The Christian writing community is like family, and as such I get to meet and connect with lots of authors. Teresa Tysinger is one of those authors I’ve met through various online connections. It is my joy and honor to present her to you today.
Teresa Tysinger is an author of Southern Contemporary Romance inspired by grace. She writes on the fringes of being a wife, mom, and full-time communications and public relations professional. Teresa is a member of ACFW, the Association for Women in Communications, and the Religion Communicators Council. She loves coffee, traveling, and prides herself in knowing and loving almost every genre of music. Born in Hawaii, raised in Florida, and educated in North Carolina, she now resides in Texas with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Connect with her through her:
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Teresa with rapid-fire.
CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
TT: The darker the better!
CC: Print or E-book?
TT: I love the feel of holding a book in my hands.
CC: Cat or Dog Person?
TT: I love both cats and dogs, but there is something so sweet and special about the bond between humans and dogs. It feels blessed somehow!
CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?
TT: The older I get, the more of a morning person I’m becoming!
CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
TT: I appreciate something about every season, but Fall will always have a special place in my heart. I love everything about it!
Now for a couple of fun personal questions:
CC: What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?
TT: When I was going through confirmation in the sixth grade, we had to pick a life verse. I chose Isaiah 41:10 but have no doubt that God gave it to me because He knew I would need it throughout my life. I struggle with fear and anxiety from time to time and this verse brings me such comfort: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
CC: That is such a comforting verse, and it is so easy for us to succumb to the fears and anxieties this world brings.
CC: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
TT: I remember being a young girl, maybe ten or so, and reading Anne of Green Gables. I couldn’t imagine anything more exciting than using words to transport people to faraway lands and introduce readers to characters they’d otherwise never meet, just like L.M. Montgomery had done for me. It was thrilling! I started with small stories written in journals and dreamed of one day publishing something other people would actually get to read.
CC: And now you are there! What an exciting and wild ride.
CC: What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
TT: I am constantly searching for ways to balance writing with all of life’s other tasks: my full-time day job, being a mom and wife, self-care, church and volunteering, etc. Some days I want to ignore everything else and just write without distraction, but those opportunities are few and far between. Honestly, every time I type The End, I’m amazed I was able to find time to do it.
CC: Amen. I’m convinced balance is a myth that we’ll never achieve.
Let’s talk about your debut release, Say It’s For Good, book 4 in the Laurel Cove Romance Series.
Is a decade enough time to heal old wounds?
Professional chef Leah Spencer is level-headed, responsible, and practical—making it an easy decision to move home to Laurel Cove, North Carolina to care for her ailing father. All he wants is for his only child to find love and partnership like he had with his late wife—before he leaves her all alone. Desperate to ease his worries, as well as her own, she breaks character and creates a fake relationship with the one man in town who likely wants nothing to do with her. And the one man she’s ever truly loved.
Ladies’ man Jasper Bowdon has successfully avoided commitment ever since his heart was broken a decade ago. Casual dating, however, had grown tiresome and he’d recently decided to take a break from women to finally figure out what he really wants. Why, then, does he agree to a pretend relationship with the very woman who’d ruined him in the first place? And why is he left wondering if it could all be part of God’s plan to heal them both?
Love and friendship get a second chance in this final installment of the Laurel Cove Romance Series. Books in this series are stand-alone and can be read and enjoyed in any order.
CC: Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?
TT: It’s interesting to look back on my writing and realize that very often my favorite characters are those with supporting roles. The faithful aunt, the grumpy but wise neighbor, etc. In Say It’s For Good, this is definitely true with the heroine’s best friend Penny. For a while, I’ve wanted to write a best friend inspired by Suki from Gilmore Girls. Similarly, Penny is quirky, sharp-tongued and quick-witted, but compassionately honest at just the right times. I think she’s got some of the best lines in the novel and often says what I think readers will be thinking as they read.
CC: Oh that is too fun! Those side characters really do take on lives of their own at times.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
TT: More than any other story I’ve written, I struggled with Say It’s For Good. I found myself trudging through, sometimes setting it aside for weeks, not sure if I was simply distracted by other obligations or uninspired. More than once, I questioned if maybe this story wasn’t meant to be. Was I forcing it? Should I start over and consider a new plot? Finally, thanks to support and prayers from many family and friends, I managed to finish and sent it off (with a bit of trepidation) to beta readers.
The first reader who responded with feedback shed light on a mind-blowing realization. She identified with Leah, the heroine, who struggles throughout the story with a sometimes crippling fear that gets in the way of receiving blessings and, ultimately, love. BOOM! It hit me that this is my own personal struggle and has been nearly my whole life. Anxiety has often left me frozen, unsure of how to proceed and, seeking shelter in situations and relationships I’ve labeled as “safe.” No wonder I struggled so much with writing this story, since its themes hit so close to home.
Because of this, I can’t help but wonder if the obstacles I encountered along this writing journey were the enemy’s way of blocking God’s truth of hope and grace and healing that I believe ultimately come through by the last chapter. Now, a book that felt like a chore to write feels more like an exercise in faith. More often than not, faith is messy and its trajectory is full of ups and downs. I’m so thankful for the journey through this particular story!
CC: What a powerful testimony to how God uses the stories to no just affect our readers, but us as well.
TT: I’d love to be Penny, Leah’s best friend! It would be fun to be a professional chef, but I also love that she always says what she thinks even if it might raise some eyebrows or get some laughs. She seems to instantly make friends and is unwavering in her loyalty to the friends she does have. As someone who has a very simple (okay, maybe nonexistent) style, I think it would also be fun to live in her quirky, colorful wardrobe for a while!
She sounds like a fun person to be for a while.
Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.
TT: My husband and I recently added taking a tour of Christmas markets around Europe to our bucket list, including stops in places like Bavaria, France, and Germany. They seem to have the perfect mix of tradition, holidays, and fairytales!
CC: That might just have to be added to my want-to-do list. It sounds fascinating, and I adore Christmas.
You can purchase Teresa’s book at Amazon.
Where would you like to travel if you could do so without cost?