Beth Teliho is a one of a kind author/blogger. She never minces words and continues to keep us laughing with her witty humor and intrigued by her edgy topics. We’re honored to say that she’s a blogging bestie and proud to announce that she’s published her first novel. We tried to come up with cohesive questions but ultimately decided on taking turns. And now for all of you Two Voices, One Thought readers and Teliho fans alike, we will pick apart the brain of the master that created the delightful, the delectable, the one and only… Baron. LOL
Title: Order of Seven / Author: Beth Teliho
Eighteen-year-old Devi Bennett is surrounded by mysteries: her unknown heritage, a recurring dream about an African tribal ceremony, an inexplicable attachment to a certain tree and a psychic ability she’ll never understand—unless she finds her biological parents.
Things take a shocking turn when she meets Baron, an intense and alluring energy healer who receives prophetic dreams which all seem connected to her. Devi must rely on an empath, a seer, and Baron to help research her roots to discover who she is and what she is capable of. But when Baron’s visions lead to an ancient legend that may link to her birthright, Devi learns her gift is more imperative than she thought imaginable.
Equal parts suspenseful and sexy, philosophical and adventurous, Order of Seven delivers a story that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about the hands that carry fate.
Pages: 248 / Genre: Paranormal Mystery
(Mathair) Bethie, we can’t tell you how excited we are to have you on Two Voices….One Thought. We’ve been such fans of you and your blog: Writer B is Me that to be able to interview you about your newly released book, Order of Seven is like a dream come true. And now the interrogation. Mwa-ha-ha. So, we have to gush on Order of Seven. Can we say… unbefu**inglievable!
Tell us a little bit about how this story came to you; what was the spark that started the fire? (Without giving away any spoilers, of course.)
(BT) It started with the desire to write a story with a subtle undercurrent about mans’ responsibility to the environment. But I wanted to do it in a way that whispered it, and wasn’t the main point of the novel. Also, In much the way you “accidently” learn historical facts while reading Gabaldon’s Outlander series, I wanted to pepper Order of Seven with factual elements that I then added my creative spin to. With the message in mind, combined with the historical truths, Order of Seven was born.
(Inion) Your story was heavily influenced by archaeology. Is that something you’ve always been interested in?
(BT) Yes! I’m a science junkie, but archaeology in particular spurs my imagination. The fact that there are so many sites that are still a mystery just begs for a writer’s attention.
(Inion) Order of Seven has such a beautiful interpretation of family; very much outside the scope of the norm. Was that a theme that you wanted inherent throughout the novel?
(BT) Not at first, not intentionally, but it sort of evolved that way. I think definition of family, and feelings of acceptance not just in your family, but in society in general are issues true to me, so they squirmed their way into the story regardless.
(Mathair) Beth, the MC Devi is such an incredible young woman with powerful inner strengths, incredible physical and mental gifts as well as humanistic frailties that are endearing. Tell us the influence behind this mega-heroine.
(BT) I wanted someone true to how I see the current teen generation, and that is smart, savvy, strong, informed, funny, outspoken, empathetic, and brave. I know they have their unique issues ahead of them, as we all did, but they’re truly little super humans. However, in addition to being this dynamic modern teen, Devi is isolated, confused, and really pissed about it. That’s a volatile mixture, which is why I fought for her language to stay “salty”. I wanted to mirror her anger while being realistic.
(Mathair) While reading the reviews the one thing that stood out, (besides the obvious which was that the book was unbelievable) is the word philosophical which was also in the synopsis. Tell us why this was so important to the book and you.
(BT) It’s important to me because I wanted people to question what they thought they knew about how our world works in reference to religion and history. I wanted readers to leave the book with the seed planted that there is no One Right Way, in my humble opinion. The attitude “my way or the highway” leads to nothing but disgruntlement and war. As a species, we’re smarter than that. I hope. I think it’s important for acceptance, empathy, compassion, and understanding to recognize and respect that people have different religious beliefs, and that’s okay.
(Inion) Her brother was a favorite of mine. Having a close relationship with my little brother, I find myself gravitating to stories with strong sibling ties, built on love and loyalty. Tell us a little bit about how this brother-sister duo came to life for you.
(BT) From day one, this story orbited around a brother and sister. I’m fascinated with sibling connections, specifically (SPOILER ALERT) twins, and then add to that his life “sentence” to protect her from who she is, and the fact that he felt everything she felt….it was just too delicious to pass up.
(Mathair) I guess this should have been the first question, but did you decide to traditionally publish, independently publish or self-pub? And for those reading who are just starting out please explain why you chose this and the advantages of doing so.
(BT) I never even considered pursuing traditional publishing. It just seemed too restrictive and time-consuming. Not to say I never will, but it wasn’t right for me with this novel. I think traditional publishing is having to evolve and re-think how they will work amongst the tsunami of successful indie authors. When I first learned of the different ways to publish, the thought of doing it myself excited me. I mean, even the word Indie is inherently cool as shit, right?
(Mathair) The story takes place in your great state of Texas. (Hell yeah!) But, it goes far beyond those borders and takes the reader all the way to the dark continent of Africa. The two are completely different worlds that immediately jump off the pages. How much research went into the different settings?
(BT) A TON of research went into the settings, as well as the factual elements. I read journals written by people who’d been to these places, I watched YouTube videos of native tribesman, I scoured pages from tourist sites, and Wiki and Google were my best friends. Additionally, I kept most of my notes and research papers from college, where I degreed in Environmental Science. This proved to be very helpful when talking about energy, geology, and astronomy – to name a few.
(Inion) There are so many vibrant cultures woven beautifully throughout the storyline of Order of Seven. How much research did you put into that aspect as well as the folklore that went along with them?
(BT) The tribes a purely fictional and came from mah brain, but some of the cultural lore was factual. I spent a lot of time combing the Internet for mythology and legends that would serve my plot, but sometimes it was the research that inspired plot lines!
(Mathair) Being Irish, your title intrigued us immediately! Seven is such an important number, not only in the Celtic world but in many other cultures and religions. How did you ultimately decide on the title?
(BT) I know seven is special to you, too! (cough-ThePerfectSeven- cough) Funny, the title was originally Tree of Life, but through my research I kept finding a connection with the number seven, particularly in cultural beliefs and artifacts, and these connections drove the story. It got downright uncanny many times! I would think, hmmm maybe Baron should get a vision of the Orion constellation, so I’d research it and then find Orion is made up of seven stars. This kind of thing happened ALL THE TIME. When I finally finished my first draft, I knew Tree of Life was no longer the perfect fit, so I tossed around Order of Seven and it stuck.
(Inion) The paranormal features in Order of Seven are all influenced by organic energy, which is tantamount with the “enviro-friendly” message of its story. Organic energy is a belief that is practiced more commonly nowadays. What are your thoughts on energy and the correlation it has between humans and nature?
(BT) Quite frankly, I’m just fascinated by it and wanted organic energy to be a part of this story. I wanted the characters to rely on unconventional means for healing as well as how they see the world, which emphasized the “everything’s connected” message.
(Mathair) The cover is stunning; almost appearing like animal hide, very natural. Tell us a little bit about the cover and the artist.
(BT) My artist is Jenny from Seedlings Design Studio (seedlingsonline.com), and she’s the bomb dot com! We went through several different mock-ups based on my input, but they just didn’t work. Then I realized I was going the wrong direction with it, so I went back and said let’s start over. Thankfully, she didn’t kill me and got right to work with my new ideas. The cover you see is the first thing she sent me. When I saw it I just knew it was the one. It’s eye catching, and organic, and ancient, and ominous, and cool. ;)
(Inion) Nature is portrayed in a reverent manner in Order of Seven. Are you an advocate for the environment?
(BT) I am, very much so, but I’m not perfect. I don’t want people to think I’m driving around in a car that runs on vegetable oil, drinking my juice dinner while wearing hemp clothes. Hahaha I do what I can, just like most people do, but I really do believe in the power of positive energy, and the importance of nature for our lives now and in the future.
(INM) What’s next for Beth Teliho?
(BT) So many things I don’t even know where to start! I’m working on a children’s book about “beating worries” (coping with childhood anxiety), and I also have the urge to write for the younger YA crowd – like middle school age. And, perhaps a sequel (or companion) to Order of Seven will happen, but I’m waiting for the characters to get back to me on that. ;)
*We cannot wait to see what this incredible lady comes up with next. We have purchased a copy of her book: Order of Seven, to be given to one lucky commenter, which we will randomly choose. So make sure to leave your comments for Bethie, guys!
Of course after the give-away you can purchase a copy of Beth’s Book at Amazon.com but please wait to see if you’re the winner!!