I had the serendipitous circumstance to meet the talented Tuesday Cross last year on a community writing-critique site, where I had the chance to read her upcoming novel. When Tuesday writes fiction, you just can’t tear yourself away from the pages she writes. From her recent novel debut, “Of Flesh and Fire”, to her story on Episode Interactive that just hit the #1 spot in Fantasy, “Recently Royal”, Tuesday is sweeping the fantasy genre by storm.
I recently had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her novel, writing style, and inspiration. She wrote to me from her current location in Australia:
When did you first start writing?
During an archeological excavation of my father’s closet, he and I discovered a short story I wrote when I was nine years old—it detailed how my little brother was a pirate from outer space. My earliest memories are of reading, and a love for writing followed shortly after. “Finished, full-length stories”, however, are a recent phenomenon in my life, kicking off with the first version of “Of Flesh and Fire” two years ago.
What brought you the idea for “Of Flesh and Fire”?
Since I can remember, my dreams have been vivid, insane stories. At least twice a week, I wake up exhausted because of some quest I endured or battle I fought during the night. I spent one such dream walking through a village where the occupants were plagued by a vicious dragon. I worked alongside the village hero, a woman with white hair, to track the dragon—only to discover the dragon wasn’t at all what, or who, we thought it was. When I woke up, I jotted down the first few notes that would later become “Of Flesh and Fire”!
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Little Tuesday, you are definitely not afraid to be different. You’re rocking that silly hat and fox tail—so just keep doing what makes you happy. My advice to you from the future is, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself on the inside as much as you are on the outside.” Don’t be afraid to disagree with people, speak up, and share your ideas. Take it from me, future-you:
The day you find the courage to be “you” through and through is the day you become unstoppable. -T. Cross
How do you get yourself into Writing-Mode? Do you do any creative “warm-ups”? How long do you typically write for in a day?
Writing “happens” to me in two ways. The first will occur while I’m working on a project for a client, and an idea strikes, unexpected, from a corner of my brain. Later, I’ll glance at the clock, shocked that it’s dark outside, and realize I’ve typed four thousand words but haven’t gotten any of the work I was supposed to get done, done. The second is when I sit down specifically to write. I prefer to be alone in a quiet space. If I need some help getting the inspo flowing, I jot out a loose outline for the chapter or scene in handwriting.
What was the best money you’ve ever spent as a writer?
By far, my subscription to Scribophile.com. Hands down. I’ve met the most amazing people (Hello Laura!) and their eyes and thoughts on my drafts have been more valuable than gold.
What is the most difficult thing you find about writing characters? What about a character of the opposite sex?
The most difficult, and coincidentally my favourite thing, about writing characters is the dialogue. When I write dialogue, I essentially become the character “speaking”, so when the characters are speaking to each other, I have to be in all of their mindsets and personalities simultaneously. It can set my head spinning, but it’s as fun as it is challenging!
Personally, I don’t believe that women are from Venus and men are from Mars—we’re all just people who have had experiences which have moulded us into different people. That being said, the most difficult thing for me when creating a male character is imagining their past experiences and the effect they had on him. For example: The first time his father took him fishing, how did he feel? When his mother left, how did that subconsciously colour his view of all women? I haven’t had these experiences myself, so it takes a fair amount of creative thinking to come up with what I think is a plausible male character.
What kind of research do you perform during writing?
Because I write primarily fantasy, almost everything comes out of my imagination. However, I do keep a list of amusing things I’ve Googled for a writing project. Some of my favourites are vampire-related: “What is a plastic blood-bag called specifically?” and “How long would it take to drink 5.5 liters of blood?” If anyone looked into my web history without context, a few eyebrows would be raised!
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, what do you do to battle it?
Words fall right out of me. They leak out my fingers and onto the page—until they don’t. Call it Writer’s Block or a lack of inspiration—but there are times where, try as I might, it’s as if I’ve used up all my words for that day.
Typically, I’ll just wander away and work on my “real work” for a while. If I’m working to a deadline and I need to get typing, I take a quick break and then read the chapter previous to the one I’m working on. Re-reading something already finished usually sparks me to continue.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I love love love to read. I don’t allow myself enough time to read as much as I’d like, but hopefully 2018 is the year of the book!
Have you read anything recently that has inspired change in the way you write?
Ahh yes. I’ve just finished reading an “epic” high-fantasy novel called “Lord Foul’s Bane”. It’s not as fancy as “Lord of the Rings” or some other high-fantasy I’ve read, but the author’s masterful use of metaphor and simile is life-changing. He’s able to paint a vivid visual scene and rip your heart out at the same time—it’s inspired me to dig deeper into my own imagination and try my hand at a different sort of prose.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on “Of Flesh and Fire: Book II” as well as a story called “Recently” Royal” for the interactive storytelling app called “Episode”. I’m also working on a cheeky side-project (novel) that has no business taking up my time, but I can’t help it!
For more about Tuesday and her fantastic stories, catch up with her on her website, Instagram, and Twitter: