Sooo… here’s the thing. In the words of Raj Koothrapali, I’m a sucky sucky friend. This post was supposed to be up on Tuesday, Sept. 1st before my buddy Tamsin Silver left for DragonCon. But I’m late. So y’all be super nice to her today as she joins us on The Belle to talk about her new book, Mark of the Necromancer. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll give us a sneak peek of her new and exciting weird western, The Curse of Scáthach.
Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.
Sure! My name is Tamsin Silver and I’m an Urban Fantasy writer out of NYC who grew up in a farming town in Michigan on books like The Narnia Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web, Nancy Drew, and A Wrinkle in Time. I used to teach middle school & high school drama down south, I’ve run two successful theater companies (one here in NYC), and other than writing books (Windfire Series) I create and write for the web series, Skye of the Damned. However, today I’m here to talk about my newest book (and series), Mark of the Necromancer; A Sabrina Grayson Novel.
What inspires your stories?
Every book I’ve ever written is because there was a character who had something to say. Be it Atlanta in my Windfire Series, Will McCarty in The Curse of Scáthach, or Sabrina in my new book, Mark of the Necromancer. Each story started with the idea of who that character was both on the outside and on the inside, how they’d change, grow, and make us care for them.
Funny story, I had a dream once about this female werewolf alpha. When I was in the shower she was still pestering me. As I walked to my room I said aloud to no one, “Fine then, what’s your name?” And I “heard” the name Denika. That book, Moon Over Manhattan, will hopefully be coming out next fall. She is my favorite heroine that I’ve ever written…so I’m excited to finally get that out to readers soon.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character in Mark of the Necromancer, hands down, it’s Alex Price. Which is funny because he’s not the main protagonist.
I love flawed men who have a heart of gold and that’s Alex. He may not be your POV character in this story, but I think the core of who he is comes across on paper anyway, which is maybe why I adore him so. In fact, one of my beta readers and one of my editors are in love with him too, so I’m not alone. A new review that is about to come out had this to say about him:
“Alex is a fabulous male hero and romantic interest. He’s atypical, lacking those wooden alpha characteristics common in this genre. He’s dangerous, thoughtful, and intelligent with sex appeal to spare. He reminds me of Karina Halle’s (anti)hero Dex Foray from the Experiment in Terror series. He was a refreshing diversion for sure.”
But have no fear; Sabrina is my second favorite character (don’t tell her I said that!) and likely my second favorite heroine I’ve ever written. I love her sense of humor and how broken she is. She screws up, a lot, but she’s willing to keep trying anyway. That’s what makes her so real for me (and hopefully for others).
Mark of the Necromancer is full of creatures that go bump in the night. If you could choose a paranormal creature to be, what would it be? Or would you rather be the leather-clad beauty fighting them?
That depends…do the creatures have a soul? Can they be good or are they just evil no matter what? I would prefer to be whoever has a choice and toes the line between good and evil. That’s always more interesting. BUT…if I were to choose a creature, I’d want to be a vampire. I love the idea of living forever even if I have to sacrifice the sun. Being alive to see how history changes or repeats itself would be really interesting.
Tamsin, you’ve been writing for quite a while now. What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?
Oh man…that’s a really great question…okay. I started jotting stuff down and found I have a top ten…here they are:
- Write as often as you can.
- Get exercise.
- Read in your genre and out of it.
- Figure out where & when you do your best writing.
- Join a writers group.
- Set deadlines for yourself and meet them more often than not.
- EDIT the crap out of your work and pay for someone to do so as well.
- Find at least two fellow writers to be in your corner: A mentor & a writing pal. The first to help with professional questions and the second to be a sounding board and confidant…as well as meeting up to write with you (be it online or in person).
- Understand that it all takes time. Don’t get frustrated at the learning curve or at yourself. Just push onward; learn and keep going. Each step forward in this business is really ten steps forward, so rejoice in that.
