Author Spotlight Q&A – T.S. Woolard

We got a chance to catch up with horror author and poet T.S. Woolard, the Southern Tale Spinner himself. You know that the TroubleMakers like to be a little nosey & get down & dirty so let’s see how the Southern Tale Spinner held up under the harsh lights of the library. Did he keep us on our toes, surprise us a little and maybe have a little fun at the expense of a Trouble Maker…maybe. You’ll need to read to find out.

What made you decide to become an author? The simple answer is The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. Reading that as a kid changed my life.

What is the hardest thing about writing for you? Bleeding out in front of the world. I know it is a bit cliché, but I put so much soul into my writing. There is so much emotion behind each thing I write that it’s difficult to do that constantly.

Do you have any routines or superstitions that you go through whenever you write a book – Such as a specific room to write in, certain drink, same pen/pencil every time, specific music or noise? Release a book? I always listen to music. The type of music varies from story to story, and sometimes even scene to scene. Funnily enough they tend to be very juxtaposing in nature. If I’m writing a super gory scene, I tend to listen to classical music. Something slow and brooding. More narrative-driven writing I listen to faster, fast-tempo metal.

Who is the one person in the writing profession who has inspired you the most? So many people I could think of for this that I know both personally and only as a fan. There are typical ones horror authors say, like Stephen King (we all have that King story that we love), Joe Hill, Jack Ketchum, Thomas Harris, Edgar Allan Poe. Then there is Lewis Carroll. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who I think had the best writing style of any author whom ever lived. And peers whom I think are incredibly inspiring. Dona Fox, John FD Taff, Alice J Black, Essell Pratt. There are so many that I pull inspiration from. It’s like asking, “Who is your favorite band?”

Which character is your favorite? Which character was the hardest to write? Why? My favorite character I’ve ever written is probably Ashley. Ashley the Doll Doctor. He was so deep and just plain messed up. He scared the shit out me, and I wrote him. The hardest to write was Vince the Healer from Heaven’s Healer From Hell. His story was so tragic and painful. It was like siphoning happiness out of my very soul to write that story.

Would you consider collaborating a book with anyone else? If so…who?  Who would be your unicorn author to collaborate with? I would. I’ve talked to a few people about collaborating before. My unicorn author would be Joe Hill, if I’m picking still alive. Doyle if picking all-time

Who is your favorite author…someone that you will buy their book even without thinking? Joe Hill, Michael Scott, and, yes, JK Rowling.

What is your best piece of advice for someone who wants to write or publish? Be you. Don’t try to “tell the story like…” Tell it like you. Learn all you can, but be yourself.

If you could ask your readers 1 question and have them all answer…what would it be? Why do they like my writing? Seriously… why?

What is your writing kryptonite? Playing music. I suck at playing music, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I’ll be going along good with a story and catch the guitar in the corner of my eye, and the rest of the night is gone.

Do you plot out your books or do you write as you go? Both. I will outline a book, even short stories, and they’ll even be detailed. But if the characters decide they don’t like that direction as I write their story, I won’t hold to the outline. They change over time. Their story does. So do we as authors and people. I don’t try to make them fit a mold they may have been in 6 weeks ago.

Do you want each book or series to stand on its own or are you building a universe where all the books/series connect with each other? All should stand on their own, unless are outright tied to another story. Like, The Meaning of Hell has two companion shorts. But the idea of standing alone doesn’t mean they’re not taking place in the same universe. Each and every story I write has a character somewhere in it that is in another story. Sometimes they are simply mentioned. Sometimes they are bigger parts of the story. They all exist in the world I create, though. Woolard’s World: What a Wonderful place.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice related to writing what would it be? Write for me more, not the editors.

What is the biggest lesson you learned after you published your first book? Learn better grammar, because my country ass was not good at all.

What is a guilty pleasure? I love to read The Notebook about once a year. I also love the Pitch Perfect movie.

What is your favorite movie? Tombstone. Hands down.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot? North Carolina/Tennessee mountains is my usual answer, but after going there last year, Montana may be where my heart lies.

What’s an Item on your bucket list? Going to a Wrestlemania. And RKO’ing Antonette Santillo.

What is your most treasured possession? All the notebooks I have with all my stories and poems written out longhand. Yes, I wrote a novel longhand, first.

Do you have a spirit animal?  If so, what is it? I don’t know. I feel like someone else should answer a question for me rather than me doing it myself. Like, I feel like all answers would be flattering whether they mean to be or not. How many people would answer this with something real, like, “a pissed off donkey with dwarfism and a bad leg.”

What is your favorite holiday & why? Halloween. Because I love the fall and creepy things.

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose? I would control the weather, and there would be a love of chilly rain.

What would be your theme song? I think this is another situation where someone else would have to answer this for you. Ain’t no one gonna pick a song like Barbie Girl or Wannabe by Spice Girls. No one that looks like me, anyway.

What is the funniest thing someone has ever said to you? My mom told me a lot of funny things. Follow my page for installments of “Shit My Mother Says.” an example of this was the time she asked what a surprise I had for the group was in the comments. I asked did she know what a surprise was. In public comments, she says “I sure do, but me and your daddy loved you anyway.”

What’s your favorite candy? Reese’s Fastbreak, almost anything gummy.

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