HELLO TO ALL AND WELCOME TO MY SPOTLIGHT ON AUTHOR TERE MICHAELS, WHO IS ACTUALLY A NEW AUTHOR TO ME. I WANTED TO GIVE YOU ALL A TASTE OF ALL THE VERY TALENTED AND DIVERSE AUTHORS WHO ATTEND THE LIBERTY STATES FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE. I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE INTERVIEW AND STICK AROUND FOR THE GIVEAWAY AT THE END.
1. Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? I am a Jersey girl – sans the accent and hairspray and Sopranos stereotyping! I’ve lived in the metro NYC area for my entire life, except for a few months out in LA. Love it here, love Manhattan, love living in the burbs a few miles away. I’m happily married to a very smart and funny man; we have a rapidly growing teenage son and three spoiled cats. It’s a very good life.
2. When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer? I was little – before kindergarten even. I read early (thank you Sesame Street!) and my mom got me a subscription to a Disney magazine for kids. When she explained that people wrote stories for a living, I was in. Never wanted to do anything else.
3. Tell us about your upcoming work? Right now I have a few irons in the fire but I am hard at work on a new series. Being a huge comic book fan, I decided to tackle the “hero” genre – think Batman more than Superman – and combine it with my other love, romance! I love the world-building, I love writing an origin story. And of course, the love story. It’s so much fun.
4. Do you have any mentors? Heroes? I really respect Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama – their words have inspired me on many levels, as a person. I think John Green’s connection to his fans is amazing. My mentors? Are my friends. I have some truly extraordinary people in my corner, helping me navigate this maze called life!
5. Can you tell us your favorite character from your books so far and why? That’s a hard one! I love all my characters but I do have a serious soft spot for Griffin (Love & Loyalty, Duty & Devotion). He has none of the traditional grumpiness of my characters. He’s funny and smart and loyal – and hopeful. I really adore that about him. My love for him might have been born out of the fact that he took me so long to “birth” – someone to tangle with Jim? Someone to make him believe in love? I went through several versions until one day he showed up, with his askew glasses and his charm. He’s the best.
6. Was it difficult for you to get published? I have been very blessed in my career. The first book I ever completed was Faith & Fidelity; I sent it to the publisher and they accepted it. It all happened very quickly and for that, I am very grateful.
7. Who are your favorite authors/reads? I don’t have much time to read these days, unfortunately. I enjoy YA books, especially dystopian stories. Currently I’m reading the Maze Runner series. I am always first in line for the next installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood – bless J.R. Ward! Dean Koontz influenced me a great deal when I was a teenager, as did Jane Austen. My favorite last year was “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, which we read in book club. What a magical book!
8. Hobbies? I love taking walks in my local park. Movies – I’m a movie junkie! I enjoy my monthly book club a great deal. Oh and Sims! I love the Sims.
9. Tell us a bit about your workshop(s) at the conference? I am doing two – one is on Tropes We Love with Damon Suede and Kate McMurray. It’s about all those lovely plots we fall for and can’t stop reading; doctor/nurse, amnesia, on the run, secret baby! I can’t wait. The other is the Narrative Journey of the Relationship. I realized that you can take Joseph Campbell’s iconic Hero’s Journey and apply it to the romance of a story, to create the structure - the journey, the learning, the resolution. I played with it on paper then thought – this is so helpful! The stronger the bones of the journey, the stronger the emotional punch for the reader. It helped me – I hope it helps the attendees as much!
10. Do you have any favorite TV shows? I enjoy Glee, Arrow and Law & Order reruns, now and forever!
11. What’s next for you? I’m working on my new series as well as another anthology – this one is for the holidays. Expect another installment of my self-pub series with Nate & Sean, whom I love writing. And there are a few other projects for 2015 I’m already working on that I am very excited about. Perhaps even some more Matt & Evan? We shall see. (You can’t see but I’m totally smiling and winking!)
12. What would you like readers to know about you? Oh gosh – that I love talking to them. I love writing stories they enjoy. That I write for them and for me – because after my family, nothing makes me happier than this career I’ve carved out for myself. Writing has been my dream since childhood and to be able to do it now? There won’t be enough years for me to pay forward all the wonderful blessings I’ve received.