Are you a fan of the paranormal with some romance thrown in? Then the Eternal Curse Series by Toinette “Toi” Thomas is for you. Check out our exclusive interview with the author where we talk about her inspirations, her works, and the charities she donates to!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Toi Thomas and I’m a big kid with adult responsibilities. Aside from writing fiction and blogging, I also host a YouTube channel with entertaining programming, such as movie and book reviews, plus some other odd stuff. I love comic books, vinyl records, and chocolate. I’ve been happily married for almost 10 years and currently work as Special Education teacher’s assistant.
When did you get into writing? What was the first thing you remember writing, even if it was something you didn’t publish?
I’ve always been a writer to some degree, though I never thought to pursue it as a career option and never really devoted much time to. It was just something I did from time to time. Everything changed in 2009 when I was going through a rough time in my life and began having reoccurring dreams of a fantasy/paranormal story. I wrote it all out and then decided to make some changes and share it with the world. Writing that book, my first published novel, saved my life and helped me rekindle my passion for writing and reading fiction.
What other authors have inspired you?
I list so many names here, especially since I’m still being influenced by other authors today. As a kid, let’s be honest, who didn’t love reading the tales of Oz, Narnia, Wonderland, and more. The one story, the one author that really stood out to me though, was J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. Something about that story just captured my imagination and made me want to write. I became a lost boy and began to write my own adventures. Where all my adventures are now, I don’t know, but they’ll always be inside my heart and mind.
What can you share about your Eternal Curse Series. What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Well, the story is essentially a paranormal romance, but there’s a lot going on that keeps it from being a typical romance. With elements of fantasy and even sci-fi, the term urban fantasy could also be applied. I’ve taken a bit of a leap and am telling a different kind of Nephilim story. Aside from the obvious bookworms who love to devour all kinds of stories, my book will mostly appeal to someone who likes paranormal and/or themes of good versus evil.
The story is full of spiritual and religious references related to angels. It is written for adults though; teens can read it with their parent’s approval.
You also donate a percentage of your book earnings to two charities. Tell us a bit about that.
Well I’ve always had a heart to give, even though I haven’t always had the means to give in the way I’d like. There are so many good causes worth supporting, but my reason for picking the ones I did is purely selfish. I work with children, come from a big family, and all my friends have kids. Knowing that some of them have suffered the loss of child or have to endure long, harsh, and expensive medical treats breaks my heart. Where I live, if you have a little one struggling to hold on to life, they go to The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and that’s one of my preferred charities.
I also give to the American Cancer Society. I honestly don’t know a single person who hasn’t been affected by cancer in one way or another. My best friend lost her mother in high school and I recently lost my sister-in-law. I’ve always felt an aching to do something for those suffering from cancer; I even wrote about it in my book. I wrote about a character suffering from cancer and how it affects the story.
Do you have any favorites from your own works?
So far, I have the one novel published along with a novella, Legend of the Boy, and a collection of short stories, Unexplained. I’m very fond of my Eternal Curse book one and my short story In the Window, but the more I work on Eternal Curse book two, the more I like and favor it.
What blogging advice can you give to people who have just started?
My advice for anything is always the same; have a plan. Blogging can serve so many purposes, but you have to know what it is you want from it before you get started. It’s great to jump right in full force if you have a plan, but without one you find you have no focus, no muse, and no following.
If your blog is meant to be therapeutic, don’t get bogged down trying to overdo things and creating stress for yourself. If your blog is a business one, don’t treat it like a hobby and not promote it properly. If your blog is your hobby, well then let loose and have fun.
Any thoughts regarding Self and Traditional-Publishing?
I think most authors have that dream of traditional publishing where they find an agent, get a contract, and become a bestseller, but that’s not a reality anymore. There are a very small, precious few who experience publishing like that these days. Also there are many misconceptions about just what is traditional and self-publishing.
Ultimately the publishing industry has changed. Publishing houses, big or small, are not what they used be, but if traditional publishing is the validation one seeks, I’d say go for a small press where creativity is openly allowed. The market is not what it used to be. People don’t read as much as they used to and when they do, they want to do it for free. Why? Because so much is free online all day every day. Lastly, while some authors are what I’d call “old school” in the best possible way, many authors are breaking molds and crossing barriers that most publishing houses don’t want to mess with.
I believe that each author has to decide for themselves what the best move is for them. I’ve tried them all and realize that I’m an indie self-publisher all the way.
Any upcoming works we should know about?
I have a time-travel short story being released soon as part of an anthology. I’m working to release a stand-alone novel in the genre of romance in early 2015 with no spiritual or religious influences—just some fun. Lastly, I’m hoping to release my sequel to Eternal Curse in late 2015 or early 2016.
You can get to know more about Toi Thomas and her works by visiting her website.
Have you read works by Toi Thomas? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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