Today, a rather special day for T.E. Ridener for more reasons than one, I bring you an interview by her family, friends, and fans!  Most writers will nod their heads at the fifth question, and who hasn’t at least thought about the eighth? 🙂  Enjoy getting to know Ms. Ridener!

1. What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?

The hardest part for me is when I hit a writing drought. Others call it “writer’s block”, but for me it is simply a drought. The ideas that normally fall like rain stop abruptly and I’m left in a small panic. I don’t like when my brain is dry, so to speak. I might have to step back for a day, or a week-heck, even sometimes a month! But if I do the correct rain dance, the drought breaks and the ideas return. So the hardest part for me is when I lose my muse. She likes to hide.

2. Do you have lots of different stories at once in your head or do you get one at a time?

I think a lot of writers can relate to this particular question. Perhaps for some writers, there is only one story going on, but it’s not the same for me! Sometimes there are ten voices going at once. All of them want their stories written and I’m the only person they have to do that for them. So on one side, I’ve got Jude grunting and waiting for me to pick back up with book number three in the Blood Betrayal series, and then on the other side there is Isaiah and Heidi. If you think that’s bad, you’ve got to consider the guy from the ghost story I was supposed to write for Halloween, the elf that I promised a story to two Christmases ago, and –groan- I still have to write the sequel to Romance in Rodney one day! Lots of worlds get jumbled up in my brain, and characters definitely fight for my attention. I promise this isn’t schizophrenia. It’s just a clash of creativity.

3. How long have you been writing stories?

I have honestly been writing for as far back as I can remember. Ever since I discovered how to make words on paper, I’ve been doing it. Before that though, I can recall grabbing all the sales papers, scissors, and glue and running to my room. I would often create families and houses to go together and then I’d show my mom. Those were my stories. Even if I didn’t have the words to write down, there was a visual. I –think- she enjoyed them, or maybe I just interrupted her much cherished ‘down time’. Sorry, Mom.

4. Out of all the stories you’ve written, which one would you say is your favorite?

Gosh, it’s awfully hard to pick a favorite! I think this is like asking a parent who their favorite child is, and sense I have no children of my own, my books are my babies. I really enjoy writing the Blood Betrayal Series, and I definitely get lost in the Descendants As far as a favorite that I’ve written, I think I’ll say Blood Revelations. There’s just too much sass in that book and a lot happens that makes people stop and think “What did I just read?” I don’t have regular vampires, you see. They are sasspires.

5. Favorite character?

Oh man. Oh man, oh man! Why are you doing this to me? It’s difficult to pick only one because each of them hold such a special place in my heart. I really do love Heidi because she’s such a wonderful character to explore, but since we’re talking about Strong Women in Fiction, I feel the need to bring up Delilah MacLaine from the Blood Betrayal Series. No-it’s not just because she’s Irish, I promise! Delilah is truly strong and there are so many events that point this out in Blood Betrayal and Blood Revelations. Anyone who has read those books knows exactly what that girl has been through. I imagine it’s not easy to come from a broken home where you’ve been mistreated and abused. The extent of Delilah’s abuse is not something I’ll get into during this interview, but let us say that her revenge is amazing, and I’m so happy that things are looking up for her. Of all my characters, I most certainly want her to have a happy ending. She truly deserves it.

6. What book are you currently working on?

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Blood Resurrection and The Ice King’s Heart. I’ve made more progress with TIKH, so I imagine it will get finished first. It’s yet another continuation of Isaiah and Heidi’s journey to saving the universe and watching their romance blossom. I love those two. Yes, I fangirl over my own characters. I think all writers do. I can’t say too much about Blood Resurrection yet, but I think people will be pleasantly surprised at what Jude and his friends are up to.

7. What inspired you to write The Descendants Series?

I wanted to see if I could write something different from my vampires. Romance In Rodney is definitely the only realistic book I’ve ever written. There are no supernatural beings or magical fairies…but come on! I just wanted to see if I could do it, and I did. The Descendants Series is getting pretty popular, which makes me happy beyond belief. I get to dabble in a world where anything is possible, and I find myself falling in love with every kingdom I create. It truly makes me feel like a kid again, even though this particular series is known as New Adult.

8. If you could cast any celebrity to play any of your characters, who would you choose?

Oh man, oh man. Haha. Okay, I always have a dream cast on standby, so this will be easy for me to answer. I don’t think it’s any secret that I vision Daniel Sharman as Isaiah and Crystal Reed as Heidi (The Descendants Series). They are beyond perfect for those roles, but if I wanted to dig a little deeper I could tell you that I have always seen Keanu Reeves as Jamen from the Blood Betrayal Series. I have some faces that have been set in stone since day one, and he is one of them. For Delilah, I’ve always imagined Lily Cole. She’s gorgeous and the red hair definitely won me over. For most of my other characters, the faces change often.

9. If we opened your writing playlist right now, what would we find?

Ha! A lot of Ellie Goulding and 80’s music. Of course, there are a lot of renditions of “A Thousand Years”, too. I love me some inspirational jams.