Interview of Mitzi Szereto author of Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) (Volume 1)
Can you tell me who or what was the inspiration for the book?
Mitzi: My famous sidekick bear (and co-author) Teddy Tedaloo was the inspiration, of course! He’s quite a character and a personality in his own right, and we’ve wanted to write a book together for some time. We had the main character (Thelonious T. Bear) mapped out in our heads, but it wasn’t until we went to stay at a friend’s old family farmhouse in Norfolk that it all started to come together—and very quickly, I might add. Norfolk is a lovely and quirky place and it proved full of surprises. Had we not experienced it for ourselves, this book would never have happened. A lot of things in Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) came out of our own experiences. I’ll leave it to readers to figure out which ones!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Mitzi: It isn’t so much a problem of writer’s block, but more so a lack of time to really focus on doing some serious writing. However, when I know I need to get something down on paper and am working to deadline, I just sit down and do it. I tend to be a bit Pavlovian in that regard. If there does happen to be a particularly pesky block, I find that setting the writing project aside and working on another can help shift it.
Can you tell me your experiences in finding a publisher for the book?
Mitzi: This is actually my first major indie project, so it’s been published under my own entity, Thelonious T. Bear Books, as will future books in the series.
How long did it take you to write the book and how long did it take to get the book released?
Mitzi: The book was in concept going back about three years. But as I said earlier, it was our visit to Norfolk that really kick-started it. I think it’s safe to say that it took two years to actually go from start to finish, as it has been about two years since we were in Norfolk. There were some gaps in the writing of it, due to unforeseen circumstances, after which we just got cracking and wrote and rewrote and rewrote until it was finally fit for human (and ursine) consumption. The actual release came about quickly. The only slow part of the process is the distribution of the print edition. The Southern Hemisphere booksellers are usually the last to get them. Since Teddy has a lot of mates Down Under, it’s very frustrating when he has to keep telling them “soon, soon!”.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
Mitzi: That’s easy—Thelonious T. Bear! He’s a no-nonsense independent bear who doesn’t take crap from anyone. He faces challenges and difficulties on a daily basis, but he gets on with it, though he so loves to grumble! He’s small in stature, yet big in personality. And he’s funny. You’ve got to love a bear that’s funny! Being British, he likes his pints of ale. He’s proud of his country and even has a Union Jack painted on the roof of his Mini Cooper. He wears a deerstalker hat and cologne, since he doesn’t wish to be like his more primitive cousins. He’s also a big fan of jazz musician Charlie Parker. Thelonious is a real class act!
What are your current / future projects?
Mitzi: I have another book coming out in September—a sexy fantasy-themed anthology entitled Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire. It’s very Game of Thrones-inspired, for those of you familiar with the popular HBO TV series based on the epic fantasy books by George R.R. Martin. There are some great writers participating, including some newcomers, not to mention a foreword written by legendary fantasy author Piers Anthony. There’s an interesting mix of styles and subjects, and yes, we’ve even got a few dragons in there!
Do you have any tips for a young writer just starting out?
Mitzi: Hmm. Are you sure you want to do this? If so, grow a few more layers of skin and buy a suit of armor.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you like the main character to be played by and why?
Mitzi: That would be tough, since there aren’t that many ursine actors about. The only one that comes to mind is Bart, and he passed away a few years ago. Plus he was a huge bear and quite ferocious, not diminutive and charming like Thelonious. I suppose a film company could cheat a bit and employ some special effects tactics such as what was done in the film “Ted.” But Thelonious is very distinctive, so both Teddy and I would need to have complete approval so as to insure Thelonious’s persona isn’t misrepresented or compromised in any form. You just can’t trust these film people. Control freaks, the lot of them!
What do you like to do for fun when you're not writing? Where do you like to vacation? Can you tell us briefly about this?
Mitzi: I always seem to be working, and even if I’m not working I’m still working! I can probably use a nice long rest as opposed to a holiday. I find that going on holidays is exhausting. The last holiday I took was to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. The one before that was to Brugge, Belgium. I do travel to do appearances and teach my erotic writing workshops—they’ve taken me from the Greek islands to the Shetland Islands of Scotland and many points in between. I always try to take advantage of any public appearances to see as much as I can of the places I’m at. I think a stay in a spa would be a good idea right now, but I doubt it will happen. Besides, I’m so busy that I doubt I’d be able to relax!
Can you tell me where we can purchase your book?
Mitzi: Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles) can be purchased at the usual haunts, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, Powell’s, etc. It should reach south of the Equator fairly soon. It’s available in print and in e-book for Kindle and Nook, with other e-readers to come.
Teddy Tedaloo is a celebrity teddy bear, trendsetter, world traveler, and the production assistant extraordinaire/co-star of the web TV channel Mitzi TV. Widely popular in social media circles such as Facebook and Twitter, he’s known for his entertaining commentary and opinions as well as being an advocate for animal welfare. He lives (and goes) wherever Mitzi lives (and goes). Normal for Norfolk is his first novel.
You Tube link Normal for Norfolk: http://youtu.be/gVd8RFHMz7s
Normal for Norfolk (The Thelonious T. Bear Chronicles): http://mitziszereto.com/normalfornorfolk/
Mitzi Szereto website: http://mitziszereto.com
Mitzi Szereto on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mitziszereto
Teddy Tedaloo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/teddytedaloo
Mitzi Szereto Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/mitziszereto.fanpage
Teddy Tedaloo Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/teddytedaloo.fanpage
Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog: http://mitziszereto.com/blog
Mitzi TV: http://mitziszereto.com/tv
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire: http://mitziszereto.com/thronesofdesire/
Mitzi Szereto Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/72445.Mitzi_Szereto
Mitzi Szereto Google+ official page: https://plus.google.com/b/105002950509883985630/105002950509883985630/posts