The “Places” in Someplace Familiar

We’re a few days in to the month of Someplace Familiar‘s FIRST BOOK BIRTHDAY! It’s fun to sit and remember the story that became so dear to me over the years of writing, editing, and promoting. I thought it would be fun to take a few minutes to remember one of my favorite places in the book: The Laurel Cove Inn. (Promise, no spoilers!)

The inn is Livy’s first stop once she pulls into the quaint mountain town of Laurel Cove, NC. Sitting in her car fresh on the interstate, she gives us a sneak peek at what she sees.

Livy, the heroine from the southern romance novel Someplace Familiar, details her first glimpse of the quaint Laurel Cove Inn.

Interesting behind-the-book detail: the Laurel Cove Inn is based on a REAL PLACE! Laurel Cove is inspired by the hometown of my best friend from college, Burnsville, NC. The Nu-Wray Inn sits on the square of Burnsville and directly inspired the inn in the book. While I’ve not been to the Nu-Wray in over 15 years, its charm and beauty have stuck with me all this time. Here’s a picture of the actual Nu-Wray Inn…

The Nu-Wray Inn in Burnsville, NC inspired the Laurel Cove Inn in the novel, Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger

Isn’t it gorgeous? That white siding! The brick columns! The “dainty” iron stoop on the second floor window! Be still my country-loving heart.

If you’ve read Someplace Familiar, what is your favorite part of the inn? Which scene that takes place at the inn is your favorite? I’d love to know!

I’ve also had some readers ask if the Laurel Cove Inn’s beloved innkeeper, Aunt Bea, will show up in any future stories. She made her way to the top of the list of many readers’ favorite secondary characters (and mine, too!). I have no doubt you’ll be seeing more of Aunt Bea one day. Wink, wink.

Stay tuned for more fun memories, favorite reviews, behind-the-book exclusives, and maybe even some fun giveaways throughout this birthday month.

Not yet read Someplace Familiar?
Get your copy HERE today!

250+ Author Tips (Plus, a Giveaway!)


“Would you stop being so stubborn?!”

I uttered these words under my breath during my last editing session. My heroine was being particularly stubborn to do what I wanted her to in the scene.

What? You didn’t know fictional characters have a mind of their own? It’s true! If you’re like me, characters take on the personality you give them in the beginning and, before you know it, can take steps in directions you never saw coming. Say things that surprise you. Lead the story down unexpected paths.

When I find myself in these situations, as a still-learning newbie author, I turn to the experts. Those who’ve been in the trenches and come out the other side wiser and willing to share their knowledge.

Over the years, I’ve collected hundreds of tips for authors on everything from…

  • planning your next novel
  • plot structure
  • character development
  • writing for your genre audience
  • self-editing
  • author platform building
  • working with agents/publishers
  • developing deep POV
  • resources like stock photos (covers, promos, etc.)
  • self-publishing
  • creating an author website
  • author encouragement
  • grammar and mechanics
  • writing descriptions
  • showing vs. telling
  • writing emotion
  • story arcs
  • and much more!

Leave Your Ego Off the Page

My heroine was trying to show me a more natural arc for herself. The conflict I had her in helped develop a goal that I hadn’t seen before. After reading Character Development: 9 Tips for Convincing Arcs, a plan to proceed in writing this character became clearer. Whew!

Do you remember the famous line from A League of Their Own? “There’s no crying in baseball!” Tom Hank’s character is the rough-edged manager of an all-female baseball team. His players emotions were getting in the way of focusing on the game.

I say, “There’s no ego in writing!”

When you approach the blank page assuming you know everything there is to know about writing a best seller, you sabotage your chances at achieving that very thing. What do actual best selling authors have to say about writing? Learn how they write. How they earn faithful readers. What they do when their characters get stubborn and your momentum stalls.

Leave your ego off the page and your book will thank you.

Where to Get Help

I have two degrees in English. Thus, my shelves at home are full of books on craft, theory, etc. I’ve even collected a few favorites in recent years like this oneBut, let’s face it. These days when we’re writing on various devices and constantly connected to the internet, it’s convenient to have resources just one click away.

I’d like to think we’re friends, you and I. So, I’ve gone ahead and put together lots of references for you in one easy place.


Follow my Author Tips board on Pinterest for 250+ (and growing each day!) excellent tips and tricks for being the best author you can be.

Sharing Is Caring (& Pays off!)

What are some of your favorite resources? A favorite book, website, Facebook group, or other tool for writers? I’d love to add more pins to my board….and we all get smarter.

SHARE your favorite resource in the comment below. One reader who comments will win a $10 Amazon gift card!  Share this post using the social share links below (tell me you did so in a separate comment) and earn an extra entry. Winner announced Tuesday, February 21.

This giveaway has ended. Thanks!

So, next time your characters get stubborn, a new plot starts forming in your mind, or your author platform seems to be falling flat, FEAR NOT AUTHOR FRIEND! You’ve now got an arsenal of help right at your fingertips. Go forth and write!

Keep Reading!

