LaToya: Hi Tesa, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Tesa: Thank you LaToya for this opportunity. I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. I currently live in New Jersey with my husband and two kids. I enjoy writing, reading and (shower) singing.
LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Tesa: Back in the mid-nineties, I read Brenda Jackson’s first romance novel; Tonight and Forever. After that, I wanted to create my own love story. I like creating twists of characters being unknowingly connected to each other. It’s a small world and I prove that in my writing style.
LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Tesa: I just finished writing the sequel to my debut novel which is scheduled to be released soon.
LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Tesa: “Tesa writes love stories with romance, suspense and unexpected twists.”
LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Tesa: Actually, I never thought about whom would play the lead character in my book but I could tell you for sure that Queen Latifah could definitely play the supporting character, Sabrina. She has a strong voice that tells it like it is.
LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Tesa: I first started writing about ten years ago. It has always been a live long dream of mine that has finally come true. I am an avid reader especially of fiction novels. One day, I just thought to myself, “I can do it.”
LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Tesa: Since I do work a demanding full time job – I write in my spare time. Usually late at night is when I’m most productive. When everyone in the house is asleep, that’s my quiet time.
LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Tesa: I don’t have a set amount of words/pages that I aim for. My mentor suggested that I write at least fifteen minutes a day and that’s what I strive to do.
LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Tesa: I prefer to see where an idea takes me. I keep a notebook with me on the go. I start a story in there before scanning it into the computer. I still have a thing for the old fashioned scratch and scribble… I write everything down on paper.
LaToya: What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?
Tesa: I enjoy developing new characters and giving them a voice because each one is uniquely written. The part of the process I dislike would be sentence structure. As a writer, when the words are flowing I tend to forget to stop and add punctuations. Before I know it, I will have one long paragraph with a few run-on sentences and as a result I have to go back and change it.
LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Tesa: I have a sequel to The Loose End coming out soon and the hardest part about writing that particular book was finding the desire to do it. I never thought it would be a continuing story but since becoming published, I understand now that you appreciate giving the readers what they want.
LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Tesa: For me, the easiest part about writing is when you have a muse that you can build or base a character on. My childhood best friend of 30+ years is inspiration to Sabrina’s character in my book. She happens to have those same character traits of always being there and guiding me that it just makes the story come together in a nice even flow.
LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Tesa: I wear many hats (mother, wife, working full-time) and adding author to the mix has become a balancing act. I’m learning how to manage my time so my family can see the added value whether it be now or 5 years from now as I fulfill my dream.
LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Tesa: DO NOT GIVE UP! Though it tarries, the vision is near, be patient and wait for it!
- Habakkuk 2:2-3
LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Tesa: Proofread your own work even if you have an editor or an actual proofreader that has read it for you. Invest in yourself, read it again until you get to a point where you feel it is the best you can do.
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