Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 14, 2011

The Dynamics of Writing “Energetics: The First Order” Interview with co-author Terre Britton–Interview and Bonus

T. Hello, Terre, welcome to the blog please give us a bit of biography for both of you.

TB. Hello, Thomas. Daniel Ward, my husband, and I are co-authors of the Science Fiction Thriller ‘Energetics: The First Order.’ I am a Graphic Designer, Illustrator Motion Graphics Artist and a published Art Reviewer. Daniel is an Electronic Engineer, a Sound Engineer, Musician, Videographer, Notary Public and Court Videographer.

T. When did you start writing?
TB. We began brainstorming ‘The Four Orders of Inherent Freedom’ series about four years ago and began writing it two years later. I tried to convince Daniel to write a treatise or series of white papers on the scientific knowledge he had accumulated over the previous 30 years, but investing time into something so rigid held little appeal for him. As we discussed his research, we fell into the idea of couching the information in a fictional form—much more creative, exciting and rewarding.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.
TB. I would have to say that my writing has been impacted by what I learned of ‘art’ in general: regarding philosophy, expression, performance and constructive criticism. This I gained from all my professors—English, Design, Art History and Theater.

T. Please tell us about your current book; genre and blurb.
TB. We discovered that classifying our book into a specific genre was tricky. Drama springs from the human story, the thrill of science fiction unites the threads of the adventure, and the series is an allegory of today’s social ills—offering optimistic alternatives to an otherwise, potentially, grim future. It played out in our minds like a series of films, and the best comparison we can give is that it’s ‘less Star Trek and more The Day After Tomorrow.’

Drama? Sci-Fi? Utopian? From others’ feedback, we were encouraged to label it a Sci-Fi Thriller.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?
TB. Yes, there are three more books in the series, and the only way for us to develop and retain the integrity throughout was to project and map out the main story lines across all four books. So, to different degrees, we’ve been working on all four books collectively, but we are currently writing the second book.

T. Where is it available?
TB. Energetics: The First Order is available as a Kindle eBook on and signed paperbacks can be purchased from our web site: ( and through The Independent Author Network.–daniel-ward.html

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?
TB. People often ask about our co-authoring process. Our brainstorming and writing techniques evolved in a very organic and symbiotic fashion. For two years we were ambitious dreamers: molding characters and designing scenes until they began to align themselves into plots. As all these elements grew more robust and complex, we dove into the next logical step of development—the adventure of writing!

We discovered that written collaboration has many similarities to verbal communication, with an added sense of actualization and accomplishment. Initially, for ‘Energetics,’ Daniel laid down a lean outline, and from that root we each began to build out sections when inspired. Once we learned the nuances of the other’s writing style, we were able to work, both independently and together, on fleshing out, massaging and polishing an assemblage of parts into a whole.

The resulting harmonious flow between the meeting of our minds—and creating something of this magnitude together—was, and is, one of the most significant and electrifying experiences we have ever known.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?
TB. Multifaceted issue, simple answer: digital publishing is a great advantage to indie authors, in particular. This becomes clear if one just stops for a moment and considers if it was not an option open to us.

T. Anything else to share?
TB. Although we knew that at some point we would actually have to sell our book, while writing it, our focus was on creating a piece of art. Eventually we began researching the numerous marketing tools and strategies available. How pleased and surprised we were to discover an entire sub-culture of indie and self-published writers helping each other succeed. Our thanks go out to you, Thomas, and everyone who has helped us along our path so far; and the thrill of the journey continues!

Please visit our ‘Energetics’ Facebook Page, not only to keep up with our book news, but for information on many excellent authors and their works.

T. Thank you for your visit.

Now for the bonus!

Uncle Eddie’s Cinnamon Sticks

Uncle Eddie is a larger than life character in ‘Energetics: The First Order,’ and below is one of his recipes:
“Eddie, Samantha’s brother, was an accomplished baker, and many Saturdays before sunrise, Jordy’s nostrils were filled with the smell of yeast and fresh cinnamon sticks, pop-overs, sticky buns or cat pies. Sleepy-eyed, he’d make his way to the dimly lit kitchen and fall into his uncle’s open arms—Just like being wrapped in warm dough, Jordy remembered.”

Photo submitted by Bonnie Schroyer

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 2 1/2 hrs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons large granule sea salt, or 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
1/4 cup shortening (better yet 1/4 cup salted butter)
1/2 ounce dry yeast, 2 packages (Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast, Instant Yeast, Rapid Rise Yeast or Fast Rising Yeast)
1/2 cup very warm water
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups King Arthur bread flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 cup crushed walnuts
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter
1. Scald milk and stir in sugar, salt and shortening/butter
2. Cool to lukewarm
3. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in very warm water
4. Wait for the yeast to bloom (approx. 20 min)
5. Stir the yeast mixture into the lukewarm milk mixture
6. Add beaten eggs
7. Add 3 cups flour
8. Beat until smooth
9. Stir in an additional cup flour
10. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic
11. Place in a greased bowl and brush top with melted butter
12. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from draft, until double in bulk (about 1 hour)
13. Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured table
14. Roll into rectangle 2-1/2 ft x 1-1/2 ft x 1/2” approx.
15. Spread filling onto rectangle evenly
16. Divide down the middle lengthwise
17. Cut across making 9” x 3” strips approx.
18. Fold the strips side to side and twist 3 times
19. Generously butter a large baking dish
20. Place the twisted cinnamon sticks side by side touching each other
21. When all the sticks have been placed in the baking dish, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar
22. Put in oven with the oven light on and let rise until double in volume
23. Place in the center of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until evenly golden brown
24. Enjoy!
Making this recipe is like uncle Eddie came to visit: the smell of the yeast rising, the aroma of cinnamon, the taste of yesteryear, and of course, dunking the cinnamon sticks in hot coffee.
The memories are priceless.
Daniel Ward



  1. Thomas, thank you so much for the interview AND the inclusion of Uncle Eddie’s sweets. It’s been our pleasure getting to know you better.

    All the best,
    Terre & Daniel

  2. Nice interview Terre, I learn something new about the internal workings of your creative mind, every time I read what you have to say… You and Dan are such a dynamic duo, carry on…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: