My best friend, Des, and I totally freaked when we won the contest to meet THE Dakota Danvers in Hollywood. But now we're finding out he's SO not the angel everyone believes him to be. In fact, Dakota is the son of Satan, wreaking havoc on Hollywood and creating an evil army hellbent on world domination. Lucky for us, Dakota's super-cute personal assistant, Jameson, is a fallen angel trying to get his wings back, and he's working undercover to squash his demon boss's plan. If Jameson hadn't taken me under his wing I'd be in serious trouble, because I'm a total newb when it comes to conquering evil. But, truth be told, that sexy angel's got me all aflutter and may be one temptation I can't resist.
Here are Terri's answers to some of my questions:
Your website bio states that you have an extensive interest in not only the supernatural, but in writing characters that are different and quirky. How do you develop your characters, and which have been your favorite to write?
Because I write magical realism and paranormals my primary character's power is usually the first thing I create and then the person develops around that newly acquired skill. Inevitably, my heroine feels like a misfit, something I think most everyone can relate to. I also like to imbue my characters with humor, peculiarities and a strength they didn't fully realize was always there. In reality we all have little superstitions, habits, colloquialisms and eccentricities that make us unique. I take great pleasure in noticing those in others and using them in my writing because I think those fine details are what makes a character memorable and stand-out. To date, my favorite character to write is Des from Hollyweird. She's fearless, fun, energetic and I had a hoot making up her Desisms (word smashes she made up).
What a great way to make your characters unique as well as relatable! You also have a B.A. in Psychology. Has this influenced your writing in any way, and can you tell us more about your journey toward becoming a writer?
I absolutely think my degree has influenced my writing. I believe I come from a place of psychological intent when I create my characters and I better understand the mental reasoning behind their choices. Probably the strongest example I can give is Rafe from SLEEPLESS. Psychology absolutely informed my writing that villain.
As for how I became I writer...I had written my entire life, but never once thought of doing it as a job. I don't know why. Writing was just what I did, who I was. Only after college, when I became a stay-at-home mom and found an online writing community did I think "hey, maybe I should do this seriously." From then on I started writing. It actually took me 12 years to sell my first book. But it was worth the wait.
Definitely goes to show how important writing communities and persistence can be. I love the premise for HOLLYWEIRD. Where did the idea first blossom, and what do you want readers to take away when they're finished with it?
Thank you! I'm a huge fangirl of the TV show Supernatural. Several other authors and I wrote for a blog called Supernatural Sisters. At one time we were trying to arrange a set visit. I was SO excited about the idea of possibly touring the set and meeting Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki that my imagination ran away with me. I'd blush to tell you some of the fantasies I had. Unfortunately we weren't able to get clearance and I was crushed, but a story idea was born. What if two teen girls won a trip to meet their favorite TV star and when they got to the set they learned that things were just as scary and paranormal in real life as it was on the show?
I hope that readers walk away from Hollyweird with a smile on their face. I want them to laugh more than anything, but I always hope my stories inspire readers to have a little more faith and confidence in themselves.
I love that your premise came from a real-life experience! As a Teen Patron Services Specialist, is it a challenge to allocate time for writing along with day-job demands? What time management tips have you found useful to maintain this balance?
Oh yes! In addition to my day job, I'm also a mom to two teens so it's definitely a challenge to balance things. I don't know that I have any tips to share other than make time for yourself. There are times I forget to do that and then my writing suffers and I feel a part of myself is missing. I may only have a small window of time on some days, but I try to do something every day even if it's only for a little while. The bits and pieces add up and then I'm not so grumpy from being writing deprived. LOL
Self-time is so important. What are some of your current projects?
I'm currently working on a new series called VOLTAGE. It mixes comedy and mystery, much like SLEEPLESS did. I don't have a contract for it yet. I'm currently sending it to agents, so please cross your fingers and toes for me.
To purchase a copy of HOLLYWEIRD for yourself, click on the link below: