Our guest author this week is Teresa Slack. Her latest romance, Runaway Heart, releases this week. I thought I’d change things up a bit this week and throw some questions at Teresa. I hope you’ll enjoy her answers.
- Why do you write? I write because I love making an impact on people through stories. I love creating characters and story worlds and inviting a reader in to get to know them. I love to entertain and encourage people. Doing it with stories just comes naturally. But the main reason I write as I race toward the ½ century marks is because life is short and I don’t want to leave anything undone.
- What is your favorite genre to write? My favorite is suspense, though I love romance and humor. I’ve even tried my hand at a historical western in the last year and I loved it. I hope to create a western series by the end of the year.
- What do you read? My favorite books are mysteries, especially ones with a romantic element, though finding one that really hooks me is difficult. I am much more critical about how I spend my reading time than I used to be. The most important thing I look for is a good storyteller. Some of my favorites are Daphne DuMaurier, Ken Follett, James Michener, Fannie Flagg, John Grisham, Tess Gerritson. I love a good romance as long as the cheese factor is kept to a minimum. Not so crazy about a damsel in distress. Humor is important. I also love historicals and hope to write one someday. I enjoy Gilbert Morris, Lawana Blackwell, Deanna Gist, Debbie Macomber, Brock and Bodie Thoene, John Aubrey Anderson, to name a few.
- What do you like to see in a Hero or a Heroine? Flaws. In so many books the hero or heroine are almost perfect. Perfect looking. Perfectly witty and charming. I like characters who make mistakes or sometimes say the wrong thing. Of course I want to love them and root for them. But that’s easier for me to do if they’re human.
- What’s the last thing you ordered at a restaurant? Does take-out count? I ordered pizza on my way home from work because the grandkids were visiting and they always eat us out of house and home.
- Considering all the snow and winter storms that have slammed the country in the last few months, please describe your favorite way to spend a snowbound day at home. Writing or work related activities are not allowed in this answer. No writing activities permitted, huh? A writing-free day would be a novelty. I would definitely have a fire in the fireplace, a mug of hot chocolate and a good paperback—not an ebook. I still prefer reading print books. Since there’s snow on the ground, I would definitely plan a walk outside with the dogs. I love playing in the snow. I’d top my day off with a nap on the couch to finish up the day while my husband watches one of his boring programs on TV.
- What’s on your nightstand? A Bible with a marker, as of this moment, in 2nd Kings. There’s also a journal I seldom make time to write in, and a writing craft book I should really get back to.
- Why did you decide to self-publish? Life is short. Over the last few years I’d gotten so far away from writing, I didn’t even feel like a writer anymore. I hated that feeling. I don’t want to be a busy person who writes books. I want to be a busy writer. I’m tired of spinning my wheels waiting for something to happen in my writing career. If it’s going to happen, I have to make it happen.
- Are you a plotter or pantser? Definitely a pantster. One of my most popular titles, A TENDER REED, (which is being re-released as an ebook at the end of March) was inspired one night when my barking dog wouldn’t let me sleep. So I started a book. I was 3 chapters in before the heroine had a first name. I’m not quite that undisciplined anymore. It’s a very inefficient way to write. But I love sitting down with a nugget of an idea and going crazy. To me, that’s when I feel the most creative.
- Coffee or tea? Water
- Money being no object, where would be your dream writing getaway? I’m not particular as long as there is a rocky coast with a view of the water. Just thinking about it makes me want to write. Unfortunately there aren’t many rocky coasts here in southern Ohio.
- What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale or sales? Bleh… I can’t think of any marketing task I enjoy. Unless you include talks or presentations. I absolutely love doing library talks and I always sell books there. They are a blast.
- Can you share your long term goals for your writing career? Are there more romances on the way or are you working on a suspense? Deciding on which book to work on next is one of my favorite decisions to make. I have some potential romances stirring around in my head, but there are a couple suspense novels I have wanted to focus on for way too long. I’ve completed the first mystery in a series, but I want to get a handle on the other books before I pursue publication. The very first task, though, on my to-do list is to release all my traditionally published novels to ebooks.
- I’ve never heard of shrimp farming in Ohio. What made you include it as a story element for Runaway Heart? Small family owned farms are shrinking or disappearing throughout Ohio. I wanted to explore viable options for farmers looking to create additional income. And of course, I’d never read a book about shrimp farming either. Investigating and learning about it was fun.
- Tell us one thing about your heroine that may or may not have come out in the book. She never told anyone, but she always dreamed of being part of a big family. She’s afraid of making the same mistakes as her parents and hurting any children she might bring into the world. It easier to avoid the whole situation than figure out a way to break the cycle. Though she’ll never admit it, she’s not as courageous as she likes to think.
- What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading RUNAWAY HEART? Life doesn’t come with guarantees, no matter how much we wish it did. We have to trust in something. People and circumstances will let us down or not measure up to our expectations. God is always there in our fear and disappointment. He won’t let us down if we call on him.
Author bio: Teresa Slack began creating stories and characters about the time she learned to hold a pencil. Her first novel, Streams of Mercy, won the Bay Area Independent Publishers’ Assn award for Best First Novel. The third book in her Jenna’s Creek Series, Evidence of Grace, debuted nationwide according to Christian Retailing Magazine. Her latest novel, Runaway Heart, is set for official release March 7, 2014. She grew up in rural southern Ohio, which provides the background for much of her writing. Her down-to-earth characters and writing style have endeared her to readers and reviewers alike. Teresa believes people who think nothing ever happens in a small town just aren’t paying attention. Her favorite genre to read and write is suspense though she also loves writing romance with a touch of humor.
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Teresa-D.-Slack/e/B001JP0MQ2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/authorteresaslack
Back Cover Blurb for Runaway Heart: Running at the first sign of opposition is nothing new to Kyla Parrish. She’s never held onto a relationship for more than a few months, and she’s quit more jobs than most people apply for. Until Will Lachland. He’s the first man who ever made her think of getting serious about something, about putting down roots. He seems like a dream come true, but like every other man she’s ever met, he expects more than she’s willing to give.
Kyla is determined not to end up like her mother with a string of bad relationships and dead end jobs behind her, but she can’t find a balance between trusting someone with her heart and losing control of her life. But she’s tired of running. Running from life and running from love.
A new man and a new life on the farm where she spent her childhood summers seem like the answer to her prayers. But things are never as simple as they seem. Her heart yearns for love and security. Can she find it even though she can’t forget Will? Or is something else, something greater, calling her heart toward home?