The article below was published in the Columbia Star May 16, 2019. Great piece about my Enid Blackwell Series.
By Anita Baker, The Columbia Star
(L-r)—Phyllis Guiterrez, chairperson of the Ridgeway Arts on the Ridge Festival; Barbara Yongue, president of the Fairfield County Arts Council; Raegan Teller, mystery author; and Heath Cookendorfer, mayor of Ridgeway. Raegan Teller was presented with the 2019 Friend of the Arts award, the first author to receive this honor.
Raegan Teller has been writing her entire working life. She worked as a marketing manager, business writer, and copy editor for many years before retiring from full time employment.
An avid reader, especially of mystery novels, Teller began to think through some of the unanswered mysteries she has witnessed in her own life. She decided writing a fictional account of these mysteries could be a way to bring closure in a fictional setting while in reality, families and victims of these crimes have no closure.
Murder in Madden, her first novel, is based on the true story of a young girl in Teller’s family who was discovered dead on Highway 378 in 1990. It was a case that immediately brought negative media attention concerning this young girl’s death.
In response, Teller wrote the work of fiction based upon the facts of this real tragedy and to tell the real story of this young victim’s life. Teller focused on the good and positive years of her life and who she really was to those who knew her before tragedy struck.
Murder in Madden marked the beginning of the Enid Blackwell series of novels and the launch of Teller’s career as a fictional mystery writer. Enid Blackwell, the protagonist in all three novels in the series is a reporter for the local paper in a small, fictional town called Madden, inspired by several of the small towns surrounding Columbia. This creates a personal connection for her local readers.
The second novel in the Enid Blackwell series, The Last Sale, is based on the story of Dail Dinwiddie whose mysterious disappearance in the Five Points area many years ago remains an unsolved mystery and open case. Her third novel, Secrets Never Told, is based on another local cold case.
Teller has studied fictional writing diligently while working on the Enid Blackwell series. She studied under Al Watt, a nationally known teacher of screenplay writing, and she developed her own creative writing process.
Teller creates a vivid, descriptive narrative by putting together pre-written scenes. She says she does not write a novel from beginning to end. Instead, she writes descriptive scenes and saves them to be used later in developing her novel.
Teller says the training from Watt helped her best utilize her personal skill of imagining scenes in her mind before she begins to write them down. She says, “I hear the characters in my head. I watch the scene play out in my mind and then go write.”
Her protagonist, Enid Blackwell, lives the life Teller says she wanted to live. “I always wanted to be a reporter. I have a character I can live vicariously through.”
Teller says she seeks to honor forgotten victims and write about cold cases that have never been solved. She also wants to tell the stories of those wrongly accused by the criminal justice system and who have served sentences for crimes they did not commit.
Teller is already working on her fourth novel, the last in the Enid Blackwell series. She is a frequent public speaker and keeps a blog on her website about her writing.
Teller was recently presented with the “2019 Friends of the Arts” award at the May 4 “Arts on the Ridge” event in Ridgeway. Her novels are available on amazon.com and on the websites of major booksellers such as Barnes and Noble. She maintains a website and blog at http://RaeganTeller.com.