Books-n-Kisses is pleased to have for the first time Terry Spear to the blog today.
Terry, can you please share with us a little about yourself
TS: I’m originally from California, lived in eight states and make my home in the heart of Texas. What I love about that is that it gives me all kinds of wonderful places to base my stories. I’ve served in the military, which also has given me lots of neat experiences to use in my books. I’ve vacationed in a lot of different places, which also has given me some worlds to use for my stories. Do you see a pattern here? Fantasy IS reality. Or…reality IS fantasy. However you want to see it. I’m totally goal-oriented and focused (except when emails and searching for photos distract me), so for years I was busy with working in the military, completing advance military courses and earning a Master’s in Business Administration. After that, it was raising kids and teaching them (I homeschooled), and creating Wilde and Woolly Teddy Bears that won awards and found homes all over the world. But when I was teaching the kids to read, I was thinking up my own children’s stories, so in the beginning, that’s what I wrote!
Have you always wanted to be an author?
TS: I think a more accurate way for me to describe it was that I’ve always been a storyteller since I was a kid. The idea of actually being an author didn’t happen until I retired from the USAR. And then? At that point, I wanted to not only be an author, I wanted to earn a living at it. So I put my heart and soul into it and years and years later, finally was published! For some of us it takes longer than others!
Are you a plotter or a panster? And you explain the difference?
TS: The story unfolds as I’m creating it. Which means, I’m a pantser. I always have an idea of what I want to do initially—how the hero and heroine meet (sometimes it changes if I’m not getting them together early enough, or it’s not interesting or exciting enough), what their main purpose is in the story (see, they have to have goals just like me), and what drives them to seek these all important goals that will carry them throughout the story. It helps to also give the characters an occupation. It defines their character better to readers right off. For instance, in Savage Hunger, Kathleen returns to the jungle to locate Connor to thank him for saving her life. Initially, they met while she was under attack on an Army mission gone bad. He and his sister run a garden nursery in Texas. Kathleen’s an Army officer. If I had that he was a SEAL, how would readers view him? Differently. If I had where she was an exotic stripper, same thing. Beyond that? The story just evolves as the characters battle man, the environment, each other, and themselves until they finally find that happily ever after.
What is your most interesting writing quirk?
TS: I’m not sure I have any, and that means I’m totally character-less. Sometimes I listen to music; sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I write by hand; sometimes I don’t. I edit on the screen and on paper. I drink green tea during the day, but cut it off before five so it doesn’t keep me up at night. That’s it. When I’m writing, I’m just quirk-less. I’ll have to work on that.
Can you please tell us about your latest book(s)?
TS: Army officer Kathleen McKnight is on a drug mission in the Amazon when her team is ambushed and she’s in bad shape. Sometimes a woman needs a hero. But what she doesn’t expect is Connor Anderson to come rescue her, who is rumored to have a pet jaguar he runs with in the jungle. He saves her life and she later returns to the jungle to thank him, but the same drug lord who ambushed her mission wants her taken down. In the meantime, her guide abandons her, and she’s lost, when she comes upon a jaguar, then two. What’s a girl to do? Climb a tree? They can too. Run away? NOT a good idea. Big cats love to chase. Connor wants to get her to back to civilization as quickly as possible. His sister has other plans.
How did you come with the idea for this story?
TS: Savage Hunger is the FIRST in the jaguar shifter series and I’m so excited! When my editor at Sourcebooks, Deb Werksman, asked me to propose something different from the wolves, I balked. Mainly because I’d only sold four wolf stories at that point and new readers were constantly just finding the series. So I proposed the Highland wolves, something near and dear to my heart because I have a lot roots in Scotland and wanted to write about it. Fun! But Deb wasn’t to be thwarted! So after I sold another three Highland wolf stories to Sourcebooks, she still wanted me to write about something else. So I decided to make it a shifter story still—only this time the opposite of dogs. Cats. Big cats. Sleek cats. Predators. I wanted to make them similar to the wolves in as they’re as real as they can be. Which means they like to return to their natural habitat—the jungle.
Can you share with us your current work(s) in progress?
TS: I just turned in Jaguar Fever (August 2013), the 2nd jaguar shifter story, this one featuring Connor’s sister Maya and Wade Patterson, and the trouble they get into over the exotic smuggling market. And I just turned in A SEAL Wolf Christmas (October 2013), that one featuring Anna Johnson, undercover operative, and Bjornolf Jorgenson, SEAL, the mission they had in the jungle before that, the sparring between them in an earlier book, A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing, and now they’re at it again as they try to solve a couple of Christmas tree farm murders and deal with a teen runaway while Anna tries to avoid anything Christmas. So right now I’m working on Silence of the Wolf, which is Tom’s story, one of the Silver brothers from the pack featured in Destiny of the Wolf. I’ve had tons of requests for his story, so it will be coming out Feb 2014.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
TS: Keep writing, keep editing and keep submitting! Start the story where the world has turned upside down for the characters.
Can you share with us something off your bucket list.
TS: I want to visit Prince Edward Island, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and Germany! I also want to learn how to Photoshop so I can create fun pictures, and I want to learn how to take better pictures. *sigh* Too many projects, so little time!
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
TS: I picked up about 70 books at the RWA National Conference in July and can’t wait to read them all! But I’m so busy with deadlines and an extensive virtual tour for Savage Hunger, that reading is on the back burner for the moment!
What is one book everyone should read before they die?
TS: Books are like movies or meals. What one would love, another might hate. I worked in a library and saw this all the time! I’d be asked for recommendations, but what I might like, they might not.
What is your favorite time of year & why?
TS: I love Fall, although we barely have any. But when I used to live in places that had fall colors, I loved it! I love spring also because of the crocuses, and the new green leaves on trees, though I have a ton of trees and shrubs that are evergreen, but spring is so short here, just like fall, that it seems like a blip on the screen and then it’s gone. Plus I have a ton of flowers all summer long with crepe myrtles and roses so I don’t really miss the flowers until winter. Why fall and spring? The temperatures are still mild and we have cooler days and nights, and if I have time, I can actually garden. I hope to actually write outside this fall for the first time. I was too busy working full time to do this before.
Who is your Celebrity crush? And what would you do if you ever meet them?
TS: Am I the only one in the whole wide world that doesn’t go all fan-girl crazy over celebs? Okay, I admit seeing Gerard Butler and Sean Connery in a kilt in the flesh would make me more than smile…
Is there anything else you would like to add?
TS: If you had a choice…it might not happen because if a wolf or jaguar shifter has the hots for you, well, watch out, since they’re extremely persistent if they want you for their very own—but if you had a choice between a hunky wolf or a sexy jaguar, which would you hook up with and prefer to be???
SAVAGE HUNGER BY TERRY SPEAR – OCTOBER 2012
USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has captured hearts worldwide by wrapping the realities of nature into the glorious romance of the wild. Now, she turns her award—winning imagination from the sexy werewolf hunt to the intense sizzle of jaguar shape-shifters.
As a jaguar he is graceful and gorgeous…
Speedy and stealthy…
Fierce, independent, and wild…
As a man he is passionate and powerful…
Willful and wonderful…
And he’ll stop at nothing to protect what’s his…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry Spear has written a couple of dozen paranormal romance novels and two medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance and continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear .