Featured Friday! Tiffany Reyes
Tiffany was born on May 17, 1988 in Paterson, New Jersey. When she was in the second grade, her teacher told her mom that she had a knack for writing. It was “different” than the other kids. Her mom, however, was a fine artist and oil painter; her grandma was a seamstress and loved anything crafts. Up until middle school and through high school, she was an artist. A cartoonist, mainly.
But when she was 13, her dad took me to see The Lord of the Rings in theaters. She came home that day and knew… she had found her calling. She started my first two novels. She gave drafts to her teachers in middle- and high school. They acted as copy-editors. They offered critiques and advice, but for them, it was a little weird having a young teen writing such gory, foreboding stories. In 2007, she finished her first book in a planned quadrilogy. After she polished the novel to DEATH, she wrote up a query letter, proposal–everything the books said to do. She sent that out to about 50 agents.
Tiffany got about 30 rejections right off the bat, about 10 “maybes” that eventually turned into “nos”, about 10 never replied, and one agent said, “Sounds interesting. I’ll read it.” Tiffany sent her the book, thinking that this was it. That she was in. But alas, a year later, she finally told her that albeit a good idea, her writing was too sloppy. At the time, she didn’t understand what she could have meant. “Sloppy?! Me?”
Well, she was right. It just took Tiffany about 8 more months to understand why.
Between then and now, she has written and rewritten and rewritten that book more times than she can count and it’s finally ready for you. Her biggest lesson in all her years of being a writer is that writing is a gift bestowed upon her and she’ll never take it for granted.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
I love how it’s a career unlike any other. You are made to dream. You are there to create worlds within worlds. It’s my job to sit back, turn on some music, and make up the most unbelievably awesome story I can. There’s just nothing like that.
What made you start writing?
I was a kid and all I remember was needing to find a way to tell the stories running around in my head. Before I knew words well, I started with drawings. Picture books, comics, that sort of thing. But as I got older, for me, writing was so much more beautiful and inspiring than illustrating, so I went with that.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Richard Laymon. He taught me to be completely fearless when I write. Write anything and everything. Don’t let social pressures hold me back. If I was writing something that made me blush knowing my mother would see it, I’d write it anyway. That was, in a way, the most important stuff to keep in a story.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Know the world you’re getting involved in. Do your research. Read books on writing and the publishing world and self-promotion. Be prepared.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I definitely like to read the kinds of books I love to write, and that’s anything terrifying, anything dark, and anything intense.
My main character of Behind the Chimera, Ian Crowell. He simply fascinates me.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
Intensity, by Dean Koontz. Although I’m not a big fan of his style of writing, I learned a lot about making a terrifying killer from that book. I also learned a lot about keeping the suspense in a story.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
I would say the most difficult edits are scrapping characters you love. I know after working on Behind the Chimera for 10 years that I started with characters in my earliest drafts that certainly didn’t fit in my final drafts. It was hard to cut them and know that the world would never know how incredible they were.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman. It could also be that the moved based on the book was so beautiful, it helped shape my picture of the world.
If you could pick an Author to write your biography, who would it be?
Stephen King. That would just be an honor!
We all know the phrase “the book is always better than the film.” Which film would you like to see remade as a book?
What’s exciting you about your next project?
It’s simply disturbing and quite terrifying.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
Remember this moment. This moment is your life.
Find out more about Tiffany Reyes on her website
You can find her book, Behind the Chimera, on Kindle, Kobo or Nook.