Today, please welcome young adult author Teshelle Combs to my website. Be sure to check out an except of her fantasy novel, Core, after her interview.
What or who inspired you to start writing?
The first person to ever tell me I was a writer was my best friend growing up, Shoshana. At sleepovers, we would stay up late and I would tell her stories that had been stored up in my head. Even when we were young, they were probably novel-length. And when I was finished she’d tell me, “Teshelle, you should write these down. I think you’re a writer.”
My college boyfriend (who I’m now married to, poor guy) was the first person to encourage me to do it professionally. I took my first Creative Writing class about two years into my undergraduate degree and I fell in love. “Just do it, Tess,” he told me. “If you love it, just do it.” And I did.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think most of us who end up as writers become who we are at very young ages. We get those big chunky kindergarten pencils in our hands and start scribbling out stories. I think I became an author the first time I sold a copy of my book. I did my crazy happy dance for ten minutes, I was so elated.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
Oh dear. I’m going to get in trouble for this one. Right now, I have an old novel, The System, that desperately needs to be revamped. I also need to work on the sequel for Core, or I’ll be attacked by my fans. And I’m half through a new book for a series that is still untitled. I don’t know which of the three projects to tackle first. Suggestions?
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
As of very recently, I write full-time! I’m about to be a mama (Jaxter is due at the end of August), and with the release of “Core” it just seemed like perfect timing to go for it.
My work day is… well, rather long. I usually start out the day working on marketing Core. Since I’m indie, I do all of it myself and it can be a lot. At some point I usually pass out (a cuter way to say it would be “take a nap,” I guess) because I’m pregnant and giant and it’s hot in SW Florida. And then for the second half of the day, I work on my new projects. I’d say a typical work day starts at 9:30am and ends at about 10:30pm.
Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
Oh, my can I please choose all of them? Okay, I suppose if I have to choose, my favorite character is Cameron Anders, the youngest brother of the Anders nest. Not only is he a blue dragon–the cold intellectuals of the dragon world–but he’s got a bid of red dragon blood in his veins as well. It makes him harsh and silent, and few see his true nature. I’m excited to tell more of his story.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
Even though Cam is my favorite, he leads a tough life, always having to keep silent, always keeping his story and his ideas hidden. So, iIf I could be anyone, I’d be Ava. Ava’s tough, but she has no problem speaking her mind. And mostly I’d want to be Ava because, of all my characters, she gets to have Cale. To have someone care about you, need you, Choose you? Well there isn’t much better than that.
Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
Chips. Sour cream and cheddar, baby! Seriously, eating and working is just regular, everyday life. I have about two granola bars worth of crumbs stuck between the keys of laptop.
Thank you so much for my interview! It was so much fun. Loved your questions.
She had amazing eyes. Jade green with flecks of amber red in them. They were focused, unflinching. Warrior eyes.
“Okay,” was all she said.
She looked him up and down, trying to pinpoint his motive for offering his name to her. Then she turned on her heel and walked right out of the arena. She didn’t even look back, as though Cale had made no Impression on her whatsoever. No Impression at all. Rory raced up to Cale with a smile and threw a burly arm over his shoulder.
“So, how’d it go? Did you ask her? Did she say yes?”
Not even close. He could barely open his mouth in front of her. But he had looked her in the eye. And for Cale, that was all it took. He could taste the fire in his core threatening to break free. He could feel the blood in his veins begging for just a spark, just a flicker. He opened his mouth to let out the smoke that was filling his lungs and ignored the white wisps as they disappeared into the air.
It was as good as done. He belonged to Ava Johnson. Know it or not, she had herself a dragon.
Cale Anders lives a normal life–as normal as any eighteen year old dragon could hope for. He has always managed to straddle two worlds, one of underground fight clubs and siren hunts, and one of family barbecues and backyard football. Still, for as long as Cale can remember, he’s been the middle man–the ambassador for his own family–bent on reconciling the stark differences between his fiercely intelligent blue dragon relatives and the boisterous, passionate red dragon nesters.
But when Cale picks the steely-eyed human, Ava, to be his rider, he must choose between the family he’s always loved, and the only girl who can unlock his potential and spark his core. Ava, her heart entrapped in a prison of callouses, is caught off guard by the rawness of the Anders’ life and the honesty of the boy who claims to belong only to her. But even more alarming than her immersion in a world she never knew existed, is the realization that love can grow slowly, steadily, and painfully, no matter how furious her resistance.
Together, Cale and Ava upturn the balance of the dragon world, leaving their very lives vulnerable to the wiles of forces neither of them truly understand.
About the Author
Teshelle Combs is the author of the YA contemporary fantasy novel, “Core.” She’s one of those crazies who majored in English in college at the University of Central Florida and she daringly works as a full-time writer. Teshelle grew up in the beautiful St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and currently lives with her composer/voice actor hubby, Nate Combs, and their soon-to-be born baby boy, Jaxter, in Cape Coral, FL.
You can purchase Core on Amazon.