Three Things Book Talk at Kev’s

Three Things Serial Story — Book Talk

3-things-cover_3-2016

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…  

young-lucille-ball-pensive-peach

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!

teagan-3x3d-books-12-2016

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.

Writing from an Unexpected Point of View

Originally posted at Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s Blog.

Chris TSRA

 

Many thanks to Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape) for hosting me at his amazing Author Promotions Enterprise blog. “The Ape” generously promotes authors on his blog, and he offers excellent resources for our use. However, he’s also a gifted cover artist. Be sure to take a look at some examples of his work.  Also, he has started creating fantastic book trailers! (By the way, his trailers are much, much better than the one I have.)

Here’s the article Chris hosted for me.  It features my Lilith character from “Atonement, Tennessee.”

If you want to capture someone’s attention, whisper.… Maybe, but they Book Cut Out Holmesmight not hear you at all. One way to capture a reader’s attention is to occasionally write from an unexpected point of view.

That can also be a practical tool, not just a “hook.” When I wrote Atonement, Tennessee, I decided to have my heroine narrate the story. However, there is a stumbling block with that kind of writing. My heroine could only tell about what she had witnessed. If she was not present for part of the action, someone would have to just tell her about it. Not nearly as exciting, huh?

So I wanted to occasionally shift and let another character be the witness. But who would be suitable? None of the people in my fictional town of Atonement, TN would be likely to see the events I needed to describe. Then I remembered an old exercise about writing from the point of view of an inanimate object. It was very enjoyable to me. Next I thought, what about an animal instead?Cat Eyes Watching

I gave my heroine a cat. At strategic points I make that shift and let the feline witness events. To bring you into the fun, I’m sharing a “character interview” I did with Lilith, the calico cat and part time narrator of Atonement, Tennessee.  Then I’ll show you a snippet of the novel written with the cat as witness.

Here goes!

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?

Lilith: 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 just not 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.

veil_of_sky_open_Lilith copy

And now for that promised excerpt…

Esmeralda slept. Lilith’s ears pricked when she heard a tiny rustling sound coming from downstairs. The first time she inspected the bedroom, the calico had found a way out. She hadn’t shown it to Esmeralda. Immediately on the hunt for the source of that sound, Lilith soundlessly got up from the pile of blankets on the floor where they slept.

WardrobeShe trotted soundlessly to the tall heavy wardrobe. It was even bigger than the one where she found the mirror, and it reached almost to the high ceiling. It stood a few inches away from the wall. She squeezed behind the wardrobe. There was a gap in the wall. It was actually a door, which would open with a push. At some point in time, it had been left ajar. Lilith had originally found it because she scented the different air from the drafty opening.

Beyond the door was a narrow hallway and equally narrow steps that led to the parlor downstairs. She had a bit of trouble opening the door to the parlor. Fortunately it had a lever handle that was much easier to manipulate than a doorknob. After a moment her persistence paid off and the door creaked open. She stood still for a second. The rustling sound had diminished to almost nothing. The calico stalked into the living room. Her tail was held low and her body was close to the floor as she walked.

Her ears had more than twenty muscles, which the cat used to pinpoint the sound of a final rustle. She looked toward the flower arrangement by the windows. The white heather had grown and branched, vine-like until it covered every window and the front and back doors as well. All the flowers in the vase pulsed as if with a heartbeat. Lilith watched them for a moment to see what else they might do.White flowers take over

A sound came from the kitchen, and she went to investigate. It sounded like something had pressed against the porch roof for a moment and then pushed off. Immediately afterward she heard a few heavy beat and whoosh sounds, like extremely large wings.

She jumped to the kitchen window, but the heather covered it too, and prevented her seeing anything. However, through the little draft of air that came in around the window, she scented one of the odors she had tracked earlier that evening. There wasn’t enough of it for her to be sure which one.

After a while, the cat grew bored and returned to the secret door in the parlor. It was still open. She gave it a little nudge, using it to scratch her cheek, and it closed behind her. She returned to the bedroom.

***

I hope these examples have entertained you. Maybe you’ll want to try writing from an unexpected point of view.

Thanks for reading,

Teagan

Links
At My Website
https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/ More about Teagan: https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/?s=workspace
Link to character interviews blog category: https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/category/teagans-books/character-interviews/
Pinterest
I’ve used Pinterest to tell a story in pictures not just for “Atonement, Tennessee,” but for my works in progress as well. Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
Amazon Author Page
http://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
TWITTER: @teagangeneviene
Barnes & Noble Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atonement-tennessee-teagan-geneviene/1117790203?ean=2940148918431
Kindle and Paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412384486&sr=1-1
Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A
Amazon India
http://www.amazon.in/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1481826948
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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