First up in our series of interviews with the Thorstruck family is Poppet. Many of you already know her work (we have posted a fair few reviews of Poppet's work here!) and others simply must discover this talented writer's imagination. Poppet has interviewed on Writing World before, but time has passed and we love to hear about what is new :)
Poppet is published and signed to four publishers, has over 50 novels to her credit including self published non fiction, and writes in many genres. She started her career writing for magazines and now specializes in edgy fiction of the paranormal and ghoulish. Poppet previously worked in a high profile advertising agency, taking the experience with her into her writing career when she turned her talents to book cover design and writing for magazines.
She's an Authonomy gold star holder (from Harper Collins UK), wrote as a health writer for six years (the inspiration for her recipe book), being published in consecutive issues for years in two magazines, spending a few years also doing freelance SEO writing for webdesign companies, loves to cook, grow her own food, and read. Poppet is proficient in Photoshop, having designed covers for herself and author friends, recently for the Irish publisher Tirgearr Publishing, and for Thorstruck Press.
She specalises in mythology inspired fiction, leaning toward the heretical, blaming her lineage for her preoccupation with the realms of gods and fallen angels. Poppet is published with Eibonvale Press, Wild Wolf Publishing, Vamptasy Publishing, Thorstruck Press, and previously published with Night Publishing (which closed doors), and Endaxi Press.
- What sparked your interest in writing? Your proverbial light-bulb moment?
Telling ghost stories to my friends and cousins – age 9. I knew then I had a gift for scaring the crap out of people afraid of the dark.
- We like having the crap scared out of us! Which genre are you most comfortable writing in?
Paranormal – I like it when normal boundaries are malleable
- Would you say you draw most often from your own knowledge base when writing or do you research for fresh material?
- Tell us a bit about your work. How, for instance, do you choose your titles?
They just happen.
- Lucky you! Most of us sigh over titles :) We love to read excerpts. Share with us your favourite bit of writing from your latest book.
From my novel Lucem – a continuation of Seithe – due out soon.
I need my diary, I need to write this all down before I lose my moment of corny genius.
Movement swims through the haze of mirth-tears and I clamp my hand over my mouth to stifle the hysterical giggles. I laugh when I'm nervous, maybe this is just stress relief.
“Once the door in your mind is left ajar you open it wider. Glad you find ancient history so hilarious. So Jamie, are you stupid?”
His bitchy tone shocks the joy right out of me and I wipe my eyes, hating him for ruining a moment of silly relief.
“What part of follow me did you not understand? Instead you grope the wall like a randy rapist. Trust, it's your default nature, yet instead of following the path I took from this room you doubted the wisdom and went looking for a logical manmade exit. Follow me, Jamie. Literally follow me. It's not a parable.”
And the obnoxious man-candy goes strutting back into nowhere from the middle of the room. Are all angels this grumpy? Bloody hell! So much for benevolent beings of happy heaven light sent to change the world in a ray of bliss.
If I was less of a lady I'd call him something really rude, but I never did like the taste of soap. And which sadist invented that punishment?
Getting annoyed I stand, stomping to the point he vanished, finding myself in a passage, like some kind of black hole portal.
Looking left, then right, I go storming to my right, rounding a corner to see him striding purposefully toward me, except now his eyes are molten silver.
“You're a real bastard, you know that?” I snap at him, ready for a decent clash of wills.
He stops walking to raise both eyebrows at me, glowering, “And who are you? Where's Seithe?”
Blinking rapidly, I don't understand what just happened. Hang on, this guy is dressed differently. Black leather jeans? Really?
“Rock star in training?” I goad. “Stone age I presume?” He won't get the humour, not knowing about how I've been thinking about Vikings and Barbarians. If it is Seithe I don't appreciate him trying to disorientate me again.
He props hands on hips, all muscle and height, giving me a skew smile, “Who the fuck are you? Where is Seithe?”
“I don't know, we're playing hide and seek. Who are you?” I say, playing along.
Instantly his smile widens and his eyes become so brilliant they seem like hot mercury, “I'm the angel you've been waiting for.” He strides right up to me so I'm nose to sternum with him, when the wanker leans down to whisper in my ear, “When was the last time you were fingered by an angel?”
“Jowendrhan, leave her alone!” shouts from behind me, and I snap around guiltily, looking from one to the other.
“There are two of you?”
The guy with the leather pants looks up, glaring at his twin image, “Seithe, you definitely have a type. Blue eyes, sun-streaked long brown hair, shorter than a pixie, no wonder you don't give a fuck about your ex.” He pats my head, leaving his hand on my crown as if I'm just a dog rescued from the pound, “So what's this one's name?”
“Jamie. Jamie, meet my brother Jo.”
I shrug his hand off me, still amazed. Seithe's eyes are back to vodka, his hair as white as his brother's now is. “Do all angels do that? You have this mega identity crisis don't you? Brown hair or white? Anaemic eyes or brown? Do you morph between short and tall too? Fat and thin?”
The brother Jo...something looks at me, his smile the kind that melts nylon underwear, “I know a great way to shut up snarky women, it's thick and long and full of god juice.”
“You're not touching her!” shouts, and before I know what the hell is going on I have doppelgangers punching each other across the wide sandstone passage, bitching and arguing in booms of Phoebe and babies, and angels and Venix, and Darise, and god knows what.
Well Seithe's brother at least seems to be more fun. Seithe's a little highly strung.
They finally stop, while I prudently stand far away from their scuffle, when Seithe (I can tell because he's wearing blue jeans), says to his assailant, “How did you find me?”
“I may be pretty, but I'm not stupid Seithe. I might be your baby brother but I've come a long way since you died. I'm not the kid you need to rescue any longer, and I'm here to crack your skull open. I'm taking it to Phoebe so she can drink wine out of it every full moon.”
- LOVE it! We can't wait to read it all! Who do you identify with most in your work? And why?
The sarky chic with a chip on her shoulder
- If you could choose who would play Ellindt in the movie or series made from your work, who would it be?
- Which four words would you use to describe yourself?
Unhinged, workaholic, defiant, fact-junkie
- Which four words would you use to describe your work?
Sexy, heretical, paranormal, adrenaline-rush
- I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!
Favourite book: Spirit Walk – Charles de Lint
Favourite movie: Strange Days
Favourite TV series: X Files
Favourite colour: Pink
Favourite food: Pizza / ice-cream
Favourite drink: coffee
Favourite pet: My kitty
Favourite season: Summer
Favourite place: Bed
- Often personal fame and prominence for your work go together, but frequently authors prefer remaining in the background while hoping their work will assume the limelight. Is this true for you, or don’t you mind a bit of fame?
I like being unknown as far as my face goes, I don't want to be recognised, I like my anonymity. I don't dress up, wear old jeans and older shirts, my hair is usually scraped back in a pony-tail and I loathe make-up – staying incognito means I never have to make an effort and be judged for being so damn ordinary
- You'll never be ordinary, but writers understand the feeling! Tell us about your next book (we love to know what to look forward to!).
I'm working on a Seithe series, a paranormal teen novel, and 2 horrors. It's hard to pick just one, but here's a snippet from my teen novel...
I was not sorry they died. I probably should have been, but I wasn't. Being an orphan is a far sight better than having two working parents in a 'happy' marriage.
Mom was a Dreamer. As such she spent more time in the ether than tending to basic requirements, like worrying about my next meal. I was lucky to get bread gone green with mould and curdled yoghurt for dinner. My hair was matted and I was beyond neglect.
One day mom just disintegrated, coming apart to join the realm of her habitual dousing. Dad, who was a chef (ironic, I know) came home once a week to say his hello's and for his conjugal copulation, and found me in a state of disarray, my clothing of such a stench that he couldn't bring himself to hug me when he discovered I was abandoned.
He went after mom, to retrieve her from the Realm, and that was the last time I saw either of them. They are gone, lost in the nebulae of spirit.
I have no desire to join a Cookery as I do not share my father's passion for yelling at inept souz chefs, waiters, and cooks. He may have been famous for his Saffron Soufflé, for his genius and foul temper, but the orphanage gave me gruel (which was billions times yummier than my mother's attempts at providing dinner).
It's a cruel twist of fate that I should have been the spawn of a cookery prodigy only to never taste the delicacies which made him renown. I am the infamous child of a duo who were so far apart on the talent spectrum that I do not even fall into the shades of infrared.
My father was solidly of this world yet my mother did everything in her power to escape it. Life was not her forte, absenteeism was.
Left in the care of a state orphanage I was happier than I've ever been. I learned the basics, I was clean, fed, with a bed which was made to exact specifications each morning.
Unlike the world in the legends, this planet no longer has helpless infants. We are born intelligent, able to read, work numbers, capable and strong from birth. The legends claim infants were weak and helpless, that was a long time ago, we have genetically evolved. No longer does visual entertainment take precedence, instead we are born with a full vocabulary, able to read our own bedtime stories, able to work from the time we are two, but still tradition forces us into the annals of education so that we may master our instincts and hone our aptitude.
