Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Tricia Copeland!
Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in Colorado with her family and multiple four legged and finned friends. Her new adult Being Me series includes, Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, Thinking You Know Me, and the final installment, Being Me. Drops of Sunshine is her first young adult and paranormal book.
I love reading author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? I’ve liked to write since high school. My professional career evolved into technical writing and my confidence in my abilities grew with that move. I started fiction writing as a hobby and an author friend read my work and urged me to do something with it.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I chose the new adult genre for my Being Me series because I felt I had a story about becoming an adult to tell. I also wrote a young adult novella and have another coming out in December. I think I grew up too fast and wished I’d stayed a teen a few more years.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? The strangest topic I’ve written about is how a person overcomes an eating disorder from the nitty gritty of being institutionalized, to attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings, to working the Twelve Steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. This isn’t an experience many people know much about and I hope that my book sheds some light on recovery from an eating disorder. [Oh wow!]
Writing my YA paranormal novella, Drops of Sunshine, was a stretch for me. I had two contemporary fiction books published and was working on the third. An opportunity presented itself to write in an anthology but it had to be YA and paranormal. I had a story in my head and had to come up with some paranormal aspect that fit. I liked the end result and will now do more paranormal pieces. [Cool. I enjoyed that story.]
What are you currently working on? I am in the editing stages of part I of a YA dystopian fiction novel and I’m writing part II. I have a YA vampire series I want to start as well as a new adult romance. [Very interesting.]
What motivated the plot of your latest book? I volunteered to write a story for an anthology that will benefit Doctors Without Borders. The story could be in any genre but needed to have a healing theme. I wanted to do a story with a male and female voice so I created a YA dystopian society to set my novel in.
What was the hardest story for you to write? The hardest stories for me to write were the third and fourth of my Being Me series. The main character survives a brutal assault but then has trouble coping with her feelings afterwards. In an attempt to cope she develops an eating disorder. I wanted to write this series because I struggled with an eating disorder as a young adult. Reliving all the emotions with my character was hard. Every time I read and reread the story was like I lived it again. [Wow… I’m sorry you experienced that.]
What process do you use to plan your novels? Usually I have an idea for characters and setting first then build a plot line around them. I like to make an outline of the story path. Sometimes as I write, new ideas come to me and sometimes I recognize a hole that needs to be filled. Through thinking about the issue while driving, exercising, or in the shower I come up with a solution.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I have lots of favorite characters in my stories. From the Being Me series Amanda and Zack are my favorites. I built Amanda’s character to be the type of person I wanted to be at her age, compassionate yet strong, quiet yet confident, fun, and courageous.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I haven’t experienced writer’s block for a long period of time. Usually if there is a need in my story I go away and do another task. Within a day or so I’ve been able to create a story line that works.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Each of my female main characters have had personalities similar to mine. They say write what you know. I am a conservative person, and chiefly introverted so I haven’t branched out and created a character who is extroverted and free spirited or the fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants type.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? Before I wrote a YA story, I would have said YA. My sons love middle grade fantasy so that is a genre I might try. The other genre I have an interest in is historical fiction. I’m weaving some historical fiction into the vampire novel I am planning for next year but it’s just a back story.
Which authors inspire you? Contemporary authors include Stephanie Meyer, Molly McAdams, and Marie Lu [yes!]. Others include Mary Stewart who wrote The Crystal Cave, Jack London, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Shakespeare.
What novel would you read multiple times? I’ve read Gone with the Wind, The Twilight series, and Roald Dahl’s books multiple times. Other books I’ve been thinking of going back to is Tia Bach’s Chasing Destiny and Jo Michaels I, Zombie.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) I would like to meet Gandhi, Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie, and I could probably name a couple more. I love science so meeting a woman scientist, like Marie Curie, who blazed a trail for women in science would probably make the top of the list. [Interesting.]
What is your favorite quote? I have several but the one that pops to mind is T. S. Elliot’s “One those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? I like cows. I could watch them all day. Their seemingly gentle, calm nature relaxes me and makes me happy.
What is your favorite color? My favorite color is black. I’m not a huge color person. I don’t wear lots of color and I am most comfortable when I have black on. A navy blue or green may make a close second or third.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Writing fiction is my part-time career. I am also a patent agent so I help clients decide if a patent application is the right avenue for their invention, write patent applications, and defend them to the patent office. So, I do a lot of writing, technical and non-technical.
Catch up with Tricia online at:
It was such a pleasure to getting to know you better, Tricia!
Next week’s featured guest will be M.A. Phipps.