Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQs page!

Here I've listed the most frequently asked questions that come up during my book club discussions or during one-on-one conversations after a reader has completed one or more of my novels. I welcome the opportunity to discuss all my books with you at any time. The ideal forum is during a book club discussion where we can actually do a deep dive into the details of the plot and especially the characters. I won't post any spoiler-alert questions here so not to divulge critical plot twists or the ending.

If you would like to host a book party to learn more about my books and to ask your probing questions, feel free to contact me via email: tliggins.rc@gmail.com.

I look forward to meeting you and to having those insightful discussions!

So, take a few moments and read the questions. If you want to post your question, feel free to submit it at the bottom of this page.


HOW AND WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR BOOKS?

You can click each book cover image on the HOME page and that will take you directly to the purchase page on Amazon.com, or go to Amazon.com and search on my name: Theresa E Liggins, or the book titles. Stay tuned to my Facebook page: @RomantiCreations for book giveaways, signings, and more! If you would like to receive up to date information on my books, please subscribe on my Guest Book & Subscribe page! Thank you! 

WHERE CAN I READ THE REVIEWS OF YOUR BOOKS?

You can read all the reviews left by readers on my Feedback & Reviews page. There you can also leave your feedback!

ARE YOU AVAILABLE TO MENTOR NEW WRITERS?

Yes, I am! I conduct workshops called A Write Moment to coach new writers on the fundamentals of writing and, just as important, the process to publishing. Just complete the brief questionnaire to get started.

WHICH CHARACTER IS YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE?

Just like the question about my favorite book, the answer is the same. I don’t really have a favorite character; I love them all! If it weren’t for them—good or bad—then the stories wouldn’t be what they are—published! If for whatever reason, I’m not happy with the outcome of the project and if it doesn’t speak to ME, then I won’t publish it. Each character is uniquely chosen for each scene in each book. I may not always like what they stand for or who they are, but they all serve a purpose for a successful story.

 

DO YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FIRST OR THE STORY?

That’s tricky. Although I may not have a complete conceptualized story in my head, I do have some inking of a plot, which is immediately followed by an appropriate title. I find that it’s hard to write without knowing the title. The title, for me, usually gives the reader a preview of what they’ll find inside the pages. I’ve found that it’s just as important, if not more, to have the perfect title to represent my work of art.

 

WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE CHICAGO AS THE CITY IN THE ESCORT BOOKS VERSUS THE OTHER BIG CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES?

The best reason I could come up with is because Chicago is one of my favorite big cities of the handful of big cities I’ve visited throughout the US.  Chicago lends itself to the abundance of fascinating venues to which one would require an escort. It exudes richness and adventure. It is also an exciting city where anything imaginable could happen, but at the same time, could be well hidden. Plus, my favorite tall building in the world is the John Hancock Center. It was an obvious choice of residence for my main characters. If you haven’t visited Chicago or the John Hancock Center, I recommend it as a must see!

 

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE BOOK, TO LOVE AND TO CHEAT?

That was an easy one for me. There wasn’t a day that would go by that there wasn’t some story on the News or Talk shows that wasn’t about cheating. As I listened to these stories, I noticed that there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion around why someone cheated. In this book, I decided to tell the story from the mistress’ point of view—what my character, Holly’s, motives were for choosing to engage in illicit affairs with married men, and why my married men were cheating with her. I also decided to include the views of the friends and family directly impacted by these unpopular choices. I gathered some data for this project, by eliciting voluntary information via a questionnaire posted to my web site, soliciting married participants. I received very interesting answers from both genders who have cheated, thought about cheating or have been impacted by the cheating. This project was probably the most insightful project to date.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW IN 2013 AND WILL WE SEE MORE BOOKS FROM YOU IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

I have completed my 9th novel: You Danced on My Dreams, which is technically the third installment to my first two novels, but my plan is for it to supersede those novels. It could stand on its own without having to go back and read those books, which were written early on in my writing career. I don’t have a date yet as to when it’ll be published, but my goal is in late 2013, early 2014. I’m also working on another story—sort of a spinoff from You Danced on My Dreams, and it’s titled, Sis’Loyalty (a play on Disloyalty). If you’re a fan of my work and have read my previous books, there is a surprise in Sis’Loyalty that I think you’ll enjoy. Also, I’m not sure if you’re aware or not, but I have two additional novels, besides the ones I’ve mentioned here, that I’ve written and are in the queue for editing and publishing. Like I said before, I’ve never had a writer’s block moment.


WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?

I’ve always liked to write, whether it would be short stories, letters, essays, or poems. I thought seriously about writing my first novel in 1999 when I developed a story-line in my head, which came to me so instinctively. I started jotting down notes, which turned into pages, which turned into chapters until I had twenty-four chapters. That’s when "Life is But a Dream" came to life.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR SOME OF YOUR NOVELS?

