Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog tour with Teresa Frohock, author of Miserere

Today I have Teresa Frohock for One Question blog tour. She is the author of Miserere, which comes out on July 5th. I hope you enjoy the post. She will be answering, "What fantasy novels inspired you to initially write in that genre?"
This is going to be utter blasphemy, but it wasn’t The Lord of the Rings. Frankly, I have YET to get through all three novels. I enjoyed The Hobbit, and I love Viggo Morg--, er, the Lord of the Rings movies, but The Lord of the Rings wasn’t the fantasy that opened my soul.
It was Grendel. You see, I have loved Beowulf from the first time I laid eyes on the opening lines. It was that combination of poetry and epic adventure that really sang to me. Then I read John Gardner’s Grendel and spent my entire adolescence trying to find another novel like it.
I didn’t understand everything Gardner was writing about when I was fifteen, but there was something in that story that called to me. Maybe it was because I was always the misfit and felt like the monster on the outside looking in, waving my hands and saying, “No, no! It’s not like that at all! Pay attention to the truth!”
I think I’ve read Grendel twenty times since then. It’s a comfort novel for me, and I love what Gardner shows us about perspective and the power of storytelling. I knew that if I wrote stories, this was what I wanted to write.
Two other novels that greatly impacted my early love of fantasy were The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip and Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. I loved the way the stories were so simple on the surface, but if you dropped a pebble of thought into the pool and looked a little deeper, then you could see the layers the authors’ had placed within their words. That was what I wanted to write with Miserere. I wanted to write a story that would appeal to people looking for a casual read with a resounding good tale, but I wanted to have layers in the story too.
Whether I was successful or not will be known soon enough. I just want people to enjoy Lucian’s story. However, don’t be afraid to look a little deeper, you might find that I’ve buried a gem or two within the prose.
What about you? If you’re a writer, tell us what books inspire you to write in your chosen genre. If you’re a reader, what novels draw you to your favorite genre?
The next interview in the blog tour will be at Arya’s Sea of Pages where I’ll be talking about the characters that surprised me in MISERERE. I hope you’ll join me there.

Here is about the author:
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.
Teresa can be found most often at her blog and web site. Every now and then, she heads over to Tumblr and sends out Dark Thoughts, links to movies and reviews that catch her eye. You can also follow Teresa on Twitter and join her author page on Facebook.
If you want to learn more about the book, watch the trailer below or read the first four chapters here.


  1. I was never forced to read Grendel when I was in high school (and I'll admit that I never really picked it up on my own) but the story does sound interesting. I was more into Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice, haha.

    Hmm, I jump around in genres but young adult has always been my favorite. I guess I gravitate towards it since I can connect so strongly to the characters...which makes sense since I'm a teen myself xD

  2. I was inspired to write because of "Lord of the Rings", although, probably not quite the way you'd expect. After reading the first book my only reaction was "This is complete crap! I can do better" and ta-da!, I started developing my own story. I put it down for several years (life has a way of getting in the way sometimes). Years later though, I fell in love with reading the Harry Potter series...well the first couple anyway. After reading the entire series I again had a "Wow, this is crap! I can do better" moment. Don't get me wrong, 99% of that series is great...good characters, great world-building, etc. The problem I had with it is that the villain is a complete waste. Seriously? Voldemort. My 98lbs cousin Katie could kick his @$$. I think its a combination of it being written by a UK author (they scare easy) and being written by a woman. Female authors create villains that talk a big game, but crumble the instant the hero shows up. Rarely does the hero even have to draw his sword before the villain is throwing up the white flag of defeat. Male authors write villains that talk very little but DO a lot. They tend to be crueler, more manipulative and downright frightening. Not trying to sound sexist but it's true. Female authors tend to have much more intricate relationships in their characters and the bonds formed in the story are much more solid than their male counterparts but they still fall short in the bad guy department. Then again, Tolkien had that problem as well...maybe Tolkien was a woman :P Come on, seriously a giant eyeball as the big scary bad guy *yawn* Don't challenge him to a staring contest, you're sure to lose but that's pretty much the extent of his power.


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