07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Who's that Girl??

**This is a repost from an older blog floating around the internet
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!

Q:         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?

Q:         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 be a writer?
Terri:    I don't think anyone really decides to become a writer...they just do. But, my wanting to become an author began about 15+ years ago when 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, but I never finished it (long story). Suffice it to say, I wasn’t ready to be a writer. After a few years of studying the craft  I decided to write another book. I sat at the computer every night for two months and wrote the first draft of book one then put it away and spent the next two months writing the first draft of book two. I never dreamed I'd ever complete them, much less sell them...but I did. Crazy, huh?

Q:         Why did you choose the style or the sub-genre?
:    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 traumatic childhood----uh, therapy anyone?)

Q:         What's your favorite line from one of your books?
Terri:    Hmm....I guess the one in chapter one of Dark Obsession. My character Ray is awoken at three in the morning by the spirit of his great-grandmother and when she appears to him he thinks "Great, thanks to too much bourbon and Bruce Willis, I'm talking to dead people."
Q:         When do you find time to write?
Terri:    I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since child three was born, mainly because my husband was in the Coast Guard and we moved every two years. Our children were still in elementary school when he retired and got a civilian job and it was just easier to not work and cart them all around, plus child two has health issues so I spent a lot of time with her at various doctor appointments....ANYWAY...despite my rambling, my inspiration usually hits late at night or when I'm in the shower. Go figure.
Q:         You don’t consider yourself an erotic romance author, yet your stories (save one) each have very sensual love scenes. Is it hard (no pun intended) to write outside of your comfort zone?
Terri:    Actually, yeah. The love scenes weren’t even in the books (as detailed as they are) in the beginning and I only added the eroticism because my first agent asked me to. I have to admit I still feel a bit awkward when I write them. But I was really out of my comfort zone when I was asked to write Her Will His Way (by an editor--now formerly from 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.
Q:         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. Since the kids are older (teens and younger twenties) and have their own lives my husband and I have date night on the weekends. Usually dinner and a movie.
Q:         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? Uh... I'll let you know when that's working out for me. Oh...wait, I do have a goal I'm currently working on. Trying to hit the top 100 in Kindle reads at Amazon. Yeah....it's a bit lofty, but ya never know....with the great reviews I've been getting and more word of mouth...it could happen. (have I mentioned I can be a bit of a dreamer at times??)

Q:         Uh....yeah. Moving on. 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 Arizona, where I also served as chapter president. I'm still a member of the Houston chapter because I still have friends I adore there. I’m still active with the national organization and this year will chair the literacy signing in Atlanta.

Q:         I noticed on a few websites you will give a writer feedback on their posted samples. It's been said you're a very straightforward person, some would say blunt, especially when it comes to critiques.
:    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 could do to improve their manuscript and get it ahead of the slush pile. Of course no one likes to hear their work isn’t ‘there’ yet so on occasion it’s not worth the time. But I am proud to say that there are a few authors out there who’ve sold after my help.

Q:         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, 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. 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!

Q:         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 (Texas). We went to New Braunfels for a week (to ride the rapids). 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 embarrassing moments.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to yourself....like that never happens. Haha

And thank you all for reading. As an added treat, here’s an except from my latest release House of Cards—a romantic suspense about a young woman trying to find her missing sister and prove her brother-in-law is a killer.

Excerpt: House of Cards

By five o’clock, the story was all over the news. Within two days, it had gone nationwide. Every television reporter from CNN to Fox News had arrived in town setting up camp in the quiet neighborhood of Rancho Viejo and their hunger for a story left little room for the truth.
Michael settled at his desk with a mug of coffee and opened the file they had started on Alicia Vega. Behind him, the late afternoon sun radiated through the open blinds, reflecting off the veneer top of his desk.
Over the past three days since Alicia Vega had been reported missing, they’d set up a recovery center, made several hundred flyers with her picture, launched a door to door search of the neighborhood and started a hotline offering a ten-thousand-dollar reward to anyone with information leading to her safe return.
He’d given a brief press conference on the evening news and because Michael knew the importance of the media in these situations, he’d encouraged Jesse and Marcus to use the press as well. However, since Jesse refused to stand with Marcus, Michael accompanied her to the local ABC affiliate to give a video interview with Diane Sawyer for Good Morning America while Oscar appeared with Marcus on the Today show.
Jesse had kept quiet throughout most of the discussion, leaving him to answer a majority of the questions. He could see she was trying her best to keep her hostility toward Marcus in check, but when the journalist asked point-blank if Jesse thought her brother-in-law had something to do with his wife's disappearance; she'd looked directly into the camera and said yes.
Had Michael known Jesse would outwardly accuse her brother-in-law of murdering his wife he’d have kept her under lock and key. Now, because Marcus had friends in LULAC--The League of United Latin-American Citizens–the police were not only being accused of discrimination, but LULAC was using its influence to make sure Vega wouldn't be railroaded.
Though the case had yet to be classified as anything more than a missing person, Michael planned to follow his gut and record everything he could about Marcus's behavior. Because, if he really did kill his wife, Michael was going to make sure there was enough evidence to put the son-of-a-bitch away. Regardless of whom his friends are.

**If you want to learn more about Terri you can find her at any of the following:



Paty Jager said...

Fun interview!

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Terri,

You made me laugh a few times with this interview. I can relate to so much of what you said!

House of Cards sounds like another really good book!

Terri Molina said...

Thank you, Paty.

Thanks, Sarah. I usually amuse myself. haha

Naomi Baltuck said...

Great interview!

Judith Ashley said...

What a fun post with many words of wisdom along with a good dose of humor.

Diana Mcc. said...

Great post! Thanks for the excerpt. I really enjoyed it.

Shobhan Bantwal said...

Terri is a talented and wonderful writer. I know her as a fellow Desert Rose romance author, and we recently served together on an author panel at the Tucson Book Festival, where I heard Terri speak in depth about her writing. Very, very interesting! Keep up the good work, Terri.