Thanks for joining me again for week two of my Christmas interviews with authors. Each week, I'll host a different author. And on the week of December 4th I will share some of my favorite holiday things with you.
Plus, these authors and I have worked up a little something special just for YOU, our followers as a way of saying thank you for all your support. The best part is...you don't have to sign up for anything or even create a free account.
It's just simply a free gift to you.
So be sure to drop by for your free gift on November 18th.
The premise for these special holiday interviews is
"What These Famous Authors are Doing for the Holidays".
This week, Theresa Snyder has stopped by for a visit.
And where there is a Theresa Snyder, there is almost
always a Farloft.
So, please help me welcome back author
Theresa Snyder and Farloft.
And, in case you didn't know, Farloft has his own book out called Farloft's Storybook.
Alexia: Theresa, my friend, welcome back. Thanks for finding time to visit with me this special and oh so busy time of year.
As most of you know, I am a Christmas year 'round
kind of person. I love the holidays, all the decorating
I especially like the holidays when I can share them
with the family and good friends such as the worlds
most handsome dragon ever: Farloft.
Farloft: Thanks Alexia. It's nice to be back with you and your guests. Hello everybody. Oh, by the way, Alexia, these are for you.
*delivers a gift of chocolates, extends wings and bows*
Alexia: Well, thank you Farloft. Give me a huggle. I'm so glad you could make it. How was your trip coming in?
Farloft: Well, we hit a little rain storm. Theresa kept trying to open her umbrella and it would nearly yank her off. I eventually had to dart outside of the storm to keep her dry, not to mention keeping her on my back. *looking around for his gift, licks muzzle in anticipation*
Alexia: I'm excited that you both made it; safe and sound. Would you be looking for this?
*presents Farloft with a tray of chocolates and other baked goodies*
Farloft: Awe, *blushes* thank you Alexia. You always have the best chocolates and treats ever.
Alexia: You are welcome, Farloft, Merry Christmas. *huggles again*
Alexia: I understand you are joining me for a special Christmas project for our followers.
Farloft: Yes and I'm so excited about it, too. I appreciate you inviting me to participate. *grins toothily*
Alexia: You are welcome. I'm sure having fun working on this for our followers. And I know you are too.
Alexia: So, Theresa, are you and Farloft doing anything special this Christmas that you don’t normally do? If so, what would it be?
Theresa: Dad and I usually spend a quiet Christmas at home. Sarah, my dear friend and book cover illustrator, and Daniel, who was my lead in the print shop for over eight years, come for brunch each year. We open presents afterward and then settle in for the phone calls we will receive from friends and family throughout the rest of the day.
Alexia: Our tree is usually decorated with all the old ornaments. Recently the kids won the debate and we bought new shiny ones. Do you favor old fashion Christmas decorations or new / modern ones? Why?
Theresa: Our tree is a history of our family. We have a tradition of exchanging ornaments with friends, so the tree is a conglomerate of a lot of different tastes. The rest of the decorations around the house are the same, a mixture of old and new. The theme is always toy/candy store with loads of munches in crystal jars all over the bookshelves and mantles.
Alexia: That sounds lovely. What is one of your most favorite Christmases as a child?
Theresa: I remember the year I got my teddy bear, Smokey. Mother said it was a terrible disappointment to her because I had wanted the bear in the store so much and she said I never begged for anything. She and dad put it on lay-a-way and saved for it all through October, November and December. They were so anxious to see my face when I received it Christmas morning, but I was so sure I was going to get it from Santa that I got out of bed early and found it under the Christmas tree. Mom and dad awoke to me laying in my bed clutching Smokey in my sleep.
Alexia: What’s it like decorating around your house for the holidays? Do you have family over to help string up miles of lights and finish off the day with holiday treats / drinks? Perhaps, you all go shopping for the perfect Christmas tree and discuss new things to do this year.
And I can imagine Farloft is a big help, especially stringing lights on the roof and other high places. *sticks out chest in pride and grins*
Theresa: We always have Sarah and Daniel over and whoever else wants to join us. Sarah and Daniel are like my kids and they look forward to the decorating as much as we do. It has become a tradition for them to show up the weekend before Christmas. I have the house clear of other ornamentation and all the boxes of Christmas stuff brought in from the shed. They go at it like Christmas elves and in no time we have it all done. Then we sit down to a nice lunch of soup, or stew, and homemade biscuits.
Alexia: If you could go back to your childhood, what Christmas treat did your Mom make for you that you would most enjoy baking for your family today?
Theresa: My mom always made waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for Christmas morning breakfast. We continue that tradition with Sarah and Daniel, but I would give anything to have mom’s homemade waffles again. They were so light and fluffy.
Dad also makes an incredible homemade cranberry sauce that is always required on the table Christmas day.
2 bags of fresh cranberries – ground up in a grinder or chopped in a blender
1 apple and 2 oranges (plus the peeling of one orange) chopped up
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup granulated sugar
Mix well and refrigerate overnight
Alexia: All we do to prepare for the holidays sends out a message to our families and friends. What is your message?
Theresa: My message is always to spend as much time with friends and family as possible. Time is a precious thing and much more important than any other material gift you could give.
Alexia: If I were visiting your home for the holidays, what should I expect to see, taste, and do?
Theresa: The house would be decorated like a toy/candy store. There is a mechanical Santa that reads story books, a bear that blows bubbles, a musical merry-go-round with silver reindeer. There is a dog that ‘barks’ Christmas carols and numerous crystal jars with candy and cookies in them throughout the house. We would start out with waffles, berries and whipped cream for breakfast. Music would be playing softly all day long. We would open presents and visit. There would be a big selection of munches and drinks, both hot and cold. My mother was Irish and never wanted anyone to go away hungry. I have inherited that desire. We normally have our big holiday meal with company on Christmas Eve, so on Christmas day we ‘graze.’ There is left over ham, cheeses, Dad’s homemade cranberry sauce, salads, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh rolls and baked goods. We usually end the day with Christmas movies and naps.
Alexia: A toy / candy store? Hmm, maybe I need to come for a visit. I've really enjoyed our visit Theresa and of course with Farloft, too. I wish you both a bright and very merry holiday season. Thank you both for coming by.
Farloft: *sticks nose in air and breathes deeply* I smell snow! We are going to have a fun flight home. *grins at Theresa*
Theresa: Thanks for having us Alexia. I wish you a very merry Christmas, *whispers* Do you have another coat I can borrow? *shivers at the thought of snow*
Books make great gifts. Be sure to visit Theresa and Farloft for your Christmas shopping.
Join me again next week as I host Susan Jean Ricci, author of A Super Sandy Christmas and the Christmas Cardinal.
Welcome to another Author Showcase. Thank you for dropping by.
Currently we are featuring the work of Theresa Snyder, a very talented author writing across several genres. She already has an extensive collection of books available with more to come.
We will find out what’s new and what’s next with Theresa. And of course, she brought one of America’s favorite dragons, none other than Farloft, with her and we will have a chance to set down and talk with him later.
But for now, please make welcome, author, Theresa Snyder.
AS: Good morning, Theresa. Thank you for stopping by.
So, how’s it going in Oregon these days?
TS: Well, we really can’t get past the topic of weather. Oregon has been unseasonably hot this summer. You know I have an extensive garden, right? We have been watering since May. Unheard of in Oregon. I am so looking forward to the rain. I love rain, not only cleansing for the landscape, but also for the soul and my favorite kind of writing weather.
AS: Oh, I agree. Love the rain; it is refreshing.
I understand you still work at a local community college. How do you find time to write?
TS: I am not one of those writers that will tell you to spend so many hours per day writing. I do a lot of writing in my head, so when I do get a chance to put it down, I can just sit down and let it flow. I take the opportunity to write whenever possible, lunchtime, breaks, evenings, weekends, holidays. I wrote my latest paranormal novella over the Memorial Day weekend.
AS: A weekend? Wow.
Well, every writer gets asked for their best advice. I personally like author W. Somerset Maugham’s note on writing: “There are 3 rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” All fun aside, authors agree that writing and reading is still the best advice ever.
TS: I would have to agree with that statement about writing and reading. Writing anything, even business letters, or in a journal, is excellent practice. I wrote a column for the local newspaper for four years. I only did it once a week, but it was an exercise in being precise and getting my point across in a limited amount a words, and meeting a deadline.
And, I can’t say enough about reading. Reading gives you access to ideas, other styles, and so much more. I read between 3-5 books a month.
AS: I do enjoy some books but if I read that much, I’d be sleeping that much.
You are involved in a collaborative effort. How’s that going? How many other authors are working with you on this? How long have you been doing this? When will this project be completed or what is the future for this group?
