Wednesday Writing — Question & Answer Party

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn. Promotional image by Teagan
Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn. Promotional image by Teagan

Hello, everyone. Happy hump day. 

My serial approach in publishing Dead of Winter in novelette-sized monthly installments is rather unusual.  It will take months for some story elements to be fully revealed.  I realize it’s hard to be patient.  So, I thought it might be fun to have a sort of question & answer party. 

Dead of Winter has a variety of characters.  Some are intriguing in good ways, while others are, well… ambiguous. I invited half a dozen bloggers who volunteered to help with the initial book launch to ask questions about the characters. Today, I’m sharing some answers.  There might be a second edition of this party.


Teagan:  It shouldn’t surprise me that this first question was popular, because I’ve admitted that I had a bit of a crush on my Tajín character.  Robbie Cheadle and Dan Antion both asked this question.

Brian261 at Pixabay
Brian 261 at Pixabay

(Tajín would dress appropriately to his surroundings, but this man’s profile is how I imagine him. Bandihar would have settings similar to this one.) 

Robbie:  What is Tajín’s background and how did he come to be allocated to protecting Zasha?
Dan:  I would like to know more about Tajín. How did he end up in the protector role? Was it something he wanted to do or was he groomed for the position. Is he protecting others?

Teagan:  Dan and Robbie, thanks for reminding me.  When I wrote the novel, ten years ago, I intended to devote a novella to the backstory of Zasha and Tajín.  Then came the fiasco of Game of Thrones using “Winter is coming!” in their promos…  When I put Dead of Winter on the shelf, I forgot all about the supplemental novella.

Tajín’s homeland of Bandahar is one of the most fully developed locations of the many countries created in Dead of Winter, and he is part of the royal house.   Later in the journeys, I tell more about his background and status. Although I didn’t let the story go far into it. Also, in the way of classic “high” fantasy, I’ve only hinted at the personal relationship between the two characters. That would be a full adventure in itself.

Robbie Cheadle at Roberta Writes Journey 1 review

Girl_Reading_Letter_by_Candlelight,_With_Man_Peering_over_Her_Shoulder Joseph_Wright 1760-62 Wikipedia
Joseph Wright 1760-62 Wikipedia

Olga:  Afon, Emlyn’s father, seems to have no understanding or acceptance of Emlyn’s “peculiarities” (through fear, or perhaps because things have changed a lot, or for other reasons). I wondered at his ambiguous feelings for his daughter.  He never seems to have much good to say about her and tries to betray her, but he allows her to study.

Teagan: Olga, I’m glad you asked about Emlyn’s father.  Afon Faxon and his older daughter Afanen do seem to only care about Emlyn for what they can get from her.  (Also, I’ve known people to make that comment about abusive families.)  Osabide will eventually have a conversation with Emlyn about that. 

I needed to show Afon’s ambiguity and his indifference to his youngest daughter to develop the characters.  That also helps to establish the impact of the oppressive religion on the people of the Flowing Lands. Afon is complicated. We don’t know if he’s going to help or do harm.

He feels a duty to his family,  and supports them to the best of his ability. Is he simply too weak to stand against the local religion?  Or has he bought into the the words of people (including his older daughter Afanen) who say Emlyn is unbalanced? If he was wrong to believe them, then how many other decisions and beliefs would he have to question about himself? Also, how different would Afon’s relationship with Emlyn have been if the religion had not taken power? Emlyn might ask herself those questions for the rest of her life.

Olga Núñez Miret at Author Translator Olga Journey 1 review

Olga Núñez Miret at Author Translator Olga Journey 2 review

Connemara Girl goats Augustus Nicholas Burke 1838-1891 Wikipedia
Augustus Nicholas Burke 1838-1891 Wikipedia

Pat:  Is Emlyn’s sister just insensitive or does she really wish her harm?  Did her mother really die or just disappear?

Teagan:  Good question, Pat.  My answer is related to the answer I gave Olga about the father. Afanen, Emlyn’s older sister, mentions that she doesn’t want their father to “arrange an attachment” (marriage) for Emlyn, because Emlyn does so many of the household chores.

I’ll leave it to those who are qualified to make a diagnosis, but Afanen shows signs of being a narcissist. She has an excessive need for admiration, and disregard for others’ feelings.  If something happened to Emlyn, would Afanen care about her little sister, beyond how she benefited from having her there?

