I want to welcome fellow Maine author and suspense/paranormal writer, Teagan Oliver. I gotta tell you, it took more than several cups of coffee to get her here so early in the morning. But the cabana boys are massaging her neck and feet and she has this really dreamy expression. I’m thinking I can ply some info out of her.
Please tell us about your books.
I have two very different stories. The first, Obsidian, is a romantic suspense, set on the Maine coast in a town very much like the one I grew up in. As a Special Investigator for the U.S. Coast Guard, Jamie Rivard handles volatile cases daily, but when his friend is killed in an explosion, he goes to Maine to find the answers no one wants to give. Shelby Teague lost her husband to the harsh life on the ocean. So, when her brother suddenly disappears, Shelby must put aside her own fears and put her trust in a stranger to help her get him back.
My second book, The Three Truths of Katie Talmadge is a sweet paranormal romance. It’s my attempt at my childhood favorite, Cinderella. Katie Talmadge is perfectly happy with her little flower shop in Salem, Massachusetts. But with one week until Halloween, fate with a little help from an eccentric charmer named Rita, help Katie discover that sometimes being happy with your life just isn’t enough.
Simon Thorton has had enough of his Aunt Rita’s matchmaking, magical, meddling. He’s more than happy living with his memories. But when he agrees to assist his aunt and Katie, he finds that fate can sometimes give you more than one great love in a lifetime… if only he has the courage to find it.
Wow, both of them sound wonderful and they’re so different. Did you find writing one more enjoyable than the other?
I love writing both. I can’t actually see myself writing anything else, but those. They present different challenges for me, like finding the right piece of a puzzle. With Romantic Suspense I must successfully weave the romance with the suspense. With the paranormal, I push myself to write stories that entice the reader, and sometimes, suspend the believable. I’ve moved on from the sweet paranormal now, though. I just finished a psychic stalker story and I’m currently working on a dark paranormal romance complete with an Immortal and a few fey creatures that lurk the graveyards of New Orleans.
How do you find the inspiration for your stories and more specifically, your characters?
Obsidian came out of one single incident. My dh, who rarely can say no when anyone asks a favor, had offered to let a friend put his very expensive boat in our yard for sale. It was supposed to be there three weeks. It was there for three months. Worse, it was outside my bedroom window and someone stole a motor off the boat. My anger found an outlet when I blew it up within the first few pages of Obsidian. (Remind me not to get on your bad side, Teagan. *vbg*)
As for Three Truths, the meager beginnings of it came about when I dragged my husband to Salem for the day. That was the inspiration for the setting. The inspiration for the relationship between Rita and her nephew, Simon, are very much based on my relationship with my nephew. I think he needs to look beyond his boundaries… he thinks I’m a manipulating, matchmaking…. Well, you can fill in the rest.
If you had super powers, what would they be and what would you call yourself?
Tough one! Whatever it would be would not require me to wear spandex. I wasn’t attractive in the 80’s when I wore it and there have been quite a few years since then that weren’t that kind to me. It’s better for all if I don’t travel that road again. I guess I’d settle for having the ability to read minds and know exactly when editors and readers are looking for… (I love spandex. Of course, only when the cabana boys are wrapped in it!)
Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantzer? Do you have comfort drinks or snack foods. Any favorite music you play while writing?
I’m half and half when it comes to plotting. Usually, I’ll write free range until I can’t figure out which way to go and then I’ll sit down and do the plotting. This helps get me through the rough spots (mainly, the entire middle). As for treats? Coffee, coffee, and more coffee… I live on coffee. I have to buy it in quantity. I haven’t reached Rachel Ray’s ten cups a day, but that’s only because I haven’t got time for it. And as for music? I rarely listen to music when I write, but I am more likely to put on a podcast and listen to it through the headphones. I figure if something sinks in then I’ve learned something for the day. If not, then the headphones have the added benefit of blocking out the noise from the kids.
I need new curtains for my bedroom, which of these would you pick?
You’re supposed to have curtains? Dang, I’ve been in my house for almost sixteen years and I’ve only got them on about half the windows. Then again, the neighbors would probably appreciate it if I’d finished the process.
What, if anything, is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Probably the hardest part for me is waiting. Writing is a profession where you pour your heart out and then put it out for someone to critique. And the critiquing often doesn’t happen overnight. I waited twelve years to sell my first book. And I’m not known as a patient person.
If we asked your friends to name 3 personality traits about you, what do you think they would say?
Stubborn, Passionate… and did I mention Stubborn? These Irish genes aren’t dominant in me for nothing!
If you could be one of your characters who would you choose and why?
There’s a little bit of me in all of the characters. Even the bad ones. I mentioned the manipulative aunt in Three Truths, but even Shelby had my passion for growing up near the ocean. I don’t think that I could write characters that weren’t somehow a reflection of a part of me.
You have a fulltime job. How do you fit writing into your busy schedule?
I get asked this question a lot. Frankly, I haven’t got a clue how I’ve managed to write the books. There is no secret, no set schedule. Usually, my day includes chaos, destruction and a healthy dose of carting kids back and forth. I cherish whatever time I can get to myself and I’ve been known to write six or seven pages long hand during my half hour lunch break at work. I’m not sure what I’d do if I actually had an empty schedule. I think I’d probably implode!
A deserted island, Las Vegas, or a trip to the moon (if it were free)?
Las Vegas, but only if Grissom was there. But then, that would mean I was probably dead. So, maybe the deserted island would be best. I’m extremely resourceful when it comes to making do with very little.
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
The biggest news is that Obsidian is set to be released as a large print on October 17 from Thorndike Press. Also, I’m going to be speaking at the New Jersey RWA, Put Your Heart in a Book Conference, October 24, 25 and 26 in Iselin, NJ. That conference is always a grand time. If you are there, stop by and say hello.
Thanks, Teagan … yes, you can get another cup of coffee. Yes, the cabana boys will be around for awhile. Wait, not the pool house … don’t close the curta… okay, so Teagan’s taking a break. Let me tell you that when she’s not hanging out here, you can visit her website and at her blog. Teagan also blogs about all things paranormal as her alter ego GhostGirl.
It looks like she’ll be here for awhile, so feel free to ask a question or just show her some comment love.
Thanks for stopping by and I’m sorry I’m not here to chat with you. This weekend is the monthly meeting of the Maine romance writers, a chapter of RWA. Awesome group of ladies (and one gent)! But they meet so very far away from me. I literally have to take the whole weekend to go to the meeting. But I lubs them a lot. So it is sooo worth it. And this month I get to meet one of the other authors at Liquid Silver Books, Elaina Huntley. w00t! w00t! I am beyond excited.
And beautiful girl is coming up from college and meeting us at her grandmother’s house. Yay! I haven’t seen her since June! She’ll be getting lots of TLC this weekend.
Monday is another interview with a fabulous author and editor at Wild Rose Press. So come on back and check out what’s going on the beginning of the week!