Debut author ~ Teresa Frohock is here with us to answer a few questions!
Her first novel is soon to be released, in just over a month. It is a dark historical fantasy novel published by Night Shade Books with a strong female character, an intriguing premise and look at the cover - just gorgeous!
Check out the blurb: 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!
Teresa tells us a bit about this first novel, some future writing projects and her process which, may I mention, has been stellar. I have been lurking and watching with a great deal of interest and believe that Miserere was picked up by an agent and then a publisher within a matter of months. This is so very exciting!
Welcome Teresa! I am so excited about your first book and I am guessing you are too. As your first novel is about to be published - are you having fun yet?
Thank you so much for asking me to be to here, Shellie!
Am I having fun? Absolutely! I have a full-time job and I write mainly in the evenings and on my lunch hour at work. With Miserere coming out so soon, it can really be manic some days, but it’s been great fun. As a matter of fact, when things slow down, I keep checking online and looking at my email, wondering why everything got so quiet!
I am a total introvert and I’m horribly shy, that’s why I love the online community so much. The blogs and social media enable me to interact with a large and vital community. I can’t express how wonderful it is to meet all the great writers and book bloggers that I never would have known without the Internet.
What prompted you to write Miserere?
I spent two summers taking online writing classes through the community college where I work. The character of Lucian has been in my mind for some time, and during our class assignments, I formulated a story around his character.
Just after the last writing class, I took a college course about the Old Testament, and I fell in love with the imagery, especially the part about the veil that separated the Holy from the Holy of Holies in the Sanctuary. During one class, we were discussing the book of Exodus, and our instructor made an off-hand comment about the veil. He said that Christians believe that upon the Christ’s death on the cross this veil was torn, rendered in two, through the Christ’s atonement for the sins of the world.
And my little ADD brain went wild (I think I missed the rest of the lecture). If there was a veil that shielded God from the eyes of man, why wouldn’t there be other types of veils? Voila! The Crimson Veil that shields Earth from Woerld was born.
However, I didn’t want Woerld to be comprised wholly of Christians. I wanted to explore Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. I wanted them all to work together without losing each religion’s unique qualities of worship. So I played with world building and came up with a society where all religions were forced to put aside politics and proselytism is forbidden.
Then I added Lucian, a man who had to choose between losing his only family or his lover. I always imagined Lucian as Romanian, and if he was Romanian, then he was in all likelihood Eastern Orthodox. That was when I knew Miserere would center on the Christian bastion of the Citadel.
Your experience has been rare in that your novel has been picked up by an agent and publisher very quickly. How did you do this or what do you attribute this to?
What helped me get a good agent so fast was an excellent critique group that challenged me to make changes on Miserere. I implemented their suggestions, and I didn’t start submitting until the novel was as good as I could make it.
The reason we found a publisher so quickly was due to my agent Weronika Janczuk. She is an editing agent, and I listen very carefully to her suggestions. She really helped me make Miserere more marketable with her advice.
What is your next project? Just a little tease would be wonderful.
I do have two other novels planned for the Katharoi series: Dolorosa: A Winter's Dream and Bellum Dei: Blood of the Lambs. Dolorosa will be Rachael’s story and continue with Woerld’s bastions and their war against the Fallen. Bellum Dei will be the story of Lucian’s foundling Lindsay. The fourth novel is untitled at this time and is still in the planning phases. It will return the focus once more to Lucian and will be the culmination of the bastions’ war with the Fallen. In other words, we will come full circle.
Currently, I’m working on a novel that has nothing to do with the Katharoi series. This one is tentatively entitled The Garden; however, I feel that title will change. I’m really excited about the story, though.
In The Garden, it is the summer of 1348 on the Iberian Peninsula. Guillermo Ramírez, a blacksmith conscripted into the King's army, takes refuge in the ruined garden of an abandoned monastery only to find himself among magical creatures. An ancient daimon has trapped other men in the garden and forces them to build a temple from which she draws strength. She will break the barrier between her land of fey and the world of men unless Guillermo can solve the mystery of his past so he can forge the key that will lock Urraca from humanity forever.
How exciting ~ I can’t wait to read Miserere! Congratulations on your first book.
About Teresa: Raised in a small town, Teresa Frohock learned to escape to other worlds through the fiction collection of her local library. She eventually moved away from Reidsville and lived in Virginia and South Carolina before returning to North Carolina, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. Teresa has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Miserere: An Autumn Tale is her debut novel. You can find Teresa on her website; twitter; Goodreads; and her blog.
Bloggers/Reviewers – Teresa’s book is available on Net Galley if you are interested in reading and reviewing this debut novel.
Readers - Teresa’s agent Weronika is offering one signed copy up for giveaway on her blog. Hop on by!