I met Teagan via her amazing blog and decided to check out her writing and I must tell you that
“Atonement, Tennessee” is a beautiful novel.
It’s a new start for Ralda, who just moved to Antonement from DC: a new city with her rescue cat Lilith and a world of possibilities, especially when she first meets handsome and charismatic florist Guy. Since her last disappointment relationshipwise she felt drawn to Atonement and settled in an old estate, which seems to house some odd mystery.
I don’t want to give away more of the plot, but I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the book with its excellent characters – human and others. For an animal lover the book has extra interest, but the mystery and the supernatural magic elements alone make for a wonderful read.I hope Ralda will have more adventures in further books. The concept of the novel is too good for just one.
Hugely enjoyable and highly recommended.
Interview with Teagan G e n e v i e n e
(Law of Attraction Theme)
Hi Christoph. It was a delightful surprise when you asked me to participate in this interview. I’ve been following your blog for a while and I’m honored.
So am I, Teagan. Your posts always cheer me up. Now let’s get started. Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.
I’m never sure what I can say about myself that people will find interesting, Christoph. I always say that I’m “wired differently” than other people. However, I think that’s a positive. I credit that odd wiring for helping me with communication and writing work in the business world. I perceive things slightly differently than other people and somehow that helps me find the place “where they’re coming from” and connect. I’m sure this different perception is also what attracts me to the fantasy genre where I focus most of my non-business writing. Or maybe it attracts the fantastical ideas to me.
When did you decide to write fantasy/ supernatural? Some of the magic reminds me of “the Law of Attraction” and spiritual beliefs. Is that intentional?
Wow… I’m fascinated that you would say that. Maybe more of my “self” seeps into my writing than I realize. That gives me an idea. I hope you don’t mind if I give the interview a theme — Attraction (as in Law of Attraction).
That’s intriguing, Teagan. No, I don’t mind at all.
Great — so back to your question then. To the first half of this question, I don’t think I actually “decided” to write fantasy. It’s just what I write; what comes naturally. However, sometimes I do actively decide to write in some other genre. For instance, the serial I publish on my blog “Three Ingredients” (I call the different story-lines “Cookbooks”) is a 1920’s culinary mystery. Cookbook-2 added a supernatural element.
As for the Law of Attraction — that’s the fascinating part of your question. I’m not very good at it, and I struggle against my own negativity every day. However, I’m a firm believer in attraction, particularly like attracting like. A favorite quote is from Mike Dooley, “Thoughts become things so choose the good ones!” I just didn’t know that it showed in my stories! (Smiles.) While I haven’t mastered attracting positive things, I can see from many times in my life where negative thoughts attract the things I do not want.
I try to encourage my own “positivity” by listening to a few experts on the subject. I listen to several things from Bob Proctor, Louise Hay, and Mike Dooley. I enjoy their more easy-going manner. While it’s great to hear someone who pumps you up, personally I’m always stressed from the “9 to 5” job, and Bob, Louise, and Mike help me relax while they impart their positive (Law of Attraction) thoughts.
Would you say there is a message in your books beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the readers and reviewers?
Ha! After your psychic powers picked up the Law of Attraction thing, I’m afraid to say. But no, I don’t intend to put a message in my books. I would feel pretentious if I tried. However, titles and book covers can cause people to perceive a message that is based on their own beliefs.
In my “Atonement” novel, I wanted the setting to be a small fictional town in Tennessee (USA). But what to name it? I imagined how the town looked. I imagined the people and their different personalities. Then the name “Atonement” sprang to mind right away.
After releasing the novel, I found something surprising. The word atonement attracted readers who might never have been interested in an urban fantasy, but they were drawn to the concept of atoning.
It wasn’t about the message, it was about their perception. I felt like it was almost a message in a bottle. Tossed about on the ocean, the bottle washed up on unknown shores and it attracted people I never expected to open it. Cue the Police video. (Grins.)
The Police – Message In A Bottle
Speaking of music, what song would you pick to go with your book?
Atonement, Tennessee is inspired by ancient Celtic/Welsh mythology. So I put a lilting Celtic tune with the book trailer (I mean to make a better trailer, but you can see what I have for now on my blog. http://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/home/ )
On the other hand, I like to say that if you miss the “Sookie” stories now that the famous series (also made into an HBO show) has ended, then I think you’ll like “Atonement, Tennessee.” With that in mind, I think a Delta Blues song would also be very nice for the feel and setting of the novel.
I felt there was room for a sequel to the Atonement book. Do you have plans for one?
Actually I’ve been trying to work on book-2, Atonement in Bloom, since this spring. I hoped to finish it this year, but at this point, I’m afraid to make any promises. There willbe a book-2, as soon as I can manage with my other workloads. I’d really like to “attract” that into my near future! (Grins.)
Did you have it all planned out before you write your stories, or do the characters and story surprise you?
For novels I do some loose planning, a huge amount of research, and a good deal of winging it. The serials on my blog are an entirely different matter. The Three Ingredients (and Three Things) stories are by design completely unplanned. Readers send three things (“ingredients”) and the story is completely guided by the ideas those things “attract” to my imagination. They are pure pantser fun!
What is your background in the culinary arts? Do you watch cooking shows on TV, e.g. the Great British Bake Off?
(Blushes.) Oh Christoph, I am no kind of chef. And I have little time for TV. When I was a kid I enjoyed “The Galloping Gourmet” and Justin Wilson. Later Jacques Pépin and Rachael Ray. But I’m certainly not an expert, or even a “gifted amateur.”
What happened was — when the story-line of Three Things (the original serial at my blog) concluded, a friend suggested doing a culinary mystery. I didn’t feel qualified for the cooking part, but I saw the value in the idea. I felt that aspect was a huge challenge, and I nearly backed out. But I made myself rise to the challenge and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I especially enjoy all the cooks and chefs that visit and leave “ingredients” for me to work into the story.
You write a serial episode each weekend for your blog, “Teagan’s Books” (http://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/) but there is also a lot of information about your books there too, as well as links to Barnes & Noble and Amazon where your novel is sold. Can we learn more about you and your work anywhere else?
Just to make it convenient here are the links for Atonement, Tennessee.
Christoph, it truly was nice of you to let me visit here today. Congratulations and wishing you all the best with your new release, Conditions. I can’t wait to see it. Hugs everyone!
Hugs back. Thank you so much for being here!