Tommy now that you are out of jail do you want to have a relationship with Addison?
I would love to have a relationship with Addison, however, it’s her choice to want something to do with me. Though Addison forgives me, I honestly feel that she doesn’t want anything to do with me. I have learned a lot during my incarceration. You can forgive someone but still not want anything to do with them and honestly, that’s what I think Addison feels. So, though I would like a relationship with my daughter, I don’t think that that will ever happen.
Tommy why did you feel you could never trust anyone and tell them what Garrett was doing. Even with the threat of him killing you?
I was psychologically abused as well as physically abused throughout my life. I found that telling people about what I’m going through just makes matters worse. I went from an abusive and disgusting home to a loving home, which was a good thing, but then Garrett showed up and the sexual abuse was far more damaging to me than anything my mother had put me through. I didn’t even want to think about what was worse than that. I feared that by telling on him, I would end up worse off than I already was.
Tommy if not for the life you had to endure would you have tried to be a father to the twins?
This is a difficult question to answer. You see, our past affects our future. If one minor thing is changed in our past, it affects every part of our future. If not for the life I led, would I have even fathered the twins? If I had a good upbringing, would I have gone to college; moved away; even met Abby? There is just too many factors to really answer this question; however, I do believe that if not for my upbringing, I would have made a great father and loved my children to the ends of the earth.
Tommy besides the way you grew up what made you turn toward drugs?
Drugs numbed my past. It made it easier to push the memories aside. If not for my past, I may never have used drugs. I liked that it made me feel in control and on top of the world.
Tommy did you ever have real feelings towards Abigail or was it all the drugs?
I did. I loved Abigail. The drugs ruined any shot at a decent relationship with her. I said and did things to her while I was high that I didn’t really feel. I loved her and I wanted to give her everything. When I lost her, I lost a part of myself.
Tommy how do you think your life would have turned out if you would have stayed in a foster home
My life with Mark and Megan was perfect. If I had told on Garrett and I had stayed with them, looking back, I would have succeeded in life. Mark and Megan gave so much love and attention to me that it would have been impossible to fail.
Tommy why did you let what happen to you drag you down? You could have chosen to overcome it all and become a better person
It’s easy to think of the could’ve’s, should’ve’s and would’ve’s when you’re on the outside looking in. The memories of what I went through cut like a knife and nothing got rid of them completely. Drugs helped to numb the memories but they were still etched in the back of my head. I could never fully escape them and that made me angry and dragged me down to the lowest of the low. However, after I was sentenced to prison, I got the help that I needed and I have learned to cope with a past that I cannot change. I participated in EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to overcome my memories and process them fully so that they no longer haunted me in a dark and dangerous way. That therapy was the best thing that I ever could have done for myself and I should have done it years ago...before I killed my innocent baby girl, but I didn’t and a lot of people suffered as a result and I wish so desperately that I could change it but I can’t so I don’t dwell on that.
Tommy What is your biggest regret about how things turned out?
I have many regrets about how things turned out but I think that my biggest regret is that my past and my anger destroyed those that I loved. Abigail was amazing and a perfect girlfriend but I was such an ass that I didn’t see that then. I regret that because of me, her life was forever changed and she felt the pain of losing a child that no mother should ever have to go through.
Interview with V.E. Avance
What made you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing. I remember writing and illustrating books as early as first grade. My books had a plot and a reason. I guess, it just sort of was genetically instilled in me from the beginning.
Who are your favorite characters from your books?
My favorite characters from my book are Abigail and Katherine. Each one is a little like me. Katherine so outgoing and comical and Abigail is serious and expectant. I harbor a little of each of their personalities.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is watching my characters and my plots become real. When they’re in my head, they are real. Once I get them on paper and start to tell their story, it’s like I’ve breathed life into them.
What's the worst part about writing?
The worst part about writing is making sure everything flows well and you don’t forget characters’ names. Seriously, I would be characters or traits so backwards that it wasn’t even funny. Also, writer’s block sucks. It’s bad when you know what you want to say and how you want the story to end but you can’t tie the pieces together.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading the most?
I love reading thrillers and erotica. Right now, I am into MC Erotica as well as dark erotica. I’m also starting to drift back into thrillers/crime mysteries. I really bounce a lot with the books that I enjoy.
