Saturday, June 23, 2018
I can’t believe that it was way back at Christmastime, 2012 when I published my urban fantasy novel Atonement, Tennessee. That makes it downright embarrassing that I still haven’t released the second book! It’s written, but I have little time to give the editing and proofing process. Although I’m getting closer.
It might not be okay for me to mention it outright, but if you miss the “Sookie” books, now that the well loved series set in a small Louisiana town (with HBO series based on it), has come to an end (wink-nudge-wink), then I think you will like my Atonement, Tennessee series. There are no vampires (not that I know of), rather there are characters loosely inspired by ancient Celtic mythology.
I wanted this post to be about more than me. I was surprised to learn how many books had the (USA) state of Tennessee as their setting. Here’s a Goodreads page listing amazing books that are set in Tennessee.
Updating for a shout-out to a Tennessee author, Patty Campbell. I knew something for the state of Atonement’s setting would turn up after I posted. Visit Campbell’s World to learn about Patty and her books.
Many of you are new and not familiar with my novel. So while I’m scrambling to get Atonement in Bloom (book 2) out there, I thought I would use my Saturday posts to revisit that… erm, let’s say unique little town. Today we’ll get reacquainted with the the heroine and narrator, Ralda (Esmeralda) Lawton. Here are some fun (I hope) facts about her.
1. Is she fictional or a historic person?
Ralda (Esmeralda) Lawton is a fictional character. Atonement, Tennessee, the first book in the series, was a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) novel. I designed everything about that story to be something I could do in the single month of NaNoWriMo — in other words, fast. Typically none of my characters are based on real people. However, with the need for speed in mind, I let Ralda share some of my outlooks. Plus her profession is similar to mine. But she isn’t me, I promise.
Ralda is the narrator for all the Atonement books. However, her cat, Lilith, takes a turn for important scenes that Ralda could not witness.
2. When and where is the story set?
Following the advice “Write what you know,” I wanted a small southern town as the setting. I chose Tennessee for the state of my fictional town. (Even making up a fictional town was also intended for speed – it wouldn’t need as much research!) Yet what to name this town? I was thinking about what kinds of people might live there, their attitudes and opinions. Suddenly “Atonement” popped into my mind as the name for the town. So my setting is the fictional town (and the title), Atonement, Tennessee.
3. What should we know about the heroine?
That’s really hard to say without giving away parts of the story. I don’t want to spoil anything for people who have not read the book.
I’ll tell you that Ralda has been hurt badly in the past, and more than once. She’d like to keep an open mind about things like relationships, but she’s afraid to try. Besides, she doesn’t think the “pluses” outweigh the “minuses.” On the other hand, she makes friends readily. If she cares about someone, she’s fiercely protective.
She’s highly intuitive, and smart. Those assets lead her to unravel the mysteries that surround her in her new mysterious old house, in Atonement, Tennessee.
4. What messes up her life?
Ultimately, that would be (repeatedly) the supernatural beings that either live in or frequent the strange little town and the old estate house in which she lives — and its graveyard. Yes, I said graveyard.
5. What is the personal goal of the character?
Ralda Lawton just wants a peaceful life in her new town. She succeeded in getting away from the big city by moving to quaint Atonement, Tennessee. However, so far, her new life has been anything but quiet. How could she know the tiny town rests on a very powerful ley line? It seems to draw mythological entities like a magnet. (I took creative license with the ley line idea and their actual locations.)
6. Do the same characters return for book 2?
You’ll meet many familiar characters in book-2, Atonement in Bloom. There are also several new supernaturals in town for the sequel. And yes… I do intend a third book for the series. Eventually I plan to do a “three things” type serial for it here on this blog. That seems to be the only way I have time to write.
If you have any questions about the “Atonement-verse” feel free to leave them in a comment. I love to hear from you.
Here’s my own shameless self-promotion…
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 © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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