Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m married to a wonderful woman who is supportive of my work and active in every stage of its creation. I’m father to two powerful sons, poised and prepared to take over the world. My childhood was hammered out in the streets of Milwaukee. Adolescence was formed in rural Missouri. As an adult, I found a home in Springfield, Missouri. It’s here that I’ve found a life, a rhythm that allowed me to create a support network and concentrate on my work, my friends, and my family.
Which writers inspire you?
I’m inspired by the classics, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, that was early fantasy, foundational work. I feel like they need to be studied, their work understood. There’s a lot we can learn about building a hero from Howard’s Conan work, a lot we can understand about world building. I’m inspired by some of the modern greats. Steven Erikson is always going to be a touchstone. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice really hits home with me. I like to seek out writers who are doing what I’m doing, creating massive worlds, telling big stories. And you can’t go wrong with Bronte.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
I’ve written many rough drafts for novels, but never a collaboration work. In college, there was a guy I wanted to work with, but we could never nail down the topic for our story. He was a wizard with dialogue, and at the time, my dialogue was lacking. I studied his work, figured out how to do a little bit of what he did. If I ever had the chance to write with him, I would. I think you have to build a certain level of trust with another writer in order to work on a project with them. I imagine that process would start with a long correspondence. I’m not well-known enough for that yet. For now, I’ll just plug along on my own stories.
When did you decide to become a writer?
Well, I was calling myself a writer since fifth grade. I had been given my first assignment to write my first short story, and my teacher flipped out at my budding ability. From that day on, I called myself a writer. But I didn’t really have an audience. My freshman year, another teacher took interest in me and I started writing for her. When I joined the newspaper staff at my high school, I got serious about my work. Another teacher, Mrs. Learmann, taught me a lot about deadlines and a writer’s work ethic, laid some good foundation for what I would later become. But I really started calling myself a writer in college, when I took my first creative writing courses. By that time, I had people interested in my work, people willing to sit down and give me a solid read. A writer’s not really a writer until they have an audience. That audience could be one person or millions. Until they have somebody willing to sit down and dedicate their time, they can’t really call themselves a writer. So I guess I would say, I’ve been a writer since my freshman year of high school.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I consider myself a full-time writer. I don’t have a job outside of writing. When I sit down in my office to work, I picture myself punching a clock. It’s a five day a week thing with me. I work in the afternoon, and I pull a second shift at night. I have two active writers groups and a twice a week meeting with a beta reader friend. And then every Friday night, I meet with a couple artists to talk craft. I’m pretty serious about it.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I do my best thinking out loud while talking. All preliminary work is done with my wife and my beta reader friend. We talk about everything from the vision of the book to what’s coming up, to the scenes and the minutia of the scenes. Sometimes I jot down vague notes. But when it comes to the work, there’s no outline. Things are really hazy. There’s a lot of fog in my office. And for the most part, I can only see what’s right in front of me. I’ll walk into a scene, walk into a setting, and stumble my way through the fog.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
I work with a service called Pump Up Your Book. My contact there is Tracee Gleichner. She runs review campaigns for me, connecting my book with different reviewers around the country. My wife hunts down blogs that do reviews, and we’ve found some success through these two avenues. But eventually that will fall away and my reviews will come in more organically.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
A good review will make your day. I remember one day my wife woke me up reading a review in which I was compared to H.P. Lovecraft and J.M. Barrie. That was a fantastic day. I’ve run into some serious critique, but haven’t had what you would call a bad review yet. I’m sure it will shake my confidence. I’m sure it will fill me with doubts. But in the end, it’s not about the reviews for me. It’s not about book sales. It’s about telling a story. And as long as they don’t say I have to stop telling stories, then they can’t really hurt me.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I have a blog. I use it sometimes to showcase my work in sections and glimpses, sometimes to talk about my life and my past. You can find me at jesseteller.com. I have a Facebook page called Jesse Teller: A Path to Perilisc that deals with a lot of my work, my progress through books, and my approach to writing. As far as the writing style and the world in which I write, the best source to go to is the book Legends of Perilisc. It’s a short story collection that tells eight stories, which includes the creation myth of my world. I think anyone creating a world needs a creation myth. That was one of the places I started when I put my world together.
Any Comments for the Blog readers?
I’m just getting my feet set. In October, I’ll publish the third book this year. I’m sitting on 10,000 pages of work that’s yet to be published. After that, I have plans for thousands and thousands more. I’m just getting started, so look for more.
Any feedback for me or the blog?
I’m really excited to be working with Book Wormie Spot. It seems like a very powerful engine for an indie writer and I appreciate you including my book in your library.
Find Him on
Goodreads Author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15269506.Jesse_Teller