Today I’m hosting one of my favorite guests – Teagan! She’s so much fun, and a highly creative writer, as evidenced by her book, Three Things Serial. Who else could make short stories out of random things suggested by blog readers? It’s Friday, today is Cinco de Mayo, and the penguin in the question below has the right idea.
The Three Things Serial Story
Hi Teri. It’s great to be at your blog again. When I started my blog (Teagan’s Books) at the end of 2012, I did a few posts. By 2013 I wanted a theme — something more than just talking about my novel (Atonement, Tennessee) each week. That’s how the first of my serials began — The Three Things. I expanded on a writing exercise I developed long ago. (I would ask friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.) So I brought that exercise to my blog, but I had the readers send me their things. I let the things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. The serial took shape and my blog grew with it. Eventually I did four different serials.
Blurb — the Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story
Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures. In this story a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped. Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos and other “things.” Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Cà d’Zan.
While any of the serials were being created at my blog, people would ask for a book version. So I’ve finally made time to “book-ize” the first serial! Here’s the Kindle version and the paperback. Now I’ve almost finished book-izing the second serial, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I. It will be coming your way soon!
Link to novella launch: https://teagansbooks.com/2016/12/02/book-launch-the-three-things-serial-story/
Now for answers to your so very creative questions!
What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?
Write what you know. That doesn’t mean that I don’t learn new things in order to write a different story. I’m a research geek. It’s hard to stop myself from jumping onto long research tangents. However, I like some basic element of the story (such as the location) to be something I know well.
If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?
Don’t listen to your parents — go ahead and write any story you want. Does that sound rebellious? Well, I was in sixth grade and started writing short stories. They got attention from my teachers. My parents didn’t want that, so they told me I’d better stop doing that right now. So I didn’t start writing in earnest until my late thirties.
What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?
For The Three Things Serial Story, I think that would be one of the less important characters, Flavio Fabro. From the beginning, I thought he was a player.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
As a writer, I always saw myself as strictly working in the fantasy genre. However, when I decided to use my three things exercise at my blog, I knew that method worked best with mystery stories. So I took a deep breath, and jumped into the mystery arena. It’s still not how I see myself, but I’m comfortable writing that kind of mystery.
What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?
Shortbread. I’ve always liked shortbread cookies. However, in adulthood I developed a nasty and huge allergy to eggs. It’s hard to find cookies, pastries, or any dessert (heck, anything period!) without eggs hiding in it somewhere. Shortbread cookies usually don’t have eggs.
What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?
I cut the Comcast cord about three years ago, and I’ve never looked back. For me, television consists of YouTube and Netflix. I’m totally fine with that. That gives me more TV than I could possibly watch. At this writing the last things I watched were a Steven Colbert sketch via YouTube, and on Netflix, an episode of Murdoch Mysteries.
A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
Don’t you wish you could be this cool for Cinco de Mayo? See me in my tuxedo and sombrero? I’m the cat’s pajamas, huh? Thank God Prohibition is over! I’ll have a margarita. Time to get spifflicated.
If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?
I admit that some anime is a guilty pleasure for me. (Just like movies and TV, some of it objectifies women way too much, and even sexualizes young girls. I don’t like those. Others, however are very good.) So I think I would be Kagome from the Inuyasha series. As a young girl I always fantasized about other eras. Kagome goes back to feudal Japan.
This was fun, Teri. Thanks for having me over! Hugs.
Teagan on Social Media: