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Today, I’m fortunate to present Tasha Madison, author of Fabric of a Generation.
Hi Tasha, thanks for agreeing to this interview!!!
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
(I’ve lived all over, but) I’m from Seattle, Washington.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
As a reader, my expectations are genre-specific. A crime novel needs suspense. A romance novel needs passion. However, as a writer, I believe a good story requires a bit more … Thoughtful planning. Attention to detail. A penchant for crafting relatable characters.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
Like most things, for me at least, I was inspired to write my debut novel, Fabric of a Generation, while watching TV or doing some mundane household task. The seed of the idea came to me inextricably in a flash. Over time, the story germinated as I cultivated the plot and started to develop the various characters.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Immersive! When I am writing, I tend to neglect all other things. I narrow my focus, and I submerge myself into the world I am creating. My sister sometimes has to send me text reminders to eat. I completely lose track of time. My family jokes that they forget what I look like until I emerge from my writer’s haven with a manuscript in hand.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I am feeling less than inspired (aka writer’s block), and I am having difficulty typing out the words I want to say on my laptop, I always revert back to pen and paper. It works every time! There’s something about scribbling your thoughts by hand that forces you to overcome distractions and think more thoughtfully about what you wish to say.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
My book is called, Fabric of a Generation. It is a family saga that morphs into a historical fantasy novel.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I was surprised most by the different perspectives I received from book cover designers. It’s always interesting to see how others interpret your brainchild.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
Here is a 3-page excerpt from the end of Chapter 5:
Miranda navigated through mountains of gaudy souvenirs and meaningless tchotchkes. Although she did not search for anything, in particular, she inexplicably followed her curiosity. She opened a trunk sullied with age but found nothing but old textbooks and sports memorabilia from when her parents attended college.
After scouring heaps of other junk stuffed under shelves or inside cabinets, Miranda gave up her impromptu quest. She somberly headed back toward the faded rocking chair but, before she could complete her return to boredom, her feet collided into something on the floor.
She partially caught herself but not without her head converging with one of the unfinished floorboards. Thankfully, her hands, forearms, and feet managed to brace her athletic frame from any real injury. Miranda shook her head from side to side as if cleaning out cobwebs from a derelict piece of furniture.
“Ow!” she bellowed to herself, more embarrassed than hurt.
She circumspectly raised her body and turned to see what had caused her to stumble. An unmarked cardboard box rested on the edge of her right foot.
“Stupid box!” Miranda chastised, kicking the inanimate object with the force she generally reserved for one of her soccer matches.
As her foot disciplined the carton, the flaps of the box thumped open and spilled some of its contents onto the attic floor. Miranda, still angry, stooped down to inspect the items. She first examined a forest green book tied closed with a mint-green, silk ribbon. When she unfastened the ribbon, the volume burst open to uncover a cookbook printed in 1946. The original owners had treated the book as a historical catalog to chronicle issues affecting their family, stuffing it with newspaper clippings, holiday greetings, sympathy cards, and several handwritten recipes. The tattered spine of the worn book and shredded edges of the pages annoyed Miranda. She casually leafed through the cookbook, unimpressed. Then, she sloppily retied the ribbon and cast the book aside.
Next, Miranda flipped through a stack of cards and crafts she and her brother had made for their parents over the years. She found greetings they had created for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as childhood doodles that had once decorated the kitchen fridge. What a bunch of junk! Miranda thought as she skimmed over the other items on the floor.
Miranda started to scoop everything up and dump it back into the now-crumpled cardboard square when she glimpsed a tuft of fabric out of the corner of her eye, tucked into the edge of the askance box. She gingerly released the wedged fabric, revealing a vibrantly colored shawl.
Miranda, entranced by the dramatic swirls of color and romantic wisps of woven thread, held the cloth in her hands. She observed its alluring charm like an anthropologist who had made a discovery of a rare find. Although large and almost cape-like, the shawl had delicately feminine features.
The dyed strands elegantly incorporated tinges of flushed and pale hues. Flaming orbs of color cast a deep summer glow on the design. Miranda inhaled the golden opulence until her eyes settled upon a mystery thread used parsimoniously like brilliant flashes of sunlight. Her gaze continued to the gossamer-like layers of embroidery where the hem of the shawl met the passionately intricate layers of fringe.
She gently ran her hands over the hemstitching, brazenly admiring its beauty. Then, she smiled and rapidly jumped to her feet. She stood in front of the vintage, full-length mirror nestled in the corner. Although the glass had heavy mottling, she could still visibly see herself. She swung the shawl around her body, letting the dance-like movement of the fringe parade across her shoulders.
“What happened to my reading glasses, dear?” Miranda asked her reflection in a venerable tone. “I can’t find them anywhere!” she proclaimed. “Did I put them in my pockets? No? Maybe in my purse? Oh, wait. They’re right where I left them … on the top of my head! I guess I am too ancient to remember!” she sneered as she chuckled at her rendition of her grandmother’s flagrant absentmindedness.
Suddenly, a shadow flickered across the edges of the mirror and interrupted her mirth. Miranda flinched. Her fingers grew cold. She felt a gust of air and shuddered uncontrollably. She wrapped the shawl around her trembling body, crossing her arms over her chest for additional warmth. She stared into the center of the mirror and examined it. The shawl that had once mesmerized Miranda now seemed to numb her entire body.
Confusion emptied her mind. Her eyes became useless. Shadows flashed before them. Miranda caged her eyes and tossed her head rapidly from side to side in an attempt to free it from the muddled images that settled there. She searched for clarity but found nothing until slowly, very slowly, she opened her eyes and saw candles flickering on the walls around her, exposing a slender corridor.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
I love all things history. So, you can expect a lot more historical fiction from me.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent as a writer was on a vintage Royal typewriter. Sometimes, when I need to court the muse, I’ll bang on the keys from time to time. It makes me feel connected to past writers and all of the unwritten stories that remain within so many people that have yet to be told.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?