Thank you for joining me for another author interview. Please help me welcome Tegan Wren to the blog today :) She’s pulled up a comfy seat and has agreed to let me ask her a few questions about herself and her book. I think you’ll enjoy learning more about her and her book. And feel free to comment about her amazing cover. I just love it!!!
Afterward, don’t forget to click on the link to enter her giveaway :)
Let’s get started…
If you were appearing at an author event, how would the headline in the local newspaper read?
Meet the Author of Novel about Infertility and Find out Why She’s Donating Half Her Royalties to Charity
What’s the best thing about your kitchen?
It’s open to the living area so I can see my kids playing or watch a movie while I make dinner.
Love open spaces, too. Do you prefer creamy or crunchy peanut butter?
Crunchy! Do they still make the non-crunchy kind?
lol…thank goodness they do because I can’t eat crunchy. Tell us your favorite part of the writing process.
There’s nothing like finishing the first draft. Even though I know it’s far from finished, there’s tremendous satisfaction in being finished with the very first version of the story.
I love choosing character names. Tell us how you came up with your character’s names in INCONCEIVABLE.
I knew I wanted a cute non-modern name for my protagonist. I was experimenting with older names, and Hatty was the one that stuck. Because I think Hatty is a somewhat unusual name in modern times, I wanted the prince to have a very traditional, Anglo name. The primary setting of my book is the fictional European country of Toulene. Though it was founded by people from Britain, it is a true melting pot and it located on land currently occupied by Belgium and The Netherlands. The diversity of the people and culture is represented in some of the other names of the royal family: John’s brother has the French name, Henri. Their father is Leopold, a traditional royal name in Belgium. So, I did a lot of online searches for things like “Belgium royal family names.” That’s also how I came up with the royal family’s last name: Meinrad. It’s a royal surname from Belgium. I picked Tilda for the name of Hatty’s friends because her family came to Toulene from Kenya. In Tilda’s back story, her parents worked very hard to embrace Toulene; they came there from Kenya. Naming their daughter Tilda was part of their effort to do that. Finally, naming Hatty’s friend Plato was easy. It’s a character name I’ve had in my back pocket for years. I just think it’s a cool name for a hip guy.
Describe your book tweet style…that’s right, you have 140 characters!
Infertility interrupts a royal couple’s happily ever after. But they find a happy ending far better than they ever imagined. #romance
Nicely done :) What’s something about yourself that not many people know?
I was a pageant contestant. I placed in the top ten of a state pageant that was a preliminary to Miss America. I sang and played the piano for my talent. It was really fun and not as crazy as people think it is. Most of the gals are very nice and down to earth. After I did well at the state pageant, I had a lot of people encouraging me to try to win a local pageant the following year so I could go to state again. But I decided to drop out of pageants and marry my long-time sweetheart. I made the right choice.
That’s an awesome accomplishment. Love it! What’s the one scene from INCONCEIVABLE that stands out in your mind as being your favorite to write?
I really enjoyed writing the last scene. It was so much fun to create an ending that was the perfect one for my couple. I love everything about it. Hatty and John have come full circle, both of them having made significant sacrifices for each other. They’re in a new place about to embark on a new life together. They’ve achieved their happy ending, though it’s quite different than anything they’d ever imagined. Throughout the book, Hatty’s quite restless, but here we see her settling into a role and place where she’s perfectly at home. Even though Hatty struggles with her faith, as many people do when they experience infertility, she’s always had a sense that there was a path for her life and that things would work out, even if it wasn’t exactly in the way she thought they would. The final scene shows her doing more than accepting that; she’s embracing it.
Describe your writing space.
Mostly, I sit on my bed and type on the laptop. I’m fortunate to have a spacious bedroom and bed. My two kitties are always in my lap or close by. There are windows where I can see trees, and there’s a ceiling fan that I like to run in the summer.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I began doing creative writing in elementary school. In middle school, I was one of a handful of students selected for a creative writing class. So, I suppose writing has always been a part of my life. But it wasn’t until three years ago when we moved and I had the chance to reimagine my career that I began writing fiction seriously. The change of scenery, the mountain air where we live, and the freedom of not having a day job (at the time) made it possible for me to begin writing my first manuscript.
Why should we read INCONCEIVABLE?
I’ve had several readers comment on the fact that this is very different from most of the books they’ve read. The first part of the book follows the fairy tale romance of Hatty, an American college student, and Prince John, heir to the throne of a small European country. The second half of the book is about their struggle with infertility. I like to think of my novel as a mashup of romance, chick lit, and women’s fiction, so if any (or all) of those genres appeal to you, you’re likely to enjoy my book. There are plenty of lighthearted moments, and a few that I hope will make you laugh, but there are also some grittier, darker moments as Hatty and John confront the painful realities of infertility. This is a medical challenge that invades a couple’s most private moments. It also robs people of one of their most fundamental assumptions: that they will be able to conceive children. My book does have a happy ending for Hatty and John, though it may not be the one you expect. So, I hope you read my book to experience a wide range of emotions, to gain insights into a condition that’s rarely covered at this depth in fiction, and to read a book that’s quite different than most you’ve read before.
Please share the first sentence in your book.
Suck it up, Hatty. (She’s talking to herself.)
What’s something about your heroine that you wish you had more of?
I wish I had a bit more moxie like Hatty. She’s a plain spoken gal from the Missouri Ozarks who tends to speak her mind, and doesn’t hold back, even when she’s around the royals. There’s something to admire about that.