A Pantster’s Guide to Planning
Hand Me the Wrench: A Writer’s Toolbox
What’s in a Genre: Choosing Your Genre Niche


Casting for the Movies…

Do you ever imagine who would play your favorite book characters in the movie adaptation? Me, too!

Now, I realize there’s a split camp between those who don’t mind seeing what the author imagines her characters to look like and those who want to be left to their own imaginations. I’m stepping out on a limb today and sharing with you who I’d cast in the main roles in my upcoming short story, After All These Years.
AATYpromo_casting.jpgAfter you read the story on November 1, let me know if you think I got the casting right, or who else you’d cast as the leads in the Hallmark movie version.

If you’re not signed up for my newsletter yet, it’s not too late to do so in time for the November 1 release of After All These Years, exclusive to subscribers.


If you’ve ever imagine who would play some of your favorite book characters, tell us which ones and which actors in the comments!


Do you like casting the movie roles of your favorite book characters? @TMTysinger does. Come play along! — TWEET THIS!

Sneak Peek: After All These Years

Want a sneak peek at After All These Years, the first short story in the Blue Ridge University Series, releasing November 1?


Can’t wait to read the rest of this sweet short story about Maggie, an author with a crush years in the making? Then make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter! Subscribers get free short stories every month.


Share about the Blue Ridge University Series and After All These Years and you could be the winner of a fun fall favorites giveaway. Details at the bottom of this post.

Hunting & Gathering Ideas


I’ve written a few times about inspiration. I guess it makes sense that it’s on my mind when I’m in the early stages of a new WIP. Lately, I’ve been inundated with inspiration. I’m like a hunter and gatherer…sniffing out possible prey on a gentle breeze, pouncing when the time is right, and storing the day’s reward away for safe keeping. Writing a new book is like planning for the unknown. You’d better have provisions for a variety of scenarios.

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my latest (and in some cases odd-ball) research methods and inspired ideas. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll start to see wispy fragments of a story start to take shape in your mind. It’s the greatest joy of the creative process! The risk is getting stuck in this fun phase of possibility.

  • Google/Library — I needed a name for the town’s doctor…something with roots to the area. So I Googled “Appalachian Surnames” and browsed history records until the right one hit me. This is more traditional research for facts that help make your story credible.
  • IMG_1356Listening to Radio — I heard a song that totally spoke to how my heroine might be feeling…suddenly, she became a lover of classic rock music. (Tip: if you use your voice recording app while driving, be prepared to decipher your own notes!)
  • Asked Around — I recently took to Facebook to ask followers of my author page to help me name the dog my heroine adopts along her hike. I couldn’t decide, and they had some great ideas emerged!
  • Recycle — While outlining book two, I thumped a finger on my chin waiting for an idea to strike for a certain scenario. Then, BAM! I remembered an idea I had for the last book that ended up on the cutting room floor (and in my idea notebook). It’ll fit great in this story. Done and done!
  • Be Aware at All Times — You never know when you will randomly run across something that stops you in your tracks and magically screams at you, “That’s my character!” Scrolling through Instagram a while back, I stumbled on a photo of a girl that instantly became inspiration for how my heroine looks in a final scene.


  • Pay Attention to Detail and Document — I am one of those people often taken by nature. I’ve been known to step outside into my yard in the early morning or at dusk and just take in the details of a beautiful sunrise or sunset. As a writer who greatly values offering my readers rich setting/scenery, I have learned not to trust my own memory when writing something from nature. Instead, I snap lots of photos of anything I find inspiring — sunset, blade of grass with dew on it, the fur of my dog up close, the perfect foam on a latte, I’ve even been known to ask my husband if I can snap a picture of his eye ball super close up so I can refer to it when writing the description of a character’s eyes. You never know when you’ll need a subject to study for just the perfect description.


  • Study the Experts — Of course, don’t copy. But I have lots of earmarks and flags sticking out of the pages of some of my favorite authors’ books marking passages that really spoke to me. Thick, memorable descriptions that drew me in to a scene. A paragraph that helped make a character 3-dimensional to me. I pull those out when I need help being inspired to do better.

Where do you find inspiration for ideas?
If you’re a writer, what’s the most unique way you collect ideas?




Tips for hunting and gathering ideas for your next book! — Tweet This

Good Graces: Inspiration Board


During the process of writing Good Graces, I have kept a Pinterest board of images that inspired the setting, buildings, characters, and “ambiance” of the story. I am simply in love with this fictional place…reminiscent of my time spent attending college 35 minutes north of Asheville. I thought it would be fun to share some of these with you…and begin introducing you to the quaint little mountain town of Laurel Cove, North Carolina. Follow this board, and many others I have fun with, here. Continue reading

Naming a Memorable Character


When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter over seven years ago, nothing made me more anxious than choosing her name. Not even the labor. With this one choice we were filling in a lifetime of place cards, registration forms, labels on prescriptions, beginnings to love letters, wedding invitations, “Hey, ____!” and on, and on and on. To me and my husband, choosing the name for her was everything. After much debate, we peacefully settled on Emma Grace. It fits her, somehow. And we are thankful that at least this parenting decision was a good one. Continue reading