Teresa Thomas Bohannon is a published author, web designer, hosting & domain provider & (occasional) internet marketing consultant. Teresa founded Spun Silk Web Design in December of 1995 as one of the first free standing female owned web design firms in the country. As of late, Teresa has returned to her roots, utilizing the exciting new world of online publishing to present a backlog of original novels and short stories to the world--beginning with A Very Merry Chase--a Regency romance novel which she originally wrote some 35 years ago.
In late 2011 she published Shadows In A Timeless Myth a Paranormal Historical Fantasy/Romance/Horror Novel  Teresa holds an MA in history--with a haphazardly obtained--concentration in women's studies. In addition, she is the Director of Human Resources for a non-profit agency. Teresa's personal cause is revitalizing literacy by reading "with" children.

There is a giveaway contest linked to this post. It is open internationally. You can choose  either a copy of  Shadows In A Timeless Myth, A Very Merry Chase, or Teresa's  illustrated version of Jane Austen's The Widow's Tale (Pdf or Kindle version with personalized dedication). Please express your choices in your comment and don't forget to add your e-mail address. The name of the winner will be announced on 13th February.

Welcome on FLY HIGH! Teresa and thanks for accepting to answer my questions. This is my first one: it took you so long and now you’ve finally published, Shadows in a Timeless Myth.  What has the complex journey towards publication left to you/meant to you?
Writing has always been a personal touchstone in my life, it gave me the strength to believe in myself when believing seemed almost impossible. I've had several short stories and other items published; but publishing books in general—and this one in particular—was always the light at the end of the tunnel for me...the personal goal I've held most dear.

.It seems not easy to define the genre of your book.  Have you decided which is the best connotation among historical fiction, horror, paranormal, fantasy romance? 
Shadows actually fits well in several categories. It's a horror novel set in modern day Appalachia, however that's just the the stage where my characters play in their current incarnation. It is also largely historical fantasy.  I love women's history, and my original
idea was to produce a series of short stories highlighting the condition of women through the ages, while telling the story of two women struggling through centuries of time together and having their misadventures become the basis for many of today's fairytales and legends. (Think of the quintessential buddy film, but with women instead of men in the lead roles.)  However, it didn't quite work out that way. My goals were lofty and high-brow; but my heart and writing talents lean more towards repartee coupled with action and adventure. So.... Shadows is a modern day horror novel that includes historical mini-tales as relevant bits of the back story.  It's also a paranormal romance.... The main characters have travelled together for 2,000 years, and two, Bellina and FenMaric are star crossed lovers.  My  one caveat, readers who prefer graphic sex and extremely graphic violence, might be disappointed with Shadows .

 What is the most difficult aspect of being a published author? What is instead the most exciting?
Promotion is the most difficult for me. Honestly, it puts me so far out of my comfort zone that the thought of it creates almost total panic. I have refused radio and online interviews and similar live opportunities because of this!  ...And this comes from a woman who sold sell gemstones and jewelry on one of the original home shopping channels.  I can—and do—happily promote other authors and their books, I'm just not comfortable selling my own. Simply glancing over at my bookshelf to see bound copies of my books is all the excitement I really desire.  I also dreamed of presenting my parents with copies, so my books are published in oversized, large-print paperback, specifically formatted so my mother could easily read them without having to squint through a magnifying glass.

 Do you think blogging and social media can support/help the book market?  
Absolutely yes.  With all the free entertainment on the internet and the boom in self-publishing, there is tremendous competition for every dollar's worth of books purchased.  Engaging your audience and building rapport is vital to success. If you are not one of the major well-known authors, you almost have to give your books away or price them 99¢ to build an audience. Fortunately, I went into this adventure with the realization that I was doing it for me, so I don't overly panic about sales figures. I'm sincerely grateful to everyone who purchases a copy of one of my books, and even more so to those who take the time to write a review; but I have no illusions about quitting my day job. However, I've made my dreams of being a published author come true...and that means a lot.

 What authors you read and admire most influenced your writing?
Almost from the beginning I loved myths, legends and fairytales, Grimm, Bulfinch, Edith Hamilton. Then I discovered Tolkien and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  As a young girl, Burroughs was especially inspirational, because he crafted some mighty powerful women. If Tarzan or John Carter etc. weren't around to save his heroines—they saved themselves.  I loved that!  Georgette Heyer and Margaret Mitchell were also inspirations, I loved Heyer's repartee and Scarlett O'Hara's determined will to survive.  Now I particularly enjoy Clive Cussler, James Rollins and Matthew Reilly.

