Author Raegan Teller writes The Enid Blackwell mystery series. Today Jack Johnson, one the series characters and the editor of The Tri-County Gazette in Madden, South Carolina,
sits down to interview protagonist Enid Blackwell.
JJ: Enid, first tell us a little about yourself.
EB: I’m a reporter for The Tri-County Gazette, a weekly newspaper where you are the editor. I report on local news but only on crime in the three counties. As a result, I’ve investigated several cold cases—murder cases.
JJ: I must add that you’re being modest. You didn’t just report on these stories, you solved several cases that had stumped the police. You started out in journalism and then left it for a while, returning several years ago. What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
EB: When I first met author Raegan Teller, I was going through a rough patch. My husband and I were having problems, and I hated my bank job. I was looking for a drastic change, and I sure got one. After being introduced to Raegan, she changed my life. Little did I know I would end up solving murder mysteries. Sadly, in doing so, I’ve had to put myself and others in the path of danger. People have been killed in the pursuit of truth.
JJ: What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
EB: I’d have to say it’s my tenacity. My ex would call it stubbornness. I’ve faced danger and risks that most people would walk away from. (Laughing) Jack, even you’ve told me I’m hardheaded.
JJ: (Laughing) That’s true, I have. What do you like least about yourself?
EB: I have a hard time opening up to people. It’s not that I don’t trust anyone, I’m just afraid of the commitment—and of the potential of losing that relationship down the road. As a result, I’ve always thrown myself into my work. I guess that’s where my tenacity comes from.
JJ: What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
EB: She moved me to Madden, South Carolina. I had said I would never live in a small town, where everyone knows your business and there are secrets everywhere. But here I am, in Madden.
JJ: Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
EB: We argue sometimes, mostly about how I should investigate a murder or who we think the killer is. Right now, we’re having a serious discussion about my love life. We don’t always agree on what’s best for me, and sometimes the story takes precedent over what I’d like to have happen. Raegan is fair, though. I knew what I was signing up for.
JJ: What is your greatest fear?
EB: That’s easy. What I fear most, to steal from Plato, is living an unexamined life. For years, I went through the motions of living but not really being fulfilled or doing what I wanted to. I put everyone else’s needs ahead of my own, but I then returned to journalism and put myself first. I think a lot of people can relate to my story.
JJ: What makes you happy?
EB: Doing what I’m doing right now. I love being a reporter, especially investigating cold cases where the police haven’t done all they could. When a family member or friend of the victim says I’m their last hope, I know I’m doing what I should—pursuing the truth.
JJ: If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
EB: Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a tragedy in Murder in Madden that I wish I could change. It was devastating to me, and I’m still not over it. Raegan said this event was integral to the story. After we talked about it for a long time, I finally agreed with her, painful as it was. Tragedy and loss are part of life, I suppose.
JJ: Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
EB: (Laughing) Well, you drive me crazy at times. You’re my boss, my confidant, and my best friend. But sometimes, you’re overly protective and you have that male gene that makes you want to fix everything instead of just listening. But I know you’re just worried about me. On a more serious note, there was a police chief in Madden that was really irritating, and he kept trying to stop me from investigating an old murder case. Oh, and my mother-in-law. But I probably don’t need to say more about that. Raegan not only writes about murder, she also writes about family secrets and drama, because we can all relate to it.
JJ: Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
EB: Hmmm. That’s a more difficult question. At times, I wish I were more like Madelyn Jensen. She’s a member of one the most prominent families in Madden, and an attorney. She seems to be so sure of herself, and she’s successful. But honestly, I love being an investigative reporter. That’s what I always wanted to do.
JJ: Tell our readers a little something about Raegan Teller, our author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
EB: Raegan Teller is like me in many ways. We both have red hair, and we have similar values. She can be pretty stubborn too. I’ll always be grateful to her for creating me, you, and the other characters. You can read more about Raegan on her website and blog at http://RaeganTeller.com She loves to hear from readers, so email her and ask her anything you want to know about us.
JJ: So, let’s wrap this interview up. What's next for you?
EB: You know I can’t give away anything about the next story. Raegan’s third book in our series is Secrets Never Told, which just came out last week. In it, I investigate a grisly discovery at the Glitter Lake Inn, and as I try to expose the truth, a high-profile murder stuns our community. When the killer threatens to strike again, I dig deeper to uncover secrets never told.
JJ: That sounds intriguing. Thanks, Enid, for sharing your story with our readers.
EB: My pleasure.
The Enid Blackwell Series, Book 3
In the third volume of the Enid Blackwell series, the small-town newspaper reporter investigates a grisly discovery at the Glitter Lake Inn. As Enid pushes to expose the truth, a high-profile murder stuns the community. When the killer threatens to strike again, Enid digs deeper to uncover secrets never told.