At Gothic Bite Magazine we love welcoming new patients to become part of our asylum. We question them and learn about them. It doesn’t matter what creative field they are part of because they’re our patient now. This week, we welcome Theresa Halvorsen!
Patient Name: Theresa Halvorsen
Theresa Halvorsen has never met a profanity she hasn’t enjoyed. She’s generally overly-caffeinated and, at times, wine-soaked. The author of multiple spec-fiction works, including Warehouse Dreams, Lost Aboard and River City Widows, in addition to various short stories and non-fiction articles, Theresa wonders what sleep is.
Because she didn’t have enough to do, she started No Bad Books Press with S. Faxon and edits for other spec-fiction writers.
When she’s not writing, editing, publishing or podcasting with the Semi-Sages of the Pages, she’s commuting through San Diego traffic to her healthcare position. In whatever free time is left, ha!
Theresa enjoys board games, geeky conventions, and reading. Her life goal is to give “Oh-My-Gosh-This-Book-Is-So-Good!” happiness to her readers.
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She lives in Temecula with her amazing husband, occasionally her college-age twins, and the pets they’d promised to care for.
ARIELLE BELLE LYON (ABL): When did you find out you would want to write novels?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I think I wrote my first story when I was about six about a princess whose plane crashed, but luckily she met a bunch of forest animals, and they led her to safety. My writing in those days was heavily influenced by Disney.
I also loved the idea of haunted houses and was always reading up on true ghost stories.
ABL: You mentioned to us your work, all set in paranormal or Gothic settings. Would you let our readers know why you are more attracted to that genre?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I like the idea of things and entities hiding in plain sight, but we can’t see them or interact with them, or only very little. Ghosts, both real and imagined, fascinate me.
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I imagine their reality is very different from ours–their perception and time move for them. I also like the idea of multiple planes of existence and that different entities live on each of them and overlap with ours, just a little.
ABL: When writing about the paranormal, do you do research, and if so, how far do you go with your analysis?
THERESA HALVORSEN: When I wrote River City Widows, I did a lot of research on ghost hunters, as that’s a part of the story. I wanted to understand the equipment they used and learn about ghosts and demons.
For Lost Aboard, I researched true ghost stories related to Star of India and studied what life was like aboard Star of India in the past.
ABL: What is most important to you when writing your novels?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I want the reader to escape into the reality I create for them. So good writing, making sure the character arcs ring true, and that dialogue is well written is a priority.
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I want my readers to put the book down, having felt a moment of peace and joy in escaping into a new world. And when I write horror, I want them to feel the heeby-jeebys.
ABL: Which authors influenced your writing?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I’m strongly influenced by urban fantasy writers—Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs and Seanan McGuire.
ABL: Which of your novels is your favorite, and why is it your favorite?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I love all my novels, but I’m working on the sequel to Warehouse Dreams, a dystopian romance about a world that allows the rich to choose their child’s genetic code.
Because I’m focused on the sequel, the complexities of that world, and the social repercussions, that one is currently my favorite.
ABL: Do you believe in the paranormal? By that, I mean in hauntings, that there are creatures out in the wild we still don’t know the existence of?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I do. Because I write true ghost stories too and have interviewed so many people with paranormal experiences, I kind of have to.
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There are too many unexplained experiences to assume ghosts don’t exist.
ABL: What made you decide to be self-published?
THERESA HALVORSEN: Warehouse Dreams was picked up by a small publisher, S&H, which gradually closed its doors.
When they picked me up, I was elated. After S&H gave me back my rights, I decided to join S. Faxon and open No Bad Books Press, a small publishing house for her and my works. I knew I had quality books and enjoyed the control of self-publishing.
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ABL: What sets you apart from other paranormal and Gothic authors?
THERESA HALVORSEN: I research true ghost stories and write fictional paranormal stories. I talk to many people who have had paranormal experiences that are bizarre and frightening.
I can take the emotion they experience and use that to increase the reality of ghostly encounters in my novels.
ABL: What can readers look forward to from Theresa Halvorsen in 2022?
THERESA HALVORSEN: Well, in October 2021, my publishing house is releasing a short story compilation by other authors.
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I hope to have the sequel to Warehouse Dreams published and available by early 2022. The sequel to River City Widows will also come out in late 2022.