While it’s not intentional, I’m sure a small portion shows up in every single character—good or bad. None of my characters hold an exact or even a big likeness. Sometimes, I even give them opposite tastes. For instance, the protagonist in my debut novel, The Unforgivable, is sensitive to onions, and she’s also a professional quilter. I happen to love onions in any way, shape, or form, and I’m nothing close to a quilter—in fact, I can’t sew to save my life! This is a part of what’s fun about fiction.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Put a gallon of milk in the pantry, while a box of cereal in the fridge.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Probably in high school, because of a teacher who inspired me. I’ve always loved books and reading and scribbled a lot. I enjoyed English/Literature, and when the opportunity came to take creative writing classes I did so. Participated in a few contests, as well.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Wide range. Wide, wide, wide range. I’ll read just about anything under the sun, with a few exceptions. I enjoy anything from psychological thrillers to historical romances, from speculative to inspirational, fantasy to biographies, human-interest stories to allegories and poetry, and so on…
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Prayer, sleep, and coffee—in that order. If I go without one of those for long, I might cause trouble.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing characters’ names has always been easy for me. Characters seem to make their appearance in my mind long before I begin writing a book. It’s as if they already subsist, yet say to me “Hello, I’m here. My name is (_____), so when are you going to write my story and paint my world into existence…?” They usually already have their names at first thought. Creation is cool and mysterious. God is my inspiration.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
While I’ve seen the world by serving as a performing arts missionary and dancing professionally—things that I’m thrilled to have experienced in my life—I’d say landing a publishing contract tops it all. This is probably due to the fact that my journey to publication was extensive and full of discouragement. I feel like I’ve achieved a deep-seated longing, a dream...in God’s perfect time.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d like to choose something exotic, but I honestly have to say I’d be my own cat. He (Hemingway) is quiet, reclusive, occasionally frisky, clean, soft, yet shows claws when he needs to. He likes to cuddle around books and laptops—and he knows all of his owner’s secrets. For that reason alone, he’s granted diplomatic immunity in our household. I’d say he has it pretty good.
What is your favorite food?
Thai food. Love yellow curry and Thai iced tea!
The tendency to over explain things. With a great, insightful editor, I’ve learned how to trust my readers to pick up nuances without having to explicate every single thing. My writing has grown more concise and effective as a result of my editor’s expert outlook and advice. If something doesn’t move the story along, cut it. Yeah, I cut a lot…
Tell us about the featured book.
The Unforgivable is about a Christian woman from
Sweetwater, Tennessee, who travels to to attend a trade show. In Argentina , she meets and falls in love with a man, whom she discovers is accused of war crimes. It’s a complicated love story; a political intrigue/romantic suspense novel set against the backdrop of Buenos Aires ’s Dirty War…along with the spiritual message of forgiveness in Christ’s rawest form. The Unforgivable is the first book in a series entitled, Wounds of South America. Argentina
Please give us the first page of the book.
I’ve provided an excerpt of when my two main characters, whom the novel surrounds, meet:
***I don’t know how to explain it, but we connected. Right from the get-go we had an in with each other. I knew that this was a man I could understand—or wanted to understand more than anybody I have ever met.
Both our smiles faded and we stared at each other as if time stood still for us.
Then he pursed his lips and stood.
My heart sunk.
Glancing around him he took two slow steps and performed a smooth slide into the booth. My booth.
“Carlos.” He extended his hand. All business now, his brow had a slight furrow to it, the corners of his mouth tipped a bit downward.
“Genevieve.” I cleared my throat again. “Nice to meet you.”
“I was going to say the same.” This time he seemed to study me, his eyes like drills, burrowing to the core. For a second...for a second, I have to admit, I got a chill. I shook it off with an awkward smile. And then I realized his hand still held mine in a firm grip, as if he’d never let go. I wondered if he’d kiss it, because he kind of moved it side to side. I think he did that anyway.
The spell. That’s what I call it, whenever you’re so caught up in somebody’s gaze like Carlos and me. In some ways his eyes reminded me of a jaguar’s. Sleek and beautiful, mysterious, sly as in not entirely sure what he is thinking and—okay, I’ll say it—dangerous. We didn’t talk, just stared at each other. Er…well, we might have made some small talk but I can’t recall any of it, so I’m not positively sure those superfluous niceties took place.
Plates of food literally dropped onto the table with a harsh clang. That’s what broke the spell. One of my empanadas slid off the ceramic in reckless abandon. I gaped at it as it then sat lifeless on the tabletop, turned askew. And then I shifted my attention to Castel who hovered over us, seething under his breath.***
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit my website at www.TessaStockton.com. My novel, The Unforgivable, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback, Kindle, and Nook. I’m also active on Facebook and have an author page, “Tessa Stockton, Political Intrigue Novelist” where I keep those who “like” up-to-date on current happenings with my publishing/marketing journey. You can also find me on Twitter, Shoutlife, LinkedIn, MBT, etc. Wherever there’s a door!
Thank you, Tessa, for dropping by.
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