Three Things Book Talk at Kev’s

Three Things Serial Story — Book Talk

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Welcome back everyone!  If you were wondering, this post already went live at KC Books & Music.  I wanted to leave a gap before posting here.  If you’ve already visited there, thank you!

Kevin Cooper ever so kindly asked me to take part in his Book Talk at KC Books & Music.  How could I possibly resist?  So please go visit his amazing blog too, that’s important to me.  I’m re-sharing the post here, so that it will be in my own library.  Okay, here goes!

My debut novel was Atonement, Tennessee.  It’s an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.  However, as most everyone here knows, over the holidays I “book-ized” one of the serial stories from my blog, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  You can learn all about it here.  Anyway, that’s what I want to bring to Book Talk. 

Characters from my stories will get into my head at the oddest moments.  It might go something like this…  

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Young Lucille Ball as Pip

Hey Sheba!  What-cha doin? 

Akkk!  OMG, Pip.  You scared me half to death.  I nearly knocked my laptop off the desk.  Couldn’t you give me some warning before you pop into my head?

Oh applesauce… What am I supposed to do, ring a doorbell?  Oooo you’re online shopping, huh?  Are you seriously getting a hat with cat ears?  That’s not what I’d expect.  It’s the  cat’s pajamas though.  Tee-hee, get it?  Will you write one for me in my next story? I’m tired of my pink cloche.

Burned toast.  That’s what the scent was.  I sniffed the air and stood up behind my desk as the odor was suddenly much stronger.  My pink cloche hat fell to the floor.

“Oh, applesauce!” I muttered as I quickly scooped it up and brushed off the nonexistent dirt.  The hat was brand new.

Paisley Idelle Peabody, why are you in my head?

You sound like Granny Phanny.  What did I do to make you use my full name?  Come on, I know you’re a flapper at heart.  I’m just having fun.  Wait, where’d the cat hat go?  Your computer is on a different site.  Ah… KC Books & Music.  Looks like the bee’s knees!

Young Lucy pensive

Young Lucille Ball

It is “the bee’s knees” and so is Kev, who runs the website.  I’m supposed to be there talking about your novella, The Three Things Serial Story.

Did you tell them about it being spontaneously written?  Every element of the story came from “things” your blog readers sent.  I gotta tell you, that kind of uncertainty was pretty darned scary for me!

You came through it okay though, Pip.  Don’t grumble, and for heaven’t sake don’t give the nice people here any spoilers. They might want to read your adventures.  Maybe you didn’t get everything you wanted, but having you grow up some is part of the story.

It still gives me the heebie jeebies to know that even the 1920s setting and me being a flapper came from those “things.”  Your mind must work in strange ways if you got all that from oscillating fan!

Well Pip, I can’t argue with you there.

1920s Fan

Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  The noise chipped away at my preoccupied mind while I absently gazed at the quiet street below.  It was Sunday, so hardly anyone was out.  A little boy in a cowboy costume came around the corner.  He pushed himself against the brick wall of the building across the street and peeped back around its edge at his unseen playmate.  Then he jumped out with arms spread like a bear to startle his friend, and quickly disappeared from sight.

Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  The sound drew my attention away from the window.  Some would find the low repetitive noise hypnotic, perhaps even relaxing.  To me however, the sound was becoming downright annoying.  A dust bunny skittered out from a corner, propelled by the breeze of the oscillating fan.  The stirring air brought a familiar scent to my nostrils and I looked toward the door.

Do you really imagine the voice of a grown up Lucille Ball as the narrator when I tell my stories? 

Yes Pip, from the very beginning.  But only the narrator parts.  For instance right now, or when you’re in dialogue in a story, I imagine the voice of a young woman.

One who sounds like a young Lucille ball?  Did that come from a “thing” too?

No.  It was just there.  What’s that look on your face about? I don’t have an answer for everything.

Aren’t you going to share more of my adventures with these Sheiks and Shebas?  Tell them when.

As you would say, Pip — I pos-i-lutely am.  “Murder at the Bijou, a Three Things Serial Story” will be published this spring.

Is that where I—

Pip, spoilers!  I think we’ve probably talked enough.  We wouldn’t want to tell too much.

Bye folks.  Don’t take any wooden nickles!  It’s time for this flapper (and the writer too) to scram!

Thanks for visiting, everyone.  Drop by Kev’s blog. Check out all the great stuff there, and say hello.  Mega hugs!

