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††††††††† TERI [TAP]

††††††

Writer

Links to Teriís works online:

 

††††††††††† Tunnel Tales

The Steam Tunnels

 

Who are you?

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests in general.

 

Well, generals first, I guess. Teriís my nickname Ė my real name is Theresa. I just turned 48 in November. I was born in L.A. (Hollywood, actually), at St Vincentís hospital (!) in 1956. The doctor that delivered me, Dr. McNultey, was married to a fairly well-known actress of that time, Anne Blythe. My oldest brother was born there, too, not quite a year before me.

 

My Mon was homesick for her family, though, and she and my Dad moved us back to her home state of Minnesota when I was two. The rest of my brothers and sisters (10 others, for a total of 12!) were born in Minnesota, and Iíve lived here since then (in Minneapolis). Itís really a very lovely state, and the rumors of the long, cold winters keep the riff-raff out.;>Actually, itís been cold for the last week or so, but we didnít have any snow until Jan. 1 and even now itís just an inch or two, so itís been an abnormally mild/snowless winter so far. My Dad was from Rochester, NY, and his parents came from Naples, (not together) when they were young (to Ellis Island), so Iím half Italian. My Mom is half Norwegian and a quarter German and Irish each, so Iíve pretty much got all of western Europe covered, and pretty well represent what is meant by the Ďmelting potí in U.S. terminology.

 

Being the oldest daughter, I was the official babysitter, and felt like I did more child-rearing between the ages of 8 and 18 than many parents usually did, considering how many siblings I had under my care at one time or another. That pretty much took care of any interest I had in having children of my own. I am, however, the aunt (eccentric aunt! Of 35 nieces and nephews, and the fond owner of 3 cats, all named after elvish creatures or articles in Tolkienís Lord of the Rings (One of my all-time favorite book series): Mithril, Luthien and Nenya.

 

I pretty much have been a continuous student all my adult life until recently; after three degrees, I finally decided I had enough (Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and a masters (MBA) in Strategic Management and Marketing). Iíve worked for 3M (makers of Post-It Notes and Scotch Tape, etc.) for all my adult life (26+ years), but quit in November to run my coffee house and wine bar full time. I love being a small business entrepreneur.

 

 

What drew you to the Beauty and the Beast TV series, and why did you/do you feel the need to write about B&B? Was writing something you had done before being involved with Beauty and the Beast or something that developed out of it?

 

I began writing when the second season of batb ended and the rumors began as to the third season. My intent was to deep the classic universe alive, primarily, I must admit, for myself. Though I write for myself, I love that others have enjoyed my stories, and am really glad to have played a small part in keeping the batb fanfic alive for fandom.

 

 

How long have you been writing? If you started when you were a child/teenager, do you still have some of your work from that time? Did you share it with your friends then?

 

I began writing in the 80ís and no, never shared my work with family, until I wrote my novel in 2000.

 

 

Who most influenced and/or encouraged your talent? What training have you had for writing/literary techniques, and where, if it was formal training - or are you self-taught, working from instinct and lots of reading?

 

Iíve always been a big reader, but I canít say that I was influenced by any particular author. Probably more than anything I was influenced by the other fanfic I read, some of which I thought was excellent, and some not so good. Sometimes an author would write well, but not get the characters or world right (in my view of both, of course, which is subjective) and sometimes the world would be right but the writing bad. Both made me want to try and do both, and do them well, especially during a time when some authors had stopped writing because they were so devastated by the end of the televised story.

 

One of the things that frustrated me most in reading fanfic was the use of recitation of events without building a strong emotional component. It became a paramount objective of mine when I began writing to always try and flesh out recitation of visual events with an equal (and often greater) amount of emotional content. When I was satisfied with the emotional content. When I was satisfied with the emotional content of a scene, then I felt Iíd gotten it nailed, but if I wasnít, then the editing usually continued ad nauseum until it felt right to me. Iím not formally trained (beyond the basic literature and composition courses required for a college degree), so most of what I do is from what I know of as a reader; but I do tend to study things to death once I have an interest in them, so I suppose Iím fairly well-educated on the topic of writing in general. However, I donít think studying writing can ensure that someone becomes a good writer Ė I believe that a person has the capability for that within them or not, and then fine-tunes their craft by constant attention to detail.

