Terry Newman writes the most extraordinary books! Heartquake was surprising enough. Lion shifters! I love shifter romance. But Rewrites of the Heart? Completely different and wow! Welcome, Terry!
1) What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series?
I read all sorts of books as a kid. But one series that stuck with me was The Happy Hollisters. It was so very 1960s-ish, but it stirred not only a love of reading, but a desire to write. My favorite all-time book I read as a child was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. I loved that story so much I read it to my daughter.
2) What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
At the moment, I’m reading a lot of romantic comedies. But I discovered Becky Chambers. She’s a sci-fi author. I love her novella A Psalm for the Wild-Built. It’s a Monk and Robot book and why, yes, the two main characters are a monk and a robot. I had to then read the second book, A Prayer for the Crown-Shy. Equally as good. These books aren’t just science fiction. They hold marvelous and moving life lessons.
3) Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
I’m developing this theory that writers (at least some of us) knew we wanted to be writers at a young age whether we actually had the courage to voice it or not. But the trick with writing, is that it doesn’t always translate into serious writing immediately. Sometimes, it’s delayed for decades. But that gnawing need to write stays with you and eventually you have to.
I suppose the signs were pretty clear when I took an assignment in grade school to write a sentence for each spelling word and I created a complete story. Everyone else had 10 sentences. I had the entire back of my spelling word sheet covered.
Oh, I love both your theory and that story!
4) What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
A short story I wrote as a junior or senior in college. It filled a requirement for a history essay, actually. I had asked the professor instead of writing a regular essay, if I could submit a short story. It was an American social history class of the early twentieth century. I wrote about a woman who went to the 1920 Republican convention and tried to show the social trends of the day. I thought it was pretty darned good. I got an A minus on it.
5) Tell us about the creative force within you. What inspires you to write, to create?
I’m not sure where my creativity comes from. It comes from everywhere and nowhere. I can get an idea for a story or even a scene from an off-hand remark or an incident. Writing is almost a need for me. It’s like I have a Storyteller App in my head, where information goes in and comes out as a tale.
Writing is just so much a part of who am I.
6) What’s your writing space like?
I have this large office with a great view and it…oh, wait. That’s the writing space of my dreams. Sorry.
I live in a small efficiency apartment. My desk sits on one side of my small kitchen. But…I don’t use it. The chair isn’t comfortable, so I end up in my recliner with a TV tray butting up against one arm of it. My laptop and my coffee are always on the tray. And I have a large external monitor hooked up to the computer to lessen eye strain. And why yes, my monitor is larger than my television. It’s unconventional but it works for me.
7) Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I love to write in the morning. While I don’t write as soon as I get up, I do write as early as possible, depending on the day. I have more energy in the morning. Not only that, but the world seems to be filled with limitless possibilities in the morning. I love the idea of limitless possibilities.
That is one more reason to love the morning! Beautiful.
8) Time to talk about your latest release (rubbing hands together). But first, how did you come up with the idea for the book? Are there any interesting tidbits you’d care to share with us?
Years ago, I was in a community theater production of Jake’s Women, a Neil Simon play. I played the psychiatrist and was totally a figment of Jake’s imagination. So was every other actor in the play, except for his current wife. Jake was writer. I turned that idea around and created a writer whose characters come to life. At first, I wasn’t sure who would be able to see them, but finally decided it’d be more fun if they were fully formed and interacted with everyone.
9) Now let’s hear about Rewrites of the Heart.
This is the story: JJ Spritely, historian-turned-romance-author, a talented writer who writes characters that jump off the page. Figuratively, of course. Until one day, she wakes up to find Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale, the heroine and hero of her work in progress, sitting in her home office.
And they’re on a mission: To help JJ writer her own love story with the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem with that. JJ has already met the man her characters think is the love of her life, Kennedy King Cooper. She believes he’s an arrogant jerk who, by the way, think romance novels are trash and those who write them, well, “bimbos.” His words.
If that weren’t the only complication in JJ’s life, it seems her characters can’t find their way back to their own pages. They’re stuck in her world. And believe me, they try some inventive ways to return.
10) I comprehend that you’ve just recently published a book. I know what that takes. Still, I can’t help but ask – do you have anything waiting in the wings?
My paranormal novella, The Wizard of her Heart, releases July 3. Our hero, Wyatt Ginn, meets our heroine, Sydney Thomas, when his car rear-ends hers in front of the post office. They both think they’ll never see each other again. She’s his new employee and on her first day of work, Wyatt is asked to cast a love spell over a bag of jelly beans. Sydney is just emerging from a bad marriage and bitter divorce. She doesn’t believe in romantic love or magic. So why does she keep thinking about him?
It sounds like such a fun romance!
11) Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Heartquake, my first novel with The Wild Rose Press, turns one year old this month. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. This story centers on Charlee Lightheart, a coffeeshop owner, and her boyfriend, Riley Brockton, a very wealthy businessman. Riley doesn’t know how to tell her he’s a lion shifter and, well, he believes she’s his lioness.
At the request of a local anti-fracking group, Charlee runs for city council to oust the incumbent who is pro-fracking. But there’s someone who wants Charlee out of the race and keeps sending her threatening messages. A rogue reporter, with a history of hounding Riley, reveals the one secret that can destroy the anti-fracking movement and Riley and Charlee’s relationship.
Happy book birthday to Heartquake! I so enjoyed it.
Terry, thank you for sharing your time and talent with us. Congratulations again on Rewrites of the Heart! I wish you all the best!
Thank you, Anastasia, for your hospitality. I enjoyed my visit.
