Tuesday Simon has such an upbeat attitude, her books are fresh and bursting with wild, fun times, and she is a truly supportive member of the writing community. Her debut novel Curious Consequences of a Curse released last month, and I was so happy to sit down and ask her all about it!
Can you tell us about yourself?
Well I’m just your standard fantasy writer who has a pretty strong addiction to caffeine, which has prompted an enormous mug collection. I’m married to my handsome best friend, we have two dogs, Thor and Misty, and a cat, Yoko. We spent our first year of marriage living on separate continents, then moved to Hawaii for three years, now we live where we can see the Rocky Mountains out of our windows. I’m from a big family and I think that really shows in my stories. I’m very much inspired by my home state of Kansas, I’m a wheatchild at heart and that will never change.
When did you first begin writing? How has your journey evolved?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, my mom has a huge box full of my notebooks! But, unfortunately, at nineteen I lost this passion. I was in a bad relationship with someone who belittled my creativity. Time went on, I landed into the most loving and supportive marriage but a part of me just wasn’t ready to get my stories back. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I decided I wanted to write again. I had recently lost my grandpa, I still lived far away and couldn’t make it back for the funeral, which made my grieving progress slow.
Before he died he had gotten into music and singing again, so I thought, why can’t I write again? I wanted to write a historical fiction loosely based on his relationship with my grandma. They were married at 16 and celebrated over 70 years of marriage before she died about three years ago. This story wasn’t clicking, but thanks to the help of a giant toad scaring the heck out of me, I remembered some games of make believe and started plotting this fantasy saga instead.
If you could co-write a book with a famous author, who would it be?
Tolkien, hands down! The Hobbit has always been my comfort read, I was obsessed with the trilogy when I was younger, even powering through The Silmarillion at eleven years old. His take on fantasy, adventure, and letting the underdog win, is what really inspires me as a writer.
Your debut novel, Curious Consequences of a Curse, recently came out! Can you tell us what this story is about?
Oh boy! It has a very accurate title! This being the first book in my series, it introduces you to the innovative kingdom of Hightree and the forest kingdom of Fellowrock. You’ll start out meeting my main characters at just six years old as they are being told the story about why their neighboring kingdoms have hated each other for three hundred years. See, the people of Fellowrock were cursed to stay within their trees, any step away from their borders enacts a consequence that is hard to ignore. This curse was placed by Hightree, and they’ve hated each other ever since. Through some science, Fellowrock has finally cured their curse and are ready to go to war with Hightree to get their revenge.
Just one thing, Princess Dylah of Fellowrock was never cured, so in an effort to keep her safe her brother arranges for her to live with the enemy, Prince Axen of Hightree. Dylah is pretty reluctant despite the obvious effect of the curse, she is forced to put her differences aside and trust Axen. It’s a fun lighthearted story that offers a few smacks to the face along the way as these two enemies try to be friends.
Your main character, Dylah, is wonderful. How did you develop her character, and why is she so important for young girls to read about?
Dylah was created under the notion that I too needed to be braver. I gave her a lot of my characteristics along with some from my mom and sisters. Dylah isn’t the biggest person, but she still demands a commanding presence. I hope she helps girls understand that their worth is never based on their own size, big or small. I needed her to be strong so she could withstand the rather curious situation I threw her in with enough resilience to come out stronger on the other side.
Another thing I hope my younger readers take from Dylah is to never be afraid to show their true and full emotions. There are times when Dylah is so angry she bares her teeth, I don’t mean this to seem animalistic, I mean it to say that she has reached such a level of anger that she must show it. She owns her reactions and is driven by what her gut tells her, and that’s a lesson that I need to learn as well!
To you, what is more important...characters or plot?
Definitely characters! I am a true “pantser,” I may have an ending in mind with a few big things along the way, but other than that my characters absolutely write their story. I remember writing one of Dylah’s first scenes where she decides to jump out of her fourth story window, and I just had to be like “Okay, this is what we’re doing.” Sometimes my biggest plot twists catch me completely by surprise, especially in the second book! A well developed character can do wonders for the story. If you know your characters well enough, they’ll tell you what’s coming next and it makes your job as the author so much easier.
This is the first in a series. What else do you have in store for your readers?
The first book really sets up the relationship between these characters, families, and kingdoms, but book two Regretful Realizations and Revivals will dive deeper into their history and will start bringing some long forgotten family secrets to life. Oh...and maybe a few ghosts will show up here and there. The first book has so much of my heart but I truly feel like the second book is the story I needed to tell and that’s why it feels right to release it on my birthday, January 18th.
I’ve followed your publishing journey, and really admired how you executed it. You shared a long sneak-peek on Wattpad and did a great build-up to release day. What advice would you give to other authors looking to self-publish?
In the beginning I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, all I knew is that I had this story that I wanted the world to see. I didn’t have the best luck with beta readers so I decided to use Wattpad to give everyone the chance to be a beta reader! Through the sneak peek I was pushed to make some final edits and clarify a few things, it also inspired some of my favorite bits of dialogue. It may have been an evil author thing to do, but leaving it on an awful cliffhanger really boosted my initial sales! So my advice is that there is no right way to self-publish, just get your story out there, because it deserves to be read!
Where can people find (and buy) Curious Consequences of a Curse?
It’s available in both paperback and ebook on Amazon!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Stay wild, because that makes life more fun!
Follow Tuesday on Instagram: @tuesday.simon.author