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.
Wonderfully penned! I enjoyed every word and would hop on right now to Tinthia’s blog. I loved her style, which is so different, like sea breeze, lifting the spirits suddenly. I am sure her stories must be equally enjoyable.
Real love? When I was young and heard that it only exists in books and stories, I refused to believe and called such people cynics! Life teaches some lessons on its way!
Thank you Jeri for introducing us to another author with a style of her own. 🙂
Balroop, Hello. Never give up believing in true love. My parents showed me that it truly does exist. However, it can be as elusive as a wisp on the early morning grass. You have to believe before it will reveal itself.
I do hope you’ll read The Summer of Annah and please, stop by my blog and ask me any questions. I love to hear from my readers, and believers in love. Blessed be, Tinthia Clemant
Tinthia sounds pretty interesting. But I got stuck on the term “earth witch.” I have no idea what that means although I suspect it is related to divorcing the same husband twice and eating gallons of ice cream.
Ken, we’ll have to wait and see what Tinthia has to say.
HaHa. My brand of earth witch involves the ice cream instead of corn cakes. Being an earth witch is about connecting with Mother Nature in a way where the channels are wide open. She communications to me and I to her. Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t hug trees (too many bugs) and I don’t run through the woods naked (too many thorns). I do, however, all a peaceful period, each day, to fill me with answers and dreams.
Great interview, Jeri. I liked that Tinthia (what a great name, by the way) stated if you want to write and make money, you need to have a plan. I find that looking for the right plan to implement is the most difficult part.
Hello Sabrina, having a plan is an important part of most endeavors. I recently built a worktable in my basement and just started building. What I have is an oversized ping-pong table that will remain long after I’ve left this earth. My son, the engineer, stated the obvious. ‘You should have had a plan, Mom.’ My response, ‘Well, duh!’
Publishing is no different. It’s okay to say, ‘I want to make money.’ I say it all the time. I write to entertain and I want to make money at it. Without the plan, the money won’t come. Contact me anytime with questions. I’d love to share your journey. Blessed be.
Great interview, Jeri and lovely garden pics! So inspirational. I agree with you, Tinthia, the web is filled with people trying to separate you from your money – and with false promises. It is overwhelming. Choose carefully – word of mouth is a good option.
Hi, so true. A fool and her money was soon parted when she published The Summer of Annah. I’ve learned through trial by fire and will be smarter for my next book. Blessed be.
Nice to meet you, Tinthia! Your novel sounds like a lovely read. I’m also a hopeful romantic and definitely believe in love. I would surely enjoy your latest novel and will add it to my goodreads TBR shelf. Thanks for sharing your process. I also find the 4th edit grueling. In fact, I’ve shelved my short story collection (mentally) because I was unsure where to take one or two of the stories that need a little more work. I’m so close though and must pick it up again. Thanks for the interview, Jeri. It’s always fun to meet new writers!
Hi Lisa. I almost shelved my newest book, You Gave Me Wings – Awakening! I took a week off and paid an editor to beta read for me. She was extremely reasonable in her fee and came back with insightful comments and observations. The book is in it’s final round of edits, I’m happy to say.
If you need a beta read, just shout. I love to help authors. I believe what I give out comes back three times over. Loads of karma chips. Blessed be, Tinthia
Fun interview…and I’d like to get into a good debate about 60 and how young it is! Love that writers are like magicians. What a wonderful approach to what we do. Good luck with the novels…they sound like good adventures for women to dive into.
Hi RoseMary. I have a Vlog I published about why I chose a younger hero. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/jD1BgKH4DUk
As for being sixty. Many say I am as young as I feel. Some days I feel like I’m two hundred and other, like I’m twelve, with all the angst that comes along with that age.
I, too, would enjoy a debate about the age. Keep in touch and let’s chat over a cup of virtual tea.
Lovely interview. I enjoyed reading about the entire process Tinthia goes through. Loved the line “writers are magicians” and the reminder to have fun. I’ll join in the debate with Rose Mary about age 60 not being old.
HaHa, come, join RoseMary and me as we venture into that debate. 🙂
Blessed be, Tinthia
Hi Tinthia and Jeri! I like the message that at any age you can pursue your literary dreams 🙂 Also, how great that the sequel to the book already has a publishing date! I’m a huge fan of “To Kill a Mockingbird” too.
Hi Christy, thank you for commenting. I’m the type of person who needs a goal or I’ll let things slide until they disappear in a black abyss. LOL
Great interview! I love that image of finally diving in fuelled by gallons of ice cream – ice cream is a vastly underrated writing motivator, I say!
Hi Claire, I agree. Ice cream is a necessity.
Oh I like her! I don’t normally read romance novels but I have a feeling Midsummer’s Wish might just be exception worthy. And that view! You know I recently moved to Oregon and I’m surrounded by a forest which I absolutely love. I set my office up in what is technically supposed to be the dining room because the view is so beautiful and when I need a break I can just walk out onto the deck. I’m in heaven. 🙂 Thanks for another wonderful review Jeri!
Marquita, you are blessed to have Mother Nature as your view. We are kindred spirits in that regard. Possibly, in other areas of our souls as well. I honeymooned in Oregon (first time around) and loved the beauty. My small corner of the Concord River was an answer to a wish whispered at the foot of Mt. Hood all those years ago. Blessed be.
Jeri, The photos shared make me wish that I could sit down with Tinthia and just share stories about life. Just seeing those photos made me think how much we have in common (appreciation for nature and its ability to inspire). The setting of goals and having a plan is such good advice. Finally, Tinthia, at 60 you are just a ‘youngun’. Much success with the book – sounds like a winner to me.
Jeri, thanks for the intro – you know the nicest people.
Hi Jeri, let’s have tea (virtually, if we have to). I would love to sit and share stories. I blog about my life on the Concord River at concordriverlady.com. As I’m writing this, I’m seated at my desk, the early morning sun is bathing me in it’s warmth, and the heron is across the river having her breakfast. Oh, and the ducks are waiting to be fed. Blessing to you. Please stay in touch. Tinthia
I am curious as to what “earth witch” means.
This was a thorough interview with some great tips for those who are thinking of writing a book. As Tinthia stated, writing is fairly easy but following the process through to publication, not so easy.
I need to move my mini book on to the next stage. I have googled several publishers. I feel a little overwhelmed but am determined to take my book to the end.
Hi Phoenicia, being an earth witch means I allow Mother Nature to be my priestess and her world is my temple. I live my life simply, although I do wear makeup, including lipstick and love sexy heels. I don’t chant or dance around a fire. Some wiccans do, though. Me, I try to allow my surroundings to speak to me, answer my questions, and offer guidance. It’s one of the many spiritual journeys life offers us.
If I can offer you guidance with getting your book published, don’t hesitate to ask.
“I’ve always felt surrounding one’s self with beauty helps the creative process by making the soul feel settled and ready to write.” Love this, Jeri!
It was great getting to know Tinthia. How can anyone knock romance? Under my alligator skin, I’m a hopeless romantic. For the longest time, I thought my soul mate was in some third world prison.
Tinthia, I enjoy so many of the things you do, except I’m not a painter, and ice cream is second to my salty favorites. Living on a river, you must be flooded (tee hee) with inspiration and ideas. Best of luck to you.
Hi Denise, I’m flooded with many things, including ideas. Right now it’s my ducks. Thank goddess the spring was dry although a little more rain over the summer would have been nice. I do hope you give The Summer of Annah a chance. And I hope you have a blessed day. Tinthia
First, I’m fascinated to learn about a person who is a romance writing/scientist. The two do not usually go hand and hand. And congrats for finally going after your dream. why are we here on earth if not to pursue our passions? (as someone who was a theater major in college, I might lean a little too much in that direction, but I stand by the principle.) And I agree with To Kill a Mockingbird being one of the greatest. I read that in school, and it was the only book I read in my years in English class that touched and haunted me in that way. And that book has a moral that is way ahead of its time, but very timely for today.
Great interview. I love Tinthia’s humor and she has great advice for writers.
Hi Erica, thank you for reading the interview. Blessed be. Tinthia
Great interview, you two! I totally share your perspective on enjoying control over the publishing process, Tinthia. It’s the best thing about going indie!
Hi Loni. I agree. Going indie, with all its pitfalls, is still a freeing endeavor. Blessed be.
So many gems you share! I like how we, as writers, “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, ” making us magicians! I also love books that “transport [me] into [myself] and open doors long closed.”
To write in the midst of beauty is lovely. 🙂 The books you mention that have really moved you, are among those that have touched me too.
Another thing, you’ve given a new identity to romance novels in my mind. The term I always associate with Harlequin romances. (Haven’t read any of those since I was a teen, many moons ago.) It sounds like what you offer is refreshingly different and more 21st Century.
And hey, you’re not “old”! 🙂
Hi Romona, Haha, thank you for your kind comments. I hope you’ll give The Summer of Annah a chance. You can download sample pages at Amazon.
Regarding my setting where I write, I agree. I am truly blessed. If only the setting would help with writer’s block. Sigh.
***I’m full of stories—ideas churning within my mind, characters clamor for attention, words beg to see the light of day***
Love that line, Tinthia.
Magical, wonderful interview, Jeri.
PS. To Kill a Mockingbird rocked my world. I remember turning the last page saying, “Oh, YES, so that’s why it’s called a Classic!”
Hi, thank you for your kind comments. Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird remains a true classic with well-developed characters, a monumental story-line, and, of course, Scout! Blessed be.
Another great interview. I do like the suggestion about having fun. It is important to enjoy what you do, but sometimes it does finally takes it toll on you, and becomes a job.
Thanks for sharing her interview with us.
Hi William, I agree. There are days when writing is the last thing I want to do. I marvel at authors who turn out two to three books a month. Sigh. Somedays, I can’t even manage 200 words. That’s what ice cream is for. 🙂
Great Interview Jeri! I am keen on know what is an Earth Witch is. I connect with Tinthia’s tip of having fun with writing. Thank you, Jeri for introducing me to Tinthia.
Hi Sushmita, I’ve recorded a video on being an earth witch. You can find it on my YouTube page at: http://bit.ly/2cQRTmH
Blessed be, Tinthia
Great interview! It’s always inspiring to read about other authors. I’m always amazed by pantsers. I need an outline to finish even a short story! Every writer works differently.
Hi Stacy, I am going to try outlining for my sequel to The Summer of Annah. Pantsing is driving me crazy. 🙂
Hi Stacy, I am going to try outlining for my sequel to The Summer of Annah. Pantsing is driving me crazy. 🙂