 

 

When you write:

 

 

Describe the space in which you do most of your writing.

 

I like to write in a coffee house! I donít like absolute silence, but need just a bit of background/white noise to keep me from feeling isolated, but also keep me engaged in the work. Also, I find it far too simple to stop writing when I get blocked at home, while when Iím Ďoutsideí, I try far harder to work through the block before I pack up my stuff and go. I wrote my novel in a coffee house, and liked it so much that I opened my own, in part to (hopefully) have a place to continue to write in that really suited my needs.

 

 

How do you work when you write - outline the story, start from an image, a word, an individual section... have an idea that tugs at your mind and practically writes itself...? Where do you start on a story... beginning, end or middle? Or does it just depend on the story?

 

I never did outlines when I did short stories for fanfic, but I have become a strong believer in them for the novel format. I read a book once about 6 great American Novels (which included GWTW and The Godfather, among others) where the author broke down how the authors of each novel had written their books. All of them, with the exception of Margaret Mitchell, outlined their novels, most to an extensive state. Though MM didnít, she did write the end scene first, then vigilantly wrote toward that ending, not allowing her story to get too far off track. Itís easy Ė and common = as an early writer, to prefer to Ďlet the charactersí lead the way, but Iíve come to believe that thatís sort of a cop-out for a writer. Ultimately, no matter how much the characters speak to us/through us, we have the responsibility to keep the story flowing, to keep the dramatic elements in rein, to ensure that the readers get to use their imagination to picture scenes we write, but donít have to use it to fill in blanks that are obvious to us, but less obvious to them (since they are not in our heads!). I think stories that are outlined are usually better dramatically then ones that arenít, though again, thatís just my opinion.

 

 

Do you have endings in mind for works in progress when you start them or do you just let the stories go where they take you? Do you always know what you want to achieve at the end?

 

I donít usually start off knowing the actual ending of the story, at least not at the point of inspiration for the story. Frequently, the inspiration strikes me as a visual scene (very short, almost a still picture). I often get these Ďimagesí while driving, which is why Iíve taken to leaving my radio off in the car, so my mind can sort of free-range in the quiet. The image I get is just a snapshot, but more important is the emotional burst Iíll feel from the image. When I combine those, Iím usually able to quickly flesh out the picture to a plot scenario with a few questions to myself: Why are the characters where they are? What event could have caused such a scene and such emotion? Where is the story going/where should it go? I flesh out the big story almost completely in my head, then begin to insert the dramatic elements that are required for a good story (the primary and secondary conflict, the denoument/resolution, etc.). Within that bigger skeleton, I shape/map the smaller dramatic elements that I feel are required to leave a reader emotionally satisfied. Emotional satisfaction is a very big deal with me, both for what I read and what I write. Simple recitation of events and images are just not enough, imo.

 

 

How often do the characters take off on their own once you've started writing? Do you ever end up with a story entirely different from the one you started, or maybe two or three spin-offs?

 

I think I answered this one somewhere above, but in short, though itís easy to let the characters go off Ďon their owní, I try not to let that happen. I want to channel the characters, but ultimately, I need to ensure the story is done right, and that means staying in control of what does and does not happen, and when and how.

 

 

You are one of the most beloved and acclaimed steamy fic goddesses. How do you feel about knowing that Teri means ďhotĒ for most fans, and why did you choose this special way to celebrate Vincent and Catherineís love?

 

Wow, and thank you! Those are some big adjectives to live up to. I guess I write about V&Cís romance, using erotica as a vehicle, because feel it suits them so well, and because itís where I saw the storyís natural progression. Romance is the key word for batb, for me, and erotica is a natural fit to the world theyíve been placed in. Look at the two characters; Vincent, in his mid-thirties, is obviously (at least to me) an alpha male at his sexual peak. Itís true that in a Ďnormalí human male, that would be in the late teens or early twenties, but Vincentís physiology allows us to project a different pattern unto him, and the development of his early life (i.e. repressed and or delayed sexuality) makes for a perfect fit at the time we see him. Then thereís Catherine, a well-educated, beautiful woman at the age where women are usually at their physical and sexual peak (early thirties). Add in the supernatural nature of the Ďbondí, the romantic ambiance theyíre situated in, and voila, Ďsoulmatesí is the obvious label for them, and sex is the perfect vehicle (again, in my opinion ;>).

