Thursday, June 23, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Terry Spear

UFI welcomes Terry Spear Author of The Heart of the Highland Wolf. Thanks for Joining us!!

-What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview?

Hi, Stacy, and thanks so much for having me here at Urban Fantasy Investigations today!

Most probably don’t know that I’m not fond of heights, so when I had to rappel off the side of sheer brick buildings or a wooden scaffolding, I wasn’t really happy. When they asked the Army ROTC cadets who wanted to do the Australian rappel, which was face down instead of with your back to the ground, I was not one of the cadets who stepped forward to experience the fun! But I’m glad I did experience the mountain climbing and all the rappelling I’ve done because I have used my Army and other adventurous excursions in my stories. It’s so much easier writing about them if you’ve really experienced it. Of course, not having shifted into a wolf yet, I have to go by what my characters say the process is like…

-What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Turning my yard into a forest—well, it’s not even close, but I’m working at growing more trees to shade from the hot Texas sun, which reminds me I need to water the trees I’ve planted before it gets too hot. And reading. I love to immerse myself in other authors’ worlds! And hiking when I can find someplace shaded and cool to hike. When I do so, I feel that I’m part of the medieval world that at one time existed in the natural environment. Just like my heroine was running through the ancient Caledonian Forest in Scotland
and feeling connected with the whispers of the past, I felt that when visiting a glen in the Highlands as I headed for a pasture to take pictures of Highland cows, which have long fur and smaller faces than our cows. While I was walking toward the fence, I heard Celtic music playing, and I thought how exquisite it was to hear the music in such an idyllic setting, but it stopped just as I reached the fence. There were no homes or buildings out there, just a river, hills, woods and the meadow and the cows. After I finished taking pictures, I asked my two lady friends what they thought about the lovely music—they hadn’t heard a sound.

-What is your Favorite part of writing?

Beginnings and Endings. It’s fun coming up with a unique way that the hero and heroine can meet, find that first attraction, and conflict! Throughout the story, they learn more about each other, but the beginning is so much fun to create. And then the end. If I can, I try to write in a way that the characters come full circle from that unique beginning. It’s important to wrap up all the loose ends by the end of the story, have a satisfying “ah” feeling that the characters made the right choice to be together and that whatever major conflict they were dealing with has been dealt with!

-Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

I work full time at a library, so I HAVE to write before work, during lunch break and after I get home. On my days off, I have to start at the crack of dawn to really get some writing in. But part of the writing process is promoting and so I spend an inordinate amount of time keeping up with fan email and blogs. It’s just as important to me to keep connected with fans as it is to write!

-What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Genres?

Karen Monig, Christine Feehan, Joy Nash.

-How would you pitch your Werewolf Romance Series to someone like me who has yet to read your books?

If you’re looking for a werewolf romance where the werewolf in wolf form is all wolf, if you like humor, suspense, mystery and romance, if you want to feel as though werewolves truly do exist, then these might be a series for you. I based my werewolves on real wolves in the wild. They’re not some beastly horror creature. I could never envision getting hot and bothered over a hideously beastly wolf! And I love wolf pack dynamics, so it’s been fun doing the research to make them as real as possible. Although since they’re half human, they can’t be ALL WOLF all the time. A critique partner once said that my humor would sneak up behind her when she was least expecting it. And I have a lot of readers who love the mysteries in the stories.

-Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Heart of the Highland Wolf is set in?

It’s a contemporary world set in the Highlands where the pack leader, Ian MacNeill, is also a clan leader of the MaNeills, living in the ancestral home of Argent Castle. The name is Gaelic for silver, and since they are gray wolves, I thought that was the perfect name for the castle. When a red wolf romance writer, who writes about werewolves, comes to Argent to do away with her writer’s block, she also is on a mission to find a secret box hidden in the castle. Ian’s already frustrated enough that an American film crew is filming a production at his castle due to investments in a conman’s grand scheme that leaves the
clan’s funds in dire straits, but when the little red wolf arrives, he’s aware she’s not part of the film crew as she states and he wants nothing more than to learn exactly what her game is. At least that’s what he tells himself. He’s intrigued in her in a lot more ways than that, and the feeling is mutual.

-Do you have a favorite scene in Heart of the Highland Wolf ?

One of my favorite scenes in the story is the part where the brothers don’t want to cook for Ian MacNeill and his red wolf temptress. It’s not really an intact scene, so to speak, but an ongoing discussion about who is going to do the cooking.

All the men in my life, father, husbands, brothers-in-law, son, love to cook and do a great job of it. So often, my heroes love to cook also. This time I wanted to make a twist.

