Tuesday, March 22, 2022

A World of Word Loving

As someone who made their living writing and loving words, I always enjoy meeting other writers who feel the same way. When I read  a biography of author Terry Newman which said she has always loved words, I wanted to know more. As the editor-in-chief of a natural health publishing company, she has written books on a variety of topics as well as writing direct-mail advertising. 

She tells us that she also worked as a reporter, a communications specialist and a freelance writer. (oh, how I can relate to that!) She’s had clients worldwide, and researched and written hundreds of eBooks and print books. She has also ghost written novellas and short stories. 


Then one day Terry woke and decided to make her dream of writing her own novel come true. (And that's just what she's done!) She says she sets all her stories in fictional towns in northeast Ohio and writes about things she loves—like coffee. (I'm with her on that too!)


Terry has taught workshops on writing and character development. She has a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy, and lives in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio.


Tell us about your road to publication.


My road to publication was both short and long. And if that sounds like a contradiction in terms, let me explain. It took me forever to make writing a novel a priority in my life, even though it was a childhood dream for me. I was in my 50s before I started a project for publication. That project took several years, because I fit it in between my freelance writing (after all, you have to pay the bills). 


That’s the long road. But once I finished the book, I found a publisher. That’s right. The first novel I finished, I got published. That’s nearly unheard of in this industry. 


That was ten years ago. I’m just now publishing my second book. Another long road. Which by the way, is only the second novel I’ve ever finished. 


While the path to publication has been long, it’s been filled with pleasant surprises and many lessons.


What do you enjoy about being an author?


Being an author is a privilege—one that I love. I love that I can be creative. I absolutely love creating characters and settings. It’s such a fun activity. I love working with words. I started out as a journalism major at Ohio State, then switched to history. But behind the move was the need to write. I went on to graduate school, with the thought that teaching would provide me with the opportunity to write.


The bonus in all of this? The satisfaction and joy an author feels when readers like your stories and relate to the characters.


How do you develop characters?


I don’t develop characters in the conventional way.

 

My characters emerge slowly. Usually, with just a name. Then I add one—just one—trait, mannerism or attitude. And the characters take it from there. Many writers swear by character charts, where you outline everything about the person before you start. Their age, schooling, background. I can’t do that. It seems so structured to me.


As I write, their lives take turns that I didn’t expect, even to the point where I have to go back and re-write some of their traits or background. It just happened with the manuscript I’m currently working on. He is a secondary character (and probably getting his own story soon). I rewrote his background when I discovered what he was all about. By the way, this really tied the story together well.


What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?


My latest book is Heartquake, a paranormal romance. The story deals with the fracking industry. A close friend of mine, who was active in a group similar to Citizens Against Fracking in my book, asked me to write about the issue. I’m not sure this is how she expected her idea to turn out.


I chose the paranormal genre almost by chance. I had been commissioned to write a lion-shifting novella for a freelance client. The client ghosted me. She never took the novella and never paid for it. That made the book mine. I took a great secondary character—Riley Brockton—in that book and gave him his own story.


That sounds like a great story in itself! Let's get a blurb:


Coffee shop owner, Charlee Lightheart, views corporations with contempt. She believes her father died at the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. When she's approached to run for city council on an anti-fracking platform, she's reluctant. She's not sure this movement is her cause. 


Billionaire Riley Brockton has given up on love. Then he walks into Charlee's shop. All he wanted was coffee and muffins. From that first electrifying touch, he knows he needs more. He withholds one piece of vital information: he's a lionshifter.


A rogue reporter sets out to reveal the one secret that can destroy the anti-fracking movement and the couple's relationship. Can their love survive the truth and public exposure?



Want to know more? Let's get an excerpt:


His hands seemed more like paws. Not destructive mauling paws of a feral beast, but the large loving ones of an animal dedicated to protecting those he loved. She feared if he kept his hand on hers too long, she would start to think about love at first sight again. Yet she didn’t move it.


When he did remove his hand from hers, she felt an immediate and crushing disconnect. She fell back to earth and experienced the gripping weight and limitation of the force of gravity. Did an astronaut experience this remorse and loss of freedom when he re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and found himself bound by gravity?


“I apologize,” he said, as he shook his head slightly. “I think I’ve overstepped my bounds. That’s not at all what I intended to happen. That was uncharacteristic of me.”


“Don’t be,” she said. She couldn’t take her gaze from his eyes.


“Pardon me?”


“Don’t be sorry.”


Now that makes readers want to read on. Tell us, what’s your next project?


My next project is already awaiting approval from my editor. It’s a reissue and re-work of my first novel, Out of Character. A romance author discovers the hero and heroine of her book sitting in her home office. They’ve jumped out of the pages of their own work to help write the romance writer’s personal love story. I love the idea and I fell in love with all the characters. 


I’m also two-thirds of the way done with another story that takes place in the same town as Heartquake (Prague, Ohio). I’ve given one of the secondary characters their own love story. And I’ve discovered that town is populated with some great people. New characters keep making unexpected appearances all the time. I can’t wait to get that one to the publisher.


What advice do you have for beginning writers?


If you find yourself devising stories and envisioning characters from people you meet on the street, the odds are good that you’re a writer and you have the need to write. You find you just can’t stop writing. Don’t stop. Keep writing. Never, ever give up.


At the same time, scrutinize your writing. Be your own tough editor. Do this by reading books. As many books as you can. As you read, you’ll see what makes a book good. You’ll be able to tell when a plot flows and when it’s contrived.


And take as many writing courses—plot development, character development, world building—as you can afford. There are sites where you can take them for free and there are a lot of exceptionally well-taught courses that are inexpensive. The online courses I took while I was writing my first book were invaluable.


If you can find other writers, unite! Be a critique partner, give support to others. Others will support you in return. Writing is both a solitary profession and a group effort.


I totally agree with you there! Critique partners and writing groups can make a real difference. To learn more about Terry and to buy her books, here are her buy links and social contacts:


Buy links:


https://www.amazon.com/Heartquake-Terry-Newman-ebook/dp/B09PJZ5FK1/ref=sr_1_1?crid=8O69AITAZH3O&keywords=heartquake+terry+newman&qid=1645631543&sprefix=Heartquake+%2Caps%2C98&sr=8-1 


https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heartquake-terry-newman/1140834497?ean=9781509239108 


Social Media Links


Facebook: Terry Newman

https://www.facebook.com/terry.newman.31521 

Twitter: @tnewmanwrites

https://twitter.com/tnewmanwrites 

Instagram: terry.newman.31521

https://www.instagram.com/terry.newman.31521/ 

TikTok: @terrynewman614

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60574351-heartquake?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=99H2V7dnWm&rank=1 

Bookbub: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60574351-heartquake?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=99H2V7dnWm&rank=1 


Thank you, Terry, for being my guest today on My Writing Corner. Any questions or comments for Terry?






1 comment:

  1. Love hearing about other authors' journeys! Best of luck with the book.

    ReplyDelete

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