"Life is But a Dream" and its sequel, "Dance Me to the End of Love," was conceived through my experience in ballroom dance training, which began in 1999. That adventure introduced me to so many life-changing events and sequences. It taught me to believe in myself and to know that I can do anything I set my mind to. This story, about a strong and independent woman who is quite vulnerable to destructive forces in life, is "loosely" based on my own trials through a segment of my life. The books, "The Escort, Et Cetera," its sequels, "The Escort II—Princess and the Surrogate" and "The Escort III—Son of an Escort" were a little different. Not that any part of this story derived from my own experiences (wink-wink), the covert and esoteric lifestyle of an escort intrigued me and the many scenarios for sub-plots seemed too easy to not create an adventurous story around. I took a risk and created a very steamy novel slathered with deception, lust, and heart. Under the Purple Moon and Under the Cover of Darkness took me way out of my element for a thriller plot. I decided that it was time to get out of my comfort zone and create something a little more audacious and non traditional. And, I think I accomplished that in these two novels. I mean everyone has ghost stories, right?


HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?

Lets see. The first book back in 1999 took about 2 years to write. At that point I didn’t really know that I was writing a book—it all developed intuitively. When I determined that this was the route I was destined to take, each book after that flowed effortlessly. To this day I’ve never really experience a writer’s block moment. Every book, depending on my availability to write, takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to complete the first draft.

 

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR CHARACTERS? DO YOU COME UP WITH THE CHARACTERS FIRST OR THE STORYLINE?
Some are based on real-life individuals and others are truly fictional. Sometimes I don’t always have all the characters in place before I start a story—they’re developed because the story requires a particular character at a specific point in time. A good example of that is "Carmen" (Princess) in The Escort series. I needed a character who would bring a unique quality to the plot, which Carmen did, and she ended up not only being a prominent character in "The Escort, Et Cetera," but she later got her own billing in "The Escort II—Princess and the Surrogate." I became very attached to Princess. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go of my characters, hence, the sequels!

 

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR CHARACTERS NAMES?

Well, how does a parent come up with his or her child’s name? In my case, I don’t name them after anyone, unless I use a variation of a real life person’s name who resembles my character. I try out several names before I settle on a permanent name. It’s a feeling that I get. Does this name fit the character? And, it also depends on the age of the character. Since my characters’ lives, in some cases, only span a short time from the reader’s perspective, meaning we don’t follow them from birth to old age, I give them a name that is suitable for that period in their life. Or a name that is suitable to their personality. One of my favorite names of all of my characters is Sebastién. I thought that was the perfect name for that character.

 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SELF PUBLISH?

I chose self publishing first because I felt very passionate about my stories and I wanted to see them in print and share them with others now, opposed to waiting and hoping and praying that a traditional publisher would even read my manuscripts entirely, let alone, publish them. Publishing is an extremely subjective business because there are so many writers out there trying to get discovered. The market is inundated with new manuscripts every week. Also, with self publishing, I am my own boss and creator—I get to retain my own creative rights. Now, on the flip of that, because I would prefer to only write, and not wear all of the hats that come with self-publishing, I have not ruled out seeking a traditional publisher for any one of my future projects.

 

WHICH BOOK IS YOUR FAVORITE?

Asking me that is like asking me which child is my favorite. They’re all my favorites for various reasons. I love every one of the stories I’ve created because each one of them possesses something that has significant meaning to me. It could be the subject topic or the process that it took to get me to the end of the book. The tell tale sign of how I know when I’m pleased about a particular book is when I can curl up with it years later, read it from cover to cover, and it still evokes the same emotions today as it did the day I wrote it.

 

DID YOU TAKE WRITING IN SCHOOL?

Not exactly. I was actually pursuing Computer Science. However I do have a lot of experience with writing. Telling a story is a lot different though. That takes imagination and creativity, and then you marry the two. I am an avid subscriber of writing publications and I have access to writing seminars, writing conferences, and so many other sources for writing. You can also join a writing group. I’ve certainly learned a great deal about the mechanics of writing since my first novel. One of the keys to a successful book is your editor. Every writer should invest in a qualified editor. Some writers even hire “ghost writers” to put their concept on paper for them. Whether you choose to do your own writing or to hire a professional, it is quite advantageous to become familiar with the process of writing.

 

HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO CREATE THE CHARACTER, CHARLOTTE? WAS THE VILLAIN CHARACTER EASIER TO CREATE THAN THE OTHERS, AND WHY?

I needed an antagonist, of course, hence the character. After writing the first book, "Life is But a Dream," I felt that Charlotte needed a louder voice, so she became a prominent character in "Dance Me to the End of Love." She gave the story the "oomph" that it has. It was actually exhilarating for me to develop her. I describe her as someone with guts and brains, but no soul. Her schemes were all very calculated, manipulative ploys that she executed flawlessly. While writing her scenes, I put myself in the mind of a few people I have come across in life who would stop at absolutely nothing until they achieved their goal, even at the expense of others. I, personally, couldn’t be a "Charlotte", but it was refreshing to write the villain character in that light.

You will meet her again in an upcoming project titled, You Danced On My Dreams.


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