Through Thom Tinted Lenses

January 8, 2012

Thom Interviews Author T.W. Fendley



Thom’s Happenings

Thom Interviews Author T.W. Fendley

Thom’s Happenings

Today’s blog features an interview with fantasy/science fiction writer T.W. Fendley, but before we move into our feature article I’d like to bring you up to speed on my current projects and releases. I’ve just completed work on my second Marc Huntington novel, CHASING KELVIN, which should be released late spring. The publisher of this series, Speaking Volumes, has asked me to continue with the series so there will be a third Huntington novel in 2013, and likely each year to come for the foreseeable future.

BIG NEWS! My first novel with publisher L & L Dreamspell, THE EMPTY, is due for release this month. The eBook version is now accessible at  while print versions should be on sale within 1-2 weeks. I’m very excited about this book and am already plotting a sequel. THE EMPTY focuses on a people who have a faulty and incomplete genetic matrix and must infuse DNA from others – mostly from human sources, but sometimes animal as well. Some live among us, others on the outskirts of humanity in animal-like packs. This one is very special to me, and I hope you check it out.

And now…


An Interview with T.W. Fendley

T.W. Fendley writes historical fantasy and science fiction. While researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, she fell in love with ancient American cultures. Her debut historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME, was released in October 2011. She won the 9th NASFiC 2007 short story contest, and has a story in the Dreamspell Sci Fi Vol. 1 anthology. Fendley belongs to the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Broad Universe and the Historical Novel Society.

Why don’t you start by telling me about your most recent release?

To put things in perspective, the title–Zero Time–refers to Dec. 21, 2012, when the Earth comes into alignment with the galaxy’s dark rift for the first time in 26,000 years. It’s also considered the end of the Mayan calendar cycle that began in August 3114 BCE. Here’s the book blurb: As Zero Time nears, only Keihla Benton can save two worlds from the powers of Darkness. But first she must unlock the secrets of Machu Picchu and her own past. 

You write historical fantasy. What genre(s) do you like to read?

Fantasy is currently my favorite, and I love books with a strong historical or scientific element. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of young adult books lately, and I’m a sucker for quirky. I used to read (and write) horror and traditional mysteries, but not so much anymore.

What draws you to historical fantasy?

I write historical fantasy and sci fi for the same reason I studied journalism and art in college–I wanted to be able to continue to learn and to express my creativity on a daily basis. Speculative fiction lets me do the research that I love, as well as follow where my imagination leads me.

What is your writing routine?

Truthfully, right now I’m out of my routine since I’m trying to get a handle on marketing. Generally, the first thing I do when I wake up is grab a cup of decaf coffee and write. I’m definitely a morning person.

Do you begin with plot or characters?

A concept or setting usually gets me started, then I figure out how to tell a story around it. That’s what happened when I read about the sex-chromosome drive in Matt Ridley’s book, GENOME. I thought, What if people had this disorder that causes 97 percent of the offspring to be female? That became the motivation for the characters in my book, ZERO TIME, to travel to Earth to try and save their race from extinction.  

Tell us about the characters in your most recent work.

Their names tell a lot about each of my characters, who are inspired by their mythic namesakes. For instance, Xmucane, the leader of the expedition to Earth in ZERO TIME, is the divine grandmother and daykeeper in Maya mythology. Keihla Benton is named after Quilla, the Inca moon goddess. As a modern woman, Keihla finds she must get in touch with her innate powers as a Daughter of Light.   

What are you currently writing?

My next project will be the sequel to ZERO TIME, which I actually started in 2010 during NanoWrimo. Additionally, Beta readers are reviewing my young adult fantasy, also set in Peru, called THE LABYRINTH OF TIME. It’s about two teenagers who telepathically receive messages left by an ancient race on engraved stones. Oh, and a hairless Peruvian dog named Boss Lady helps them on their quest.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

Sit down and write. I tell myself that, too, when I get distracted. Join a writing group to help you stay focused and keep you striving for excellence.

What type of story do you most like to write? Why?

I like the juxtaposition of the imaginative with scientific, metaphysical or historical elements. If I’m going to spend from a month to a year working on a story, I want it to be something that fascinates me.

How did you get your start in writing? How did you land your first book contract?

I won my first writing awards in grade school from the Audubon Society for an essay on owls and from the TB Association for a story that featured a character I created named Timothy B. Mouse. For 25 years, I earned my living as a journalist and in corporate communications. I owe my first book contract to the 2010 Missouri Writers’ Guild conference. After pitching to agents and publishers there, I signed with L&L Dreamspell.

With the rise in eBook popularity, the publishing industry is in a state of change. What do you see as positives and negatives in this reformation?

Here are three of the reasons I like ebooks: First, they weigh less. Before ebooks, I lined the bottom of my suitcase with books when I traveled. Now I take my iPad. Second, since my iPad’s backlit, I’m less of a bother to my husband when I read in bed (every night). Third, authors earn about the same on ebooks as they do on print books, and readers pay a lot less–what’s not to like about that?! The negatives–I simply love my books! Most of the print books I buy are nonfiction because I don’t find ebooks as research-friendly, and I don’t want to rely solely on Google.