As such, Le'Maison Lucemlot is a benefactor of charity. Once a year he comes to the Noxperiarat Orphanage to offer scholarship to one lucky child. Doing his bit to avoid taxes, to appear altruistic, and perhaps he is, but the manner in which the child is chosen is left to chance.
We drew lots on the winter solstice. So I drew my straw from the box in his bony hand, and it was my fate to be the next one taken away from a place of sanctuary. The place I chose to call home. Away from Matron Gleam and her ample bosom and life affirming hugs, her gentle smile and kind eyes.
I left in the depth of the darkest sleet to take the sky carriage to Castle Creepy. We call it Castle Creepy, but my destination is officially known as Burroughwood Posterity Boarding School. Bleeding Hogs hauled the rickety carriage through the eerie midnight, the dawn of my future in a void so dreary it was naught but bleak.
Castle Efferhue loomed large in the Gowling District, darker than the shadows slinking through the winter brume. It glowed on the left, from the banks of Wishlake sending witchmist up as if it could steam in the cold. Steam is hot, Wishlake is so cold and gloomy it fills hearts with despair.
I know, I row on it now. I've been an attendee of Burroughwood Posterity Boarding School for thirteen years. My aptitude extends to rowing it seems, but I would beg to differ as I'm not as tall as Gray, nor as strong, and am disparaged by the elite boy's crew as I'm B team, not A.
Standing here staring at the rising mist, recalling the day I came to live inside walls three meters thick with windows liken to a goalery for criminals, I stare at the lake of my discontent from the safety of my four poster bed in the upper west dorm.
I fear Wishlake. It glows livid silver all year, it's bitter and desperate. The next regatta is on Fernobrook. Fernobrook is a raging expanse known for its incinerating waves. The trick to rowing is to row in such a way that the blade never makes a splash, not entering the liquid, nor on exit. It's a run, when the longboat skims the top with such speed that it nary touches the surface, our blades dipping in and out like pistons firing through the cosmos. If we do not row like saints on Fernobrook we'll leave the regatta disfigured, the burn marks permanent, the lavagloam singeing our skin off. We can't afford to make a splash, not this time.
Soon it will be Hearken Break, when all those privileged scholars go home to their real families. I don't have one so am left here with just one other for companionship. Arlene, the school's resident slut. She and I are the only two orphans still residing here. I was the last one chosen by Le'Maison Lucemlot, after me he changed his policy, adopting Coldjik women from the glacier borderlands, bringing them in to be chambermaids in our macabre halls.
They're gorgeous, every last one of them, and it's a rite of passage to lose one's virginity to the Coldjik maids. I've caught Le'Maison glowering at many a pert bottom bent in the act of polishing, serving and scrubbing, to wonder exactly what his goal was in adopting the modern version of Russian mail order brides.
Black eyes lined with fierce wrinkles skewer us at every meal, at every assembly, at every regatta. Lord Lucemlot is regal, intimidating, and my warden. This year I finally join his class of ectonomics. I've heard he is a hard taskmaster and impossible to please.
My day is coming. I have to prove myself this year or risk losing my second home. This year I will beat Gray when it comes to selections. I will train harder than I ever have, quash my fears of the ethereal lakes and their dangers, and hopefully this Hearken Break I'll lose my virginity too. Either to Ivana (the maid who cleans my quarters), or to Arlene. She's done everyone else, I don't see why she won't do me too.
- Ooooo, another winner! What comes next, besides a new book project? A holiday, an event?
Nothing comes next, my life consists of editing, book cover design, and writing. I do it because it makes me happy. Being an author means I haven't been able to afford to have a holiday in over a decade – besides visiting my mother twice after her hubby died, the last real holiday I've had in 20 years was a 2 week stay at my hubby's grandmother's for my honeymoon. There are no plans to be made when you live never knowing what you'll earn this month, if anything. People assume authors are well off and rolling in it, I'm here to tell them being an author is a 24 hour job, working non stop, editing until your sight blurs, and it won't make you rich or famous, it truly is a labour of compulsion and love.
- And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?
I'd like to meet Immanuel (aka Jesus) and tell him to put Paul (Saul) to death before he can infiltrate his message and core group - which made it a religion which serves fear instead of love. I'd also tell him to leave a lot of evidence of his existence, because as things stand right now he's a myth without a shred of proof to his existence. I'd tell him to write his own damn gospels instead of having everything delivered second hand.
(Read more about Immanuel and Paul in The Nephilim Cartel)
Thank you for spending time with Writing World, Poppet. It's always a pleasure having you here!