Tialla Rising is the charming authoress of Holding the Future Hostage, a Christian action/adventure with a sci-fi twist … does that sound exciting or what?! She is currently working on its sequel, Where Shadows Lie.
Hope you enjoy getting to know her better! I know I have!
Tialla, welcome to Finding the True Fairy Tale! It’s an honor to have you by for a chat! First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself? Hobbies, history, family, eye color … shoe size 😉
Hi, Ashlee! Thanks for having me. Well, first and foremost, I’m a born-again Christian, and I strive to honor the Lord with the stories I write. I published my debut novel in 2012, graduated high school in 2013, and I’m *hoping* to publish my second novel autumn of 2014. I live in the mountains of Arizona with my family (yes, mountains – where we have seventy degree weather in the summer and snow in the winter).
Aside from writing, I’m also a Marketing Representative for the website LetsHomeschoolHighSchool.com. In my spare time, I work on my books, read and review novels, and – when I’m completely exhausted and just cannot work any longer – I provide job-security for Netflix.
I have green eyes, I’m 5’3” and I wear a women’s 7 ½ shoe size. 😉 I have a huge weakness for shoes, earrings, and summer dresses. One strange fact about me: I always have to feel busy – and if I’m not crazy busy, I feel lazy. I’ve burned myself out from this multiple times in the past year, but I just can’t break the habit.
If your present phase of life was a book, what genre would it be told in, and what would its title be?
Oh, this is tricky. I suppose it would be in the Christian Fiction genre (nothing so exciting as action or drama), and I think the title would simply be, “Choices.” I know that’s fairly vague, but…it fits. At this point in time, I am confronted with essential choices regarding every aspect of my life.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for a long time – as long as I can remember, in fact, except for a short period where it was a toss-up between a carpenter and a ballerina… 🙂 What is the first thing you remember aspiring to as a young child? Was it being a writer – or something different altogether?
I didn’t even consider writing my own stories until I was eleven, so being a writer certainly wasn’t always on my list. For the longest time, I wanted to be a veterinarian. My parents even purchased multiple veterinarian computer games for me – which I adored. I eventually grew out of that phase, though. I think seeing the suffering animals is what did it for me – I love them too much to witness so many hurting and injured creatures.
Your books, titled Holding the Future Hostage and Where Shadows Lie, sound fascinating! Are they part of a series, or standalones? Can you tell us a little about how your ideas for them came about and/or evolved?
Thank you! I will more than likely end up making a trilogy out of these books – maybe even four books. HTFH can definitely be standalone; however, WSL is a sequel. I have been marketing it as a standalone as well, but after hearing back from one of my proofreaders, I’ve decided readers would understand it better if they read HTFH beforehand. Fun fact: my third book *may* end up as a prequel.
The ideas for HTFH truly came as I wrote. I didn’t outline anything, and I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I wrote the first draft (thank the LORD for revisions!). I was only running on inspiration from a single photograph of a large rock formation, which I titled, “The Stone Megalith.” I imagined a girl swimming in the water nearby, and everything grew from there.
My inspiration for WSL was much different. Shawn was the second character to make an appearance in HTFH, and from that first moment, something about him attracted me. In fact, I took a whole week away from editing HTFH to fill notebooks with “who Shawn is,” “where he comes from,” “why he is the way he is,” and so on. He absolutely intrigued and fascinated me – I just had to tell his story. However, HTFH wasn’t the place. Once it was published, though, I knew without a doubt that my next book would tell Shawn’s story. And that’s how Where Shadows Lie was born. 🙂
If you had to describe Shawn, your most recent main character, in just three words, what would they be?
Conflicted. Loyal. Determined.
When a reader closes the last page of your latest book, Where Shadows Lie, what message or feeling do you hope they will walk away with?
The message truly has several dimensions.
I would like for readers to know that no matter where they come from, and no matter how dark their past may be, God’s strength is powerful enough to lift the shadows – and also that even though God’s power is sufficient, it still takes work. We have to *want* it – enough to not let anything stop us, even ourselves. After all, if God is on our side, who can stand against us?
I also pray that readers come away with the feeling that even if they are drowning in the darkness, as long as they are pursuing God’s will, there is always a thread of hope.
I’ve made phone calls to strangers, I’ve done Google searches on grisly, embarrassing or disturbing things … all in the name of writing! Do you have a story about a crazy or quirky thing you’ve done to further your writing or creativity?
Ahh, what we do to add to the realism. 🙂
I suppose one of the more disturbing things I’ve done is when I asked my Dad about the very intricate process of how someone might go about extracting money from a stranger’s bank account without arousing suspicion (my father is a former police officer).
I’ve also contacted complete strangers in India to tell me about daily life there, as well as ask all my friends what qualifies a person as a “cool bad guy,” and if they could give any examples. And LOTS of rather grisly Google searches (like, “can someone survive a stomach knife wound” and “how to assemble a shaped-charge car bomb”).
We writers have undoubtedly captured the government’s attention.
I won’t ask that dreaded question: “what’s your favorite book?”!! But I would like to know if you could name three books (any genre or type) that you think everyone in the world would benefit from reading…
(The Bible is a given.)
–Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. This is one of my absolute favorite books, and I do think everyone needs to read it.
–Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This book is just so intense on so many levels…I really believe it’s a necessary read.
–Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This classic was incredibly hard to get through, but it has impacted me more than any other book, and I feel like it’s a story everyone needs to know.
Lastly, would you mind sharing a short excerpt from one of your books with us?
Sure! Here is a bit of dialogue from my work-in-progress, Where Shadows Lie.
It wasn’t until we were nearly three blocks away that I realized what had happened. I froze mid-step. “Did he say trained killer?”
A smug expression crossed Jackson’s face. “I was wondering when that would dawn on you. You’re not actually going to take him up on that, are you? Hiring an assassin seems a little…dramatic.”
I started walking again, and looked down, watching my feet. I wasn’t sure what to think. It did sound dramatic but…compared to everything Max had done to us, was it really such a bad idea? No…well, if I didn’t get caught, that is. I would not go back to jail. Then again…I had decided to do everything to avoid prison because I didn’t want to lose Ginny. I lost her anyway, so what was holding me back? Get the guy off my back, serve time if I got caught, then get on with the rest of my life.
A hand on my shoulder stopped me. I glanced up at Jackson; his eyes burned with determination. “No matter how many enemies you eliminate, Shawn, there will always be someone ready to take his place. Be careful what you choose.”
Thanks for having me, Ashlee! This was so much fun.
Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will work long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla spends her spare time reading. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.