 

 

Where do you get the inspiration for those steamy scenes? Or is that a trade secret?

 

Seriously, I think itís just a matter of having a vivid imagination, and a healthy libido. It also helps to have a healthy, and Iíd say fairly normal, view of sex in general. When you add those things, from a writerís perspective, to the characters and world who already bring with them a strong degree of romance and erotic potential, the result is fairly easy to generate. Itís only when Iím talking about the process of writing those scenes (like now) that it feels in any way odd. During the process, once Iím in the groove, it comes fairly easily and naturally. I always thought it was primarily because the material was so easy to work with, so well developed when we came to it, from a fanfic standpoint.

 

 

You write a wide range of stories, from G to R and beyond. Is one type of story easier to write than another?

 

I really do feel that R and NC-17 are very easy to do with these characters. Iíve written less evocative stories, but not often Ė itís just far too easy to slide into erotica with them, and so very emotionally satisfying, that I by far prefer to place them in that setting. I also feel that itís a very good fit for the continuing Classic venue. I do feel that characters must remain true to their roots for good fanfic, but I donít feel thereís any conflict with a full, deep sexual relationship given the right amount of time and dramatic development Ė it seems a natural fit for C&V.

 

 

Is writing a ďsuggestiveĒ sexual scene more difficult than writing a scene that is more sexually descriptive?

 

In my opinion, yes it is. That falls into my earlier discussion about emotionally evocative scenes vs. simple image recitation. Description of sexual events is simple, but suggesting it, in a subtle way, takes far more effort to write. Ultimately, I like a combination of the two. Verity (from Australia) is a good example of a fanfic writer who does wonderfully evocative and suggestive scenes that I find tremendously emotionally satisfying. Her scenes can be very sexually descriptive, as well, but she never loses the emotional component whose absence can sometimes cause a scene to feel clinical at best, and pornographic at worst. Instead, no matter how graphic the sex, her scenes always leave the reader feeling the profound love, respect and admiration that exists between these characters, in addition to the strong physicality that the scene centers around. Itís easy to write about sex, far harder to have a steamy scene that leaves you still feeling those other things as well. Thatís the trick, imo, of writing good erotica.

 

 

When you're putting together a steamy fic, do you ever chuckle as you work or proof read, knowing you're leaving your readers in need of a cold shower? Dare we ask if you might need a cold shower, too, now and then?

 

If Iím rereading my work out loud, especially for others, I laugh all the time! I hear the charactersí voices in my head when Iím writing, so hearing my own voice just throws me out of the drama completely, and suddenly itís incongruous to me. If I laugh reading it silently, to myself, while editing, then I know that section needs to be reworked! If I feel the emotional content I had in mind while planning the scene, that I want the readers to feel, then I know itís done to my satisfaction.

 

 

The Bond plays a great role in many of your stories. Would you explain how you see it, and what importance it has for you?

 

The bond has and still does represent a key component in my fanfic for the batb universe. It is the medium that transports this couple to a plane beyond other romantic couples. Itís what allows us to take them places that Ďnormalí couples canít go, and without it being laughable! Itís also one of those things that for me has and continues to undergo constant change. The bond is something that continuously evolves in my head. Iím not sure yet that I know everything I think it is or should be, from a fanfic standpoint. In my early work I treated the bond in a very substantial way, as a channel for communication in a non-subtle way. I prefer a bit more subtlety now, but still like it to be a supernatural force of sorts. Itís definitely something that gives a batb fanfic writer a lot of flexibility!

 

 

Do your stories ever include some of your own life experiences? Have any of the characters you have created in a story been a reflection of yourself or someone you know? If so, to what extent? Do you adhere to any self-imposed set rules or boundaries?