Oh, and yes — In the Dead of Winter timeline, Emlyn’s mother dies years before the story begins.

Pat Alderman at e-Quips — Journey 1 review

Pat Alderman at e-Quips — Journey 2 review

I resisted the urge to be coy with my answers, even if they feel incomplete.  There are details relevant to all the questions, which will revealed as Dead of Winter progresses.  If you have not started the serial, then I hope this post causes you to want to get up and “stretch your legs” and join us on the journeys.

Dead of Winter, Journeys 1 & 2 by Teagan R. Geneviene

Dead of Winter, Journeys 1 & 2 by Teagan R. Geneviene

The monthly “Journeys” of Dead of Winter have only just begun.  The first two installments are available — and the third will be here in a couple of weeks.

Journey 2, Penllyn




Journey 1, Forlorn Peak



Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

By the way, here’s another of my Designed & Ready Book Covers.   Text can be changed for promotional images rather than book covers too. Here’s my portfolio.

Group I. Fantasy, Horror, Demon, Angel, Girl, Ruins, Church
Group I. Fantasy, Horror, Demon, Angel, Girl, Ruins, Church

Wishing you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump.  Hugs on the wing!


This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


59 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing — Question & Answer Party

    1. 😉 I felt you here in spirit, Teri. You’re so kind to catch up.
      Thanks about the Q & A. Several people said they were afraid of spoilers in it. Even though I would *never* do that, I wasn’t sure about doing another one in the future. I’m glad to know you liked the idea.
      Journey 1 is very short. People were reading it so fast that I’m making the rest about twice as long. Still only novelette length though. I hope you love it. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I need to read the first instalment! Then this will make more headway for me.
    Nonetheless, great to hear from the community, as they celebrate your story!
    Love the new book cover for sale! huggos!


  2. Teagan – I have just downloaded # 1 & # 2 on Kindle and am looking forward to the read. I especially appreciate how you use the idea of a serial to bring out the story. I was just reading an article in The Guardian, “The art of slow reading” which suggests that if we want the deep experience of a book we need to read more slowly. In our world of speed, we have lost the joy of a personal connection with the story and writer. I think back to all those writers who first published in serial format. Can you imagine the anticipation of readers for the next part of the story to come. There would be more discussion in the streets and coffee/tea shops on what would happen next, what would happen to the characters etc. Another great post and discussion, Teagan. Sending hugs on the wing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rebecca, thanks so much for everything in this comment. You took me back to the times of Dickens, when his stories did exactly that. I’ve always imagined the wonder of his many followers who couldn’t read, and waited eagerly for someone who could, at the pub, to have the newspaper with his next episode. In adulthood, I learned that my father was a functional illiterate, so way back when I learned about those days of Dickens, it struck a chord with me.

      Editing the 3rd installment and choosing the start/stop point has resulted in additional writing — to help it work with this serial form. So I’ve gotten deeply immersed in this world again. Ten years later, it’s almost like going home again.
      I’m thrilled that you are part of these journeys, and I hope you love them. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m having the BEST time reading your series, Teagan. It’s part of my early morning routine. I get up at 5:30 and by 6 a.m. I’m reading your tale while sipping on my hot mug of tea. I only give myself around 20 minutes because then the day and my day job(s) begin, but your creativity and characters and scene stir up my imagination in wonderful ways. I’m off to write my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam, you gem! You’ve really made my week. I’m so happy that you are enjoying this series.
      I’ve been very conscious of editing it for easily digestible bites. What you said about reading it with your tea means a lot to me. Thanks very much for this feedback, and for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with that, Robbie! 🙂 Tajín was one of the most real to me of all the many characters in this story. I guess I’m talking about the difference between carefully crafting and writing a character, and one who just “feels” real. That’s also when I have to watch myself — to make sure that I portray what’s in my head, and don’t take it for granted that I’ve communicated those details. Thanks for participating in this. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Miriam. I thought a discussion would be a way to sort of share more without actually revealing. LOL, sort of gossiping about the characters. We got a dusting of snow from the latest wave of storms last night. And the moisture is still needed so that’s fine. Plus it was not nearly as cold as the first round. A few days ago we had an entire day with the thermometer “stuck” at 19 degrees F, and a lot colder when night came. Nothing compared to other areas, but well… this IS the desert. Stay safe and well. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The weather is so strange, the least to say, Teagan! Never heard of Arizona getting cold. I had a hard time with the heat when we were there. And 30 million people are affected by the snowstorms? We need a break badly. I’m glad at least there is power where you are.
        Good going with your books.
        Stay safe! 💖