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Image by Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape

Copyright © 2017 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.

Character Interview: Ralda Lawton — Features from Atonement, TN

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Available in paperback, Nook, and Kindle

Welcome to Atonement, TN everyone.

I’m giving myself a break this weekend and doing a rerun.

But first… I’m revising this post. I wanted to share something new with you, even though it has little to do with this post.  Monarch butterflies.

The butterfly is a symbol of transformation. One thing for which people who analyze books look is growth or transformation in characters. One particular character in Atonement, Tennessee changes, but that would be a spoiler, so I won’t go there. However, the heroine begins to grow, maybe even spread her butterfly wings.  Yet as in real life transformations are not always successful.

Now that I’ve tied it to this post, here’s something lovely that Google brought to my attention; a news article and a video.

What Is the Mountain of Butterflies?”

Now, back to my re-run!

This character interview was also posted two years ago.  I had just released my debut novel, Atonement, Tennessee.  

I’m delighted that many of you have been with “Teagan’s Books” that long.  For those of you who are newer, I hope you will enjoy this interview with the main character.

Character Interviews:  Ralda Lawton

Teagan:  Welcome Ralda.  Thanks for stepping outside of Atonement, Tennessee for this interview.  Forgive me if I’m not great at this – I’ve never interviewed one of my characters before.  Help me avoid giving any spoilers in this!  (I laugh.)

Ralda:  That’s no problem.  I already know that you used assorted bits of yourself not just for me, but for all the women characters in Atonement.

Teagan:  Yes, that was the only way I could write an entire novel in thirty days – for the 2012 National Novel Writing Month.  However, you are your own woman.  You’re not my alter ego, even if there is a good bit of me in your character.  But this interview is about you, not me.  So, are you really a small town girl at heart?Ralda-in-car_dreamstime_xs_28934268

Ralda:  I should have known you wouldn’t let me get away with controlling the interview.  (She jokes.)  Not exactly.  I’m more of a city girl who prefers small towns.  I don’t think that’s quite the same thing.  Despite all the crazy things that have happened since I moved to Atonement, TN, I like the town and the people.  There is always more to the people than I expect.  Plus I feel like it’s the kind of place where I never know what might happen.  I mean, it’s interesting.

Teagan:  What do you think about Gwydion?

hero-position-6468259Ralda:  Ugh!  I knew that was coming.  I try not to think about him – or Cael for that matter.  Gwydion is undeniably handsome and charming, and sometimes I admit that I’m attracted to him.  But…

Teagan:  But you don’t trust him? 

Ralda:  (She sighs and slouches back against her chair.)  I’m not a trusting soul.  When I ask him a question… it’s not that I think he’s lying.  But I always feel like he’s leaving out something; like I’m hearing a partial truth.  So how could I trust him?  Besides that, it seems like odd little things happen when he’s around.  I don’t know how to explain that, but it doesn’t help me trust him.Gate Ajar Night

Teagan:  Speaking of souls…I understand your new home has a cemetery.  (She shakes her head as if she can’t believe that herself.)  How do you feel about having a graveyard on your property?  Also, is one of the graves that of your ancestress?

Ralda:  I admit it was a creepy idea at first.  But I was so drawn to the house, Sunhold, that I tried not to think about the cemetery.  I sort of ignored the fact that it was part of my new home.

Teagan:  I’ve noticed that seems to be how you handle things that bother you – deciding not to think about them.  (She looks at me archly, but then sheepishly.)  I’m sorry – please continue.

Ralda:  I realize that – thinking about something later, is not one of the traits I get from you.  Don’t even try to figure it out.  It’s old baggage.  Like I said, at first I thought having my own cemetery was creepy, and right off the bat I had a frightening experience there.  However, I quickly came to feel protective of the old place.  It was overgrown, and unthreatening.  It has a certain kind of beauty.  It seems contemplative, peaceful, and oddly vulnerable.  There is something special about that old cemetery.Lilith standing on stone

As you know, Ralda is a nickname I chose.  My given name is Esmeralda.  One tombstone in the old cemetery has the name Esmeralda Gwynedd.  My friend and neighbor, Bethany, is absolutely determined that it is an ancestress of mine.  We’ll have to see how that plays out.  You said not to give any spoilers.

Teagan:  True.  With spoilers in mind, maybe we should leave it at that.  At least for now.  Thanks Ralda.  I know you’d much rather be in Atonement, TN than in DC talking to me.

