Lisa: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Terri: I can’t pinpoint the exact moment. I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I loved all my writing assignments in school and can remember telling people as young as sixth grader that one day I’d be a writer. What was the catalyst in making you take that first step? There are a few things that prompted me to pursue my dream. First, my college creative writing professor told me I should be writing for Harlequin. This was back in the mid 80’s, but at the time I was just getting my modeling career going so I didn’t do anything about it except dream. Then in the early 90’s my mother-in-law gave me a small word processor and said start writing. I started my first romance. Then I found Romance Writers of America and started to learn and grow and eventually sell to Love Inspired.
Lisa:What type of books do you write?
Terri: Mostly I write inspirational romantic suspense and occasionally inspirational romance. I started with inspirational romances but my stories all tended to have some action/adventure/mystery/element of danger which my editors seemed to like.
Lisa:When you write, do you draw from real life or are your books ideas come completely out of nowhere?
Terri: A combination of both. I read lots of news articles from all over the country and the world looking for unique ideas and situations. Sometimes the characters come to me first then I build the plot around them. Usually I start with the plot and then develop the characters.
Lisa:Do you have an author who has really inspired you? Why?
Terri: Dee Henderson. (NOTE FROM LISA...I LOVE Dee Henderson books!) She was the first Christian author I read who weaved suspense, faith and romance together seamlessly.
How long did it take for you to publish?
Terri: 10 years.
Lisa: What road did you take? Small press first? Indie first? Traditional to Indie?
Terri: Traditional. My first ever published story was a novella for Barbour publishing. Then I sold my first full-length novel to Love Inspired.
Lisa:How do you research? Do you draw just from what you know or do you do intensive research?
Terri: The Internet is a wonderful tool for research. I also have several books that I use. I have an extensive collection of research books on various different aspects of law enforcement, criminal justice, protection professions and forensics. I look for research workshops at various writers conferences and pick up the phone or email specialist in a field I’m writing about.
Lisa: Please tell us about your latest book and what inspired you to write it?
Terri: I’m working on a mini series titled Protection Specialists featuring a team of bodyguards. The first book in the series came out in July, THE INNOCENT WITNESS. In this story, ex-Secret Service agent Anthony Carlucci is sent to escort a senator’s widow and son to safety after the child witnesses his father’s murder. But the killers are determined to silence the innocent witness. Anthony will protect the mother and child with his life but is he willing to give his heart?
The second book in the series is a January release, THE SECRET HEIRESS. This book is set in rural Mississippi on an old plantation. Caroline Tully was adopted as a child and always longed to know where she came from. She’s shocked to learn she’s an heiress to a fortune. But there is one condition; she must visit her dying biological grandfather in order to inherit. Only someone doesn’t want to share with the newcomer and will stop at nothing to ensure she doesn’t live long enough to inherit. Caroline hires bodyguard Don Cavanaugh for protection. She soon realizes not only is her life in danger, but also her heart.
Lisa: What is coming up in the future for you?
Terri: The Deputy’s Duty, book 6 of the Fitzgerald Bay continuity will be out in June 2012. A family secret, a missing baby and Meghan Henry, a headstrong reporter, challenge Deputy Chief Ryan Fitzgerald’s faith and his heart.
The Doctor’s Defender, the third Protection Specialist book will be out in Fall 2012. Someone wants Dr. Brenda Storm dead. Its up to bodyguard Kyle Martin to keep the doctor safe, but will he lose his heart in the process?
A fourth, as yet untitled and unwritten, Protection Specialist book will be out in early 2013.
Thanks so much for being here today, Terri!
Terri's books are available wherever Harlequin Love Inspired books are sold. You can also buy them online at Amazon.com by clicking on the link on the carousel below.
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