1. Where do you hail from? What do you love most about your hometown?
I was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, USA and I continue to live nearby. I live in the heart of coal country. We have a rich history in Schuylkill County dating back to the Lenape Indians who lived here before the European settlers arrived. I enjoy researching the area where I live and learning about what life was like for my ancestors who lived in this land. The scenery is really beautiful here, too. I enjoy hiking on the scenic mountain trails.
2. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your current career?
My mom’s brother got our family our first dog when I was about 7 years-old. A Doberman/German Shepherd mix. I fell totally in love with her and vowed that I would become a veterinarian so I could take care of her so she would have a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, I tend to faint at the sight of blood. My animal doctor days didn’t go far. Writing had always been a fun hobby for me. I didn’t think of it as a career choice until my senior year in high school.
3. What do you do for fun?
I love to travel. With the economy tightening our budgets, I can’t make any overseas trips as I desire to, but I do like to just take a nice road-trip some days. I don’t need to have a particular destination in mind. Sometimes, I just get in the car and drive, just to see where the road takes me. I often find some beautiful sights and interesting locale this way.
4. How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing?
I lived in my grandmother’s haunted house when I was very young, so I was introduced to the paranormal almost from birth. This fed my curiosity for all things paranormal and I read as much as I could on the subject. As well as having ghosts to deal with in our home, we used to take walks to the cemetery about 3 houses away where I learned how to ride a bike and fly a kite. The cemetery was our playground. We were very interested in those people buried there and I remember traveling from gravestone to gravestone, reciting the names and dates written there and wondering what kind of life these people led, and what brought them to this area of the world. I spun stories to make up for the true ones I didn’t know and I think that tendency to daydream encouraged my muse for writing.
5. Tell us about your latest book.
The Witch and the Vampire is the sequel to my 2010 debut, The Witch and the Wolf. Here’s a short blurb:
Melora Merriweather is searching for a fellow witch to protect her from a scheming uncle with plans of marriage. When her carriage overturns on her journey, she is rescued by a mysterious man whom she learns is the very person she seeks. But, he’s not the witch she thought he was…
Sebastian Collins should have left for London days ago. Now a snowstorm has trapped him with a woman who has come seeking protection, a woman who intrigues him like no other. And with each passing hour, his hunger for her grows…hunger for her kiss, her caress, and her blood.
6. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m working on several projects at the moment. I’m writing another Merriweather Witches story, and if I can, I’d like to continue the series with a few more short stories. I have two gothic romance novels and a ghost romance novel I’m in the middle of editing and revising with hopes of getting published.
7. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
I entered a contest when I wrote my first story, The Witch and the Wolf. I wrote it one week and sent it out the next. I didn’t have much time to think of a proper title, but it seemed to fit for a romance, so I kept it. The Witch and the Vampire felt like an appropriate way to continue the series.
8. Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
At this stage in my life, finding the time to write is an ongoing challenge. I have three children ages 5, 3 and 7 months, and my busy days and sleepless nights affect my writing schedule. Before I had kids, I wrote mostly at night as it was my most inspirational time and the words just flowed from me. Now, I can barely make it to 10pm without my eyelids starting to droop from exhaustion. But, this is just a stage in my life, and my children will only be this young once. I’m enjoying motherhood so much and I know my writing will be there when my kids are grown and off to school.
9. Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes. I’ve had it and continue to do battle with it on and off again. For me, my worst enemy is perfectionism. I sometimes paralyze myself with the thought of doing it right the first time. So much so that I procrastinate. To stop myself, I have to give myself a little lecture. Sometimes I must be very stern with myself, since I don’t like to listen. J I am the author, this is my story, these are my characters. Just get the words down and worry about fixing the rest later.
10. Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?
I have so many favorites, it’s so difficult to narrow it down. Claire Delacroix, Deborah Simmons, Gayle Wilson, Lynn Kurland and Katie Macalister are a few of my absolute favorites. They each have a different style of storytelling, but in each instance I’m addicted. I think I’m most influenced by Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. I really enjoy writing historical romances with a gothic feel to them. Of course, I add a healthy dose of paranormal to that mix!
11. Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
I truly enjoy research. Being an author is one of the best jobs because I need to read in order to write! What a great perk! Reading about true events does spark creative interest in my mind and I begin the what if? game. There’s other benefits to doing research, as well. Recently, I was researching some local Pennsylvania history and stumbled upon a list of names of the earliest pioneers inhabiting Schuylkill County. I ended up discovering another branch of my family tree! And, I have a neat idea for another story!
12. Where can we find out more about your books?
My website: www.triciaschneider.com