Monday, November 10, 2014

Historical Romance = Wonderful!

  How many times have you picked up a book and couldn't put it down.? You loved the book so much you had to read everything by that author. Meet Terri Lee. She just might be your next favorite author.

Terri Lee follows up her debut novel 
Back to Austen with a love story titled The Bootlegger’s Wife. This grew from the tales she heard as a small child. Terri lives in a small rural town in southwest Missouri where the only excitement resides in the stories she spins, and that is just the way she likes it. She and her husband of forty years share their home with a lovable golden Lab named Elizabeth Bennett and a terrorist cat with the implausible 
moniker of Baby Kitty.  
Product DetailsTerri Lee

Welcome, Terri. I have to ask, what kind of research did you have to do to write this kind of story?

I did a good bit of research. Luckily for me, it’s part of the process that I adore. Researching a period of history helps me to immerse myself all the more in the era, until I start to feel very comfortable walking around in those vintage shoes. Writing a true story that reads like fiction required me to have my ducks in a row. Language (slang) was an important factor to keep in the back of my mind. There are so many phrases that are part of our daily conversations; I had to keep a close eye on every word.

The beauty of proper research is that those little tidbits infuse your story with a sense of authenticity and lend a sense of credibility without becoming too heavy-handed. Time and place are important characters, if you will, in any story. They are the backdrop upon which the protagonists will play out their lives, and if you do it right it feels natural but never intrusive. I had to research quite a bit about the Crash of 1929 and about Prohibition in general as you can probably imagine, as both of these figure prominently in my novel.
How did the idea of this story come to you?

Even though this is my family’s story, oddly enough, I was still caught off guard when the tale splashed down in my bubble bath and I realized it was going to be a book. I certainly knew that I had the bones of a great story. I also knew the challenge would be putting flesh on those bones.
The story itself grew from the tales I heard as a small child, words that rolled off the kitchen table and fell on my young ears. A phrase here, a snippet there. An unfinished sentence that piqued my curiosity. So the story that traveled through the years took up residence in my fertile imagination and I let it run free.

You indie published this novel.  Can you tell us a little about why you chose this route instead of a traditional publisher?

I’m a control freak. It really is as simple as that. There has never been a better time in history to be a writer. Artists in other mediums have always had outlets to get their product to the people. Garage bands find an audience and then if they’re lucky they get booked in local clubs and can amass a decent following. They can and have produced their own albums and sold them to the public through various means. Painters can sell their product at art shows, craft shows and local galleries.

This has been the norm for years, for everyone except writers. If your manuscript never made it into the hands of a traditional publisher, there was no other reasonable outlet for you. But the industry has changed. People’s buying habits have changed. And now the option of being able to produce a quality product and market it to the masses is within reach of any writer who so chooses. The idea of working with a graphic artist to design my own cover, working with the editor of my choice and deciding when my book would be available was a perfect fit for me. Of course, I think it helps to be a person who is naturally very organized and determined, because every little detail and decision is yours to make. And the marketing end of the business can keep you extremely busy…when all you really want to do is write.    

I loved this story. Give readers an idea what to expect.

Thanks for the love. Those are the words that every author longs to hear. We hold our breath waiting for those first bits of feedback from our readers. As for what the readers can expect…a love story. My tag line is ‘writing at the crossroads of romance and women’s fiction.’ What the heck does that mean for the average reader? It means I dig deeper. Where Love Stories live.
You’ve told me you have a special time and place to get your ideas down. Share with the readers about your process.

I have a long daily commute, about forty-five minutes each way. I use this quiet time to think about my book. I record my thoughts, my musings, my ramblings and transcribe them later. Sometimes I’m recording whole conversations between my characters. This is a perfect example of time management. Then when I have the time to write, I’ve got dozens of notes and ideas just ready to go.

What future projects can we expect from you?

I have several books lined up in the pipeline, as I like to call it. Ideas present themselves to me and it usually takes at least a year or more of letting the idea simmer in the back of my mind while I’m working on the current project. As those early fuzzy images become sharper I record my thoughts and put them into the corresponding files. Each story decides when it’s ready to be written. I know, because it will push its way to the front of the line. My next project is set in the south in 1963, another great time in history for me to dive into.

What authors influence you?

My taste is so electric. I adore Pat Conroy, the man can sweep me away on a sentence or two. Of course the classic faves like Jane Austen and Mark Twain. I love to laugh. Jan Karon is a favorite; her gentle novels are like a visit to Mayberry. And sometimes a person just needs to go to Mayberry. Garth Stein is a relatively new find for me. My new favorite author is another Indie Author, Suanne Laqueur. This goes to show you there fabulous writing out there from Indie authors finding its way into the public consciousness. Any great piece of writing ends up influencing you, because it has touched you in some way.

What interesting fact about you would surprise your readers?

I think it’s interesting and hopefully inspiring to others that I wrote my first novel, not counting the one I wrote at thirteen, in my mid-fifties. It just goes to prove that it’s never too late for your dream to find you.

Here is the way you can order The Bootlegger’s Wife. Then contact her on your favorite social media choice.

1 comment:

  1. I read Historical Romances every now and then. While I'm not as into the romance part as most women readers, I love the historical component. Impeccable accuracy is important to me.