Adam Interviews...Teshelle Combs!


Hello again, and happy Monday!

We're staying with the theme of "Vella Authors", and today I have Teshelle Combs with me. Let's learn a little more about this talented writer:


I’m Teshelle Combs, author, painter, musician. I often go by the name Tess and write fantasy, fantasy romance, and dystopian books, as well as a bit of poetry. I grew up in the Caribbean, on an island called St. Thomas, and currently in Florida with my husband and our two brilliant sons.


Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/groups/362760452582331 and @Teshellecombs

Link to story: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09W214JKJ


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote long before I first realized I should be writing! I didn’t understand that I had any real talent until high school, when a teacher read my journal prompt out loud. That teacher changed my life.


Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I love to study the world. The whole thing. Physics, anthropology, government, nature, psychology. From the way we watch the world turn, we learn our own turning. That’s where my stories come from.



What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I am currently, and very recently, a full time writer! I also homeschool our kids and juggle other creative work, so writing happens whenever I can make time, and usually on the couch while my boys play.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I act out my stories aloud before I begin writing them, sometimes for years before they’re born.


Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?


When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was eighteen years old when I wrote my first book. It was the summer after highschool, and I wrote it to share with my little sister, who I would be leaving behind as I ventured thousands of miles away from our island for college. The book itself wasn’t very good! But I did it. And so I knew I could do it. That’s what mattered most in that time. Understanding what I could do.


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love music, so dancing around the kitchen. I also like to cook fancy meals and to garden and bring our food from the earth to the table. I paint as well, so that sometimes takes my heart.



What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Making a whole world isn’t as hard as it seems.


How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

If my poetry is included, I have written and published over 30 books since I began in 2013. One of my absolute favorites is the Underglow, which tells the story of a nonverbal heroine in a victorian-esque fantasy realm who sets her mind on liberating the enslaved vampire race while falling madly in love with one.



Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write. Write the whole book. And don’t ask yourself if it’s good until you’ve written the words, “the end.” After that, then you can think. Before that, no thinking. Just writing.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

My readers fuel my energy and passion. I love taking screenshots of the messages they send me. I interact with them daily. Simply visit my facebook group or @Teshellecombs to hang out with me and make my day!


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

The first thing I wanted to be was an astronomer. Then a forensic pathologist. Then a physicist. Then a chemist. And lastly…a writer (but not until I was almost through with college)!


Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I want my readers to trust me. To trust that I will write a story that they’ve never imagined before. And that I will take them from beginning to end on an adventure like none other.


Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Of course! Write what you know. Write your mind on the page. Genius is unexpected.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t listen to the people who are afraid of your success.


How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

What did you do with your first advance?


What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

My grandmother lived to be 100 years old. She was a woman of few words, but when she spoke, she always captured the room with her wisdom. She taught me that a few words could change everything if you imbue them with the power of your spirit.


What does literary success look like to you?

Using my books to empower others to build their dreams.


What’s the best way to market your books?

I’ve got to say it’s taking out ads on social media. It’s a great way to get readers flowing to your work.


What do you have coming next?

The Underglow is moving from a story on kindle vella to a book this September! I also have many other titles moving from vella to book, including Slit Throat Saga, which has already transitioned.


Excerpt for The Underglow:

The ice shrieked beneath my boots, and a hollow crack sung out over the hills. I could not see past the layers of snow at my feet, nor could I explain why I had made my way so far out onto the frozen Kendrick Lake. But there I was, right in the center of my wilderness. And the lake did not think my adventuring was a very good idea.

Utterly alone, as most days I preferred to be, I got down on my belly to distribute my weight more evenly across the sabotuering sheet of ice. Using my elbows and knees, I wiggled myself back toward the shore. All the while, I savored the familiar rush of danger tingling in my veins. Oh how I’d missed its presence.

Once I arrived safely on the bank, I spread out on my back and watched the snowflakes catch the light of the moon. Beautiful, as always, but haunting as well on that particular night, as if the flakes flickered little warnings my way. But how glad I was for a warning, for it meant perhaps something was coming. And I desperately needed something to come.

“Aurelie! Aurelie Kendrick!”

Not the something I desired. A voice called out, rolling down the snow banks of Southern Lykke to meet me. For a moment, I considered that the snow might have actually found a voice. But no. It was as silent as ever. And so was I.

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