Name/Penname: Avery Teoda Age: 35
Education: Too many degrees. Not even a humble brag. Just too many.
Hobbies and Favorites
What are your hobbies? Other than writing, I'm interested in a lot of art. I'm fairly experienced in graphite drawing, slightly less so with photography, and much less so but still enthusiastic about acrylic and watercolor painting, knitting, and cross-stitching. GW2 is my video game bae while I pace the widow's walk for the long-awaited Dragon Age 4.
What is/are your favorite book(s) and authors? My favorite favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, but the His Dark Materials series and the Kushiel's Legacy series come in close second. I'm also really really enjoying N.K. Jemison's books. Like, all of them. Frankenstein is my favorite classic.
What is/are your favorite movie(s) and TV show(s)? The Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie of all time, and of course I have to say Star Wars (4-8 and Rogue One, anyway). Battlestar Galactica is still my favorite show, but I've really enjoyed Carnival Row so far. And how could we forget The Great British Baking Show?
How long have you been writing? Most of my life, but I've been taking it super serious for over 20 years.
What was the first story you wrote that you remember? (Is it finished, and has anyone read it?) I co-wrote a post-apocalyptic book about a wolf and a mountain lion in 6th grade or so. Sadly, it's been lost to the hands of time. I still have the novel I wrote when I was 16, but no one has ever read it, nor will they.
Tell us a little about your favorite character to write about.
Right now, I really love both my main characters, but Gavriil is the easiest to write. He's a very sensitive, emotional guy with a lot of anxiety and self-worth issues that come from trauma, but he's a competent scientist and warrior. He's the queerest, most polyamorous person on the planet and falls in love with pretty much every nice person he meets, but he's genuine about it. People tend to be suspicious of him at first because he's just so nice they think he's fake, but he's completely guileless. This unfortunately means he gets taken advantage of a lot, even by the people who love him, and that's of course something he has to address as the series will go along.
He comes from a mixed heritage: indigenous, Russian, and selendi, who are the magical race who joined the story world as refugees centuries ago. Like a lot of multi-ethnic, multicultural people, he struggles with feeling like an outsider wherever he goes. It doesn't help that he's a bit of a nobody as far as selendi society goes: he's the indentured bodyguard to (and lover of) a selendi nobleman without much status of his own despite being involved in most of his patron/lover's scientific advancements. That said, he doesn't, at least at the beginning of the book, have many personal ambitions for his life beyond his current situation.
Before I go on about him too long, he's my cinnamon roll and I love him.
Tell us a little about a fantasy world you've created.
It's an alternate history fantasy, so it's got a lot of familiar elements to our own world. The major differences are the presence of a magical race called the selendi, who brought a lot of magical change, and the absence of (most of) the indigenous genocide of the 17th-20th centuries. Because of this, North American indigenous nations in particular have a lot of social and political power, but so do Europeans, and the tension between them is quickly increasing. That has consequences within the story.
The protagonists' immediate world is mostly within selendi society in this book. They're a matriarchal culture that's steeped in magic--it's part of their biology, their culture, and their everyday lives, and they're dependent on it. They came to the world centuries ago as refugees who were supported by indigenous peoples, and they continue to have a close allyship. Four hundred years ago, they experienced an unexplained catastrophic event called the Disruption, which had some widespread consequences for the selendi. They essentially lost their history and their sense of themselves, and they've been slowly recovering since then. Gavriil and his patron have been in search of knowledge of the Disruption in hopes or recovering some of the history they lost.
Tell us a little about your current work in progress. How's it going?
Going pretty well. I'm serializing it on Patreon, which has created some productive urgency, if you will, to get stuff done. I've made some real progress in the last few months, which I'm super proud of.
Have you participated in NaNoWriMo? If so, how has your experience been?
I did Camp NaNo in July and won, but November has always been a terrible month for me to commit to 50k because of my work schedule (I'm a teacher), so I've never won it.
How did you find out about Worldsmyths?
Google brought me to the Discord server.
What made you decide to join?
What do you hope to gain from Worldsmyths? (Examples: Find a beta reader, get feedback, motivation, a sense of community, fine-tuning