Women in SFF Author Spotlight – Winnifred Tataw
Winnifred, or Winnie as most know her by, is an artist, writer, and author of her debut novel: The Gods’ Scion: Child of Tempus. As a military child, Winnie has traveled extensively around the US East Coast and Germany, learning about the history, lore, and culture of each region. Winnie has spent the last two years writing and expanding the world of The Gods’ Scion trilogy series. Winnie has had a lifelong love of literature and art. As a new writer she wants to create a beautiful fantasy world with compelling and intriguing characters. Winnie resides in South Carolina and is an undergraduate at the College of Charleston. She loves to spread positivity and joy to those around her, and look at the world through a glittery pink lens.
Welcome to the Hive, Winnifred Tataw. Let’s start small: tell us about a great book you’ve read recently!
Well, besides my own, *hehehe* I’ve been reading a lot of indie author books, my most recent is 69 Moments of Love: A Haiku Collection by Delton Savio D’Souza.
Okay, time to escalate things: reality warps and you suddenly find yourself leading a D&D-style party through a monster-infested dungeon. What character class are you, and what’s your weapon of choice?
I haven’t played D&D in years so my knowledge is really rusty. Nonetheless, I’m definitely a sorcerer. I love magic and the mystics and my “weapon” would be a firebolt.
When you’re not trawling through dungeons, how do you like to work? (In silence, with music, or serenaded by the damned souls of a thousand dead shrimps? Do you prefer to type or to hand-write? Are you an architect or a gardener? A plotter or a pantser? D’you write in your underwear, or in a deep-sea diver’s suit?) Tell us a little bit about your writing method!
Well it depends on what part of the book process I am in. If it is the beginning/outline I always write it down with music or white noise in the background. When I start writing the drafts, it’s always on the computer, with a cup of hot cocoa or tea by my side. And there is absolutely NO NOISE, or I would never finish any drafts ever! I don’t know why I can’t type with noise but pen and paper I can, but that’s how it works for me!
What (or who) are your most significant female fantasy influences? Are there any creators whom you dream of working with someday?
Definitely Marissa Meyer and Lois Lowry. Those two women can write some books! Their stories always captivate me and expand my imagination. And to work with Marissa Meyer on a book one day, would be magical!
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? Alternatively, what games have you enjoyed recently?
I’m not much of a gamer or TV watcher, but I do watch a lot of Nollywood/African movies. They are so much fun and a great way for me to bond with my family and our culture/heritage.
The world shifts, and you find yourself with an extra day on your hands during which you’re not allowed to write. How do you choose to spend the day?
Doing art and blogging! Those are my other two loves and life passions! I love making, creating (and sometimes selling) art. I mean, I am a Studio Art major as well ;-). I started to blog around the same time I began publishing my books, and it’s been such a wonderful ride.
Can you tell us a little something about your current work(s) in progress?
Yes, I am working-editing the third book in my The Gods’ Scion YA fantasy series. It takes on more of a sci-fi theme, but I love it so much. I cried so much writing some of the scenes too, goddess! Hopefully it will be out for sale by the end of this year!
What’s the most (and/or least) helpful piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
I cannot remember the exact words, but it was about how editing is just proof that you’ve completed something that just needs to be polished and cared for. And man, I am afraid of book editing, so those words resonated with me alot.
We would definitely reiterate the importance of editing!
Every writer encounters stumbling blocks, be it a difficult chapter, challenging subject matter or just starting a new project. How do you motivate yourself on days when you don’t want to write?
Usually, I look back at my other works, book covers. I then start to think, “Man I can’t wait to add another beautiful book to the ones I have.” If that doesn’t work, I jump around when writing (going from the end to the middle to the end again), and that helps get my writing juices working.
If you could visit any country at any point in history, where/when would you go, and why?
Cameroon, in the early 2000s. My family is from Cameroon, and due to a lot of political issues, I have not (yet) had the chance to visit. But when I do, I know I am going to love it. It is such a beautiful and lively country!
Who are your favourite female characters in literature or pop culture? And do you have a favourite type of female character you enjoy writing?
Tell us about a book that’s excellent, but underappreciated or obscure.
This book by my fellow author, Tabitha Womack, Storm of Emotions. One of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read! Tabby really knows her way with written words.
Finally, would you be so kind as to dazzle us with an elevator pitch? Why should readers check out your work?
Well of course what’s a pitch without a little razzle dazzle! My first book really lays down the foundation for the rest of the series. Think of it as the beginning of a rollercoaster just before the first drop. It’s fun and fast paced! The second book, Descendants of Time and Death, oh boy. Can you say drama?! Both books are heavily character orientated. And the plot just goes hand in hand with the character’s motives, decisions, and pain. They are a beautiful fantasy world set in modern times with real world problems and issues.
Thank you so much Winnifred! We wish you the best of luck with book three!