 

No! I never, ever want to see myself or others I know in my ďreal-lifeĒ universe, present in my fanfic! Iím a real stickler for not mixing fictional universes with other things, and the minute I read that in other stories, Iím jolted out of the universe as I see it. Thatís a bad thing for me as a reader, so I donít do it in my fanfic. In general itís why I donít care for AU (alternate universe) stories. Itís also why I donít accept the 3S events Ė they just are too contradictory to the fictional universe and character development I accepted in the first two seasons. The only boundaries I set for myself is to ensure that wherever I take the characters, itís believable given the character development of the first two seasons. I donít like to set stories outside the tunnels, and rarely do Ė because thatís where I feel C&V have the potential for the most romantic encounters. I donít like to take Vincent too far from the tunnels, because I feel thatís where his character is the most romantic and mysterious, two things I think are very important in fanfic for this universe.

 

 

If you introduced especially painful developments, were they a priority in order to make the story eventful, hook the reader...? How did you feel about making the characters suffer - it would make them or their determination stronger, eventually solve their problems...?

 

I have no problem with painful developments or making the characters suffer. Hurt/comfort stories are among the most popular in fandom for a reason Ė they work! And not only do they work in fandom, but on a more basic level, they represent the key to good drama; conflict and resolution. Conflict by definition, should be painful. But the resolution piece is critical! IMO, a writer should never build up a conflict so severe that it exists outside of the world view the readers have for that universe or its characters. Nor should they expose them to an over-abundance of pain without spending an equally large amount of time in resolving it. To build up a huge hurt/conflict and then take care of it with a quick write-off is really not emotionally satisfying to a reader. The degree of distress a reader goes through in Ďliving throughí the conflict, should be matched by the degree of relief they feel in Ďgoing throughí the resolution! The resolution should be emotionally satisfying, not a cop-out. I never put my characters through the wringer without bringing them out of it again. And again, itís very important that the characters stay in character - given the degree of trauma, of course - through a writerís hurt/conflict scenario. Using pain to take them out of character is, imo, a mistake. They can act extremely, to match the extreme nature of the conflict, but it must be in character given that scenario!

 

 

What research, if any, do you do for your stories?

 

Not much for fanfic, basically because I feel that I know the fictional, classic universe very well. For non-fanfic, I do a lot of research and planning.

 

What is the hardest part of writing a multi-chapter story? Do you prefer to post a completed story or a work in progress?

 

I definitely prefer not to post a WIP [ work in progress ]. The few times Iíve done that Iíve felt my stories ended up being the weakest Iíd done. Itís too easy to write an installment and focus on that piece alone, to the exclusion of the big story. This usually results in poor dramatic mapping of a story, imo. I find my work gets sloppy when I do this, so I try not to. If I had to do it again, Iíd probably try to outline more thoroughly, to try to keep those weaknesses to a minimum.

 

 

If you wrote "what-if" stories or stories outside of your own preferred boundaries, how did you feel about those developments? Did you write them just for fun, as an intellectual exercise, some other reason...?

 

Iím really not sure of this. For fanfic, I donít do AU. For non-fanfic, or my own character-driven stories, I already have a world-view in mind that I try to adhere to very strictly.

 

 

Do you have one or several favorite happy endings and/or developments in the characters' lives? If so, have you written about them yourself? Are there similar stories from other authors that you enjoy as much as your own?

 

Iím all about V&Cís happily ever after, but Iím a true believer in the saying Ďitís the journey, not the destinationí, in that Iím really only interested in the fun along the way, not the actual end game. For me, the significant obstacle to be overcome in reaching their happily ever after, is Vincentís past. Heís got to get past the long-held and erroneous beliefs about his destiny, about his potential, about his limitations. He needs Catherine to do that. With Vincent, itís all about the sex.;>Ok, that was a bit facetious, but nonetheless, itís a key element imo. Thatís not only a key obstacle to be overcome, itís wonderfully dramatic and emotionally satisfying - far more so than watching them living their happily ever after (at least to me, that is). I like the drama, the high notes, not the fluid melody of the chorus. Thatís nice for a breather, but not fun for the long haul. But thatís just me.;>

 

 

Do you ever have a case of writer's block? If so, do you have a technique to get past it?

