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Titania Tempest: A Sapphic Fiction February Interview

Titania Tempest is an author full of wisdom. I didn’t know her before starting this year’s Sapphic Fiction February, but when I read her answers to my questions, I was struck by her story, how she became an author. Her book Paper Daffodils, released last September, has received rave reviews, and having read it myself, I highly recommend it!

Titania, let's start with you telling us a little more about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I've been a travel agent, a hotel manager, a pigeon-race administrator, a fuel station supervisor, and a distribution officer, among other things. I've played many sports, had many pets, and travelled far more than I ever expected to. Behind it all, though, I'm always writing!

How did you become an author?

I don't think this was an act of becoming, as much as an act of growing. I started small, and very young, with no real plan and more stories over the years than I can possibly count (or hope to remember). Some found success, either in small awards or in publication through anthologies, and some failed and faded into obscurity (for the best, probably).

Writing has always been a simple love for me - I do it because I enjoy it. Along the way, though, it grew into a process of study, practice, and change - and I picked up a trick or two and learned to wield them properly. Still, it's only now that I have my first book published and released into the wilds of the world that I dare (in whispers, and to my own reflection in the mirror, mostly) call myself an Author.

Who’s your favourite character that you’ve ever written?

Nerys, from the Andoherra Chronicles (a sapphic high fantasy trilogy I'm currently working on). She's inherently a good person who's had to do terrible things, and she's felt enough remorse over the years to become somewhat numb to it. I'm fascinated by her ambiguous nature, her faults, and the coldness she leans on to survive. She frustrates me regularly, and my heart breaks for her even more often.

She's super challenging to write, and trying to get the balance of her personality correct is the reason the first book (Shadowblood) is still not finished!

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

Oh, absolutely. I try to work on more than one manuscript at a time, so that I can bounce between them when I run out of inspiration for one or the other. I'm also very active on Twitter and participate regularly in the prompts there, so I'm always posting poetry or micro-tales which helps to keep my creativity flowing.

What do you consider to be the hardest part of writing?

Finding time to get into the flow of things around worklife. Keeping inspiration, motivation, and enthusiasm up can be a challenge when the daily grind wears me down.

And how about the most rewarding?

Those quiet moments when it's just me and the manuscript. Diving deep into the world of the novel, breathing life into the characters until they almost seem to gain sentience, weaving the words of their stories from vague imaginings to paper reality.

What is one piece of advice you wish you had listened to, either in life or with regards to being an author?

I wish I HADN'T, to be honest. A lot of people told me being an author was a pipe dream, and I listened - because I was young and lacked confidence. This led to a lot of wasted time, and a LOT of aimless drifting into one "career" or another in completely unrelated fields.

In hindsight, what I should have done, is gone to university to pursue a creative-writing degree, and then found myself an internship or entry-level job in the publishing industry. You can't control luck, but you can help it find you - the right place, the right job, the right networking, could have made the world of difference. I'd have learnt a lot more, a lot faster, and possibly been a lot further down the author road today if I'd planned my life and actions accordingly. But I didn't do any of that, lol.

I don't think the advice I received as a youngster was bad, though - it came from a good place, after all - but I think the problem was that no one I knew was an author/had met an author/had the first clue about what being an author means. So it was too alien a concept (even for me, to be fair) to receive any useful advice.

Don't get me wrong, though, I LOVE a good piece of advice. And I've been spared from a disaster or ten by listening to someone more experienced than me. With regard to writing, though - after learning the hard way - my best advice now to an aspiring author would be this:

Seek advice from those who've been there, done that, who understand what you hope to achieve, and know way more about it than you do.

How can people connect with you?

Twitter: @TitaniaTempest (I spend 90% of my time on Twitter - yes, that includes when I should be working or writing! - so that's the best place to find me)

Instagram: @titaniatempest

Tiktok: @titaniatempest 

And on Youtube!

If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all the latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, The Summer We’ve Had is available now, and Love You However is coming on March 22nd!



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