This last one I didn’t have to learn, but I want to include it…Your fellow writers are your teammates, not your competition. Support them. Cheer them on! Their successes are yours and vice versa. That green little monster of jealousy will want to rear its ugly head from time to time. Learn how to put that SOB in his place.
You’ve been through the self-publishing and traditional publishing routes. Do you prefer one over the other? What are some things to consider if you’re an author who is considering self-publishing?
*low whistle* Oooh…bringin’ out the big guns just past ½ way through…I see how you are. 😉
Okay…uh…hmm…well, hell…here’s the thing; this is my 6th book as a self-published author. As you know, the first two books of the Windfire Series used to be one book called, The Betrayal and it was to be the first in the Living Dead Girl saga. It was an adult book and it was published through a small press. It’s how I got my start, actually.
Thing is, as awesome as they were to me and hats off to all that they taught me, but I feel that I do better on my own. Running a theater company here in the city for six years, I learned how to do promo work. If you have no idea how to market yourself, no interest or patience for doing so (or learning how), then I really recommend you go through small press. Self publishing is a lot of work, if someone tells you its not, they’re selling you something (as the saying goes).
Just remember this; you split profits from book sales with who publishes you. If they are not going to push you as much as you will, don’t share your money with them. We make so little as it is, why split it if you’re willing to put in the extra time/effort? So you see, in the end, it’s a personal decision. Now, if you can sell that book to one of the big houses and they do right by you on that contract or you get an agent who is busting their behind (and believe in you/your work)…by all means, GO FOR THAT!
But if it’s between self-publishing and small press, it comes down to how they treat you and how much effort they put behind your book. If you want to write and make few other decisions past editing, then there’s your answer. If you like to have a say in all things and don’t mind getting your hands dirty…well then…self-publishing could be good for you and your work.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Other than Moon Over Manhattan (which I mentioned earlier) I’m writing a new novel based on a short story of mine called, The Curse of Scáthach. This tale takes place in 1878, during the Lincoln County War in Lincoln, NM. If you’ve ever seen the movie, Young Guns, know anything about Billy the Kid, or are a fan of the American Wild West, then you may know a bit about that event. Not many do, but it’s a fascinating time full of murder, mystery, greed, and mob-mentality…to name just a few things.In order to do this, I took a trip to Lincoln, NM, in July. I met with a historian there and we spent four days going to the important locations of battles and such, so that I could get a feel for what it’s like out there. I’m a city gal so I really felt that was necessary if I was to do the story justice. Both the short story, and the soon-to-be novel, are VERY much rooted in real history, with fantasy elements woven into the gaps. Basically, I’ll be creating an alternate reality, justifying actual historical events with a supernatural twist. I’ve spent the past six months studying the war (and will continue to do so) so that words that were said and events that took place will appear in the book. As will the all the real people who were a part of the battle back then, they too will be present and accounted for in the story. I’m very excited to begin work on this when I return home from Dragon*Con.If you’re a fan of Billy the Kid or of the Wild West…you can buy this online for only 99¢. There is also a page on Facebook dedicated to the novel version with pictures and historical facts. You can find by going to Facebook and looking up The Curse of Billy the Kid.
Mark of the Necromancer and the short, The Curse of the Scáthach is available right now! Tell us where we can get it!! You can find links to all of my books and shorts, and see the first three episodes of the web series I wrote (Skye of the Damned), by visiting my website, www.tamsinsilver.com.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Tamsin! If you’re one of those lucky ducks going to DragonCon this weekend, be sure to seek her out and get copies of all her stuff! You won’t be sorry! And speaking of books….
About Mark of the Necromancer
Sabrina Grayson is dead and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to her. As a child, Sabrina saw
ghosts, but with age and parental influence, she forgot all about them. But now she’s a Necromancer who can travel the Death Highway and walk the Earth. Determined to discover who is behind her murder, she’ll pair up with Alex Price, walk into Hell, and face off with Lucifer himself.
About The Curse of the Scathach