Today on the blog I’ve got the lovely Teresa Frohock, author of the wonderful fantasy Miserere: An Autumn Tale. A copy of the book is also up for grabs so be sure to see the details at the end of the post!
Please welcome Teresa to the blog!
Miserere is such a beautifully written book. How long have you been writing, and why did you decide on fantasy as your genre?
Then my life just got full and I quit writing for many years. However, I continued to read fiction and began to study the novels I read to see what worked and what didn’t. I’ve always loved fantasy, although I did quit reading it for many years. Then one day I picked up a new novel by one of my favorite authors, Patricia McKillip, and I fell in love with the genre all over again. Now I’m playing catch-up and reading all the wonderful novels I’ve missed in the interim.
I just love fantasy. I enjoy imagining strange new worlds and cultures and I like to use fantastic worlds to test some of my homegrown bass-ackward theories. I adore fairy tales and magical realism. I think that’s why I enjoy Spanish and Latin American literature so much—the divine is entwined so deeply in everyday life that it’s almost impossible to separate from reality. I love exploring the mystical in our lives and fantasy is a perfect genre to investigate the supernatural.
The attention to detail in Miserere is impeccable. How long did it take you to write, from first draft to finished copy?
I think, overall, I spent more time editing and delineating the material than actually writing it—six to eight months to be exact. I tried to stay very, very focused so I didn’t trawl off into any tangents.
What are some of your biggest literary influences, and why?
I’m influenced by all the wonderful writers out there; they all teach me something new. However, this group pops immediately into my head, because of their precise use of language. For brevity’s sake, I’ll talk about Poe. In his story “The Fall of the House of Usher” Poe describes a fetid lake, but he deliberately chooses to use the word “tarn.”
Tarn is an ugly little word and even if you’re not sure of the meaning, a tarn sounds like something nasty, which it is. Poe went to that kind of meticulous detail in all his words. The cadence of his sentences reflected the mood of his stories from the first line. He truly was a master of his stories.
Patricia McKillip and Peter S. Beagle are so in touch with the emotions of their characters, and they are able to impart those special attributes that make us human into their stories. I never get tired of reading their books or stories, because they so deftly show me some piece of myself hidden there.
Morrison and Walker also have that special magic. I just love reading anything by Toni Morrison; it always feels like she is right there beside me, telling me the story with her own unique voice. Walker has the innate talent of translating the most mundane experience into the divine.
Márquez and Eco both manipulate language masterfully to convey their stories. Their styles are very fluid, and they both embrace the supernatural as part of daily life.
Did you have any favorite authors when you were growing up?
How do you think growing up in a small town influenced your writing?
I noticed that Miserere is Book 1 of the Katharoi. Do you have any firm plans on how many you’d like to write in the series?
For a reader just starting to dip their toes into the fantasy pool, what books would you recommend (besides Miserere, of course)?
Can you share something about yourself that not a lot of people know?
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Is there any other news you’d like to share about upcoming projects or events?
**Giveaway is now closed.
Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina’s soul, but Catarina doesn’t want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen’s hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven’s frontline of defense between Earth and Hell. When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina’s wrath isn’t so easy to escape!