Atonement, Tennessee is available in the following formats:

 

Prep for Cookbook-2: Interview with Daisy

Prepping the Kitchen for Cookbook-2

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For the past ten years or so, I’ve felt very lucky to have a work schedule that gives me every other Friday off. In a two week pay period, week-1 has me working four 9-hour days and one 8-hour day. While week-2 lets me work just four 9-hour days. But when I have a “short” weekend, it’s hard to get everything done.  You guessed it — this is not my three-day weekend, and my mind has been racing as I try to begin the next incarnation of our interactive serial.

I’m not quite ready to dive right into the new “cookbook.”  Any kitchen needs preparation before cooking up a feast. So for as another prelude, I’m going to interview the Daisy character.  I hope it entertains you.

Interview:  Daisy, the Dainty Dishcandle

Teagan:  Welcome Daisy. Thank you for taking physical form to kindly speak to everyone.

Daisy:  It’s my pleasure, Teagan. I’m happy to have a chance to tell your readers that they needn’t fear me as an apparition. I truly am a kind soul. While I would like to see justice for my murder, I don’t think I’m a vindictive sort of spirit. Although none of us knows what we’re capable of until we’re put to the test.

Teagan:  Of course.  These stories are always meant to be “in good fun” and harmless, though I hope I add some suspense and excitement along the way. (Smiles.)

You told Pip that you didn’t know who killed you.  (Daisy nods.)

But I gather that you have some suspicions, or at least some doubts about some of the people who are alive in the timeline of our culinary mystery.  (She sighs, and takes a tornadodeep breath.)

Daisy:  Things were very different then — a world away from your own world, Teagan.  My family was dirt poor, and sometimes my father gambled.  That usually ended badly. Female children often weren’t valued. My parents figured the best they could hope for was to marry me off the first chance they got.

But one spring there was a bad tornado.  You haven’t told about it in the story, but it was the same tornado that orphaned Pip’s granny.

Teagan:  That’s right.  The “ingredients” haven’t taken the serial to Granny Fanny’s past yet.

Daisy:  Well, we were luckier than Miss Fanny’s family. The tornado took most of the roof off our house, but we all got to the storm cellar.  However, we lost our cows and the crops were devastated. In desperation, my father gambled with the last cent they had.  He lost.

I was horrified to learn that he tried to sell me to Henry Kingston to cover his gambling losses. Until then, I never realized how little my parents valued me.  So I was hurt by those events in many ways.

Everyone thought Henry Kingston was taking me as his dainty dish, a tart, little more vintage queen of the maythan a harlot. Frankly, it was what I expected too.  I can’t tell you how frightened I was when my father left me with a strange man who worked for the Kingstons. He dumped me in an upstairs room of that big house, and left me there alone.  For hours I stared at the locked door in fear.  I strained my ears, listening all night for the sound of footsteps, or the squeak of the doorknob turning.

However, no one came.

The next morning a young maid came to help me draw a bath and give me a clean dress.  It was a hundred times nicer than the one I wore… the only dress I had left after the storm.  Her name was Hortense.  Later she became the Kingston housekeeper.  She was kind to me, but she seemed to always be nervous or even fearful. I was happy to see that in later years she got over whatever bothered her back then.

Henry Kingston treated me like a guest in his home.  But whenever I left the house, people were unkind to me.  Some called me names. Some children even threw rocks once.  I cried when I understood that it was because they thought I was just… you know… (Daisy looks down at her hands, folded in her lap.  A tear lands on the back of one hand, just below a wedding band.)

Teagan:  Kingston was kind to you. Did he really fall in love with you?1926 Wedding

Daisy:  (Smiles fondly) Yes he did.  And I loved him too. The last time I saw my parents, they were arguing with Henry.  No one realized I was within hearing.  Henry told them I was not his prisoner or anything else. He said they could take me home, as long as my father never gambled again.  I was stunned when they said it would be a burden, and then asked in a very accusatory way if Henry was going back on his word.

It hurt me deeply.  As I got older I realized that my family had always behaved indifferently to me. I tried to reconcile myself to it… that was just how it was.  You know?  (I nod.)

Soon Henry and I were married. The Justice of the Peace came to the estate house.  Henry invited a few of his closest friends.  They were polite and even charming that day.  But they always acted sort of cool toward me. Their smiles never reached their eyes.

And my step-son, Henry III… he told Pip the story of why he’s the third, rather than Henery II.  Anyway, little Henry never accepted me.  He often said cruel things — when his father wasn’t in the room at least.  He and his friends… they were bullies.  I hate to say it, but I was afraid to be alone with those boys.

Teagan:  You don’t think the boys… Did they have something to do with your death?1920s Vogue poster

Daisy:  As I said, I don’t know. The boys truly were cruel. However, there were plenty of people who were jealous.  Others were resentful and it showed in various ways.

Also, Henry was a wealthy man. To my knowledge, he was a good and honest man… But that was a time when business was not typically discussed in front of the women folk. Sometimes he seemed more worried than I thought he should be for ordinary business things.

Teagan:  I get the impression that your happiness with Henry was always overshadowed by the attitude of other people toward you.  I guess they thought he “married below his station” as they used to say.  (Daisy nods.)

So you think it’s possible that someone killed you, whether deliberately or maybe accidentally, to get at your husband?  Or maybe you just got in the way when they meant to hurt him.  Collateral damage, as some might say.

Daisy:  I’ve had a long time to think about it… and I just don’t know.  However, some people make a chill go over me when I see them.  My step-son for one. Bradley Binghamton, who grew up to become a bishop, of all things!  When I look at him, thereNiven as Binghamton is just something that bothers me. I can’t put my finger on it. He and his brother, Byron — and Charlie Childers, the man with the chihuahua? Those four boys were thick as thieves.

But it isn’t just my doubt about the boys that leaves me restless. There were others.  Queenie for one. The years have been kind to her, but she isn’t much older than my step-son. Her beginnings were poor too, but not so poor as to prevent her looking down on me — and resenting my suddenly improved status. She behaved spitefully toward me.  You already know how vindictive Queenie Wetson is.  She is inordinately pleased to have seduced my step-son, mostly because she thinks it takes a jab at Henry and me.

Also there are plenty of townspeople who have passed on who made me wonder. It would be even harder for Pip to prove one of them had something to do with my death.  But if Pip can tap into her unused gifts, I think she can figure out what happened to me.  I think she can help me be at rest.

Teagan:   That seems like a tall order for Pip.Lucille Ball teenaged 1

Daisy:  Well, she will do the best she can.  I’ve no doubt of that. I hope she succeeds in finding my killer.  But if she does not, it is not my nature to hold it against her.

However, I admit to feeling a little guilty. In helping me, Pip might open herself to things that are even more dangerous than Queenie’s gang of bootleggers.  Murderers, yes. But supernatural things too.

Teagan:  Thank you Diasy, for gracing us with your presence.  I wish you peace.

(Daisy smiles and fades from view.)

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Atonement Character Interviews: Lilith

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A Mid-Week Challenge

Yes everyone — I just challenged you (the blogger said with a Cheshire grin).Cheshire GrinWhether or not you see yourself as a writer, this will be a good mental exercise.  Write a paragraph or a page — from the point of view of an animal. I find that creative writing is easier if there are some parameters, some limits. So in your paragraph or page, include these three things: house, quick, puzzle.

Just so you know that I’m being fair, I’ve written from an animal’s point of view a number of times. For instance, that applies to some segments of my debut novel, Atonement, Tennessee.

I posted this character interview in January of 2013.  However, now that Atonement, Tennessee is available, I’m re-blogging some early posts. Some characters were more fun to write than others.  I enjoyed myself, seeing the world through the eyes of Lilith, and writing from the point of view of a calico cat.  So I decided to interview the cat.  She’s got a lot of “catitude” I can promise you.

Character Interviews: Lilith the Calico

Teagan: Lilith, won’t you come over here and sit with me?

(She looks all around the room — everywhere but at me.)

You’re even prettier than I expected. (Now she jumps onto the sofa. The compliment seems to have helped.) For this interview, the Creative Muse has given you the power of human speech.

Lilith and mirrorLilith:  Meow…

Teagan:  Now, Lilith. There’s no need to be contrary. You know you can talk for now. Take advantage of it. I understand you were a rescue kitty. Tell us about your life before Ralda adopted you.

Lilith:  Meow…

Teagan:  (I sigh. Talk about catitude…) I think what everyone wants to know most about you is — are you really a cat? Or are you some kind of supernatural? Maybe an enchanted person who has to… atone?  Because, in all honesty, even though I wrote the novel, I do not know.

(Lilith narrows her eyes then turns her back on me and proceeds to wash her face.  Clearly that line of questioning is not acceptable.) Calico washing face

All righty then; I’m not going to get an answer to that one either.

Okay, moving on. You tell the parts of the story that Ralda doesn’t see. What about Cael? Do you know more about him than anyone else?  Wait — what’s that?  …Are you purring?

Cael at rest- Adrian Paul

Adrian Paul as Cael

Lilith: Oh, Cael is simply divine. (Purrrrr…) Yes, I know more about him than Ralda does — even at the end of the story. He’s strong, courageous, faithful, and he knows about a lot more than is apparent. Cael is also childlike sometimes, which is an intriguing contrast to his strength. I also sense even more about him than I witness. I can’t really describe everything I sense. I can’t quite put my paw on some things.

Teagan: At least that brought you out of your shell. Ralda said you like attractive men. Anyway, I don’t think Ralda really trusts him. Do you know why?

Lilith: She can’t put her paw on it either. Or rather she can’t put her finger on it. Cael is truly extraordinary though. His backstory is only hinted at in this novel. I’m sure there will be more about him in “book 2.”

Teagan: What about Gwydion? Ralda seems to at least try to trust him. Should she?Man Flower Face

Lilith: (She purrs again, even louder. Then she even turns halfway upside down, a paw across her face.) Ah… Gwydion! Oh he smells delicious, all manner of flowers and herbs and catnip. Did you know that he brought me catnip?

(Lilith sits back up, still purring.) Gwydion is a magical creature, you realize. His magic is tied to flowers. It’s not stated outright in the novel, but it’s pretty obvious. At the very beginning it’s even hinted that his grandmother was a faery. You know, Fae’s Flowers, named for his Gran?

Teagan: Who do you think would be better for Ralda, Gwydion or Cael? If they, so to speak, fought for her affections, who would win?

Calico runningLilith: Oh, it would be awful if those two actually did fight, wouldn’t it? They do seem to compete with each other in odd ways. But if they fought…  No, I couldn’t bear for either of them to get hurt! I’m not sure, but I have a suspicion that if it came down to it, Cael might be stronger than Gwydion.  However, Gwydion would have fewer — or at least different inhibitions so he might best Cael.  Oh, I’m not just sure. I really don’t like that question at all.

(Her tail makes a slash-thump against the sofa, signaling annoyance. Lilith jumps down from the sofa and sashays out of the room.)

I suppose that ends my interview with the cat.  However, you can read more from Lilith in Atonement, Tennessee.

Copyright 2013 Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  All rights reserved.

Atonement Character Interviews: Chip the Delivery Boy

PizzaThis weekend I will give you another episode of the Three Ingredients serial.  However, as a mid-week post, I’m giving you another character interview from my novel, Atonement, Tennessee. It should give you some insight into everyday life in that fictional town.  So here goes!

Chip from Italian 2 Go

A young man walks into my office with his hair sticking out every which way.  He can’t be older than 16.  I recognize him — Chip, a veil_of_sky_open_1 copyresident of Atonement, Tennessee.  He has a bit part in the story, but as the local pizza delivery boy, he knows the town inside and out.  I get up to shake his hand.  He looks just a little bit shaken.

Teagan:  Hi Chip. Thanks for coming by.  How are you?  Oh… Was traffic bad?

Chip:  You’re welcome Miss Teagan.  I guess it was sort of more traffic than I expected.  It’s about as bad as Atlanta — I’ve been there a time or two, you know “Hot-lanta.”  (I chuckle with him. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard that term.)  I can tell you, it’s a lot worse than Nashville traffic.  And Atonement, Tennessee doesn’t have any!

Teagan:  Wow, really?  No traffic?  That sounds great to me.

Chip:  Well, I guess so, ma’am.  It’s kind of boring that way though.  But I do get to get out and drive.  I just got my license. I’m not sure how much fun that would be around here.

That’s the best part of my job at I-talian 2 Go.  I get to drive as much as I want.  That and free Co-colas.Italian2Go store

(He used a rural pronunciation for Italian and Coke-a-Cola that is seldom heard today.  I admit I was as charmed by it as Ralda was.)

Teagan:  That’s right; you work at Italian 2 Go, the local pizzeria.  You probably know the area better than anyone.

Chip:  Well, maybe.  I guess that’s something else I like about my job — getting out and seeing a lot of people. You know, seeing what’s going on.  There aren’t many jobs to choose from in Atonement.  So I’m okay with working at Italian 2 Go for now.

Teagan:  What did you think when you got a call to deliver to the old Sunhold estate? I got the impression that not all your coworkers were willing to go.

Chip:  They didn’t think I’d do it, but I showed ‘em.  Like they said in that old movie, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”

Teagan:  Oh?  Is Sunhold haunted?Gate Ajar Night

Chip:  Ha-ha.  No ma’am, of course not.  But there’s some as believes it is.  I know the place is sort of rundown and spooky lookin’…  There are a lot of people who might have refused to go there.  But the only thing that bothers me about the place is that long driveway.  You gotta admit it’s “too far and snaky,” as my grandma would say.

Teagan:  Are there other places in Atonement that have that kind of reputation?  Haunted?  Or maybe just weird and strange?Black winged

Chip:  Other than Sunhold and its cemetery, I haven’t heard the other kids talk about any.  But my grandma used to tell a bunch of scary stories about the old house and the whole town for that matter.  She swore on the Bible they were true too, even though most of them happened before her grandma’s time.

Teagan: What kind of scary stories? (He shrugs.)  Just generic weird and spooky stuff?  (Chip nods.)  Did your grandma, or anyone, ever say what was behind all the weird stuff?

Chip:  Grandma said something about it being part of the land.  Ha… (Chip grins conspiratorially) Grandma doesn’t know it, but she’s kinda new agey.  Once the science teacher had a special speaker come to class — a geologist.  He was talking about ley lines, and it reminded me of how Grandma said all the weird stuff from olden days was part of the land.TN_Ley-Lines

Teagan:  Humm… that’s really interesting. So Atonement, Tennessee has a long mysterious history then…  I expect the place is more interesting than most of the residents realize.

Chip:  Maybe so, ma’am.  The other day I met this Professor Heart, from Nashville.  He was way into birds, if you can believe that.  He sure seemed to think Atonement was interesting. But I don’t know why. I think big cities are more interesting.Bristol TN

(He glances at the clock.)  If you’ll excuse me, I’m in town with an American Government class trip from my school.  The teacher said I’d better get back on time.

Teagan:  Oh, of course Chip.  Don’t let me make you late.  Be sure to check out the memorials and museums.  Say hello to everyone in Atonement for me when you get home.

(Chip waves politely to the readers, takes a quick look at a text message on his phone, chuckles at it, and leaves.)

Directions to Atonement, Tennessee:

Take Imagination Route Amazon or Route Nook.  Enjoy the ride.

TN Welcome Sign

Character Interviews: Lacey Hampton

veil_of_sky_open_1 copyDon’t worry.  I won’t leave you hanging with the Three Ingredients SerialEpisode-7, “E. coli, Marmite, Burner” is in progress. (Spock’s Sister and I worked out some changes to her ingredients.)  I hope everyone will be thinking of food-related ingredients to send me for future episodes.  You’re welcome to leave them in a comment. (Hint -hint.)

While you wait for the next segment of our “interactive” culinary mystery, here is another interview with one of the characters from Atonement, Tennessee. Please welcome Mrs. Lacey Hampton.

Character Interviews:  Lacey Hampton

Lacey Hampton, a resident of Atonement, Tennessee walks in, and blinds me with a thousand-watt Lacey-Barbie-1smile.  The old cliché “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” springs to mind.  Now I truly understand the initial reactions of the other characters — and the readers of the first book in the Atonement series.  The woman is disgustingly perfect.  Someone even described her as a Barbie doll.  However, I realize that so called perfection was not Lacey’s choice.  Despite the beaming smile, I see a haunted expression in her eyes.  She’s no Barbie doll.

Teagan:  Hi Lacey, it’s nice to meet you in person.

Lacey:  Why, the same here, Teagan.  Good gracious, this place is bigger than I realized.  And I thought Nashville was big… (She looks out at the city. Then cringes when a Fogy DChelicopter flies low.) I never thought about it being so noisy either.  Not that it isn’t a beautiful and amazing place…!  It’s just a lot different from Atonement, Tennessee.  A lot different!

Teagan:  Ha!  That’s okay, Lacey.  I like that you are honest about things. That’s a big part of your character.  You try to balance honesty with tact.  Could you tell the readers a little more about yourself — without giving any spoilers to the story?  (Lacey seems uncertain about how to proceed.)

For instance, people might see you as a victim in the story.  Would they be correct?

Lacey:  Heavens no!  Ummm.  But… well maybe.