TS: Wow! You are full of questions, but I like that. Let’s start at the beginning with this story. In December of 2013, Drew Avera, an author friend, emailed me and said he wanted to start a group of authors, maybe four or five who would write in the same setting, but with their own characters and a few overlapping characters we would all use. He envisioned it being much like the Star Trek series of books. So we all did a marathon email session, which I am sure almost melted the internet, and we came up with a place called The Realms as a setting. It is the place where all things humans think are mythological, paranormal or imagined actually live. We call our project The Twin Cities Series. Currently, The Realms is ruled by a vampire named Raven which is one of Drew’s characters. JB Cameron has a siren and a shape-shifter team who are a detective team and help the innocent steer clear of the nasty things in The Realms. Kedrick Rue has a vampire who didn’t want to be a blood sucker, but ended up getting a bit lost. I have my series of Shifting books. They are built around a shape-shifter and his human friend who does not know he shifts into a three-hundred-pound wolf. The lady he loves knows and loves him as Scar, his wolf form, but could care less about Cody in his human form. It is all seen through his eyes as a wolf.
As for when this project will end, well, Drew and I are really committed to keeping it going for the rest of our ‘author’ lives.
AS: That’s impressive.
TS: In 2016 Drew and JB intend to put Raven’s rule to an end. When that happens, someone else has to rule and depending on who it is The Realms, which is a living thing itself, will shift to the environment of that ruler. So if an Egyptian God like Ra took over then the landscape would shift to sand, tents and pyramids.
I intend to finish the Shifting Series of books in late 2015 or early 2016, then I will pick a new set of characters and run with those.
AS: What a clever story idea. I’m sure the end will be as amazing as its beginning.
My favorite of your works is, of course, The Farloft Chronicles. What single thing motivated you most to write this series?
TS: I wrote the initial book in the series for my nephew, James. He was not listening to his parents, me or his grandparents. I wondered who a ten year old boy would listen to and I decided it would be an old wise dragon. Hence, Farloft, over one thousand years old and full of stories, wisdom and fun.
AS: Oh, he is definitely full of fun; *looks back toward the goodie table* and chocolate. So, at first, did you see his entire lifespan or did it come as you wrote about him?
TS: He definitely grew over the years. Books two and three were actually written in serial form on my blog. The latest book Dragon Memories, Dreams & Reflections was actually prompted by a question he was asked on Twitter. They wanted to know how he met me. He said it was a very long story and so it came out as book number six.
AS: I’m sure you have enjoyed bringing Farloft to the world. And the world has definitely welcomed Farloft, as have I. How has that impacted or changed your life?
TS: It is very rewarding, but a bit awkward at times, living with a part-time dragon house guest. He is a great entertainer, has a story for everything, but when he does his happy dance it shakes the neighborhood. However, I can’t think of life without him.
AS: Awe, how sweet. If ever I am in your neighborhood and the ground is shaking, I’ll know it’s Farloft.
You recently worked a couple of book shows and a book signing. How did that go? Do you have more dates on this tour?
TS: I had a lot of fun, and a ton of work, preparing for the 7th Annual NW Book Festival, a book signing at the local bookstore which carries my books, Another Read Through, and then Farloft and I hosted a dragon table at the Japanese Festival. Weather was not our friend on the first two. The first was almost rained out and the second it was 97 degrees at the table. But, we made friends at all of the events.
AS: 97 degrees? Whoa, that’s probably way above normal for Oregon. I am like a snowman-I melt in high temps.
What can we expect next from the talented Theresa Snyder?
TS: In October, my 7th Scifi in The Star Traveler Series will come out. Believe it or not, it is a good place to start the series. I was careful to make this a stand-alone volume. If folks like the characters, there are just enough teasers to give them glimpses of what they missed in the previous six volumes.
The day after Thanksgiving Farloft will be unveiling his “Farloft’s Storybook.” This is an illustrated children’s book for hatchlings age 2-1/2 to 6 years old. The six year old will be able to read it on their own. Any of the younger aged with an attention span of about 3-5 pages will enjoy the nine short stories it contains with illustrations and coloring pages. Just in time for the holidays.
AS: Now, that sounds like so much fun.
Well, Theresa, we look forward to your future works and wish you the best. Tell us how we can get in touch with you and find your books?
TS: I'm on the web at www.TheresaSnyderAuthor.com.
For other interviews with Theresa and Farloft visit: Interviews and Web Reviews
AS: Everybody, please make welcome Farloft.
