us about ourselves and others. I also admire how Tinthia Clemant got started on her published writing journey later than most. It’s never too late to pursue one’s writing dreams.
Official Bio: Tinthia Clemant was born in Medford, Massachusetts, over sixty years ago. In other words, she’s old! As a child, she was happy and lived in a loving home with her three siblings and mother and father. She always wrote love stories. From the time she first picked up a pencil, or perhaps it was a crayon, she wrote. Love stories. Happy stories. Stories about true love with happy endings. Her first book was self-published and she has continued the tradition of self-publishing today. (At the tender age of seven, she stapled the pages together and presented the book to her mother on Mother’s Day.)
As contemporary women’s fiction’s newest romance author, Tinthia fell in love with love stories and true love when she first learned about true love’s first kiss and watched Prince Phillip defeat Maleficent’s tangled web of thorns, and then the fire-breathing dragon. Next came Phillip awakening Sleeping Beauty with true love’s first and that did it for Tinthia! As a hopeful romantic, she searches far and wide for true love. Unfortunately, she has yet to find that special kiss. Throwing her arms up in defeat, she decided to write about true love and live vicariously through her heroines.
Tinthia lives on the banks of the Concord River and spends her time teaching science at a local community college, gardening, painting, tending her flock of Mallards (follow her natural history blog at: concordriverlady.com), reading, and, of course, writing contemporary women’s fiction about kisses that matter, romance, relationships, and true love. She also enjoys Chunky Monkey and American Dream Cone or other enticing flavors Ben and Jerry’s flavors.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
The Summer of Annah: A Midsummer’s Dream, my contemporary women’s fiction novel, centers on Annah-Belle Henderson, an earth witch and single mother who casts a love spell on a Midsummer’s Eve. After two failed relationships and several years spent alone, Annah decides to try for what many consider the elusive golden ring—true love. We follow Annah on her path to find love, but also on her journey to trust her inner wisdom. Like so many women, Annah carries with her the failed relationships of her past. The Summer of Annah offers a story about the joys and possibilities life offers, if we choose to open our eyes and hearts.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing?
Being a storyteller is a large part of my life. Writing down my stories gives me the ability to share them with readers who wish to travel into the worlds I create. The way I see it, writers fulfill a dual purpose as artists. We’re able to paint pictures with our words, giving us the voice of a painter, and we weave illusions of new places where the reader can live, even for the briefest moment in her, or his, life. We’re magicians.
I became inspired to be a writer when I was very young—seven to be exact. I wrote my first romance book, stapled the pages, and presented it to my mother on Mother’s Day. From that point on, until well into my fifties, I would write stories and shred the pages. I’d always felt I wasn’t good enough. However, I didn’t want to die with my soul full of stories. On my fifty-ninth birthday, I pushed the fear aside, consumed gallons of ice cream, and wrote about learning to recognize love when it comes packaged in a way we don’t expect, believing in one’s inner wisdom, and finding true love. The Summer of Annah: A Midsummer’s Wish was born.
3. Writing aside, what passions drive your life?
I’m full of stories—ideas churning within my mind, characters clamor for attention, words beg to see the light of day. There are times I can’t control the ideas and they force their way into the present manuscript and I have to yell, “Back, back. You’ll get your turn!” I can’t write fast enough.
A second passion is my craving for ice cream. However, that’s a topic for another time.
4. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
Oh dear. This is a difficult question. I have three novels that have moved with me over the years: Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. On the surface, the books might seem completely different. However, when I dig deep into the stories I find characters with full and rich personalities.
Whether it’s Mary, Colin, and Dickon in The Secret Garden, Scout, and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird, or Douglas and Tom in Dandelion Wine—they all take me by my hand and bring me to a place in my heart where my inner child still exists. That’s magic.
When I write, I strive to emulate that form of magic. I long to transport readers into themselves and open doors long closed.
5. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
I have two blogs. I write a natural history blog called Concord River Lady where I chronicle my journey as a single woman owning a house along the Concord River. I also maintain an author blog where topics range from writing, marketing, and self-publishing to musings about contemporary fiction and romance. Readers who visit my blogs will find a few nuggets of wisdom, along with a few chuckles and a dash of wonder.
6. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
Drafting and editing are the banes of writing. I love entering a story for the first time. I’m a panster. I don’t use an outline; I start typing from the seed of a story that has germinated in my brain. The story and characters take me where they want to go. I like to think I’m fleshing out the story. Unfortunately, this style of writing can be frustrating. After the first draft is completed, I find the story is all over the place. The characters are doing things completely out of their comfort zones and the reader is in a fun house of distorted images and plot lines.
A round of edits brings the story into a more cohesive form. At the end of the second draft, I’ll post the manuscript on Scribophile, an online writing critique group. The other members offer their suggestions/comments/guidance and I’ll dive in for the third edit. Next comes the beta read, which can cost from $100 to $300 for a professional read. I’ll also use friends and family as beta readers. At this point in the process, I need to know if the story is working. Are the main characters well developed? Are they likeable? Does the middle sag? Is the ending satisfying?
The fourth edit is the most grueling. Parts of the story will be rewritten or, in some cases, deleted. I might need to add more to other parts. The manuscript will either be whittled down or built up. I’ll also consume a fair amount of ice cream along the way. Once the fourth edit is finished the manuscript heads out for more beta reading. More rewriting then the MS will be sent to a professional editor. (Phew. No wonder I’m tired. This is a long process.)
7. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I’m self-published. I despise rejection. By now, one would think I’d be used to it after being divorced from the same man twice. But alas, it still stinks. Going the traditional route provided visions of rejection letters stacked around empty containers of Chubby Hubby and I was concerned my blood sugar would spike to dangerous levels. Plus, I’m a control freak. Publishing myself affords me the opportunity to call the shots. It’s a great feeling. Unfortunately, it’s also expensive.
I hire professional services for my cover art, formatting, and copy editing. This biggest benefit of being self-published is the freedom! I’m free to write what I want. I free to choose my cover (with the help of a cover artist). I’m free to choose the names of my characters. My marketing promotions—mine! Freedom is a wonderful thing. If you asked me the downside of publishing independently, I would shout money! It costs money to do it right.
8. Can you offer one or two helpful tips to fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
Two tips I can offer up-and-coming writers are have a goal and a plan. It’s important to have a goal. If you’re writing for fun, have at it. Write, publish, and rock on. However, if you’re writing to have fun and make money, you’ll need a plan. Just wanting to publish a book isn’t enough. For example, I knew I wanted to write. I enjoy writing. I also would like to make a living at writing. This is where the work came in. Writing the book was easy cheesy compared to the marketing aspect.
Now I’m going to offer two more tips. One, avoid paying for advice. The web is full of people trying to separate you from your money. They’ll promise you the secrets to selling your book. Run, don’t walk, away. You can find loads of information that will guide you and it will be free! Facebook has a plethora of writing groups worth their weight in gold. Join them and ask, ask, ask.
Lastly, have fun! If you’re not having fun than don’t write. It’s lonely work and, at times, frustrating. Can you say writer’s block? Visualize one person. Your ideal reader. Write for her or him and HAVE FUN!
9. What future projects can we look forward to?
The sequel to The Summer of Annah: A Midsummer’s Wish will be titled The Summer of Annah: A Labor of Love and is due out on Midsummer, 2017. I’m also working on a new series, You Gave Me Wings. Book One is due out in December 2016. The story follows a woman who travels to Italy with the hopes of finding inner forgiveness. She discovers a few surprises along the way.
10: Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
Like Annah, I’m an earth witch. I also enjoy hearing from readers. Please, contact me.
Jeri, thank you for this opportunity to be part of your blog. Blessed be, Tinthia Clemant.
You can connect with Tinthia Clemant and her social media accounts via her author website.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about Tinthia Clemant?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2016.