 

Of course Ė I canít imagine a writer not experiencing that occasionally. I donít really have a technique. I donít write in a disciplined way over the long term, but instead do so in short spurts. When Iím in the groove, I write intently, but even then can get blocked periodically. The best way Iíve found to deal with it is to eliminate the opportunities for distraction from the writing. Thatís why I donít generally write at home anymore. Itís a big deal to set up all my stuff elsewhere (or at least it used to be before I had everything sitting in the back office), and so once I have it all set to go, I donít like to stop unless itís absolutely necessary. That means I do whatever I can to work through the block. It doesnít mean Iím always successful, though. When that happens, I just take a break for the day or so. It usually doesnít last much longer than that for me, especially if I know where Iím going with the story. Another thing I can do if Iím blocked is focus on another area of writing that isnít easily blocked Ė editing whatís recently been done. In fact doing that can lead me back to the story and past the block sometimes.

 

 

Is there any particular part of a story or poem that you had an unusual amount of trouble getting the way you wanted it and how did you resolve that problem?

 

Iím sure there were many, but I canít think of any one area in particular at this time, except one that wasnít fanfic related. When I was writing my novel, I wrote intensely, finishing a 600 page manuscript in 4 months. I generally wrote about 50 pages a week. One week I reread the material and realized Iíd put far too much of one given element into a particular chapter and that it needed to be spread out, instead, among 3-4 consecutive chapters. It took me over a month to fix the mistake it took just 7 days to make. That more than anything made me a firm believer in planning out my work by outline. Itís very hard for me to discard something Iíve written, even if I recognize that itís bad or wrong in its current form. In retrospect, I would have been smarter to simply have thrown away that weekís worth of work and started over, but I just couldnít do it.

 

Itís hard for me to let go of something Iíve created. This is also the reason I donít write collaboratively Ė I have too strong a sense of ownership of my work. Iím uncomfortable having Ďmyí work become a part of a Ďgroupí work Ė I lose all my creative inspiration under those conditions. Itís probably extremely egotistical of me, but nonetheless thatís the way my psyche works. I know some can write on request, or to fic challenges, but I have a very bad response to them Ė if I see a fleshed out idea by someone else, you can bet Iíll never be able to write it, basically because in my own mind it will never be mine. I once started a story, and was in the very early stages of writing it when during a regular discussion online someone mentioned a scenario very similar to one Iíd used in the early draft. I couldnít finish the story. I guess I thought ultimately someone would think Iíd taken the idea from some other fan, and I just couldnít do it.

 

 

If you could change one thing about your writing, writing habits, style, etc, what would it be?

 

Be more disciplined! Iíve heard many authors say you should write every day, even if youíre not working on a specific project. I think theyíre right. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. I tend to work in spurts, though, interspersing other, non-writing projects in-between. I have a wide range of interests and tend to get bored easily, so I like change and seek it out constantly. Iíve learned to accept that about myself, but it doesnít stop me from seeing the weaknesses I have as a result of that. Unfortunately Iím just not the type of person who can get obsessive about things Ė probably because I am easily distracted if I donít take measures against that. Still, I would like to do more writing than I do, and being more disciplined would no doubt help me in pretty much all aspects of my life in general, so thatís what Iíd change if I could.

 

 

Tell us about the story/stories you are working on at present, if any.

 

Iím currently working on the sequel to ĎThe Marysburg Chronicles: Critical Massí. Itís tentatively titled ĎTMC: Prodigal Soní.Iíve got a loose outline done, and am getting ready to start the serious work of the first draft. Iíve been wanting to get started on this part for some time now, but have had to spend the bulk of my time getting my business on solid footing. Iím close to that now, so the book is moving up my priority ladder. This story takes place 30 days after the first one ends, so thereís very little lapse between them. My plan is for a 3-part arc, and I have a loose outline for the whole arc completed as well.

 

 

After you've written

 

Do you have your stories edited and proofread? Do you consider this important? Do you involve beta readers? Do you have favorite editors/proofreaders/beta readers?

 

I havenít in general used betas for my fanfic work, but did a ton of editing with professionals for my novel. I write, rewrite, edit, re-edit my work continuously, and though I probably should have it edited by other fans, generally donít.

 

 

You, as well as the other guest authors we are interviewing, have allowed your work to be posted online for the enjoyment of all B&B fans. Why did you decide to do it? How did you/do you choose the sites to have your stories posted?

 

My stories mostly got posted by default. I was one of the 4 originators of the CABB group and website, so putting them there was an obvious choice. Ultimately I wanted my material posted together, and that worked well at CABB and the Steam Tunnels as well. I also wanted to know where it was, and need to ensure that the sites where theyíre posted arenít simply abandoned and left hanging. Long ago someone I donít know posted one of my early stories, used my full name, then abandoned the site, or at least I could never contact them to ask that my last name be removed. That irritated the hell out of me (I donít want my last name used online in association with my fanfic).