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m actually in southern New Mexico — even though I’m not in the mountains the elevation is still almost 4,200 feet. That means we do get a little snow each winter, and nights get really cold. It get as hot as Arizona in summer, but it’s dryer, which helps. (NM is extremely low humidity.) I do love the climate. And yes, I’m feeling blessed that it wasn’t worse. Hugs.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. 4,200 feet is pretty high in altitude, Teagan. I’m glad you’re okay where you are.
            I know of a person lived in Colorado and had health problem because of high altitude and was going to move to south New Mexico. I guess she found out the elevation was not too different and she moved to Arizona.
            I’m in the Orange county of California closed to the beach and could see the mountain.
            My daughter had several days of snow in Portland, Oregon and the kids built a snowman in the backyard!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It sounds delightful. I tried to get to California for 20 years, but couldn’t get a job. It’s next to impossible for a woman to make them believe she’ll really relocate. But I discovered how much I love New Mexico. Now I wouldn’t exchange it. Great big hug.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I came to southern California 40 years ago, driving from Seattle all by myself after finished school. At that stage, I didn’t mind starting from teaching part time for preschool and had just enough to pay rent with no big expenses. It would be impossible to come now with the rent of a thousand dollars for a studio, a car, food, and many more costly expenses. I’m glad you made NM your home, Teagan, and are happy with it. ❤

                Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for answering the question of Robbie and Dan! I am far away from “Game of Thrones”, so i am very greatful for some background information, and otherwise can enjoy your journey’s as a true newbie. Thank you, and be well, and … dont colour up Crystal as a Brownie, like the one on the cover, posted on Chris’ blog. Lol Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! All things in this home and blog are the property of her majesty Crystal. I wouldn’t want to change a hair on her head (or the rest of her LOL). And I wouldn’t trade her “Batgirl mask” for anything in the world. 🐱
      Everyone is a newbie, Michael. Except for the words “Winter is coming!” my story is in no way at all like Game of Thrones.
      Thanks so much for commenting. Crystal sends a purr. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! I had to Google “FOMO.” LOL, come on and join the fun, John. You could ask “What’s with those names?”
      I’ve been called a collector of names, and I can get obsessed with them. Meanwhile, to help the reader (unknowingly) fill in detail-descriptions, so I don’t have to bog down the story, I’ve made these fantasy countries resemble some from the real world. To help with that, I researched names from the “real world-counter part” countries.

      Hopefully that helps your FOMO. 😀 Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Teagan, I think this is a cool idea. Next time, I want to ask about Emlyn’s brother since he had a hero’s role in her dream in Journeys, 2. Keep up the good work. Now I have to wait for both the next Delta Pearl embarkation as well as the next Journeys. No pressure, Girlfriend but I hope you have been busy writing. 🙂 Inspiring hugs penning their way.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for participating, Pat. It might be revealing a little much, but Emlyn’s brother only has a small part. However, he does help shape her outlook and her thoughts about him help show her personality — and that’s true of all her family.
      Stay safe and well. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi GP. LOL, that would be great. I’m really trying to include enough elements in each one to 1) make it interesting to look at, and 2) help the overall image apply to many different stories. But the prices are so reasonable they could be bought for purposes like prompts.
      I hope all is well there. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I enjoyed Journey 2 even more than Journey 1. I suspect all of our questions will be answered in time. As for Afon, I think Emlyn’s gifts scare him because of the oppressive religious climate, plus he may have been paralyzed by grief when his wife died, and unable to make good decisions . . . which ends up being really awful for Emlyn! But I’m just guessing. It’ll be neat to see how you handle these things in future Journeys.:-)

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I’m even more intrigued now, Teagan. Thanks for your answers, and I hope you’ll write the novelettes you mention at some point as well. Great cover! And I’m eager for the next journey!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Olga, huge thanks for participating. There were so many characters who have a much larger backstory in my mind — even Orna, the cook you liked (and she’s basically a “walk on” part). The story of Zasha’s parents is still clear in my mind, but you know I don’t do “sad,” and that was certainly a sad story.
      Thanks about the cover. I thought that one would work for dozens of different stories.
      Stay safe and well. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

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