Do you have hobbies outside of writing?
I love gardening. When I’m not taking care of my family or writing, you can find me plants flowers and bushes and trees. I just got done planting a lot of lilies and tulips just a few weeks ago.
Are you working on a new book now?
Yes, I am. I just finished Twisted Destiny and am excited to see that hit editing. I’m also working on Project E-X2 and should have that into editing in early April.
Where do the ideas for your book come from?
Most of my ideas come from nightmares that I have. If it’s not a nightmare I have, it will come from a nightmare that my best friend has and I take her nightmare and give it life. The Edge Series came from my own personal hell that I had endured in my past.
What would you tell a young person who wants to be a writer?
Never give up. This world isn’t easy and you may never become a Best Seller or a published author but being an Indie Author is just as amazing and, if writing is your true passion, never stop writing.
Of all the books you've written, which is your favorite?
On Solid Ground: Abby’s Freedom is by far my favorite book. It shows the readers that there is life after abuse and gives hope to those that may not have any.
What character was the hardest to create?
Tommy Jackson was the hardest character to create. I had to make him physically attractive while making him have a nasty personality. There were times I had to walk away because he was the perfect guy but his attitude was so ugly, it forced me to relive my past.
How do you think up such imaginative titles for your books?
That’s a good question. I usually toss out some horrible titles and then my friend and cover designer, Shannan, sit down and toss ideas back and forth until we find the one that fits the storyline.
If you could say anything to your readers, what would it be?
Thank you so much for supporting my writing and reading my books. Without you, these stories wouldn’t mean anything. I am honored to have readers that read my books and leave reviews. It’s all of you that help me strength my writing skills.
What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of?
There is so much that I’m proud of. I earned a degree while raising 2 kids, a husband that was deploying all the time and writing The Edge Series. I guess I would have to say publishing my books makes the most proud though.
What process do you go through in arriving at a final draft?
My process is the same for all my books. I write a draft out and then I print it and read it through and make lots of notes. I end up doing a rewrite where I’m adding in lots of new detail. Then I send it off to two editors, Warren and Joyce, and they edit for flow and content. I update that file and then send it to my final two editors, Lesa and Stephanie, where they check my past/present tense as well as spelling and punctuation. After that, Shannan starts the covers while I begin formatting and putting the books up on the platforms for sell.
What were your favorite authors as a child?
My favorite authors growing up were R.L. Stein and Lois Lowry.
Did you ever get discouraged when you were starting out?
All the time and I still do get discouraged from time to time.
Have you always wanted to write?
Yes and no. I’ve always loved writing but I didn’t start wanted to write until about 5 or 6 years ago. In fact, I started college wanting to be an author and then changed my career goal one semester in.
What other genres are you interested in writing?
The Edge Series falls under Romantic Suspense, but I’m currently switching gears and writing thriller based books. Since my nightmares are all scary, it seemed best to write thrillers to help ease the panic I have with my nightmares.
What was the one book you would credit for getting you interested in reading?
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess. I loved that book growing up and it was the first book ever read to me.
Which character, that you have written, do you connect with most?
I connect with Abigail Wilkinson more than any other character but only because she represents me from my past.
Do you have an author that was an inspiration to you?
Unfortunately, not really. I jump around with my reading so much that I don’t have one specific author that was ever an inspiration to me.
Who is one of your "go to" authors when you are looking for a good book to read?
There are two authors; AJ Harmon and Kendra Elliott. I love their books, the plots and how well written they are.
Do you belong to any writing groups?
I don’t belong to any writing groups yet but I do plan on joining a couple sometime this year.
If you could have a real life Version of any of your characters, Who would you choose and why?
Jason Williamson. Oh my goodness, I loved him and his personality and how loving he was.
When you started writing On The Edge did you plan on it being a Series, or did it just progress that way
When I first started writing, On the Edge was supposed to be a stand-alone but as I finished it, I realized that I could make it a two part series. Once On Solid Ground: Abby’s Freedom was completed, I almost didn’t write Road to Nowhere but I felt so strongly that Tommy’s story needed to be told that I sat down and started writing it.