 

 

What do you like to hear from someone reading your story? What do you find most helpful or rewarding when reading reviews of your writing?

 

That they love it? Hehehehe! Seriously, though, what author doesnít like to hear that about their work? Everyone needs constructive criticism, though. Whatís not helpful is feedback from readers who simply wanted a different plot. Thatís a matter of taste, and basically I write to my taste, and hope other readers will enjoy it as well. Feedback that means the most to me is about whether or not I managed to project the emotional state of the characters to the reader, whether or not they Ďfeltí the story, rather than simply reading the words. Grammar and tense usage is another thing that feedback can really help improve. Inconsistencies in tense or case can slip in, and it helps to get that feedback because fic can often be corrected, especially if it resides primarily in digital and not hard text.

 

 

What was the most interesting response you've had to your work? What do you consider the greatest compliment you've received? Did you ever get a review that really touched you? Something a reader wrote that really inspired you?

 

I got an email from someone who said a story of mine really touched her because the relationship Iíd drawn between V&C reminded her of that of hers and her now-deceased husbandís. That was really, really touching to me because Iíd been worried that I might have trivialized or at least undercut the love/romantic aspect of V&Cís relationship in that story with an overweighting of the physical/erotic.

 

 

Which of your B&B writings do you like best, and why? If you were forced to pick one passage, scene or line from one of your stories as a favorite, what would it be? What are your favorites of other things you've written?

 

At one point I might have picked ĎCheckmateí, but in retrospect, though there is much I like about that story (my first), I really donít like how I used the bond in it. ††ĎYour Pain is My Painí is a particular favorite of mine, but I donít think I could pick a passage from it in particular. ††Scars was better in my head than it turned out on paper (I think I lost steam toward the end of it), but in my head itís still one of my favorites.;>

 

 

Who are some other B&B authors who might inspire you or whose work you particularly enjoy? Is there a story of another writerís you especially like?

 

Of the early authors, I really like Pamela Garrett (ĎOne Day a Raptureí is my favorite!, Lynette Combs ĎPromises Seriesí and Linda Barthís ĎBeyond Beginningsí series. Of the latter authors, I like Cathy, Jo, Pat and Verityís work a lot.

 

 

Do you write in any other fandoms besides B&B?

 

I read Angel fanfic when I have a moment now, and tried my hand at what was to be the first part of a longer story, but never got around to the other parts. I hear the characters, but donít have the medium of that universe down enough to feel comfortable writing them.

 

 

Any advice you would give to beginners?

 

Stick with it. No one reaches their potential with their first effort. Be thick-skinned. If you really want to learn and improve, listen to constructive criticism. Remember that listening doesnít have to mean accepting whatís said, or changing what youíre doing, but listen and separate out the things that make sense to you, and discard those that donít.

 

 

You are one among the many B&B writers that went pro. Would you tell us how it happened in your case?

 

Weird story. I wrote about a history I know well (family stories) but decided to put a quirky twist to it. My two leads (Daniel and Catherine) were definitely inspired by the V&C characters, and itís obvious to any batb fan whoís read my story that Danielís father, Joseph, was inspired by Vincentís father, Jacob. Anyway, I wrote the story in a coffee house, and when I was through with the first draft, I decided to take a break before going on to the polishing draft by writing a business plan to open a coffee house. The idea of opening a coffee house was just a lark at first, and I thought Iíd write the first draft of the business plan then set it aside for a while, but I finished it quickly, found a business partner, and before I knew it, the idea was in the process of becoming reality. A key place of action in my story was a fictitious bookstore with a coffee bar in back, called Marysburg Books. I decided to marry that theme to my business, and called it ĎMarysburg Books, A Coffee Emporium for Book Loversí.

