Join us as we peek behind the scenes of our upcoming anthology, ON TIME. Learn more about Andrea L. Staum in her featured interview.
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
One of my friends found a stuffed tiger at an antique mall and posted pictures of it on social media. Something about the care worn nature of it drew me to it. The Clark Agency and its members have popped up in several of my stories and that tiger called out to my clairvoyants. I’ve used my retro-cognitive clairvoyant but never explored the other members of her team, Tay and Julian in depth.
Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
Tay is a pre-cognitive clairvoyant. He can read the future of any item that he touches. This led him to a life of recluse until he was recruited into The Clark Agency where his talent can be used to solve different mysteries. He meets Julian who is the head of the clairvoyant section and their abilities counteract each other and that allowed them to build a relationship, but Tay needs to figure out whether it’s worth it when he knows what the future holds?
What is the most interesting thing about the world you’ve created?
The mix of people with metaphysical abilities and “other-worlders” (fey-like creatures) that inhabit the mundane world. More importantly, though I think it is that despite these additional abilities or species the “human” element remains.
What genre or mix of genres does your story fit into?
This particular story leans a bit on romance but also the metaphysical and fantasy elements weave through this world.
How have your personal experiences influenced this story?
I have been fortunate to have found a partner that stands by me and encourages me. Still there was a time of extreme doubt that gnawed at me about our relationship and my worthiness of being in such a relationship. I took a lot of those insecurities and channeled them into Tay’s perception of his life with Julian.
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
Unlike Tay, we don’t know what the future holds but taking risks are worth it. Fretting on all the what if’s can cause so much unnecessary stress and life passes by. It really is worth going for something that your heart knows is right and taking a risk. Regret that can easily be avoided just sucks the joy out of life.
What was your favorite part of the story to write and why?
The play between pre-cog and retro-cog clairvoyants was interesting to delve into more. The thought that two people with similar capabilities can have such diverse experiences even though they are both clairvoyants.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you write your first story, how old were you, and what was it about?
The first in-depth story I can remember was sixth grade. It was a story called “Dragon Tears” and was entered into a writing contest among local schools. It was told by a court wizard name Benelek who fought a dragon and a giant and in the end got to marry the princess. The best part is I thought I was clever by throwing random letters together for names and there was a guard name Galgeeolizer or something like that. I have since learned that is not the best way to get names.
What is your writing survival checklist? (Aka, what helps your write the best: music, snacks, coffee, complete silence, a stress ball, a cat, or an outline, etc.)
I say I’m a Pantser, but really I’m more of a Plantser. I have a vague outline, most of the time, of where things are going to go, but I’m not opposed to taking the long way round to get there. I need to get better about having an actual schedule and routine. Right now I try and submit at least one piece a month a search open calls and see what inspires. This is a fun test of skill, but there are about 3 books sitting and waiting to be finished.
What has influenced you most as a writer?
This is an evolving question. I had my favorite authors, fantastic teachers who encouraged me, family that didn’t discourage me, and a writer’s group of diverse people to guide me. Overall though, it was probably not having restrictions on my reading growing up. I read things that were probably above my level but it wasn’t discouraged. I might have missed out on some of the nuances of the stories nevertheless it allowed me to learn different styles of the craft.
What font do you prefer to write in?
I’m boring and go with tried and true Times New Roman, although the day job is in Arial.
Do you have any writing blogs/vlogs/podcasts, etc. that you would recommend?
I really like The Horror Tree for finding open calls. I also love baby naming sites. They are fantastic for learning more about name meanings/origins. (see I said I learned my lesson since Sixth grade)
What is your favorite and least favorite word, and why?
Adventure is one of my favorite words. It makes the ordinary so much more bearable. I recently changed day jobs. Instead of saying I’m starting a new job, I went about saying I’m starting a new adventure. It took away some of the stress and fear I had going in. Going on vacation? Naw, going on an adventure! Adventure means there is more to come something surprising and thrilling even in the mundane.
Convenience is a word I don’t like much. Mostly because it is one of those words that never wants to be spelled right the first time and is a nuisance.
Andrea L. Staum is the author of the Dragonchild Lore series, The Attic’s Secret novella, Scattered Dreams short story collection, and has contributed to several best-selling anthologies. She is a trained motorcycle technician, an amateur home renovator, and somehow manages to find time to write. She lives in south central Wisconsin with her husband and their overlords… err… cats.
ON TIME is coming in Summer 2020. Be sure to follow us on Amazon.