I am pleased to welcome multi-genre fantasy author Antoinette Houston to the Desu Beast Blog. Thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me tonight. Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?
I am a chocoholic, I love manga and anime and enjoy RPG videogames. I’m addicted to the Sims. If my video card was working properly, I would be playing them now. I am never without a pen or pad, always writing notes on something. I do not act my age and you can’t make me. I have a little boy and have been happily married for 12 years come July 16. I make unique leather accessories from jewelry to bookmarks and purses. I have an eclectic love of music. I listen to metal, country, new age to classical, RnB and soul.
- Have you always wanted to be an author?
Honestly, no. I’ve always had a great imagination, loved books, adored video games, but I wanted to become a great cook first and then went to school for that. I learned then that cooking, well, while I love experimenting in the kitchen I do not have the passion to push it further than ‘hobby-level’. All the time while I was in school, from elementary to culinary; I’ve been writing stories.
- What inspired you to write your first book?
My fortieth birthday and a cousin that convinced me to give Createspace a try. I hit forty and decided that I needed to do something with all the files and notepads and journals of stories that I had collected over the years. Somebody would enjoy them and I might enjoy it.
- What genre(s) do you write?
When I started, I had no clue there were so many and even more sub-genres. I’m still learning the exact placement of my writing, but so far it’s been fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, space opera. I’ve other stories that I’ve yet to place but I think they may fall in one of the dystopias and one I believe is considered a ‘Timeslip’ story.
- What is the name of your latest novel?
My latest novel has been the final book to my space opera: Beyond Human. A trilogy that popped up after finishing my second book.
- How did you come up with the concept for your novel?
I dreamt it. Most of my stories were dreams that wouldn’t fade until I wrote it down. As with my very first story, it was only supposed to be a single book, but somehow it multiplied and turned into a trilogy.
- Who is your favorite character and why?
That’s a hard one. I supposed it would have to be a character I haven’t introduced yet. She’s stuck with me for a looong time and I’m still trying to perfect her story. But my second favorite is Rita from my Red Summer series.
- Who is your least favorite character and why?
The least favorite? Don’t really have any, the ones that go un-named? Maybe the ones that have like one scene or are simply there for information. Those are the hardest characters to come up with. The no-face ones.
- Which character do you relate to the most and why?
Rita. After allowing a few friends to read her story they’ve all come back telling me that she pretty much me. I hadn’t meant for Rita to be that way. I was trying to make her different, but I realized that she was after the four hundredth re-write. Not many paranormal stories with a female lead that’s not your normal black girl. I had given her a lot of my habits and characteristics without even realizing it. Taste in music, desires as far as friends and uncertainty as far as her direction in life.
- Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?
No. Sometimes people ‘read’ too much into a story. This is just a story I made up for pure enjoyment. No lesson or philosophical meaning to be found between the lines. Just a story I created to escape reality for a bit. Adventure, fun, imagination. I’m not deep like that.
- What books have influenced you the most?
Why? Piers Anthony’s Xaneth series. Steven R. Boyett’s Ariel. Richard and Wendy Pini’s Elfquest – I enjoyed the twisting of the normal formula of fantasy. A play on puns. A swearing and dangerously curious Unicorn. Taking something and recreating it your own way. I don’t want to follow the usual story lines. I want new ways of storytelling.
- Who are a few of your favorite authors?
Piers Anthony, Steven R. Boyett, Richard & Wendy Pini, Steve Perry, Robert Asprin, Terry Brooks…
- With what author would you love to have a conversation?
I Don’t Know! That’s one question that’s hard to answer. To have a conversation is the problem. My mind would more than likely draw up silly questions no matter what I did. I doubt that I would be able to get my voice to work anyway. But, I think the first Author I’d love to speak with would be Piers. His were the first books I read, my introduction to fantasy.- waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in elementary school.
- Any future projects you would like to talk about?
Sure! I’m working on the final book to my Red Summer series – Its title is still a work in progress but it’s sub-title will be ‘Tying up loose ends’ Because that’s what I’ll be doing. I’m also working on my Time slip series and my Epic Fantasy story Wonderlost, which you can read on my website, I’m finishing it and moving on to the 2nd book.
- If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?
Lol, sure. All the typos that I missed.
- Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?
The explosion was an ominous sign of things to come. Honey and Sammus find that their ‘rough patch’ only gets worse and outside interference bring big changes they never expected. Bo finds himself confused and unable to get over what he did to Evvie. His mental stability spirals out of control as he attempts to fulfill his sister’s revenge.
- Do you have a favorite quote from one of your novels?
“Fine, be a @!%#! about this. I’ll be the monster you want.” – Bobby Acosta (Wil’s Winter)
- Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?
Just do it! Don’t hesitate, as it is, you can always go back and fix things, but the feeling is wonderful when you have that very first book in your hand.
- Are there any future events you would like to announce?
I’m going to my first book convention in July! July 22nd! The Atlanta Kickback at the College Park Convention Center. I’m nervous as all get out, but I’m excited as well! I’ll also be at the Onyxcon in August! Excited for that one too!
Thank you for stopping by the Desu Beast Blog. I’ve enjoyed your books and your banter! I am looking forward to meeting you at the Kickback.