Hello, Farloft. Good Morning!
F: Lovely day we are having. *waves a chocolate covered paw, looking around the garden*
Good to meet in the garden. Lots more room. You humans live in such confining space. *grins and licks chocolate covered muzzle with long pink tongue*
I brought you something, Alexia, if you can help me with this. *tugs at straps on large pink messenger bag hanging around neck*
AS: Oh yes, let me help you with that. This is quite an attractive bag you have here.
F: It’s really not my color, *eyes roll at sight of pink with gold tassels* but Theresa made it for me so I could carry things and have my paws free.
AS: And that did come in handy when you saw my snack table, right?
F: Yep! *chuckles and digs in bag - comes up with flowers* Thank you for inviting me. *hands flowers and gives dragonic lick of affection to cheek* I picked them myself out of Theresa's garden. Shhh, don't tell her. *grins toothily at Theresa*.
AS: How kind, they are beautiful, Farloft. I will put them in an equally beautiful vase. I put out a special tray of assorted chocolates just for you. I see you found it.
F: Sure did! *licks chocolate off paw* You had my favorite with Caramel.
AS: Please have a seat. So, you recently had a birthday, how old are you now?
F: I lost track of birthday numbers a while back, *sits down on lawn* but Theresa tells me I am over 1,000 years old.
I look well for my age I think *ruffles wings and chuckles*
AS: You do, you do. And I believe you are still very young at heart; like me.
Did you have a big celebration?
F: I celebrate my birthday on January 16th, which just happens to be ‘Appreciate a Dragon Day!’ I took this selfie of me and my friends at the party. *pulls picture out of bag* We had a dragonly time.
AS: Did you do the whole party thing with hats and all?
I don’t usually wear a hat, except when Theresa makes me for her tea parties or at Christmas for Santa. He’s my favorite Big Dude *tilts hat to one side jauntily* We did have horns and lots and lots of chocolate cake, as you can see.
AS: How’s Flutterby, your flying cat, doing? What’s she up to these days?
F: We have become fast friends, since Alayna gave her to me for Christmas in 2013. As to what she does, well what do all cats do? She eats, sleeps and huggles. I like the huggling part best. Here's a pic of us huggling.
AS: Sounds cozy and lovely.
AS: So, Farloft, are there many types of dragons out there? What kind of a dragon are you? Besides being a nice kind of dragon, you know.
F: Why, thank you. *tilts wedged head and scratches with paw thinking of how to start* There is no end to the variety of dragons in the world. I personally am a Western Green Dragon. Here is a copy of my reference sheet. *digs in bag* I know it is here somewhere. *head totally engulfed in bag* Ah! Here it is! *pulls it out* All well prepared dragons have a reference sheet. *nudges sheet toward you* I know dragons who have fur and some that are dragon hybrids with feathers. Dragons come in all colors and color combinations. Like butterflies, they are infinite in their varieties.
AS: You are definitely the leading authority on dragons. Where are you from - what’s the name of your kingdom?
F: I am originally from the far west on a continent the humans call North Trairdon. I traveled extensively when I was young, exploring the nine continents of my world. I finally settled in The Kingdom of the Last Dragons in the Westridge mountains above the village of Brownbrair. I live in the side of a semi-dormant volcano.
AS: Do you get to go home often? Do you keep in touch with your family there?
I go home on occasion to visit with my parents and siblings. Especially, during fire breathing training. I like to watch the new younglings light up the first time. *grins toothily* Would you like to see some pics?
AS: I would. I would love to see your kingdom. Sounds fun.
F: I really liked the Belgium Chocolate shop and the Pyramids were great fun. The Eiffel Tower was great until they told me I couldn’t sit on it. So I didn’t even try to sit on Big Ben when we got there.
AS: You went to the book show in Portland. Theresa said it rained, but did you meet lots of new friends? Did some of them already know you? I bet they were excited to see you?
F: I was pleased that folks looked me up. *sticks out chest with pride* I love meeting new folks. Kate is a reader of my books and she followed me from show to show. She bought the first two of my books at the 7th Annual NW Book Fair, book three at Another Read Through and book four at the Japanese Festival. I told her she could get the rest online, ebook or paper.
AS: Well, that’s good to know. We will post where folks can find you.
Theresa has written lots of books about you. You’ve had an amazing life.
