Today we sit down with fellow indie author and blogger Teagan Geneviene. She stopped by to tell us a bit about herself and her work.
DM: What is the title and genre of the book you want to tell us about?
TG: I guess everyone is tired of hearing about my indie novel, Atonement, Tennessee (novel info here) so I’m going to talk about the novel I’m converting to a serial at my blog. That’s The Guitar Mancer.
DM: Can you summarize your book in one short sentence?
TG: Would it be worth a novel if I could tell it in one short sentence? Okay here goes, “It’s a magically fun ride.”
DM: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
TG: I try to cast a wide net for my audience. Hopefully that comes naturally with the fact that my writing is not given to extremes. I don’t go to extremes with violence or gore, sex, naughty words, or other things that push people’s buttons. But that’s just who I am.
While I think these urban fantasies have a broad appeal, this one should have special appeal for “baby boomers.” (Ugh… I’m getting so tired of that term.) The story opens on New Year’s Eve 1969, so I include day-to-day items in the telling of the story that will entertain readers who remember the 60s and 70s.
DM: How did you come up with the title?
TG: This is probably the only time I didn’t struggle with the title. The Guitar Mancer is part of the mythology I created for the story. There are “mancers” and the villain is the Guitar Mancer.
DM: Tell me about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
TG: I’m still tweaking the cover, but it is my work. I bought a few stock images, edited them, and put them together. So I’m well aware that the one I gave you is imperfect. I like it though, and when I have time I will fine tune it.
DM: What are your biggest writing influences?
TG: Different influences come for different stories. Overall, a major influence was David Eddings and his “Belgariad” stories. I love his sense of humor and the relationships between his characters.
For The Guitar Mancer, a place was my influence that and the people around me. At two different times in my life, I lived in Nashville, TN. That’s where the novel begins. I saw how much influence and social–political power music wielded. I took that in a more literal direction for the novel.
DM: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
TG: Oh Don… If you only knew how much work I’ve done to protect this character… I’ve taken every step I can, but you eventually have to let them “fly.” He is not a main character. I’m talking about what I call a “tier two” character from The Guitar Mancer. His name is Bodaway Thunder. I love all the contrasts within him. The fact that he is physically such an unusual person is also dear to me. Unlike me (living on “moderation mountain”) Bodaway is an extreme, at least in his description. He’s definitely unique. I’ve written a lot of characters, but Bodaway Thunder is closest to my heart.
DM: How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
TG: Hmmm… good question. For me, in the writing of a character I can enjoy creating a villain as much as a hero, as long as I’m making them interesting. I think my least favorite (though that could change) is Racine Mabry from the “Atonement” series. She was meant to be a “tier two” character, one of a group of friends. I didn’t mean anything negative for her. However, after I wrote and published the novel, there was just something about Racine that I didn’t especially like, even though I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
So my novel in progress in the sequel, Atonement in Bloom. Racine’s character gets more attention.
DM: If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
That’s the perfect question, Don, because that is precisely why I’m “serializing” The Guitar Mancer. I am not doing a re-write or a collaboration in releasing it as a serial. Rather, I hope that the blogging process will cause me to subtly alter one thing—
You see, The Guitar Mancer is intentionally very quirky… not laugh out loud funny, but definitely quirky. About halfway into the novel, I felt it took a very metaphysical turn. That would be fine if the book started out that way, but it was not what I had in mind. So the serial version is an experiment. We’ll see what happens.
DM: Can you give us a fun fact about your book?
TG: The Guitar Mancer actually began in the 1990s. Everyone said I should write a romance, because that’s what made money, what would get me published. But I write fantasy… so I set out to combine the genres. I didn’t finish the story. Then about 15 years and a few cross-country moves later I accidentally threw away that manuscript (along with a couple others). A bit on that here.
However, the story’s mythology and a few of the characters stayed with me over all those years. Finally I dusted off the concept, removed the romance part, added more characters and a second mythology and The Guitar Mancer was reborn.
DM: What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
TG: In research I did before beginning an epic fantasy (The Dead of Winter) I came to the conclusion that everything has already been done. But that doesn’t mean similar stories are poorly done. I categorized many that had “been done” that I enjoyed very much. That said, I don’t know of another story like The Guitar Mancer.
DM: Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
TG: Unique? Me? No. I’ll leave being unique to Bodaway Thunder. I do however write a weekly motivational/mentoring mini-post at LinkedIn. I call the series Thriving Thursdays. More here.
DM: How can we find out more about you and your books?
TG: There is plenty of information on my blog. Check my “About Teagan’s Books” page here:
Or my Amazon Author Page here:
DM: What can we expect from you in the future?
TG: Hopefully, continued adventures in whimsy.
DM: What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
TG: I would love to have great reviews posted for Atonement, Tennessee. For the Guitar Mancer, leave an encouraging comment on my blog.
DM: Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
TG: I can’t really speak to getting published. I’m “indie.” However, one must first write the book to get it published, so… Don’t let the absence of support from family or your “real” friends stop you. They can’t see the version of you that allows you to write.
DM: Can you give us an excerpt from your book?
TG: Okay Don, this partial scene takes place as I gather my main characters to one location. Most of the story is from my heroine’s point of view. However, this tidbit is from the point of view of Tam, my second most important character. Here goes.
As Tammarand Ben Taliesin pulled out of the parking lot of Blaylock Sound Magic Studios he glanced at the pink phone message paper. “Meet me at the lake in an hour.” The box marked “From” held the words fire maker.
“Cryptic enough, shaman?” Tammarand muttered sardonically. “No one could be quite as enigmatic as a shaman.”
It was bad enough that he heard rumors all over Music City of musicians who suddenly either wouldn’t or couldn’t play. It gave him a bad, bad feeling. Then for the shaman suddenly came to Nashville and insisted on an immediate meeting? That was a very unsettling combination of events.
It also worried him that in his message Bodaway left the meaning of his name instead of his actual name. The name Bodaway meant fire maker in the Apache language. Tammarand was sure that was a hint that his friend’s visit was not a social call. Use of the term fire maker also suggested trouble, as in setting a fire.
He would have been glad to see his old friend, Bodaway Thunder, if he hadn’t been so blasted annoyed. Something was wrong and he knew it even before Blaylock handed him that little piece of paper from a pink message pad. Receiving the cryptic message from someone else made it irritating in the extreme.
Tammarand could feel it in his bones. Something was off, out of balance, catawampus, and just plain wrong. Something big and wrong. And it wasn’t big in the way Bodaway Thunder was seven feet tall of big. No, something was big and wrong in a very, very bad way.
He looked disdainfully at the pink paper again and crumpled it in his hand as he drove.
Don, thanks very much for letting me visit today. I enjoyed relaxing and chatting here at your blog.
About Teagan Geneviene (From her Amazon Page)
Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan writes many types of fantasy, from what she likes to call “quest type” fantasy, to urban fantasy, to fantasies with a dash of mystery. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to contributions from viewers.
Major influences include Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.