Interview with author Teagan R. Geneviene

Teagan, blogger and author of the Delta Pearl a serialized steam-punk novel, is publishing a fantasy novel Dead of Winter on Saturday, January 2. This is an interview about her new book and her writing.

1)  When and why did you make the switch from this type of fantasy to the lighter fantasy of the Delta Pearl? 

I was an avid reader of fantasy, particular “high fantasy,” so that was the genre I chose when I first took writing seriously.  I’m actually surprised that I ever wrote anything else. 

When I made public, my “three things method of storytelling,” I let those reader things completely drive every aspect of that story.  It turned out to be a 1920s mystery.  My stories spontaneously evolved into the steampunk tales you’ve seen on my blog in recent years. (Universal link to The Three Things Serial Story relinks.me/B01MRRC0B2 )

2)  The harsh religious elders that forbid the education of girls reminds me a bit of the Handmaid’s Tale.  Did that  influence this tale at all?

No.  Back in 2014, I cut the cable cord with Comcast and network television. I never went back.  I don’t know when “The Handmaid’s Tale” was published.  Of course, I’ve seen some of the ads for the TV version.  However, I’ve never read it or watched it, or even investigated it.  You aren’t the only person to ask that question. I really should look into that story.

3)  You must have wanted to scream when Game of Thrones came out with your title, Dead of Winter.  You said you wrote 800 pages—have you edited the book back in the years since  you wrote it?  Did the break change what you wanted to do with the story?

I think I actually did scream.  I try to describe it in a funny way, but it really was hugely demoralizing.  I began to think I’d never finish the rest of the story… but I was determined.

No.  I did some editing right after I typed “the end” on the final page, but in my disappointment, I shelved Dead of Winter.  The story and the characters stayed with me, reminding me now and then that it was waiting.  Naturally I’m editing the “journeys” (the novelette-sized installments) now.  My writing style has evolved during the past decade. Plus, I’d never publish a work without intensive editing.

4)  You really weave geography into your story.  Do you draw maps of your world before or as you create them?  Whereas the Delta Pearl seems Mississippi River and tributaries centric, this one seems like it is straight from the British Isles.

No.  Although I’ve always wished I had one of those marvelous maps you find in high fantasy stories!  I love those things.  I tried, ten years ago to make one, but I didn’t get very far.  Maybe that will be a new creative project for me.

The Delta Pearl, may or may not be on our earth.  It may or may not be a parallel world. It just is.  I’ve never specified where it is.  Dead of Winter is pure fantasy.  It is not set in our world.  However, it looks and sounds a lot like parts of our world.  Something I picked up from studying the work of Robert Jordan, David Eddings, and Terry Brooks is that making a place similar to one with which the reader is already familiar, causes the reader to automatically flesh-out the imagery.  That way, the author doesn’t have to bog down the storytelling with excessive descriptions.

5)  You have written a number of  pieces, as listed on the front of Dead of Winter.  Do you have a favorite among your writings?

Oh… I never really thought of it that way.  Hmmm…  (Ha! Can you imagine dozens of characters in my head right now, all clamoring for me to say their story is my favorite?)  I definitely have some favorite characters.  A couple of them are in novels that are still waiting for me to finalize them.

The Dead of Winter overall manuscript is filled with over 300 characters and places.  All those names were from my research.  I’ve put a list of them at the end of the first novelette – Journey 1, Forlorn Peak.  That list will grow with each new journey.  Anyhow, several of those characters are dear to me.  I had quite a crush on one named Ta’jin.  He won’t come into the story until later.

6) What is your favorite part of writing—first draft, editing, adding graphics, marketing?  What do you dislike the most of the whole process?

My favorite part of writing is “world building,” developing the world of the story.  That includes thorough research.  Fantasy stories warrant dedicated research, just like any other genre.  Unfortunately, world building has little to do with creating the plot.  That’s probably my downfall.  I make a world, fall in love with it, and then worry about the plot.

7)  I am fascinated with your use of the white wolf.  

“The wolf is an ongoing mystery in the overall story. However, that is as much as I can reveal about it right now.  That would be a huge spoiler.”

8)  You have an affinity for the whole punk genre from diesel to steam.  Do you have a favorite era that you would prefer to write about or a favorite area of the world that you would like to explore with your writing?  I don’t think this is a punk genre—is that an accurate guess?

