We continue the Scriggler Author Spotlight series with a quick interview with Teresa McLaughlin — the author of fantasy/science fiction novel The Love of the Tayamni.
5 Sentences about you.
The most defining characteristic about Teresa is her ability to change and assimilate. Growing up in Tupelo, MS in a poor, uneducated family, wracked by the abusiveness of a mentally ill father, Teresa has struggled to define herself in terms of the artistic culture of the West. She acquired a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/computer science and a master’s in Information Assurance, while at the same time, taking time away from careers in Information Technology to pursue artistic endeavors. She has lived in St. Louis, New York City, Amsterdam, the Haag, San Francisco, and now Portland, Oregon, and has worked professionally as an opera singer, country-western singer/songwriter, computer programmer, and cyber-security specialist. Her latest effort is to write an autobiographical memoir, told in terms of a science fiction series.
5 Sentences about the book.
In 1962, two hostile alien races, converge and ally with each other to obtain control of the Solar System. The only thing standing in their way are the Tayamni, benevolent aliens, active at Earth for over 200,000 years. Journey with Batresh, a young Tayamni woman, from an ancient settlement on the Nile to Tupelo, Mississippi. She is sent to 1962 to protect the life of a boy, crucial to the survival of humanity. As she grapples to understand the people and culture around her, a human man unwittingly helps her at a critical moment and falls in love.
5 Sentences about one of the books’ characters.
The main character, Batresh, grows up at 3800 BCE, in an ancient settlement on the Nile. She is sent to 1962 to protect the life of a boy. As member of a technically advanced race, informational downloads have given her the ability to speak colloquial American English and to understand historical events that have led up to the establishment of the culture she finds herself in. However, she does not feel emotionally or psychologically prepared for the task. Having been brought up in a Matriarchal culture, and to taught to respect life and the force of love, the most powerful force in the multiverse, she is shocked by the behavior and prejudices of the people she encounters in the mid-twentieth century Southern United States.
Why do you think people should read it?
So many science fiction stories are post-apocalyptic, pessimistic views of the future. I agree with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, who said, "If we cannot learn...to take a positive delight in...our own kind...we do not deserve to go out into space..." I believe that the future of humanity lies in our evolution to become a more loving, nurturing species. If we fail to evolve in this way, we will continue to engage in endless war and will destroy ourselves. In “The Love of the Tayamni,” I hope to show a Universe where the force of Love is dominant, where all kinds of people and creatures are respected and included. My main character, Batresh, travels to times where racial minorities, sexual orientations, and genders are discriminated against and abused. While in those time periods, we see human hatred from the view of an outsider, as a weapon that can be used and manipulated to destroy us and the planet we live on.
Who is your ideal reader?
I think Star Trek fans will enjoy the series. Readers who wish to reflect on the real effects that hatred, discrimination, and exclusion have on our culture will be interested in how the various stories evolve. Even though self-destructive human traits are exposed in the book, I strive to tell the stories in an optimistic, hopeful narrative, where human evolution towards a more inclusive, loving culture wins out in the end.
Other authors you admire — especially contemporary. Anyone stands out in particular?
Arthur C. Clarke, Octavia Butler, J.R.R. Tolkien
How are you approaching the promotion of the book so far?
Posting illustrations and links to Scriggler excerpts on Twitter seems to help generate interest. I also post the same in various groups on Facebook.
What resources are you using, what events are you attending?
Currently, Scriggler, Inkitt, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Cover design and editing — who did you use and how was the experience?
I did the designs myself, by creating avatars and scenes in virtual reality, and photographing them. It is quite a lot of fun.
Favourite author/publication on Scriggler.
Sandra Woodiwiss, “I Never Write about Vampires”
If anyone is interested in doing a review — how should they approach you?
Via email, Teresa.email@example.com, is best.
Teresa's profile on Scriggler:
The Love of the Tayamni — a limited number of free copies is available on Inkitt: https://www.inkitt.com/stories/scifi/80439?ref=v_8826754e-5f49-4c95-8fe8-b485fb63c5d2&started_reading=true&utm_campaign=dark&utm_medium=author&utm_source=dark&utm_term=555afcc4-ccc0-4046-a25f-24d013f4da10