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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Spotlight: Teresa Noelle Roberts

Teresa Noelle Roberts Trivia Tidbits

1. Teresa Noelle Roberts is my real name. I’m named for both my parents. I’m the fourth Teresa in four generations in my mother’s family. Though I think I’m a far better cat-mom than I would be a human-mom, I occasionally feel bad that the torrent of Teresas stopped with me. As for the Noelle, my father was a Christmas baby, so his name was Harry Noel. Teresa Harry simply wouldn’t have done… The name occasionally raises eyebrows, since my birthday’s in April, but it’s pretty and unique.

2. I’m a professional belly dancer. (Semi-retired.) I’ve been doing Middle Eastern dance for more than fifteen years and have performed professionally, both solo and with a troupe. Dancing professionally, however, just wasn’t as important to me as writing professionally—and physical skills, alas, get rusty if one doesn’t practice a lot more than I have time to do. Most of my dance troupe is in the same boat, so we’ve scaled back our performance commitments in the past few years. We keep dancing, though. It’s fun, it’s terrific exercise, and it’s an excuse to get together at least once a week, gossip, and dance our hearts out.

3. I’m in love with the ocean. No matter the weather, I’m always up for a trip to the beach. December in Maine? I’m there! Hurricane coming in? Try to keep me away! Pouring rain? One time this summer, my husband and I sat on the beach in a torrential downpour, watching lightning over the Atlantic.

The movie The Secret of Roan Inish--a wonderful film based on Irish folklore, great for the family--claims that certain Irish families are descended from selkies, shapeshifting seals. Since my mother’s maiden name is Murphy, which means sea warrior, I joke that I must be one of those selkies.

4. I’m supposedly descended from pirates. My family’s been respectable in recent centuries, at least until I started writing erotic romance and erotica. Imagine the surprise when a relative doing genealogical research found our connection to the Black O’Hagertys, scourge of Ireland’s western shore. He was scandalized. My mother and I were delighted, finding our disreputable medieval kin far more entertaining than nice, normal 19th century businessmen and their oh-so-fertile wives.

This, of course, has nothing to do with why I wrote a novella called Pirate’s Booty. Nothing whatsoever….

5. I’m an avid gardener. This may sound terribly prosaic after pirates, selkies, and belly dance, but not the way I do it. The entire front yard is devoted to flowers. I grow about 70% of the vegetables we eat and I’m trying to work up to 100%. I’m still harvesting greens in December and soon will start the first batch indoors so I can still have fresh lettuce throughout the New England winter.

Obsessive? Maybe …I love the act of gardening, digging in the dirt, watching seeds become plants become dinner. I love to cook, so I adore the truly fresh, organic vegetables. I like feeling self-sufficient in this small way. When I’m not writing or stuck at the day job—and a lot of the time when I am stuck at the day job—I spend a lot of time researching about gardening, pouring over seed catalogs, making to-do lists if it’s garden season or planning for next year if it’s winter.

And I’ll reveal tomorrow, this obsession has found its way into my writing.

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