Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Power of Scent with Theresa Meyers Author of The Chosen

The Power of Scent

I’ve had a lot of readers tell me that they enjoy my writing because of the intensive descriptions. They say they feel like they’re in the story. As a writer I attribute part of that to the descriptions of scent I carefully weave into the story.

You see scent is one of the most powerful memory triggers there is. If you’ve ever been in a horrible car accident, the burnt rubber smell of tires will make your entire body tense up every time you smell it. When you were young if you associated summer with the smell of fresh cut grass, it’s relaxing in a way nothing else can be. And that’s why it works in fiction.

Your body reacts physically to the memory. As a storyteller I rely on that. It allows you to literally feel the story in a way nothing else can.

So I choose the scents associated with my characters and their locations very carefully. I have an entire box of essential oils everything as common as lavender or sandlewood to those more exotic like Casablanca lily or frankincense.  I have herbs all over my gardens and flower beds that I use not just for scent, but in cooking too—things like thyme, rosemary, oregano, lavender (makes killer lavender tea scones), basil, cilantro, about five types of mint including chocolate mint (which makes great tea), curry and sage, chives and dill. I also have roses and geraniums, wisteria and lilacs, honeysuckle, butterfly bushes (which smell deep and sweet like honey), and lilies. Sometimes I’ll even smell things that might be surrounding my characters in a scene just so I can describe them accurately like india ink or beeswax candles.

I love scents!

For my characters I’ll often select a scent that is linked only to him or her. That way when the hero or heroine smell that scent they have an immediate reaction or thought about the other person. In The Chosen I deliberately chose vanilla and tea for my heroine China McGee. Why? Well first I happen to love vanilla tea, but more importantly China is both strong and slightly acidic, just like a good tea. Tea is feminine, especially in association with the Victorian era, and vanilla is sweet without being cloying and makes us often think of home and hearth like sugar cookies. She needed that softness to her from having such a rough beginning and existence.

Scents are just part of how I write. In fact, when I write I usually choose a particular scent of candle and only light and use that scent of candle while I’m working on that book. It helps me get into the story faster. If you don’t like the idea of a live flame around your most precious books and papers, consider using an essential oil if you’d like to try this technique.

Next time you go outside, close your eyes and try describing your home from the scents alone. First what you smell outdoors, and then how it changes as you enter the home and go from room to room. You’ll be amazed how it changes.

Scents remind us of who we were, make us dream of who we want to be and can be the ignition to imagination.  What’s your favorite scent?

The Chosen
The Legend Chronicles series, book three
Theresa Meyers

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Steampunk

Publisher: Kensington, Zebra
Date of Publication:  March 4, 2013

ISBN-10: 142012126X
ISBN-13: 978-1420121261
ASIN: B009L93H2E

Number of pages: 352 pages (also includes the ebook about Marley, The Inventor, for the first time in print in the back of this book)

Book Description:

The Chosen: a prophecy older than dirt and more dangerous than death. Even as they perfected steam-powered gadgetry and rounded up varmints from Hell, the Jackson brothers didn't believe in it. But when the chips are down, three brothers named for weapons aren't going out without a fight...

A Walk On The Wild Side

Attorney by day, demon-hunter by night, Remington Jackson is used to being on the sunny side of the law, even in the Wild West. But it's showdown time, and Remy and his brothers are getting desperate. They don't have the relic they need to slam the door shut on evil—so Remy is going to have to find and steal part of it.

Enter China McGee, shapeshifter, thief, beauty, and current prisoner. When Remy offers her freedom in exchange for a little light-fingered help, she's pretty sure she's going to end the association with a good old-fashioned seductive double cross. But there's something about fighting through a jungle full of Aztec ruins that makes you want to settle down together. China could change. Remy might be special. But none of that matters if the devil takes them all... 

About the Author:

The progeny of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library, Theresa Meyers learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot.

A former journalist and public relations officer, she found far more enjoyment using her writing skills to pen paranormal novels in the turret office of her Victorian home.

She’s spent nearly a quarter of a century with the boy who took her to the Prom, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show Supernatural, and has an indecent love of hats.

You can find her dabbling online on twitter at or at

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Roxanne Rhoads said...

My favorite scent is a spicy fall-winter holiday aroma- apple, cinnamon, hint of vanilla. I find it both relaxing and sensual.

Wenona said...

scent- the one thing that can illicit a memory or a feeling like nothing else can.

Sometimes a scent floats through like a ghost, a memory fleeting and you can't quite grasp that place in time...but you feel it

My signature scent is vanilla and my favorite aromas are warm fall scents- apple pie, cinnamon rolls, fresh baked cinnamon sugar donuts and apple cider...and the warm spciy scent sof the holidays

Catherine Lee said...

I love the smell of balsam at Christmas. Otherwise, I like citrus smells and eucalyptus.

Kriss Morton said...

My favorite scents are those of baking and Christmas. My signature scent that brings back the most amazing memories are Miss Dior because of the year I spent helping my grandmother with my grandfather who died .. she gave me a bottle of it and my grandfather loved the scent.

Tiffany Drew said...

My favorite scent is a woodstove in autumn. I absolutely love it and could sit outside and smell it all day. Thankfully I live in New England where they are used often.

Chrystina Williams said...

I love the scents of summer. Fresh cut grass, barbeques, and coconut sunscreen.