 

Once I was on that road to opening the shop, I knew I had to have the novel ready immediately, and the only way to do that was to publish independently so I immediately discarded my plan to pursue the traditional publishing route, and went the other way. Once the book was done, I had 6 book clubs chose it to read, and several bookstore inventory managers heard about that and asked to carry the book! I set up an account at Amazon.com, right away, but didnít pursue other traditional lines of distribution, instead switching my attention to the coffee shop itself. Weíve since added a wine and strong beer component, and are now ĎMarysburg Books, Coffee Emporium & Wine BarĒ, but now Iím in the middle of developing that particular piece of the business, which is primarily a night/weekend business, with a different demographic market segment than our day business consists of.

 

Now that Iím getting that set up, Iím again refocusing my attention on co-promoting the book and the business together. Iím focusing on the region of the bookís setting; in Mankato, Minnesota. Several bookstores and artisan craft stores carry it there now, Iíve been interviewed on a local radio station there, and a periodical published throughout southern Minnesota is highlighting the book and business in an article to come out this month. Iím really hoping to leverage the synergy of the business and book together, because I think the story of the two is greater than the sum of its parts. Time will tell.

 

 

How is the coffeehouse going? Would you tell us a little about it, for the fans who might not know of it?

 

Oops, see above. ;>But itís going well. Most restaurant startups (75-80%) fail in their first year. Most that succeed, donít hit break-even (daily expenses covering daily costs until their third year. Weíre a few months into our second year, and hope to hit break-even sometime during the first or second quarter (if were lucky Ė keep your fingers crossed!). We have enough capital to stay at it through this crucial year, so we hope weíll be one of the lucky restaurant start-ups that succeed long term. Again, time will tell.

 

Weíre about to launch a big PR campaign for this new part of the business, and our web page will get a complete overhaul, which is good, since itís been something Iíve neglected terribly since starting the business. There is some info there for you to see if you like, though itís dated at this time. New stuff will go up over the next few months. The site is at www.marysburgbooks.com.

 

I do have an expansion plan for the business and plan to pitch the idea to several groups of investors in about 6 months if all goes well. The replicated units would not be like the original, which is large, serves quite a bit of food, and wine and beer as well. Instead it would be a concentrated, solid espresso business, the likes of Starbucks and Caribou, but inheriting the book theme distilled throughout the hub. Like Caribou Coffeeís Ďrustic Alaskan lodgeí theme, the Marysburg theme would be typified by the book itself, and the European-style circulating library weíve developed.

 

 

Your commercial publications - Would you give us titles and sources for ordering? Are those books anything like your B&B writing?

 

Come to the shop! Ok, for those of you who canít, ;> you can always order it on www.amazon.com. For those of you who have already read it, thank you! And for those of you who have left such wonderful reviews at the amazon site, thank you from the bottom of my heart Ė this fandom is an amazing support group! I will definitely keep you guys informed on any additional national distribution sites Iím able to set up as time goes by.

 

 

Are there any new novels in the works?

 

Just the sequels to TMC at this time (see above).

 

Being a B&B fan

 

In RL are you a closet "beastie" or do all your friends and family members know you're a fan? How do theyfeel about your Beauty and the Beast involvement? Do they worry about your sanity?

 

Iím afraid Iíve primarily been a closet fan. Before BATB, being involved in a fandom is something I could have never seen myself doing. But the show Ďcaptured my heartí, and I wouldnít have it any other way now. Little by little, some of my family have heard little snippets from me about the show, and I know that mother, for one, has figured it out. We donít talk about it overtly, though. She likes that I write, though, and despite the risque sex in the novel, especially in the first chapter, she liked the book a lot. I guess after 12 kids, sex isnít a shocking thing. ;>

 

 

How did B&B affect your life?

 

In an amazing way, really. I did things I couldnít imagine ever doing Ė going to cons! I met wonderful people I still consider among my best friends, and that was long after the show had ended. I began writing, something I treasure very much now. Fandom enabled me to see a creative side to my personality that I hadnít really ever seen before, or at least perhaps only glimpsed, but never nurtured.

 

 

Are you or have you been involved with any other fandoms in the same way?

 

Nope, never. Though I read Angel fanfic online, Iím not at all involved in the fandom.

 

 

Do you want to say anything else to the readers of this interview about yourself, B&B, the writing art, or the fandom?

 

Not really Ė Iím afraid the readers will already be snoring over the length of my responses! Just to say hello to all my fandom friends out there, and to those Iíve never met as well.

 

 

 

Winterfest Online, January 2005