Ian sat down in his favorite high-backed chair in front of the fire. “ What amuses you, Duncan? I don’t believe I’ve seen you this cheery in eons. Not unless you’ve been successful in a sword fight, and even then your delight in your win is shown in the most reserved manner.”

Duncan sank into a chair next to Ian’ s. “ We have a situation. Guthrie says you’ve put him in charge of dinner.”

Ian raised his brows. “ Ah, and this is what amuses you?” He wasn’t worried about a situation, not if Duncan was pleased about it.

“ Aye.” Duncan’ s faint smile grew, only it was hard to tell what he was thinking. Not a happy smile, but more of a hunter’ s smile, as if he’ d just found prey to make sport of.

“ And?”

Duncan turned from the fire, the flames glinting off his dark eyes. “ Cook took the night off. To be with MacNamara, rumor has it.”

“ MacNamara? Who swore off women after his wife divorced him five years ago?” Ian frowned. “ She doesn’t intend to turn him, does she?”

“ He is just a diversion. So she says.”

“ Ah.” Ian watched Duncan stretch out his legs.

“ The truth of the matter is that Guthrie realized you needed information about the lass, and yet you’ve ordered him to do the cooking.”

“ Cooking?” Guthrie never cooked. Well, at least not since he’ d ruined a few meals in the process. Ian swore his brother did it on purpose so he’ d never be asked to cook.

“ Aye. You put him in charge of having the dinner ready. But Cook is with MacNamara.”

Realization dawning, Ian folded his arms and smiled slightly. “ I wanted him to tell Cook to have dinner ready in an hour, but that he was to research who Miss Julia Wildthorn is in the meantime. Since he cannot be doing two jobs at once, and the other is of more importance, you will have Cook’ s job.”

Duncan’ s smile vanished. “ Me? I cook worse than Guthrie.”

“ Aye.”

“ If you’ re thinking to win your ladylove with a meal fit for an earl, you can forget it. We’ ll have whatever I can throw together that won’ t need any cooking.” Duncan looked glum.

The cooking issue came up earlier, as you can see, and comes up again a few times before we finally see what happens.

-Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

I really enjoy writing about all my characters. It’s fun making them different from each other. For instance, the brothers are quadruplets. So they’re going to look similar, but they have very much different personalities. I enjoy showing how they each deal with conflict differently. Note in the above passage, Duncan is the dark warrior, so when he’s smiling about something, it’s in a hunter’s predatory way. He is the youngest brother. If it had been Ian’s next oldest brother, Cearnach, he would have been smiling in his typical always lighthearted way. Guthrie is the financial wizard in the family, and he’s trying to maintain his professional demeanor in light of the whole sorted mess. Ian is the pack leader and clan leader and he expects his demands to be met. But of course that doesn’t mean they will be, exactly.

-Heart of the Highland Wolf is the 7th book in your Werewolf series. Have you found it any easier or harder to write the series as it gets farther along?

Each story is hard and easy. I always have to come up with a really new story, plot, characters, same world. So the easy part is having done so much research into wolf behavior. The hard part is ensuring that each story is uniquely different from each before it so that fans of the series don’t feel they’re reading the same story over and over again. Also, it’s fun taking characters from previous books and giving them their own story. But the hard part is making sure that they still keep their personalities in the original book. Although it’s only human nature to act differently when there’s a new woman on the scene.

Thanks so much for having me at Urban Fantasy Investigations, Stacy!

I was curious what any of your readers would think if they ventured into a Highland field and heard the most beautiful mystical Celtic music playing?

Author Bio:
Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf named in Publishers Weekly's BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE. 

Terry Spear also writes true stories for adult and young adult audiences. She’s a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses.

Find Terry and her books

Heart of the Highland Wolf
Heart of the Wolf #7
June 1, 2011

Ian McNeill, laird of Argent Castle finds his capital squandered through unwise investments and the wolf clan's home that has been theirs for centuries is in danger of being forfeit for nonpayment of taxes. When a movie producer contacts him with the notion of using his castle to produce a movie, Ian abhores the idea, but it's his only salvation. Even worse, his people become extras in this epic Highland movie. But when one American werewolf romance author, Julia Wildthorn, slips into the castle under the guise of being with the movie company, except she is trying to jumpstart her muse with writing a book set in old-world Scotland--specifically about his castle and his people as the characters in her newest book venture--she and Ian tangle.
Winner will receive
- One copy of Heart of the Highland Wolf

1)  Leave a comment or answer Terry's question above. =)
2) This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers.
3) Must leave an email address so I can contact you.

Giveaway Ends 6/30/2011 at 10pm EST
Winner will have 48 Hours to reply to my email or I will pick another
Winner chosen randomly with the help of