Sunday – just the day to cwtch down with a good book and a Toblerone! But first please read this interview with the next author to contribute to the Foolish Encounters anthology, soon to be released by Wilde City Press. Just click on the cover to go to WCP’s website to learn more.
Or you could stay here, read the interview and comment to get a chance to win a prize!
My guest today is Tali Spencer
What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?
I wandered into a Facebook conversation one day where authors and readers were talking about creepy shifters and I quipped that spiders might be fun. Because spiders. I’ve toyed with spider stories for years. Arachnids are really quite admirable when you think about it, though not especially sexy. But they’re beautiful in their way. I used to play with tarantulas as a kid growing up in El Paso, Texas, and still love to watch web-weaving spiders in my garden. So when Marc asked me to write a spider shifter story for the anthology I thought it would be fun. I set the story in Wisconsin where I was born and called it “Well Hello, Eight Eyes.”
Could you tell me a little about it?
I went for the odd and wrote a contemporary fantasy. “Well Hello, Eight Eyes” starts out with Tanner, a young man deep in grief who risks going out on Lake Michigan despite knowing there will be storm. The storm destroys his boat and Tanner gets washed up on an island. The islanders are less than friendly but one of them—cute, quirky, and gay Cory—takes him in. Before long, they hit it off and Tanner decides to pursue the attraction. But Cory is acting mysteriously and there’s this small matter of spiders…. Actually, the spiders are a BIG matter!
Could you please tell me about your other work?
Most of my work is science fiction and fantasy, with a focus on character-driven plots. I like to have fun with the genre and some of my books are tongue-in-cheek. Thick as Thieves, for example, features a giant barbarian who uses a unicorn horn in an inappropriate way and ends up a bit sex-crazed. Some of my other work is much darker, like Sorceror’s Knot, which has violent themes. My free stories include a fun contemporary set in an Italian-American bakery, and I feature erotic serial science fiction on my blog.
What are you working on at the moment?
After a horrific year health wise, I’m putting finishing touches on the follow up to Thick as Thieves. I’m also writing two more books in my Uttor series. In addition, I’m vetting a completed epic fantasy for submission to my publisher.
Please could we have an excerpt?
Certainly, here’s a short piece from “Well Hello, Eight Eyes”
At least the fire burning in the stove was warm and cozy. Keeping the rest of his body securely covered, Tanner unbent his legs and thrust his bare feet out from the folds of the blanket and extended them toward the radiating heat. He didn’t expect Cory to jump from the sofa and back several feet. What the hell—
Cory’s eyes were wide and scared, his hair sticking up in a hairdresser’s nightmare. Catching Tanner’s look of surprise, he looked slightly abashed.
“Are your feet cold?” He moved toward the other room, probably his bedroom. “I don’t have slippers for you. My feet are small. But I have some big socks. I layer them in winter. They’re warm.”
“No, I don’t need socks. I’m just warming my feet at your nice fire. Stop being so jumpy and just sit down, okay?”
“Okay.” Still looking embarrassed, he edged back to the sofa. Gingerly, he perched on the edge. “I’ve never had a stranger in my house.”
“I can tell.” Tanner leaned forward, half expecting Cory to leap up again. “Why are you being so twitchy? Were you in combat or something? Iraq?”
That prompted a short laugh and a shake of Cory’s head. It was dry now, red with warm golden lights. “No. I… I’ve never left the island. I just… I’m careful. Maybe too much, but it’s because I’m different. I’ve always been different, different from people like you. Fragile.”
Tanner fought a grin. “You don’t look fragile.”
“I don’t?” Cory looked pleased. “How do I look?”
“Kind of cute. And hot, in a boy next door way.” He hadn’t been seeking a reason to go there, but… it was true. Cory’s big green eyes and shy smile, boyish freckles, and compact body were definitely cute, and the boldly colored plaid shirt only added to his vibrant appeal. In fact, his bounding energy was kind of adorable when it wasn’t startling the hell out of houseguests.
I am fascinated by swords, mythology, and everything ancient and magical. Sword and sandals? I’m in! But I also love bodice-rippers, Regency romances, magical realism, pulpy detective stories, cozy mysteries, and South American literature.
Though I grew up as a bit of a nomad, I currently live in Pennsylvania with my husband and travel whenever I can. Every destination yields a story or three.
When not writing, I read everything (really, everything), experiment with food, and take long walks with my loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
You can follow Tali on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.