As a writer and a Gemini, I’m considered to have double personalities. So, I thought I’d sit down with myself and ask the questions you’re all dying to know!
So….I’m here today with Terri Molina enjoying a cup of herbal tea…
Terri: Uh…excuse me…Herbal Tea?? Do I look like I drink Herbal Tea?? Where’s the coffee?
Sorry. She’s having coffee (like she needs the caffeine ) I’ll have the tea….anyway….let’s get started with the interview.
So, let’s start with the most often asked question: When did you decide you wanted to write?
Terri: I don’t think anyone really decides to write…you just do. But, I guess about 12 years ago I decided I finally wanted to share my work with the public. It was shortly after my Aunt Gail and Uncle Tony died (within a couple of hours of each other on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). My first novel was actually a dedication to them. I sat at the computer every night for two months and wrote the first draft of my novel, then put it away and spent the next two months writing the first draft of my second novel. I never dreamed I’d ever complete them…but I did. Crazy, huh?
Why did you choose the style or the sub-genre?
Terri: Style? There’s a style? ;-)
Actually, the first novel I tried to write was a family saga (explained above). I never completed it, but I may return to it one day. Anyway, a couple of years after “training” myself to write I decided to try my hand at writing a suspense. I’d been a big fan of Nora Robert’s single titles (Montana Sky being my all time fave!) and just loved how she mixed the suspense and romance into such a great story, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I took an incident from my (younger) life and expanded it with What If….. To be honest I didn’t consider making it a romance, it just kind of happened. My second book, which is Dark Obsession, also a romantic suspense but with paranormal elements, happened the same way. (Chalk it up to a lonely childhood—-uh, therapy anyone?)
What’s your favorite line from one of your books?
Terri: Hmm….I guess the one in chapter one of Dark Obsession where Ray thinks “Great, thanks to too much bourbon and Bruce Willis, I’m talking to dead people.”
When do you find time to write?
Terri: I don’t…it finds me. I’m a stay at home mom, my kids are all in school so I have the whole day to myself. But, my inspiration usually hits late at night or when I’m in the shower. Go figure.
Your first publication is a contemporary erotic romance and an AWESOME story. Was it hard (no pun intended) to write outside of your comfort zone?
Terri: Actually, yeah. When I’d been asked to write the book (by an editor–now formerly–at Kensington) she had three stipulations. (1) it had to be contemporary. My books and future books are all suspense/mystery (2) it had to be erotic. She had read my other books, LOVED the “sex” and wanted me to made the new story even HOTTER (3) the story had to be 60-65 pages. That may sound like a lot, but it isn’t. I was completely out of my element. But I managed to get the story done. You may have heard of it….Her Will His Way, now available at Cobblestone Press??
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Terri: I pretty much just take care of my family. I also like to read and I’m currently putting together my summer reading list. I also try to keep up with my friends all over the US. Oh and on weekends we play Karaoke Revolution with the kids….the American Idol edition…it’s a hoot!
What are your goals as a writer?
Terri: Hmm….I’m not really a goal making person. But, I guess if I had to make one it would be to write what I most enjoy reading and not worry if it’s ever going to get published. Is that a goal?
I know you are an active member of RWA, what are some of the things you have done with RWA?
Terri: I joined RWA in 2004 (after an agent I queried wrote on her rejection letter “RWA is in Houston-JOIN” and figured, even though I’m basically a shy person, I needed to jump right in if I wanted to be published like the rest of them. I went to my first National conference in Dallas that year and was instantly recruited to work the Lit signing. The following year, Angie Platt grabbed me in Reno and it was a given that I work again in Atlanta. I served a year as president of the NW Houston chapter before our family moved to Az. I’m still a member of the Houston chapter as well as the one here in Phoenix (and I’ve already been asked to serve on the board here….I think I liked it better when I was shy.) Haha
Is that where you found your critique group?
Terri: Yes, in Houston. I was a member of two groups actually. Both long standing members asked me if I’d like to complete their small groups. I still critique off and on with them via email. I was recently asked to join some ladies here in Az, but I haven’t decided yet. I really don’t like having too many people read my work because of that “too many cooks in the kitchen” thing…it can get very confusing and you just can’t please everyone. And, especially because I don’t always write to a formula.
You are a very straightforward person, some would say blunt, especially when it comes to critiques.
Terri: Straightforward? I guess at times I am…but those who actually know me would find that statement extremely amusing. Lol
However, I don’t offer my opinions or feedback on someone’s work unless I am asked and I will not give dishonest feedback when the whole purpose is to learn. I’ve been doing this a while, I’ve been cut to the bone by harsh critiques. I [was] even told (by another writer) that I’d never get published and I would never say that to anyone. So when I offer my suggestions (which is all they are) I do so with the intention of helping that person see what they’re doing *wrong* so their manuscript gets ahead of the slush pile.
Is it hard for you to receive critiques of your work, especially if you don’t agree with them? How do you handle that?
Terri: Of course. It’s hard for anyone to receive critiques on a work you spilled blood for.
I don’t take them personally unless they’re delivered as a personal attack…in which case, I’ll vent to a friend or two and wait for them to “talk me down” from my anger. But a critique, whether delivered by me or you or anyone on this site is just an opinion offered to help. I listen to all the feedback I’m given on my work…I don’t necessarily follow it unless it’s said more than once (i.e.; the pov issue…which I knew about when I posted, but it’s only an issue with writers.) ;-) But, the bottom line is, the book belongs to the author who wrote it and only he/she knows what story they want to tell.
Now…enough of those questions! Ask me something fun!
Okay. Tell us something interesting about yourself no one else knows.
Terri: Oh…uh…well….hmmm….when I was thirteen I stayed the summer with my aunt and uncle in Angleton. We went to New Braunsfels for a week (where the rapids are). I lied and told them I knew how to swim. It wasn’t until I fell into the deep end of the swimming pool and nearly drowned when they realized I couldn’t. Luckily my aunt was sitting right there and reached in to grab me….by my hair. And that is also one of my most embarassing moments.