Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Tabi Slick with her dark fantasy novel, Tompkin’s School.
Tabi Slick was born in Chanute, Kansas, and grew up in the country where she was homeschooled for the greater part of her childhood. In middle school, her family moved to Davis Oklahoma where she attended public school for several years. Here she began her writing adventure and soon the world of Tompkin’s Academy came to life. After graduating from high school in 2008, she spent a few years in Puerto Rico and wound up in Texas where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington. She was born with an immense appreciation for literature and continues to dedicate her time to her passion of writing.
Connect with the Author
About the Book
Izara Torvik thought her life was over the moment that her father sent her and her twin brother to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. She soon discovers that the school is not as ordinary as she thought and finds herself thrown into a battle against her inner demons that only have one desire…the desire to kill.
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Keep reading for an interview with the author:
What inspires you to write?
Currently, listening to either Secrets & Lies by Hugo or Going Down In Flames by The Constellations inspires me to write every single time I listen to these songs. There’s something about the rhythmic beat of Hugo and the soulful sounds of the Constellations that just speaks to me.
What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?
The hardest thing is not waiting for that moment that you are really inspired to write. I used to wait until I felt inspiration, but hardly any progress was getting done that way and I started reading online articles on how to get “more inspired”. I was quickly corrected that writing is a habit and you have to make it a routine to write even when you don’t feel like it. Inspiration will come the more you envelope yourself into your writing and that’s exactly what happened.
Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?
Oh yes! I remember receiving an email from this critique saying that they couldn’t possibly finish my work. They still attached a copy of what they could review and it was filled with the exact opposite of constructive criticism. I cried when I saw it because it was terribly mean. I didn’t respond right away, which took all my effort because I instinctively wanted to tear them a new one. But I took a step back, gave it a break for about 48 hours and then looked at it again. I realized that how I handled this negative response could make or break me as an author and decided to find something good that I could take away from the feedback. I was able to gather a couple of good points amidst a swamp of negativity and then sent a thank you email to the reviewer for taking the time in reviewing my work.
What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?
I enjoy watching and playing soccer, keeping active, as well as building websites and learning different programming languages.
What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author? How do you cope with your fears?
Like many indie authors, I’m sure, one of my top fears is my work not getting read. Taking the leap to self-publish was a big decision for me and sometimes I can’t help but look back and critique the choices I made. But these are life lessons and now that I’ve chosen my path I must stay the course and think of the past in terms of lessons learned.
Are you a pantser or outliner?
I am naturally more of a pantser, but I have found that it is necessary to be more of a plotter in order to reach my goals within a realistic time frame. I usually try to write every business day no matter how many words I’m able to jot down.
Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?
A lot of my writing does come from my own imagination, but I definitely put interesting things I’ve seen or experienced into my stories. My novel Tompkin’s School is based near the small town of Davis, Oklahoma where I attended high school so the places (besides the boarding academy) mentioned in the novel actually exist. To me, this gives the world I’m writing about a more realistic quality. I also take a lot of pictures and notes of things that have happened on my various travels and if it fits in the story I definitely add it even if it’s the smallest part.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on Tompkin’s School (For The Extraordinarily Talented Book 2). The adventure continues with some surprising developments. Some questions from the first book will be answered in more depth and, of course, more mysteries await.
What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?
Patience. I would constantly daydream of the story as a whole and get distracted by what was to come instead of what was currently going on. I would just get too excited about all the big ideas I had and sometimes this would distract me from what the characters were telling me. Some of my ideas never came to pass, but that’s okay. Being flexible in writing is key.