Now your hero?
John is a good balance to Hatty’s directness. When he’s dealing with people and problems, he tends to be very diplomatic. I really admire that about him. I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m not as direct as Hatty, but I’m not always as diplomatic as John.
Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
My next romance will be a time travel story about an American woman who teaches French. While taking part in a reenactment at Versailles, she experiences a time slip and finds herself at the court of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. She soon finds she isn’t the only one from present day who has unwittingly gone back in time. Luke, an American doctor, is also there. The pair fall in love, but they face a difficult decision: stay in the past together or risk being separated by trying to go back to present day. The working title of this book is CHANDELIERS. I’m basically writing a story I want to read.
RANDOM FUN: FINISH THIS SENTENCE…
Two things on my bucket list that I hope to cross off are visiting Italy and meeting Prince William and Duchess Kate.
My best accomplishment of 2015 is getting my book published!
The next book on my reading list is Drown by Esther Dalseno.
The last thing I cooked was this horrible ham and cheese roll. It got scorched, and even though it tasted fine (the non-burnt parts), it looked terribly unappetizing.
As a kid I always read. My sixth grade teacher noted in a comment to the entire class that I always had a book in my hand. I’m just nerdy enough that I took this as a tremendous compliment.
My favorite hot beverage is coffee. Must. Have. Coffee.
I loved chatting with you Tegan and hope to have you back on the blog again :) Congrats on your book!!!
Enter to Win a
Signed Copy of INCONCEIVABLE!
Releasing Nov 16th, 2015
Curiosity Quills Press
A popular, young royal couple can’t produce an heir? INCONCEIVABLE!
When Ozarks native Hatty goes “whole hog” during karaoke, she catches the eye of Prince John. He isn’t what she expects the heir to a small European nation to be: he’s affable, witty, and isn’t put off by her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor. Their flirtation should be short lived, but a force stronger than fate—Hatty’s newspaper editor—assigns her to cover the royals. After spending time together, she and John soon begin dating, and Hatty finds herself making headlines instead of writing them.
But challenges loom that are even more complicated than figuring out how to mesh Hatty’s journalism career with life at Belvoir Palace. Hatty and John soon find themselves embroiled in an unusual sex scandal: they can’t produce an heir. Tabloids dub Hatty a “Barren-ess,” and the royals become irate. Hatty politely tells them to shove it. But beneath her confident exterior, she struggles to cope with a heartbreak that invades her most intimate moments with John. Pressured to choose between invasive medical procedures and abandoning John’s
claim to the throne, the couple feels trapped until a trip to Ethiopia shows them happy endings sometimes arrive long after saying “I do.”
He leaned closer and sang softly. I recognized the opening lyrics to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” His singing voice was soulful and sexy, and something deep inside me responded, making my heart beat a little faster.
He stopped and looked me in the eyes. “That song’s about someone who’s alone. But that’s not you. You’re too lovely to be lonely.”
A nervous laugh escaped my lips. “Are you kidding? Aren’t we sitting in a sanctuary for the lonely?”
“I don’t feel lonely right now.”
“Me either.” I blew into my mug, then took a sip. “Have you had one of these?”
“I don’t think so. What is it?”
“It’s called a chocolate kiss. It’s peppermint schnapps and hot cocoa.”
He reached over and picked up the steaming mug. His movement conveyed authority while his neat fingernails screamed uppity. They looked better than mine, damn it. After taking a long pull from the cup, he handed it back. Our fingers brushed together, sending a flash of heat through my body.
“Thanks for sharing a kiss with me,” he said, reaching over and lifting my chin.
Our eyes met, and I couldn’t tear myself away from his gaze. Yowza. Was he going to kiss me? Did I want him to?
“You guys know each other?”
I flinched at Plato’s words―I hadn’t seen him coming toward us―and pulled back. I sloshed a healthy dollop of my drink onto Farmer Joe’s pants. We both reached for the stack of napkins, but I got there first.
“Sorry. Here, let me,” I sputtered, dabbing at the wet patch.
I blotted along his pants, and my hand moved a little too close to the inside of his leg. A burning sensation rose up behind my ears. “Umm. I’ll just let you do it.”
I dropped the wad of damp napkins onto his open palm. Glancing at his face, I saw a half smile. I closed my eyes and touched my forehead, gently rubbing the area above my eyebrows as I always did when embarrassment overwhelmed me.
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The best compliment Tegan Wren ever received came from her sixth grade teacher: “You always have a book in your
Guided by her love of the creative process, Tegan grew up acting in theatre productions and writing poetry, short stories, and plays. She turned her eye to writing about real life when she worked as a journalist, producing reports for various radio and television stations in medium and large markets in the Midwest and also filing some stories for a major national news network. Wren has both a Bachelor’s of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Communications. After completing her graduate degree, Tegan had the opportunity to teach journalism courses at a major state university. She absolutely loved training the next generation of journalists.
Tegan’s thankful that she’s had the opportunity to travel overseas, and uses those adventures to inform her writing. She also draws inspiration from her own struggles, joys, and other life experiences. Tegan and her husband, Patrick, experienced infertility for five years before becoming parents through adoption. Because she understands the financial stress of the infertility journey, Tegan is donating half the royalties from her book to Baby Quest Foundation. This charity awards grants to people all over the U.S. for fertility treatments. Tegan is thrilled to use her story to help other people find their happily ever after.