 Tell our readers about the story in your book.
Shadows in a Timeless Myth is a horror novel with strong elements of historical fantasy.
VamBellina is born of an elder race, the Vampiri. They are not Vampires per se; but are the basis for many Vampire legends.  Bellina lives among the mortals as a willing expatriate, because 2,000 years ago she fell in love with a mortal. Maric (a Roman Legionnaire) killed a Druid priest on the field of battle and was cursed with soul transmigration. Each time he dies, his soul migrates to a new body. To make things even more interesting, Maric's soul—compliments of that same vengeful priest—conjoined with that of a savage wolf, Fenris. So not only does this uniquely intertwined soul continuously transmigrate; but its also alternately shifts from the bodies of man to wolf throughout eternity. AraBestla is the third member of my trio. She is born of another elder race, the Sorceri. AraBestla was stripped of her inborn Magick and condemned to survive in exile as punishment for offending the Sorceri High Council.
VamBellina and FenMaric stumbled upon AraBestla about 800 AD and took her under their wing. Together, the three of them have spent most of the past 1200 years searching for the Grimoire Khavalista because it contains a spell that will turn back time and allow AraBestla to avenge herself upon those who wronged her. Both in modern and historical times, much of the book focuses on the trio's misadventures as AraBestla desperately tries to use the much disdained and exceedingly inferior mortal magic to find the lost Grimoire Khavalista.

Which character did you like to write the most? Which was instead the most difficult to characterize?
VamBellina is my favorite.  She is the quintessential old soul and has it all very much together. Whatever storms surround my little trio, she always remains calm and steadily focused on the finding the solution. Like Scarlett, she does whatever it takes to make it through each day and drags FenMaric (invariably looking for a brawl) and AraBestla (usually complaining)—and any other strays they happen to cross their paths—along with her.

 Have  you published / written  any other book?
I tested the publishing waters, in late 2010 with A Very Merry Chase, which is an old-fashioned, mostly light-hearted Regency romance which I wrote in my early twenties, inspired by the novels of Georgette Heyer.  My heroine is older,  opinionated and most definitely imperfect!

 Are you working  on a new project?
At the moment I am preparing a book of short, fantasy tales that I've written over the years featuring strong females. 

What’s your secret dream as a writer? Would you like to share it with us?
I want to continue to tell the stories of strong, but believably imperfect, female characters in historical (or pseudo-historical) settings, and if I could persuade my sons to co-author with me I would be in author heaven.

There is a free sample short story featuring VamBellina and AraBestla available HERE

A free musical jigsaw puzzle of the cover available HERE

And a video book trailer  HERE


Prue Batten said...

So much of what you say, Teresa, resonates with me. It's a tough thing being an independently-published writer and it's people like Maria who are so good to us, who welcome us to the reading fold. I also found it fascinating that you were able to get a largeprint version of your books for your family. I would love to do that for my own mother who has macular degeneration.

I'd love to put my name down for a Kindle version of Shadows...


Thank you both for an interesting post.

Linda said...

I would love to win a copy of Shadows in a Timeless Myth - what a beautiful cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

desitheblonde said...

i like the way you did the book and cover it tell the story in it self and looks great thanks for the chance to win

Literary Chanteuse said...

Hard to choose but I will pick The Widow's Tale. Thank you for the giveaway! They sound like wonderful books!


bn100 said...

I enjoyed the interview and like the names of your characters.

I would like a copy of Shadows In A Timeless Myth, A Very Merry Chase.

Thanks for the giveaway.


oloore said...

Thank you for the interview and giveaway! Every book looks very interesting, making it hard to choose. But at the moment I would like to enjoy something light and merry:) So please enter me into a giveaway of A Very Merry Chase (pdf). My e-mail is oloore(at)gmail(dot)com

maribea said...

Dear Teresa and Maria Grazia,
thank you for this opportunity of reading this interview. I do love reading and I keep on writing even though I don't know if I will ever try to publish my book again. Honestly, I have never given a copy of my only published book to my parents. Maybe I will think about it now that you shared your experience.
I'd love to read all your books. If I have to choose, A very merry chase (pdf) is my choice, but of course I would be delighted to receive any copy from you.
Congratulations on your success and your tremendous effort.
maribea (at) tiscali (dot)it