Author Interview & GIVEAWAY - Teresa Tysinger

Monday, May 29, 2017

About the Book

Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That's what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason. 

Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon's Supplies, and once again the town's most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project—and an undeniable whirlwind romance.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts to discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?

About the Author

Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She also offers graphic design and marketing services to other authors through her freelance business, Good Day Publishing. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.

Welcome to Bookworm Mama Teresa! I am so giddy to have you here today visiting with me! 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Teresa: I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with books. Stories gave me a way into worlds I’d otherwise never see, people I’d never otherwise meet. It was exhilarating and adventurous for an otherwise pretty quiet kid. Writing came a little later as a teenager, writing poems to express myself and short stories for school. But I continued to devour any book I could get my hands on. That turned into earning two degrees in English/Writing. Now, I have a career in communications and a budding author life, too!

Rachel: The bookish soul is strong with this one folks!

What literary character is most like you? Why?

Teresa: Oh, this is a hard one. I’m horrible at self-identifying. Maybe Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice because I am independent, loyal to friends and family, and sometimes speak before I think. Yet at the end of the day, I am a romantic through and through. I guess there’s a reason it is my favorite book and she’s my favorite character. We relate to one another.

Rachel: I love this description. Elizabeth is one of my forever favorites that is for sure!

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

Teresa: The inspiration for Someplace Familiar is two-fold and both related to setting. The book is set in Laurel Cove, a fictional small town tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I fell in love with the area when I attended college just north of Asheville, NC and often visited my best friend’s family who lived a few towns over in Burnsville, NC. Burnsville is the inspiration for Laurel Cove—with its quaint town square, stately inn, Americana charm, slow pace, and family values. I couldn’t wait to introduce readers to such a welcoming, lovely place. 

The second influence is my great-grandmother’s house. Growing up as children, my sister and I would visit often and play in her magical garden of colorful flowers, fragrant fruit trees, nooks and crannies for hiding, tree swing. It was a place I felt comfort, safety, and most importantly love. The small house inspired the cottage readers will find in the book. Our heroine, Livy Johnson, discovers her grandmother’s home is once again for sale but has fallen to ruin. In need of a new start, she buys it and vows to restore its original charm. The descriptions of the cottage in the book mirror many of my memories of my own grandmother’s home. 

Rachel: That is BEAUTIFUL! I want to visit Asheville so bad (Biltmore, Pepper Basham, etc.) Such a wonderful setting. Childhood memories like that are treasure.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

Teresa: Because of some parallels in our stories, I have really been influenced by Pepper Basham. Her stories are set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well. Specifically, her contemporary books, namely A Twist of Faith, have been great examples for me of how to effectively write the unique character of the region.

Lisa Wingate has also been a big influence for me as a writer. Because I very much enjoy reading books rich in setting and place, Lisa’s books set in the Carolinas really capture my attention with a vividness that enlivens every sense. Without a doubt, this has inspired my own writing, hopefully also rich with descriptions that readers can really see and feel.

Rachel: I LOVE PEPPER!!! *ahem* I mean...Yes, Pepper's books are incredible. She has the ability to completely immerse you into whatever setting you are reading about. I confess, I have not read any of Lisa's books....yet.

What secret talents do you have?
Teresa: No super hero powers here! But I am a pretty good home chef and enjoy playing around in the kitchen, trying new recipes all the time. Cooking also relaxes me, so it’s a win-win. It is also an activity that my daughter and I enjoy doing together, and as she gets older I savor (pun intended) any moments we get together.

Rachel: Oh this is great! Cooking is a super power all its own! I enjoy cooking...when I don't have a million other things on my mind lol. My kiddos enjoy helping in the kitchen too. Good food, good friends, good times! 

What 5 books have had a significant impact on your life?

Teresa: Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) – For being the first character I believed to be my friend; showed me the power of well-developed characters.

Bridge to Terabithia (Karen Paterson) – For being the first book that made me cry as a child; showed me the emotional power books could have. 

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) – For pulling me so completely into a character’s world that I could not escape and left me a different person after the last page; one I keep going back to over and over again. 

Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) – For opening my eyes to a reality I’d never otherwise know, proving the responsibility authors have to tell the truths they’ve experienced. 

Love Does (Bob Goff) – For really altering my outlook on how I live out my faith every day by loving others in both tiny and huge ways.

Rachel: THIS!!! All of this! Can I just hug you right now???

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Teresa: Not really. Most unusual to some might be that I don’t have a habit. Ha! Because I work full-time and am on parent duty alone in the evenings (my husband works most nights/weekends), my writing happens in little snippets of time whenever I can manage it. On lunch hours, late-nights once my kiddo is in bed, the occasional 8-hour marathon at the coffee shop when my husband is home, etc. I’d love to have a set schedule that I could rely on week in and week out, but that’s just not my reality right now. Oh, and I also must have both coffee and water nearby when I write.

Rachel: Hahaha! Just means you are unique right? COFFEE!!!!! Coffee is life!

What writing advice do you have for pre-published authors?

Teresa: Don’t rush the process. A good book, like a good wine, takes time to mature and become what it’s meant to be. (How’s that for a cheesy analogy?) If you rush it, not only might the quality of the book suffer, but you’ll likely miss treasures along the way: making new author friends, connecting with readers, learning through research, miss the full potential of the story’s message, etc.

Rachel: Haha I think you are right on though! Take time to smell the roses right? 

What is up next for you?

Teresa: I’ll be working on the second Laurel Cove book. Someplace Familiar is the first of three books set in Laurel Cove, NC. Each will be stand-alone, but will share the same setting and a few familiar characters here and there. I will also continue working with authors on marketing consultation and graphic design needs through my small business, Good Day Publishing Services.

Rachel: Yay! I am so excited to read Someplace Familiar! It was GREAT chatting with you and getting to know you a little better! Thank you for joining us today!

Chat with us! What books have made a significant impact on your life?

Teresa has graciously provided an eBook of Someplace Familiar for a giveaway! Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends 6/4/17 at 11:59pm PDT. One winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter. Open internationally. Void where prohibited. Please see my policies and disclosures for more information.
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