Today I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my fellow Welsh-based authors! My guest today is paranormal romance writer Thérésa Hedges.
PB: Hi! Welcome to pjbermanbooks.com. Tell us a bit about your background.
TH: Hello! Thank you for the kind invitation! Right then... I’m based on the Carmarthenshire coast, though I’m originally from Cardiganshire, on the west coast of Wales. I’m from a longish line of writers and bards. I originally studied psychology, always joking that I wanted to be a Ghostbuster! Well, half-joking... I then went into teaching and finally went into writing full-time 3 years ago.
PB: What made you decide to become an author?
TH: I don’t think it was ever that conscious a decision, to be honest. It was just something that had always been going on in the background but, bit by bit, it started coming more to the foreground until it was inescapable. I’ll always remember my mum phoning my great uncle (who was an author) to tell him (in the way only mums can) that I was going to be a writer. He said “About time we had another writer in the family!”
PB: When did you first start writing?
TH: I’m told I used to always be wandering around as a little kid, making up stories and poems and trying to get anyone to stay still long enough to listen! I think everyone must have been relieved when I learned to write and could just scribble it all down instead! But then it kind of drifted into blank verse when I was about 7. And then into short stories. Then longer stories. Then short plays & films, then longer... you get the idea.
PB: What was the first story that you can remember writing?
TH: It had all been poems and nonsense but when I was in the sixth form, I got asked to contribute to the school magazine by my English teacher. Apparently, being asked was pretty rare, so I jumped at the chance. I’d been reading a lot of science fiction and horror (still my favourite genres), so it was a short story about a girl who gradually destroys the world by having all her wishes come true,
PB: When you begin writing a new novel, do you always know the ending?
TH: Not always. In fact, rarely. Sometimes I think it’d be nice if my characters would let me in on what they’ve got planned! And often, the ending will change dramatically from first draft to final draft. In one book in particular, if I’d gone with the original ending, there wouldn’t have been a second book.
PB:Tell us about Diary of an Everyday Vampire.
TH: If a vampire ever did observational standup comedy, you’d have the Everyday Vampire. The idea behind a lot of science fiction is examining what it means to be human. And what better character to make fun of the vagaries of humanity than a vampire? This will probably sound odd, but it’s largely autobiographical. I am literally writing what I know. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be silly and blow off steam. You don’t have to be a vampire to find life weird, but writing from that viewpoint is a lot more fun!
PB: Where did the idea for the Dominic series come from?
TH: It started off as a dream (as did another book - Trash). I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with vampires. And there is so much stuff out there that I challenged myself to do something completely different within the genre. So, couple that with an obsession with Oscar Wilde (the style of Dominic is influenced by The Picture Of Dorian Gray), and I ended up with the story of a naive young Welsh medical student in Victorian London whose life is turned upside down by an attack that turns him into a vampire - something that is at odds with everything he is trying to do with his life.
PB: If you could meet one of your own characters, who would you meet, and what would you say to them?
TH: Dr Dominic Ross! No hesitation there. I’d give him a massive hug and invite him to dinner. After all, I know exactly the sort of things he’s able to eat! Then we’d have the opportunity to discuss science, philosophy and his latest research.
PB: You have also done some work in the independent film industry. Tell us about your recent release, Like Glass.
TH: I was approached by the director Adam Spinks who had wanted to write this particular story for a long time but was looking for a writer who would ’get’ what he was trying to do with the story. We kind of already knew each other and he knew I’d written screenplays in the past. So, as we got chatting, something just clicked and we knew exactly what needed to be done as a team to make the most of the story. We tend to spark off each other quite easily, and we’ve since collaborated on other short and feature projects, including a upcoming full-length version of Like Glass.
PB: Of all your achievements, which are you most proud of?
TH: Probably winning a writing award for Like Glass. While I’m a big believer in keeping your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground, sometimes it’s nice to have other people acknowledge your work and have that affirmation that perhaps, possibly you might just be okay at doing this writing thing. The thing about writers being full of self-doubt is probably only a cliché because it’s probably true!
PB: What is your favourite book series to read and why?
TH: I’m probably supposed to say Lord Of The Rings, and yes, I do love it, and have done since I was a child but my favourite is actually The Hitchhikers’ Guide To The Galaxy books. I like the silly humour, and the way the ridiculousness of life is pointed out totally unapologetically. Plus the fact that Douglas Adams worked on some of my all-time favourite Dr Who stories when I was little.
PB: What are your long term ambitions career-wise?
TH: I would love to see my books adapted for the screen - large or small. Apart from that, I just want to to keep on writing. Films, books, plays - I don’t mind, as long as I can keep getting the stories out there.
PB: If you weren’t an author, what career would you be in?
TH: Acting. Definitely. I’ve done a fair bit of stage acting and recently collaborated with Adam again on a YouTube drama series called Containment. This time I was not just co-writing, but also playing one of the characters.
PB: What’s the next target for you?
TH: To get book 3 of the Dominic saga written! Plus I have a children’s adventure series based on The Mabinogion that I really need to get started on...
PB: Tell us a random fact about yourself.
TH: I can’t stand mirrors. Absolutely hate the things.
Thank you to Thérésa Hedges. That was fantastic. If you'd like to purchase her books or find out more about the auther herself, you can do so via the links below:
Until next time, happy reading!