JJ Spritely, romance author, writes characters that jump off the page. Figuratively, that is. She never expects them to make a literal leap off the page and smack dab into her world. But Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale do just that. And they’re on a mission to help JJ write her own personal love story with a man she recently met, Kennedy King Cooper.
A history professor, Cooper doesn’t see the value of romance novels and he has even less regard for those who write them. Until he meets a woman who haunts his thoughts.
There’s only one small snag in Alex’s and Blake’s plan…okay…two rather large snags. JJ wants nothing to do with Cooper. The other snag? Alex and Blake aren’t able to return to the pages of their own book.
Will JJ ever write her own love story? And will it be with Cooper? Will Alex and Blake return to the pages of their own book?
Just my luck, she thought, bedraggled ex-history professor meets hunk at bookstore. Hunk yawns, excuses himself in a panic, and breaks the sound barrier running in the opposite direction.
Surprisingly, he didn’t run. Instead, he struck up a conversation. They chatted politely about history. It seemed like the obvious topic with World War II flashing at them from the shelves and the Civil Rights movement towering before them. Then he made a remark about the book signing. She listened, amused, and then she slowly became irritated as he rambled on about the absurdity of the “trash” of romance novels (his exact words, she recalled).
“It’s refreshing to see a woman who appreciates the finer points of an education,” he told her, “and doesn’t stoop to reading such mindless garbage. Only a hopelessly mindless bimbo would read that stuff. And I couldn’t imagine what type of woman would actually lower herself to such depths to write that drivel.”
Just at that moment, as fate would have it, a fan walked up to her.
“Excuse me, Ms. Spritely, I hate to bother you, but the clerk said you wouldn’t mind. Would you please sign my copy of Love’s Revenge?”
She smiled, retrieved all the details needed for the autograph, chatted for a few moments with her fan, and then turned back to the gentleman. “And you were saying?”
The man’s jaw hung open wider than the entrance to a cavern. She, however, glowed.
“Yep, that’s me,” she said. “And by the way, you know what this hopelessly mindless bimbo—those were your words, weren’t they?—did before she became a fulltime author?” She paused for the sole purpose of creating a dramatic moment.
“This bimbo was a history professor.” She abruptly turned on her heel, smiling broadly as she headed for the in-store café. She bought her favorite coffee, a caramel mocha, grabbed an asiago pretzel as a treat, and went back to her seat at the book signing table. Oh, yeah. Life was good.
Later, the man stopped by the booth to apologize. She smiled graciously. Her thoughts, though, were anything but gracious. What a waste of a sexy, attractive body. It’s stuck in the mindset of an arrogant Neanderthal. Just my luck, she thought. To meet a guy with some chemistry to him—and even similar interests—only to find he’s not just the proverbial frog, but the pompous ass as well. And that’s my modern fairy tale.
“May I make this up to you?” he offered. He had asked for her phone number, but she declined to give it to him. Not to be brushed aside quite so easily, he handed her his business card. “Kennedy King Cooper, Professor of History, University of Northern Ohio.” She read it briefly.
“If you should like to go for coffee some time and help me remove my foot from my mouth, I’d be grateful.”
She held the card for a moment, almost tempted to take it. He did look attractive there in a boyish sort of way, part pouting, part pleading for a second chance on making a first impression. And, yes, she really did feel some type of attraction to him, pompous ass or not. But something told her not to take the card. She politely handed it back to him.
“No, thank you. I don’t think we have much more to talk about.” Thankfully, an individual with a book to sign walked up, signaling the end of the conversation.
“But he didn’t mean to be such a sexist, elitist egotist, JJ.” Alex pleaded the professor’s case for him.
“Remember the absolute bozo Blake was when I first met him? And we overcame it.”
Blake’s eyebrows scrunched together, his lower lip jutted out as he quietly muttered, “Bozo? I was a bozo?”
Alex calmly shook her head and took his hand. “You were a loveable bozo, honey.”
The characters’ banter shook her out of her reverie, and she discovered they were peering at her, apparently still expecting an answer.
About the Author
Two things you should know about me: I have an offbeat sense of humor and characters are constantly talking to me, trying to get me to tell their stories. Other than that, I’m a normal person.
I’ve spent most of my adult life writing in some fashion, from small-town reporter, to editor-in-chief and ghostwriter for a national natural health publishing firm. The last decade and a half I’ve worked as a freelance writer, penning ebooks that range from starting a doula services business to Native American herbs.
I’ve finally took the plunge to fiction after pushing oh, so many doubts aside. My first novel with The Wild Rose Press, Heartquake, won a 4.5 crowned heart review with Ind’tale Magazine.
All my books are set in fictional towns in northeast Ohio, where I grew up, and I write about things I love—like coffee.
I have a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy and live in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio with all my characters. Yes, it does get crowded.
Great interview ladies! Terry loved your first two books. Can't wait for your third!
Hi, Kim! Aren't her books great? :) Thank you for stopping by!
Loved both books! Congratulations on writing two fantastic books!
Hi, Ivy! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Mary Ann Jacobs
I loved the image of a storyteller App in your head.
Same here, Mary Ann! Thank you for joining us!
So enjoyed the interview, ladies! Congratulations, on another fabulous book, Terry. Wishing you continued success.
Hi, Mary! Thank you for stopping by!
Wonderful interview, ladies. Terry, I really enjoyed getting to know you better! Your new book is on my TBR list--can't wait to get to it. all the best :)
Hi, Barb! Thank you for sharing your time with us!
Love the interview and Terry's books! I enjoy your off-beat sense of humor, Terry. I've been told the same.
Hi, Mary! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Thank you for joining us!
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It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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