INTERVIEW: Tessa Dick talks to us about her latest book and her upcoming novels.

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

Hello. Welcome to Republibot. I'm your unfortunately-named host, Republibot 3.0, and our guest today is Tessa Dick. This is actually the third time we've interviewed Tessa over the past few years. So what are you up to these days? You've got a new book out, obviously. Tell us about it!

TESSA DICK:
My memoir, "My Life on the Edge of Reality," describes the strange and paranormal experiences of my childhood. It involves angels, demons, UFOs and more, plus my dysfunctional family. Mom drank herself to death at 58, and my oldest brother drank himself to death at 50. It was very difficult to reveal as much as I did, even though I actually left out quite a lot of the story. It was very painful to relive those traumatic events.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
Obviously all your books have been pretty different from each other. What sets this one apart from your previous work? Is there any new ground you've broken here that you're excited about? Any place new you're exploring thematically?

TESSA DICK:
I write what I know, and I always try to write the kind of book that I like to read. My ambition from my high school years was to write murder mysteries, so now I'm working on my second murder mystery, "Murder Bleeds." It picks up the story where "Murder Lies" left off, with my woman sleuth encountering a vampire cult uncomfortably close to her home in Twin Peaks.

I had to write about my husband, Philip K. Dick, because my readers demanded it. My science fiction novel "Origins, Part One: Thor's Hammer" is actually the result of our mutual interest in Genesis 6, in which Sons of God came down to Earth and mated with human women. I hope to have the sequel, "Gaea's Wrath," completed several months after I release my second murder mystery.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
I've often wondered about writing a memoir. It seems - I mean, I couldn't do it, personally. It seems a bit too intimate to be something I could do - so I've often wondered what it is that allows others to do it. What's the best part? The personal payoff?

TESSA DICK:
My memoir is filled with painful memories, but I am proud to say that my brother Steve and I have survived and thrived, in spite of our terrible childhood. I think that the best part is not necessarily well written, but a positive statement about how life goes on and we don't have to grit our teeth on the sins of our parents.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0"
How's the E-publising thing working out for you? A lot of people probably don't realize it, but you've actually been involved in E-publishing books since basically the day it became possible to do it. You've got ten books out there, so you've got a lot of experience with it. Do you see it as a vaiable alternative to traditional publishing?

TESSA DICK:
E-publishing is wonderful for me, since traditional publishers are reluctant to take on my work. My relationship to Philip K. Dick has turned out to be a negative, in that they hesitate to help me compete in the same arena with that iconic figure. Besides, instead of a few pennies for each copy sold, I get a couple dollars, so I'm probably making as much in royalties as I would with a big publishing company. After all, they rarely invest much in promoting a new author.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
Prior to E-publishing, you also self-published a number of your own books, which gives you a lot of experience that modern unsigned authors (like myself) lack. How did that compare to E-publishing? Better? Worse? About the same? Too many differences to really make it anything other than apples/oranges?

TESSA DICK:
Actually, I never self-published before Amazon set up Create Space.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
Really? I thought you'd had some stuff printed in...

TESSA DICK:
I had stories and poems published in small press anthologies, and I won several contests, but I had not found an outlet for my book-length work. Even though publishers like Ballantine and DAW were willing to read my manuscripts, they always passed on publishing them.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
Oh, I get it. I must have mistaken some of those anthologies for your solo stuff. My bad. So I've often wondered how - if at all - the economy hit E-book sales? Up, down, or about the same? Are people more likely to buy Kindle, or dead-tree books these days? "Kindle or Kindling" as the joke goes?

TESSA DICK:
E-book sales seem to be picking up, probably due to the high cost of physical books, even in paperback. That's another advantage of self-publishing, since I can price my books much lower than a traditional book store.

REPUBLIBOT 3.o:
Can you tell us a bit more about the "Origins" series? You said you were working on book two...

TESSA DICK:
I plan the Origins series as a trilogy. The second installment, "Gaea's Wrath," is about one-fourth finished. It describes Noah's Flood with some extraterrestrials involved. The third installment is still in the planning stages.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
Unrelated to any of that: The United States has thrown away its manned space program for the forseeable future, and in basically one day we went from being the leader in space for a generation to being in third place behind China, and only slightly ahead of France. What's your take on this?

TESSA DICK:
I remember when Apollo astronauts first landed on the Moon, and our government promised that we would reach Mars within 5 years. I no longer believe anything that NASA tells us. I suspect that higher powers of some sort have discouraged us from exploring too far beyond our own planet.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
You said you were working on a sequel to your mystery novel. Without letting any cats out of the bag, how's it going?

TESSA DICK:
My second murder mystery "Murder Bleeds" is well under way. I'm doing lots of research on vampires and blood-drinking cults, in order to get things right. Murder mysteries are particularly difficult to write because readers can be tough about how the clues are presented. While the clues should lead logically to the right suspect, they should not give it away too soon. I enjoy following them, myself, and in Murder Lies I got all the way to the end before I realized that I had not chosen the right suspect. I had to go through the entire manuscript, from the beginning, and make sure that it led to the actual murderer.

REPUBLIBOT 3.0:
And that's all the time we've got for today. Tessa, thank you very much again for speaking with us.

TESSA DICK:
Thank you for having me. It has been a pleasure talking with you.

REPUBLIBOT 3.O:
Us too, as always.

Our guest today has been author Tessa Dick, ex-wife of Science Fiction legend Philip K. Dick. Her personal website is here http://tessadick.blogspot.com/

And her new book is "My Life on the Edge of Reality," available both in hardback and Kindle formats here
http://www.amazon.com/Tessa-B-Dick-Life-Reality/dp/1461142695/ref=sr_1_1...

Check 'em out!

Tags: