Author Interview: Teresa Tysinger
I had the joy of interviewing Teresa Tysinger about the release of her debut novel, Someplace Familiar, and I'm so excited for you to meet her! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. Teresa writes charming Southern fiction filled with grace- is there a better kind? Be sure to leave her some love in the comments!
1. Could you tell us a little bit about your debut novel, Someplace Familiar?
Someplace Familiar began more than three years ago when I participated in National Novel Writer’s Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It was an exhilarating, albeit exhausting, experience! Since then, the book has been workshopped with a critique group, had large portions rewritten countless times, pitched at workshops, edited by two editors, and even renamed (original title was Good Graces). After a lot of prayer, I decided that self-publishing allows me the greatest flexibility and control while being able to maintain my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and full-time communications director. It’s a great fit for me and I can’t wait to see what God does with this debut.
2. It's amazing to see all that goes on behind the scenes before publication. What inspired you to write this story?
One thing I’ve learned about myself through writing Someplace Familiar is how much I am personally drawn to setting and place. The idea for the book was born out of my desire to introduce readers to the charming small-town life found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I went to college. Laurel Cove, the fictional town where the story is set, is directly based on my best friend’s hometown of Burnsville, NC. The other source of inspiration comes from my great-grandmother’s tiny bungalow home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Long weekends and summer vacations spent there were full of imagination, adventure, and sweet memories. The scents of her garden, feel of the damp earth beneath my feet, slow pace matching gauzy curtains dancing in the breeze—it all is mirrored in the cottage home of Livy’s Gram in the book. The rest of the story formed around my desire to capture my childhood memories of this home that was so magical and safe for me.
3. You're descriptions have me hooked already! Having grown up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I may be just a little bit biased when it comes to the setting. What three words would you use to describe your writing style?
Sensory—I aim to provide readers with an experience that enlivens all of their senses.
Relatable—It’s my hope that readers see themselves in realistic, flawed characters trying to make their way to discovering grace in a less than perfect world.
Charming—Like any good southern fiction, there’s a good dose of charm in these pages.
4. Your writing style is right up my alley. I've got Someplace Familiar queued up on my Kindle and can't wait to dive in! When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I truly don’t remember a time that I didn’t want to write. But I vividly remember being particularly inspired after reading L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. If I could make people feel the way her story made me feel through writing, I wanted to do that! The rest is history.
5. Girl, I am right there with you! Yayyy for another kindred spirit! Now that your debut novel has been released, what's next for you in terms of writing?
Someplace Familiar is the first in a series of stand-along books all set in quaint Laurel Cove. So, book two is next. There’s still some brainstorming to do, but I know it will include a lot of outdoor mountain fun.
6. Sign me up! What books are currently on your nightstand or TBR pile?
It’s a big pile, and so neglected! I can’t wait to read The Girl Who Could See (Kara Swanson), True to You (Becky Wade), and Right Where We Belong novella collection (Deborah Raney, Melissa Tagg, and Courtney Walsh)
7. I loved True to You! And isn't Kara's cover so swoony? If you could spend the day with three fictional characters, who would you choose and why?
Anne from Anne of Green Gables—because…ANNE!
Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice—because we’re basically the same person and I’m pretty sure she’d just “get” me, plus she could introduce me to Mr. Darcy.
Jack Bowdon from Someplace Familiar (hehe)—because he’s my current fictional crush and all around super nice guy; author’s prerogative, right?
8. Great choices! I can't wait to discover Jack Bowdon for myself ;)
Last question...what are five things you can't live without?
Hot Showers (the hotter the better)
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Teresa!
About Someplace Familiar
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 mountain cottage 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?