What was your favorite part of the convention and why?
I did a workshop on plotting that analyzed the requirements of plot and used examples of several movies to discuss. That wasn’t my favorite part. The rooms were switched so most of the attendees came in late after waiting in the wrong room for me to show up, and then the video’s in the PowerPoint wouldn’t run, despite having tested it a billion times beforehand. Needless to say, I was stressed. The best part was that once we got through the basics, everyone spontaneously turned their chairs into a circle we had a fantastic discussion of how those basics of plot play out in various movies and novels. It was better than what I had planned – or anything I could have thought of! We all walked away with a better understanding of plot, even changing one of the terms I had used in the initial presentation.
What is one of your favorite moments from your time on the panels.
I had such a great time on the panels – each one was unique and provided a lot of perspectives on the topic at hand. I was on two panels with Brian Dobbins (“The Plot Thickens” and “Unconventional Fantasy.”) and two panels with Robby Hilliard (“The Plot Thickens” and “Stop Telling and Start Showing”) and had a great time getting to know them and the others on those panels. But my favorite panel of the weekend was the one I moderated, “Serial and Episodic Fiction,” where we heard some very different perspectives from some of the greats like Tony Acree and T. Lee Harris among others, but I also met M.B. Weston and discovered that we are actually twin sisters of different mothers – at least when it comes to writing. I’ve got to say, coming out of Imaginarium, my reading list has gotten a lot longer!
What’s the funniest thing that happened at the convention?
So many things … but Dave Mattingly’s “Mini me” sweatshirt stands out. He wore it well.
What is the one thing you learned from the convention?
This wasn’t so much “new,” but every time I attend a writer’s convention, I am overwhelmed with how supportive other authors are to each other and to me. Before becoming a full time author, I was a health care attorney. Guarding yourself from others was a necessity in that field – one of the reasons I was never comfortable in it, despite doing well. It’s so refreshing to be around such a caring group of people. I’ve found my home – writer’s ROCK!
What surprised you the most about the Imaginarium Convention?
To be honest, I was surprised how many people picked up copies of my novels. Given that it was the first year for Imaginarium, I expected to return home with most of the copies I’d taken with me. Instead, I nearly sold out of Foreseen, the first book in the Rothston Series, and many people bought a copy of Choices as well. I was there for the interaction with readers and the camaraderie of other writers. I never expected it to be a financial success as well!
What’s the best writing advice you learned ?
The best life advice was the reminder to “stay positive, no matter what.” That was a challenge on Friday evening when my PowerPoint didn’t work right for my workshop. The advice applies to writing as well. Even when nothing is working, stick to it and listen to the inner voice. With some hard work, the plot points will fall together, or the characters will start to behave, or the alternative course for the novel will present itself. Keep at it and don’t be too hard on yourself.
What’s the best writing advice you gave?
Always LOCK. That was the theme of my workshop and includes the four elements necessary for a satisfying plot. I’ve explained it briefly here, on Marian Allen’s blog. (http://www.marianallen.com/2014/09/terri-lynne-smiles-lock/)
Is there anything you would have changed about the convention and if so, what would you change?
The number of panels I was on! I was excited by so many of the panel topics that I signed up to participate on too many of them. As a result, I didn’t have as much “down time” as I would have liked to just mingle and get to know the other authors better. Fortunately, that’s an easy fix and entirely on me.
Can you talk about your WIP?
Origins, the third book of the Rothston Series will be coming out this winter, so right now, I’m focusing on concluding the series in book four, Common Ground. While the books in that series are science fantasy thrillers, I’m also working on a murder mystery without a murder with the working title of “Mirror Protocol,” and a science fiction novel in which a recovering heroine addict travels to a number of planets in search of peace with the working title of “Sarandipity.”
In your books, who is your favorite character and why?
In the Rothston Series, my favorite point-of-view character to write is Greg Langston, the male lead, because his voice is very natural to me. The side characters are my favorite in terms of being people I’d like to know in real life. Many people choose the beautiful and self-centered Sasha Reynolds as their favorite because everyone knows her. She isn’t my favorite. But I don’t think I could choose just one between Curtis Mechenbaum (Kinzie’s geeky friend), Ken Nicolosi (Kinzie’s dad), Uri Amaleyev (Greg’s mentor in Book 2), and Sabio (protector of adept children in Book 2). What’s the commonality between them? They all have troubled back stories, a richness that comes out in their attitudes and interactions in the Rothston Series.
What’s your favorite made up word?
“Dodge-malling.” This is what my husband calls striding purposefully through a mall filled with casual shoppers.
What’s your favorite curse word?
I don’t curse much unless I’m currently writing from Greg Langston’s point-of-view. He curses a LOT! His favorite word seems to be “damn,” to the point that in a scene taking place on a dam, I couldn’t spell the location correctly!
What’s your favorite ice cream?
Sweet Corn and Black Raspberries from Jeni’s
If God meets you at the gates of Heaven, what do you want him to say?
I’d like to know that my life made a difference to someone, but more importantly, I’d like him to simply say, “it’s okay” – a level of acceptance of myself that eludes me.
The Rothston Institute is home to a special class of adepts who can control the decisions of anyone in the world. But college student Kinzie is just discovering her own dangerous powers — and her role in the battle for humanity’s future. The Series, started in Foreseen, continues in Choices with Rothston Institute falling to those who are after the key to controlling humanity – a secret held deep within Kinzie Nicolosi’s own body. Scared and on the run, Kinzie’s life becomes entangled with a collection of loners, adding the wrath of their own foes to the dangers she faces. Outmanned and outgunned on all sides, none of them can protect Kinzie or the world from the true evil behind the threats – something far more terrifying than anything she’s encountered before. The Midwest Book Review says, “Ms. Smiles demonstrates a native talent for imaginative storytelling that her readers will find unfailingly enjoyable from beginning to end. Highly recommended reading.” Find Terri-Lynne Smiles
Links to your book:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/terri-lynne-smiles
Thank you Terri for being such an amazing person! You were one of the people that made the Imaginarium fun 😀 Huge hugs! ❤