Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Interview with thriller author Theresa Danley

Thriller author Theresa Danley is visiting today to chat about her two novels, Effigy and Deity.

Theresa Danley’s interest in history, science, and adventure all come together in her action-packed archaeological thrillers. Her explosive adventures explore the impacts ancient mythologies can have on modern ideologies, extracting answers to the unknown and mysterious through heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Theresa began linking the realms of the ancient world with the present in 2010 with the publication of her first thriller, Effigy. Now, the journey continues with the release of Deity, and the third book which is currently in the works.

Theresa lives along the hi-line of Montana where she keeps busy raising her family, riding her horses and entertaining her imagination with writing and research.

Welcome, Theresa. Please tell us about your current release. 
Deity is the sequel to my first book, Effigy. It continues to follow the same heroes from EFFIGY through another series of twists and mysteries they are challenged to solve. Of course, as in the first book, readers can expect to find Mesoamerican mythology entwined with modern science and history as we understand it today. I call it an archaeological thrill ride through the Mayan Long Count Calendar.

Here’s the cover blurb:
While on the hunt for two missing colleagues in Mexico, anthropologist Anthony Peet barely escapes a cenote collapse with his life while his student, Lori Dewson, is lost to a watery grave. Reeling from the tragedy, he is forced to continue his search, which quickly leads to the trail of a stolen reliquary cross rumored to have direct access to God. Little does Peet realize he’s centered himself between two opposing paramilitaries gridlocked in their own clandestine war.

Combed from the land where even gods are known to fall, subtle clues sweep Peet from majestic Mayan pyramids to Izapan mythology to the Long Count Calendar’s cosmology. Secrets are as entangled as the tropical forests and unraveling them requires wading through the emotional jungle of his own heart. In this world, truths are distorted every step of the way and Peet must determine which friends cannot be trusted, which enemies to befriend, what finds were never lost and which losses should never be found.

What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for Deity was years in the making when I was first inspired to write Effigy. When the idea for Effigy came into my head, I saw a large story unfolding around the mythological deity and historical figure, Quetzalcoatl. Of course, I couldn’t cram this epic into one book, so I decided to let the story unfold through a series of three books. The task has been both challenging, and rewarding.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Right now I’m researching and sketching out the storyline for the third and final book in the series. Again, this book maintains the central ties to Quetzalcoatl while continuing to follow the lives of the main characters we see in Effigy and Deity.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Since I can remember. I was always dabbling with stories throughout grade school and high school. But I didn’t seriously pursue publication until I was well out of college. That’s when I really started picking up on technique and worked hard at developing my craft.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I had time to write full-time, but alas, too much of my life does not hedge on writing. Otherwise, I might be a New York Times Bestseller by now, right? ;-)  Right now I’m at a season in my life where I’m raising a young family which takes up the majority of my time. But I’m also pursuing my other life-long interest in training and showing horses, which can be a time consumer in itself. My writing is sporadic and would probably make a career writer cringe. I write when I can – nap times and late nights – but can only remain in a consistent writing pattern seasonally, which tends to be during the winter months when it’s too cold to do much of anything else. Having said that, writing is never far from my mind. I may not be writing consistently, but I’m quite often working out plots and scenes in my mind, observing the world as it might fit into a story and then jotting them down until I can sit down and concentrate on them more fully. I love to research too, so often my writing time is simply spent reading, searching and observing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I think I write not for the love of writing, but because I feel compelled to tell a story. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching a story come together, but the passion to write comes in sporadic waves that push me onward along rising tides. I don’t spend much time looking for story ideas just for the sake of having something to write about.  I’m not that passionate kind of writer. I just more or less wait for a story to fall into my lap. But when an idea does come along, I usually grab onto it, research it, plot it out and then catch the next muse tsunami to flesh the story out.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always thought I would be a teacher when I was a kid. I must have had some wonderful mentors in school!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I just hope readers will enjoy my archaeological thrillers as much as I enjoy writing them!

Thanks for visiting, Theresa. Write on!

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