Who or what inspired The Hidden One?
Many who have read my A Woman Lost series know I’m a history nerd. I’m also an American political news junkie. I listen to way too many political podcasts, just like Ainsley in The Hidden One, hardly ever miss The Rachel Maddow Show, subscribe to several newspapers in the US and UK, in addition to reading articles on Politico, Axios, and others including right-leaning sites in a woeful attempt to stay impartial. The Chosen One series allows me to bring out the political animal inside me without actually having to run for office. Because that would be my definition of hell.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
Two reasons immediately pop into my mind.
First: My love of reading.
When I was a kid, I spent many blissful hours reading in my favorite rocking chair. This passion never vanished. Unfortunately, the rocking chair did. That hasn’t stopped me. I read everywhere. If you were at the post office today and saw a woman reading in line, that may have been me. I always have a book with me. If I don’t, I feel naked and incomplete. By the way, if you know where my rocking chair is, please let me know. I miss my old friend.
Second: Being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease may have been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If it wasn’t for that, I may still be a person who has dreams but doesn’t chase them.
Who is your favorite character from your books and why?
Oh gosh, this is a hard one. I’m quite fond of so many, even the ones who are a complete pain in the arse. If I had to choose one right now, I’d say Fiona Carmichael. She’s a supporting character in The Chosen One series and she’s a riot. Always saying what she thinks and the woman doesn’t have a filter at all. If you asked me this question again tomorrow, my answer would probably be different.
How do you approach writing a new storyline?
Before I start a novel, the idea has to sit with me for weeks. I spend a lot of time going for walks, letting ideas percolate. I’ll jot down notes, but I won’t actually write until I feel confident I can finish it. When I finally start, I have a decent idea where the story will go. But then, the characters hijack it and even I’m surprised by what happens.
Where do your inspirations for characters and their lives come from?
From everywhere. There have been countless times I’ve been in a store, restaurant, or park and I see interactions with people and my brain immediately starts to concoct a backstory to what I’m hearing or witnessing.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I write in my “office” in my flat. There’s nothing fancy about it. Just a desk, chair, and laptop. I’m easily distracted. Sometimes I listen to music. Other times I need absolute quiet.
What is your writing process?
I write full time, so it’s not so much a process, but a job. Every day when I wake, I know that’s what I’ll be doing until quitting time. I’m a slow starter, though. I can’t wake up and jump right into writing like many authors. I have to make a cup of tea and clear some admin tasks off my plate, or I can’t concentrate on the story I’m working on.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I think each published book has impacted my process. I’m always finetuning my approach. Like any job, it can become repetitive and I have to find new ways to tap into the creative process. Sometimes, I just have to give myself a stern lecture that can be summarized this way: sit your arse in the chair and write.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
On books. In my humble opinion, if someone doesn’t love to read, they shouldn’t write. I read just about everything, ranging from nonfiction to fiction. Usually, I have three books going at once, plus an audiobook for when I exercise.
What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
I’ve been receiving quite a few emails lately from people thanking me for helping them through difficult times. It’s nice to know my stories help readers disappear from harsh realities and give them some escapism. Life can be so very hard.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Back when I was a kid I had the flu and was home for school for several days. I was so bored and I started to read The Hobbit and fell in love with reading. It was the first book that wasn’t a picture book that I remember reading on my own and it introduced me to the wonderful world of storytelling. Over the years, I’ve reread The Hobbit and every time I can recapture that magical moment.
Do you have any new books coming out? If so, what are they about?
A Woman Undone, the sixth book in theA Woman Lost series, will be out soon (fingers crossed). The previous book, A Woman Loved, ended with quite a cliffhanger. Lizzie has a unique family (read crazy), and while she’s doing her best to live a happy life with her wife and twins, her family causes so many problems. And the clueless Lizzie does her best to navigate the issues in Lizzie style, which means she makes many comical blunders.
How do you take your coffee?
I actually hate coffee, but drink way too much tea. My preferences change frequently. Lately I’ve been drinking it with honey.
Links and bio:
T.B. Markinson is an American writer, living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. For a full listing of TB’s novels, please visit her Amazon page.