That’s right, Dead of Winter is high fantasy, not any sort of punk.  It’s a non-technology world, pre-industrial.

Pair of Horses from Dreamstime

However, you’re also correct that I enjoy writing punk in its various forms.  I’m a research geek.  The retro-futuristic technologies that are a common element in punk stories give me hours and hours of research and exploration fun.  As I learn about the tech, I’m inspired with more details for the stories.

 9)  You mention the Deae Matres, as being a society of women who travel the world, in search of knowledge.  Could they really be… Are the Deae Matres actually…

Yes, Pat. The Society of Deae Matres are the librarians of Dead of Winter.

Universal Purchase Links

Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

49 thoughts on “Interview with author Teagan R. Geneviene”

    1. Thank you, GP. I’m not sure the Delta Pearl could stay afloat without you. I’m so glad you’re part of the riverboat.
      Dead of Winter is not a blog serial. I’m publishing monthly installments that are about the length of a … you could call them long-short stories that I call “Journeys”. Those have short chapters within — making it easy for people who don’t have as much time to read. Or who want to read several different books at once.
      I appreciate you joining us for this morning chat. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good morning, Pat. Right now, it’s a “brisk” 18 degrees in the high-desert southwest, but it warms my heart to visit with you. Heartfelt thanks for hosting me for this chat.
    I’m happy to try and answer any follow-on questions (here in comments) from you or your readers. I’ll pop in throughout the day.
    Thanks for starting my 2021 in a great way. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teagan, It is an honor and a privelege to help you launch this new book. We are a relatively balmy 40 something with some aspirations of reaching the 60s today. Yesterday it did not get out of the mid 30s.l Hope you get lots of interesting comments today both on this site and your own. (and lots of sales too). Thanks for stopping by and happy hopeful 2021 hugs soaring your way.

    Like

    1. You are so kind — thank you! ❤
      With southeast humidity, 40 can feel awfully cold. That's the kind of cold that gets into your bones. It's actually dropped to 16 now, but expected high of 49. That's what I love about winters here. The intense sun always warms things up.
      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. We are fortunate to have a variety of very nice wineries in our part of the state. They range from small and intimate to large with lots of wines to taste a variety of food options to eat. Today is a smaller, more intimate venue. They even have a hopped chardonnary, which is not my favorite since I’m not a beer afficionado.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Write to Inspire and commented:
    This is a very interesting interview with my friend, Teagan. It explores, in some depth, the amount of research and hard work that goes into her world-building before she even begins to add the characters and storyline.
    I am intrigued by the mystery that she maintains behind White Wolf.
    Have a read. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a marvelous surprise, Lance. Heartfelt thanks for reblogging.
      Yes, I did volumes of research, from topography of the UK and European locations that inspired my fictional countries, to the meanings behind character names. There are well over 200 character and place names in the overall manuscript.
      Some leftover research (legends that I didn’t use for this story) ended up providing “loose inspiration” for my Atonement, Tennessee urban fantasy stories. If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a huge research geek!
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a really fun interview. Pat you brought out the amusing side of Teagan as well as some of the background. Teagan it was interesting to read particularly about how you approach the different genres you write in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, Andrea. I new my genres had shifted, but I had not thought about how much my writing has changed in the past decade — until I started editing Dead of Winter. High fantasy always resonated with the part of me that needed to “escape.” Characters in such stories often explore strange lands. As my writing became more and more whimsical, it was something the “escapist” in me had to have. It might seem like a fine line of terminology between escape and escapist… I guess you could say that simply escaping wasn’t enough, because the real world always manages to follow. So my escape had to be wildly impossible, as with Hullaba Lulu, Cornelis Drebbel, or Thistledown. Happy first full week of the year. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. A fun interview, Teagan and Pat. It’s wonderful to see all the thought and work that goes into such a project. Teagan’s love of worldbuilding shows and I can relate to struggling afterwards for the plot. Lol. Congrats on the start of your tour, Teagan. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Diana. Your writing, particularly the world building, is so marvelous that it’s difficult to imagine anything other than it flowing from your pen (or rather keyboard). Although I realize that making it look easy is the hallmark of true craftmanship. Thanks for adding to the conversation here. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. What a great interview, Pat. I loved reading Teagan’s responses. I’ve just finished the novella and eagerly await Journey 2. Congratulations, Teagan. Masterful! I hope to write a review tonight. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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