Meet the Author: Thea McAlistair
Happy Friday Eve everyone!
Hope your Thursday is going well. I’m sooo ready for Friday, aren’t you? I definitely need some time to just relax and breathe with this week’s hectic stuff going on at work.
Today’s post is all about my digital sit down with Thea McAlistair (to be followed by a book review), new author of her debut novel No Good Men.
A little backstory: Thea and I have been writer friends for many a year, and she’s been a huge positive driving force in my life.
When I saw she was releasing her first novel, I had to get my hands on it. Stay tuned for my review to come shortly!
But before all that, let’s get to know Thea a little bit better, shall we?
Thea McAlistair is the pseudonym of an otherwise terribly boring office worker from New Jersey. She studied archaeology, anthropology, history, architecture, and public policy, but none of those panned out, so she decided to go back to an early love—writing. She can often be found playing D&D, cooking with her partner, or muttering to herself about her latest draft.
Hi Thea, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
In a strange twist of fate, you inherit a vast fortune from an unknown relative that has recently passed. What do you do with the money?
Where I live, that ‘fortune’ is probably only three months’ rent. But in all seriousness, I would like to buy a house up the northeast coast. Like Cape Cod or Newport or Salem. Or buy a condo in a Boston brownstone. Man, do I miss New England.
I totally agree with your decision! I would probably do the same or something similar. A dream of mine has been to own real estate and make my living by managing the properties.
Thea and the Writing Process
I always find it interesting how authors and bloggers alike lead multiple lives. What is your dayjob? Do you enjoy it?
Dayjob is as a database manager. It’s all right. But it’s definitely not writing. And I feel like if I’d known I would be doing this my whole life, I would have taken more computer science classes and less history.
True, nothing can quite live up to the thrill of writing and all that entails. Don’t feel bad, I’m sure I could definitely benefit from some computer science classes myself. Microsoft office is my forte, but anything outside of that can get a little bit confusing for me.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing pretty consistently since 2013. But the real world gets in the way a lot, so there have been plenty of breaks. When I was in school I’d have the opposite issue – big stretches of nothing and then a frantic month or two of putting down new words.
Oh believe me, I know the struggle! Every day seems to be a battle for me lately. I wish I could go back to those school days when things were so much simpler!
Are you working on any projects at the moment?
I’ve been stuck on draft 1 of book 3 for a while, but I have confidence that once work slows down I’ll be able to knock it out pretty quickly. I also have a fantasy… duology? Trilogy? Not sure what it is. Anyway, it always lives in the back of my mind even five drafts in.
Wow, interesting! Well I definitely can’t wait to see what happens. It’s tough having a bunch of projects floating up in the air at one time, but in time I’m sure things will resolve.
What is the hardest lesson you had to learn as a writer?
Taking the ego hits that come with editing and beta reading. I think that’s why people get so scared of sharing their writing. I was scared too for a very long time because it’s one thing to tell yourself a story and entirely another to make sure most people understand your words and your intentions. It’s better in the long run, though. Humility always is.
Oh, that can be so hard! I still deal with a little bit of fear when showing someone my work at times. Humility is definitely important, and not always easy.
Fun Facts About Thea
Pancakes or waffles?
Woohoo, we’re the same type of person! Any kind of waffle is a good waffle to me.
What’s your favorite place that you’ve travelled to?
As much as I hate the act of travel, I love seeing new places. Some of my favorites were Florence, Italy and Alexandria, Egypt. In terms of daytrips, Salem, MA is quaint with just enough weirdness to be fun.
I love to travel too! However, this year has been a relatively non-travel kind of year for me, so I’m definitely aching for a vacation or two for next year. I’ve never been to any of the places you listed, but would love to!
Who are your favorite writers?
I’m a big fan of Terry Pratchett, though I will say I prefer his later work. I pretty much stalk Scott Lynch’s social medias as I wait for the fourth Gentlemen Bastards book. I think I have to say Tolkien even though I’ve moved away from him, he was a big influence on my love of fantasy.
Haha, wonderful! I still haven’t finished that copy of Hogfather you gave me all that time ago, but I promise that one day I will! I also haven’t finished the first book of the Gentlemen Bastards series, but definitely plan on it. Tolkien is such a big part of literature I feel. Even if you move away from his work (I have too), he always holds a special place that we can’t forget.
What is your favorite supernatural creature and why?
Phoenix. It’s a reminder that we always must rise from the ashes we get put into by ourselves and others.
Oh, I love your pick! Such a great choice and meaning behind it too. I am still going to have to say Vampires are my favorite. They were the first supernatural creature I was introduced to, and Anne Rice really brought them to life for me.
Thea and Her Works
What kind of research went into writing your book?
It is at heart a history book, so I was doing things like googling the price of cigarettes in 1934. I actually found a good site for that sort of thing:
You can also definitely find films and music from the era, so there were points were I let something run in the background and seep into my brain. If at all possible when writing historical pieces, find those primary sources and get a feel for how people spoke and wrote and what they listened to or liked to look at.
That sounds like quite a bit of research! Sometimes it can be hard to do all the homework, especially on an era piece, but after reading through your book it felt really authentic to the time you were portraying (not that I’m a history buff by any means).
What other projects do you have in store for the world to see in the future? Anything you can share with us?
Book 2 is titled Boiling Over. I signed for it… hmm about a year ago now. I don’t have a date yet, but I just got Book 1 out the door so I’m in no rush.
I’m so excited that this is going to be a series!
All right, looks like our time here is up. Before you go, do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events, and special offers?
My Twitter is pretty active: @vsheridanwrites. That’s also my Facebook handle. And if you need to get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for sharing that with us, and stopping by today, Thea!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Thea McAlistair. I always have a great time chatting it up with her, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Thea and her work, she can be reached at the social media links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
Social Media Links