For more info, check out T.W.’s  website, or her blog at
Zero Time, $4.99 in Kindle store!
Solar Lullaby, Dreamspell SciFi e-anthology – $2.99 in Kindle store!


Thom Reese is the author of DEAD MAN’S FIRE, THE DEMON BAQASH and 13 BODIES: SEVEN TALES OF MURDER AND MADNESS. Upcoming releases include the novels, CHASING KELVIN, and THE EMPTY. Thom was the sole writer and co-producer of the weekly audio drama radio program, 21ST CENTURY AUDIO THEATER. Fourteen of these dramas have since been published in four collections. A native of the Chicago area, Thom currently makes his home in Las Vegas.

CONTACT ME AT for autographed copies or to get on my emailing list to receive notifications on new releases, special pricing, appearances, etc.

Purchase THE EMPTY at




Copyright 2012 Thom Reese All Rights Reserved.


  1. […] guest blogging at Through Thom Tinted Lenses. Thanks, […]

    Pingback by Guest interview up! » T.W. Fendley, Author — January 9, 2012 @ 4:51 am | Reply

  2. Hi, Thom — Thanks so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog and for a fun interview! I appreciate being part of such a vibrant community of authors and readers. AND congratulations on the recent release of THE EMPTY and your upcoming Marc Huntington novel, as well. Exciting times!

    Comment by twfendley — January 9, 2012 @ 5:02 am | Reply

  3. Hi, T.W.,

    I agree with you. The only way to be a writer is to actually sit down and write. No excuses. Of course, trying to promote our writing distracts us.


    Jacqueline Seewald

    Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — January 9, 2012 @ 5:51 am | Reply

    • Hi, Jacquie…thanks so much for stopping by! Sometimes I feel like a horse that needs blinders, with so many distractions I can’t concentrate. I guess life is like that. 🙂 The good thing is all the new stuff I’m learning about marketing fiction, doing podcasts, etc. Surely that will make it easier with the next book, right?

      Comment by twfendley — January 9, 2012 @ 6:22 am | Reply

  4. Hi T. W and Thom. Great interview. You are such a creative writer and you come up with the most interesting premises for your books. And you’re an excellent story teller as well. As far as marketing, social media has provided so many tools for us to use but it is one huge distraction. I sometimes block out an entire week to write, no networking, no blogging, no promoting, just great writing. Well, hopefully great writing:-) Keep up the great work. And congratulations to Thom on his new book.

    Comment by Cindy Sample — January 9, 2012 @ 10:01 am | Reply

    • Hi, Cindy — I think you have the right idea about blocking out a week to do nothing but write. And I agree with what someone said recently about you being a natural marketer, as well as a great writer. Your fun personality shows through in both. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words and support!

      Comment by twfendley — January 9, 2012 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  5. A fun interview and great premise for a book! And yes, ebooks are awesome, but agree with you about research/print books. Congrats and good luck with the book!

    Comment by Pauline Baird Jones — January 9, 2012 @ 10:46 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Pauline! I gained new appreciation for the wide range of talent on the Dream Team during our recent “liking” exercise on Amazon. There are some really amazing writers with tantalizing premises, such as your GIRL GONE NOVA, Jacquie’s THE INFERNO COLLECTION and too many more to name. Can’t wait to read them!

      Comment by twfendley — January 9, 2012 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  6. Hi, T.W and Thom–I am in complete agreement with you about writing being a window that opens on new learning. Research for me is very enjoyable and stimulates my imagination. The only danger is getting so engrossed that you don’t spend enough writing. Thom, good interview and congrats on the new book.

    Comment by Linda Lovely — January 10, 2012 @ 5:21 am | Reply

    • Exactly! Research can be intoxicating. I just signed up to go to the Tulane Maya Symposium in February. I can’t wait to learn more about interpreting the Mayan hieroglyphs (that’s my latest thing). Maybe someday I’ll become a prolific writer like Thom! That would be nice, too.Congrats on DEAR KILLER, Linda — the sea island community is a wonderful setting.

      Comment by twfendley — January 10, 2012 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  7. I completely agree with you re; ebooks and research. My sister and I just completed a book that required extensive research and I found having a paper book in hand, where I could tag and highlight, worked so much better. Your book sounds intriguing – and what a perfect time to launch it! Congratulations on its release and I wish you much success. Thom, same to you!

    Comment by christytilleryfrench — January 10, 2012 @ 5:38 am | Reply

    • It’s really sad how some of my reference books look–highlighted and with stickies poking out everywhere, like colorful porcupines.Thanks for the kind words! I was thrilled that Dreamspell was able to publish ZERO TIME now, as the end of the Mayan calendar nears. Your books sound fascinating. After all, what’s not to love about quirky Southern women?!

      Comment by twfendley — January 10, 2012 @ 7:16 am | Reply

  8. Thom and TW, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Ah, distractions…what can we do about them? Some can be controlled while others!!!

    Research is one of my favorite parts of writing and I have to be careful not to let it consume me. Usually I will copy the sheets to go over as needed.

    Thanks again for an enlightening interview.

    Comment by Betty Gordon — January 10, 2012 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  9. Great interview!

    You’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award:


    Comment by chantellyb — March 4, 2012 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

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