dear friend, Tricia Zoeller, told me she was going to write an urban fantasy, I was thrilled. Tricia also loves to read mysteries, so this gave us the opportunity to share our work with one another. On May 10, 2013, Tricia released
her first novel, First Born, as an e-book. It is available for Kindle through www.amazon.com and for Nook through www.barnesandnoble.com.
Tricia lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband, Lou,
her dog, Lola Belle, and her cat, George. Tricia earned a B.A. in Journalism and Anthropology from Indiana University in Bloomington. After moving to Atlanta in
1992, she obtained her Masters of Education in communication Disorders from Georgia State University and spent a decade working as a Speech-Language Pathologist, most recently in the pediatric field treating children on the
Autism Spectrum. Of course, for her writing has always been a part of her
life–like breathing and chocolate.
Without further adieu, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to author, Tricia Zoeller.
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Michele: Tricia, your first novel, First Born, is an urban fantasy. Why did you choose to write this genre?
Tricia: Honestly, when I started First Born I’d never heard of this genre or category. It wasn’t until I pitched my story at a mystery conference that I realized I had better understand where my book fits and did an internet search. I’d read Anne Rice in college, but since then hadn’t read much fantasy or paranormal until J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. From there I read Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series and I was hooked.
I’ve always had a wild imagination—it’s gotten me through some rocky times. I find the greatest escape and joy in writing about something magical or extraordinary. I’m fascinated by animals and could watch them all day. This naturally led me to my interest in shapeshifters. I realized my preternatural creatures were in present day Atlanta rather than a made-up world. I was relieved when I looked up the definition of urban fantasy and First Born fit.
Michele: Why did you choose Atlanta, Georgia, as your setting?
Tricia: I’ve lived in Atlanta off and on for over fifteen years. I love the city, but I love the amazing green space the area has to offer as well. There are so many places to explore. And I just could see my twenty-something characters living in Midtown and struggling with getting on track with their lives and careers. Also, there are some rather spooky/mysterious mountains, woods, streams, and lakes here. They lend themselves to a good habitat for shapeshifters and murder mysteries.
Michele: Was there anything in particular that inspired you to write this novel?
Tricia: I read several books by Charlaine Harris. Her Sookie Stackhouse series involved
shifters and I became intrigued. I also liked her Harper Connelly Series because it involved a paranormal element and mystery. I felt comfortable with this combination.
Michele: How did you develop your characters and their motives?
Tricia: Lily for me reflects some of the things I went through when I was younger and even now. Her struggles as a shapeshifter forced her to grow in a direction she never thought she would. She is uncomfortable with that and sometimes her behaviors reflect this as well as
I wanted Lily to have a sidekick and Seth just walked into my mind. Some of the mature issues he is coping with in the story, I’ve watched friends and loved ones struggle with.
My police officers came naturally. Frankly, I felt the need to give Lily something
interesting and tantalizing in her life so I created Detective Simms.
Their motives all hashed out as I added the science fiction element of the story. For
this story, the only difficulty I experienced with a character was the realization after several drafts that I needed to nix one because he contributed nothing. That entailed a major rewrite. It was difficult, but now I can’t imagine the story if I hadn’t realized this at the time.
Michele: The main character of First Born is Lily Moore. Can you tell us a little bit about her?
Tricia: Lily is a twenty-six-year-old Asian American woman. She works as a graphic designer at Cartoon Network. Her parents divorced when she was fourteen. Different circumstances, like her father being shot in the line of duty, really shaped her need to succeed and I feel her
need to be in control. One bad night tilts her whole world off its axis. Despite the loss in her life, she is still young and silly and sometimes impulsive. She also has a penchant for Coca-Cola.
Michele: I understand First Born is the first novel with Lily Moore as our hero. Do you plan for this to be an on-going series or something shorter such as a
Tricia: This is a tough one for me. I have a rough draft of book two, Red Moon Curse, and I envision the series as a trilogy. However, in the back of my mind is a spinoff series or at least a book about one of my characters.
Michele: Are there any books or authors that have inspired you in your writing?
Tricia: I like Nalini Singh, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Anya Bast, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz. And so many more.
Michele: Many of the authors I speak with don’t necessarily enjoy reading the same type of novel as those they write. What types of stories do you enjoy reading in your leisure time?
Tricia: I actually love to read fantasy, mystery, paranormal romance, urban fantasy. Every once in a while I’ll throw in a straight contemporary piece of literary fiction.
Michele: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Tricia: Don’t give up. Seek great resources. Constantly learn and attempt to better yourself. Surround yourself with genius.
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That’s all the time we have today. If you wish to contact Tricia, please do so at one
of the following addresses:
Don’t forget, you can get your copy of First Born today at www.Amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com. You won’t regret it!