Today I’m pleased to welcome Terra Whiteman to Off the Page chatting about her new book, Antithesis.
About the Author:
Terra Whiteman is a scientist who writes whenever she’s not doing things that scientists do. She loves philosophy, chemistry, biology, classical literature, graphic novels, loud, obnoxious music, frog slippers and beer.
Find the Author:
1. Tell a little about yourself, what you do when you’re not writing, what are your aspirations for the future?
When I’m not a writer, I’m a scientist working in a clinical toxicology lab. When I’m not in the lab or writing at my desk, I’m usually playing console games, drawing, hanging out with friends, or driving my husband crazy. Since I pretty much have achieved everything I want out of life so far, my only aspirations for the future involve retiring comfortably (I’m 27 so I guess I have a while), and traveling overseas. Oh, and good health. Everybody loves good health.
2. When and why did you start writing?
I’ve been writing (or trying to write) since I was five. Before I began grade school I used to make these little books out of construction paper and write, almost legibly, about animals with far too many legs and heads. My mother recalls me writing a story about a beautiful princess who lived in a beautiful palace and had a handsome prince for a husband, until an evil witch came along and cut her head off.
… Yes, that is how the story ended, apparently. The last page of my book had a drawing of a decapitated princess, with little x’s over her eyes to signify that she was in fact dead. My mother didn’t know whether to be horrified or impressed by my artistic detail. I even added blood splatters. Sadly, my imagination hasn’t evolved much since then.
3. If you could only read one book over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I actually can’t re-read books. I know this will sound appalling to the bookish types and I’ll probably get blacklisted, but most of the books I read are non-fictional. I don’t usually look for easy reads and most of them have to do with science and philosophy.
One specific fictional book that stands out in my mind to this very day is Stephen King and Peter Straub’s ‘The Talisman’ and its sequel ‘Black House’. I haven’t re-read them but if I had to re-read any books, it would be those. They’re extremely dark, partially set in a fictional world of what some might only think of in their most terrifying nightmares. It was my first introduction to horror/dark fantasy. I think I was thirteen when I read them.
4. Give us some back story about The Antithesis, where and when did you write it?
I wrote The Antithesis: Book One about three years ago while I was a junior in college. Of course, there have been many subsequent drafts since then, though I began publishing it on a blog for fun in 2010. It developed a pretty impressive fan following and was later picked up by 1889 Labs in 2011. Now, a little over a year later, the series has just finished with its fifth book.
5. What inspired your story?
A little bit of everything, really. I’ve always been a fan of science fiction concepts, but I wanted to infuse my ideas with modern world concepts like ethics and political philosophy, war, social inequalities, and real physical science. Oh, and violence. Lots and lots of violence. Decapitated princess, remember?
6. What was your favorite part of The Antithesis to write?
Creating all the worlds that the characters visit. I find the most enjoyment with world-building, because it’s there where I can really flex my imagination.
One of the worlds in the story is composed of a gaseous ocean with landmasses floating directly above it, another has two suns (the most distant one is about to go nova) so it is never dark, along with cowboy lizard-people and a Babylonian-type civilization that uses flying machines and hookahs. The most challenging part is being creative, yet realistic. The logic behind these worlds are there (if you can even fathom that), and how the Jury travels to and interacts with these foreign environments and people is what really makes the story interesting.
7. Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I’m always working on something. Right now I’m working on a new science fiction stand-alone that involves an apocalyptic world and a power struggle between two warring factions. Some of the themes in this one include eugenics, and technology and scientific advancement vs. tradition and faith.
8. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? Why?
I used to be a pantser, but now I’m a little of both. Writing by the seat of my pants was exciting but usually slowed my writing progress because I had to figure out what I was going to write at that second, which usually stretched that second into days or even weeks. It was easier to be a pantser with The Antithesis series than a stand-alone work because you have a lot more room to unfold the story with five books and 2000+ pages. With a limit of about 450 pages, I really have to plan accordingly.
9. Do you have any tricks to your trade, bottomless coffee, a magic pen, a special muse?
Music. I know that’s probably the most generic answer ever, but really. Plus, I listen to some pretty weird stuff. I arrange playlists for whatever I’m writing at the time. Each book has a different playlist and I can’t ever use the same one twice. For me, it’s near impossible to write without music.
10. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
Odd Thomas. He gets to ride around with Elvis Presley.
Follow the rest of the tour here, and be sure to check out Antithesis!
Justice Alezair Czynri is the newest recruit of the Jury, a group of powerful beings who reside in Purgatory and enforce the Code between Heaven and Hell. However, Justice Czynri could not have come at a worse time. A storm lays just over the horizon…
One that brings with it a war.