Teagan:  I don’t tend to think of you as indecisive, Lacey.3 friends oval

Lacey:  It’s just that I don’t see myself as a victim.  Bad things have happened to me before the story ever begins.  Some pretty awful things…

(Her voice lowers and she glances away briefly.  Then she faces me again with that ridiculously perfect smile.)

And some bad things happen to me during the story too.  But I’m not a victim.  Well, okay… I suppose, thinking of stories and how they’re written, maybe I’m a victim in that sense.  Really, I’m more of an underdog.  Someone I hope your readers would root for.

Teagan:  That’s a great way of looking at it.  Unfortunately you get into some trouble with the authorities.

Sheriff badgeLacey:  Yes.  That was frightening for me.  It’s awful to think of getting locked up, in jail.  When all that was happening I was too upset about other things for the idea of prison to register in my mind.  I mean —

Teagan:  Remember.  No spoilers.  (I caution with a smile.  Then her phone rings and she discretely glances at the ID of the caller.)

Lacey:  Ha-ha.  Okay.  Oh goodness… That’s my attorney.  I do have an appointment with him, as soon as I get back to Atonement.  It seems like I only just got here.  I really don’t mean to cut this short.

Teagan:  I know our time for this interview was limited, Lacey.  No worries.  I also know that it’s important to you to see your… attorney.  (She grins unashamedly.)  I hope you’ll visit again another time.  Safe journey home.Bristol TN

Lacey:  Thank you, Teagan.  It’s my pleasure.  It was nice to meet you-all! (She waves to the readers and leaves.)

Directions to Atonement, Tennessee:

Take Imagination Route Amazon or Route Nook.  Enjoy the ride.

Atonement: Lilith the Calico

Lilith and mirrorCharacter Interviews: Lilith the Calico

Teagan: Lilith, won’t you come over here and sit with me? (She looks all around the room — everywhere but at me.) You’re even prettier than I expected. (Now she jumps onto the sofa.) For this interview, the Creative Muse has given you the power of human speech.

Lilith: Meow…

Teagan: Now, Lilith. There’s no need to be contrary. You know you can talk for now. Take advantage of it. I understand you were a rescue kitty. Tell us about your life before Ralda adopted you.

Lilith: Meow…

Teagan: (I sigh… ) I think what everyone wants to know most about you is — are you really a cat? Or are you some kind of supernatural? Maybe an enchanted person?

(Lilith narrows her eyes then turns her back on me and proceeds to wash her face.) All righty then; I’m not going to get an answer to that one either. Okay, moving on. You tell the parts of the story that Ralda doesn’t see. What about Cael? Do you know more about him than anyone else? …Are you purring?

Lilith: Oh, Cael is simply divine. (Purrrrr…) Yes, I know more about him than Ralda does — at least up until the end of the story. He’s strong, powerful, and he knows about a lot more than is apparent. Cael is also childlike sometimes, which is an intriguing contrast to his strength. I also sense even more about him than I witness. I can’t really say everything I sense. I can’t quite put my paw on some of the things.

Teagan: At least that brought you out of your shell. Ralda said you like attractive men. Anyway, I don’t think Ralda really trusts him. Do you know why?

Lilith: She can’t put her paw on it either. Or rather she can’t put her finger on it. Cael is truly extraordinary though. His backstory is only hinted at in this novel. I’m sure there will be more about him in “book 2.”

Teagan: What about Gwydion? Ralda seems to try to trust him. Should she?

Lilith: (She purrs again, even louder. Then she even turns halfway upside down, a paw across her face.) Ah… Gwydion! Oh he smells delicious, all manner of flowers and herbs and catnip. Did you know that he brought me catnip?

(Lilith sits back up, still purring.) Gwydion is a magical creature, you realize. His magic is tied to flowers. It’s not stated outright in the novel, but it’s pretty obvious. At the very beginning it’s even hinted that his grandmother was a faery. You know, Fae’s Flowers, named for his Gran?

Teagan: Who do you think is stronger, Gwydion or Cael?

Lilith: Oh, it would be awful if those two fought, wouldn’t it? But it would be sexy! No, I couldn’t bear for either of them to get hurt. I’m not sure, but I have a suspicion that if it came down to it, Cael might be stronger than Gwydion. I’m not sure. I don’t like that question.

(Her tail makes a slash-thump against the sofa. Lilith jumps down from the sofa and sashays out of the room.)