F: I have led a very full life and intend to do lots more in the future. Really looking forward to the release of my book for the little hatchlings of the world in November. Who knows what else may come. I know Theresa has been talking about a book of stories about my adventures when I was young and traveling. Some of them are on her blog now. *Stretches out in garden on back* Ahhhhh…Those were great times.
AS: I’d certainly like to hear about them.
Is there anything new going on with Farloft? Maybe a tour? Are you still doing the Twitter contest?
F: *gazes up over belly* New? There is always something new happening. A dragon has to stay active to stay young *grins and rolls over on belly – plucks at flowers* I have two contests that run all the time. You can buy one of my buttons from my Hoard online and place it somewhere, there are examples on my site, take a picture of it, and submit it to Theresa on her Twitter site @TheresaSnyder19 or via my site. That enters you to win a free set of my e-books. The other contest is a coloring contest. Download a picture off my site, color it and submit it to Theresa on Twitter or send it to my illustrations email site. That enters you to win a set of books too! I do a drawing every month. I hope folks who win them, enjoy them and will put a review for other readers up on some purchasing platform or other social media. Then all the world will eventually know about me and how much fun dragons can be.
AS: You are definitely lots of fun Farloft. No doubt about that. It’s got to be pretty cool being one of the world’s favorite dragons.
F: *blushes – green scales turning magenta around muzzle*
AS: I have spoken with you on Twitter. Share with us your time on Twitter, please. What’s your twitter handle?
F: Theresa lets me use her twitter account. She changes the avatar to me and I tweet away. Currently, I do it the last Friday of every month, but I am thinking of dropping in more often. I miss my dragon friends on Twitter and making new friends is such a pleasure. I used to get up at midnight Pacific Standard time and Tweet until 9:00 at night, but I am an old dragon and that took a lot out of me *hangs head* I wanted to talk with Robert in the UK and Levi in Iceland and Geri in Malta, when they first got up, but I just got too tired. And I had Theresa’s Twitter account shut down more than a few times for using it to much. *brow wrinkles into a frown* You know there is a limit. I have done as many as 879 tweets in one day *comes to a sitting position on haunches and mantles wings in a stretch* Theresa suggested I tweet no more than 12 hours. So now I tweet 8am to 8pm PST. But, like I said, I like to talk to all my friends and some of them work, so going to just start dropping in on occasion. Besides, Theresa’s pot roast is delicious. I can smell it from a mile away. *grins*
AS: I may have to join you one day. I love pot roast. That’s what I made for my family for dinner.
I wrote a story a couple of years ago called Aymee Goes to School, and recently I read it at a local school. My character is Aymee and her recent favorite pastime is reading your chronicles. The kids at school thought you were pretty cool.
F: *chuckles* I am pretty irresistible.
AS" Theresa sent them each a copy of your coloring book. They were so excited and very grateful. And they enjoyed the selfie you took with all your friends. I think their teacher hung it up in the class room.
Did you ever think you would become so famous and so loved?
F: *golden eyes whirl* Never…Honestly, never.
AS: Well, Farloft, I am so glad you came with Theresa. I’ve enjoyed visiting with you both. Where are you heading when you leave here?
F: *eyes snack table greedily* Back to the goodies?
AS: Help yourself. I think I bought plenty even for a *consults reference sheet* 13,000 pound dragon. Got any room in that bag? Take some home with you.
Farloft, one more question? Is there anything you would like to say to your adoring fans?
F: Be kind, be strong and keep the wind at your back *waves a wing and blows lovely heart shaped smoke rings* See you soon *wraps a wing around Theresa and moves off toward goodies. Theresa, you’ve got to see this table she set up.*
AS: I think I will join my guests before the chocolate is all gone. Thanks again to our guests, Theresa Snyder and the incredibly hilarious and wonderful Farloft. And thanks again to you for stopping by. *hustles off toward the table*
Theresa SnyderAuthor Website: www.TheresaSnyderAuthor.comBooks Available on Amazon / Smashwords / CreateSpace / Google play “Scifi reminiscent of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein”
“Paranormal like a breath of fresh air in a genre that has become formatted”
“Fantasy beautifully written with complex characters that children to adults can appreciate”
“Memoirs that are heartwarming, funny and soothing to the spirit”
Farloft photos by "Bluekite-Falls of Deviant Art"
I write ya romance and mystery. Take a sneak peak at Mystery at Bear Creek Island. You can also read the personal bio's of Duke and Kohana.
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