Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Meet My Wonderful Writing Friend
Teresa Slack

What to do?
Let Teresa and me know why she should write a suspense novel set in YOUR state (and if you live in Ohio, then tell her why she should get her currect work in progress done so that you can read it!) Make sure you leave your email address so that I can contact you when/if you win.

Now read on for a look into Teresa's writing life . . .

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

First of all, Carole, let me say thanks for allowing me the opportunity to get acquainted with your readers. I have loved to write as long as I can remember. I couldn’t not do it. As far as I’m concerned when something is a passion, a burden if you will, that won’t let you go, God has great things in store for that passion. It’s almost a sin to let it go to waste.

What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I write in several genres, but my favorite is romantic suspense. Suspense comes easier for me, but everything is better with an element of romance added in. In suspense, the hero is in imminent danger whereas a mystery is usually a puzzle that needs solved. In romantic suspense, the heroine should fall in love, and perhaps trip over a dead body or two along the way.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

This changes often and depends on what else is going on. Right now I’m working fulltime and won’t be able to dedicate as much time to writing as I normally do. When I am working on a novel I must set a word count for myself or I won’t accomplish a thing. Last year I joined a writing challenge and completed 52K in 30 days. Otherwise I fritter away my writing time. It helps if I’m accountable to someone, even a self-imposed deadline.

Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?

I am currently working on a novel that takes place on a remote Ohio farmhouse during the Great Blizzard of 1978. The story explores the spiritual inheritance we leave behind. It is easy to think we are a certain kind of person. But often our words and actions reveal a totally different persona to the world. After we’re gone there are no do-over’s. No second chances to show people our true self.

It is my hope that by reading the book, readers will ask themselves what inheritance they are preparing for the world. What will our loved ones say about us as they gather around our graveside? What about our coworkers or neighbors? Will they remember our generosity and love for God and all his creation? Or will they remember the times we lost our temper over small matters and lied to the boss to stay out of trouble?

Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?

I often envy people with regular jobs and steady paychecks who get to leave their work behind every day when they clock out. Writers don’t have that luxury. We’re working, even when we’re not working. It is a very discouraging business.

I am currently between writing contracts. I sometimes wonder why I keep writing when there are so many people out there doing what I want to do, and possibly doing it a whole lot better. It seems when I get the most discouraged and considering chucking it all and getting a regular job, the Lord puts someone in my path to encourage me. Someone at church will tell me they’ve been praying for my writing. Or I will get an email from a reader. Today someone told me at the voting polls that they had just finished reading my books and loved them.

I think of how most actors and celebrities started out on a level playing field. Some became megastars like Tom Hanks, while others like Peter Scolari—his costar in Bosom Buddies—struggled to find work after a few years in Hollywood. Why do some enjoy incredible success while others are lucky to get a guest appearance in CSI, International Falls?

Let’s face it. A lot of it is dumb luck. Some is connections. Then you have talent, timing, an awesome publicist, hard work, and more dumb luck. Do the non-working actors not consider themselves actors because they aren’t as well known as Kate Hudson? Of course not. They keep working on their craft through the discouraging times as well as when everything seems to fall into place. If you want something bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to achieve it.

I won’t let the fact that I may not become a Tom Hanks keep me from pursuing my dreams.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

I did a lot of research before I ever submitted to the first publisher. I went through the same thing when I was shopping for an agent. I wanted someone who shared my goals and vision for my books and my career. I don’t think anyone can afford to sit back and relax anymore. Having been published before has helped me get a foot in the door, but when it comes down to getting a new book contract it takes the same hard work and tenacity as the first book.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

I love:
  • dark chocolate,
  • shoe sales,
  • brand new notebooks,
  • movie theater popcorn,
  • and Tina Fey.
My hobbies aren’t very exciting:
  • reading,
  • spending time with my grandkids,
  • walking the dogs,
  • and knitting.
If money were no object I would circle the globe. I love seeing new places and meeting new people. If I could only pick one place I would visit Greece.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

Writing a book is hard enough, but letting the world know you wrote a book is a job that never ends.
  • Readers are welcome to visit my website to find out more about me and my books.
  • I am woefully behind in posting to my two writing blogs.
  • I try to update my Facebook status every day or so. Like everything else writing related, I hope to catch up over the next few weeks.
In the meantime check out my books. If they aren’t in stock at your local library or bookstore, just ask and they’ll get them for you. Of course they are available 24-hours a day online.

Thank you so much for visiting today, Teresa. Folks, she's a talented and wonderful writer! Please leave your comment for a chance to win these books!



Teresa Slack said...

Love the contest idea, Carole. Thanks so much for the interview. It was a lot of fun.

Joy said...

I'd not read any of Teresa Slack's work and due to your interview I'l be changing that. It was a smooth-flowing question and answer and gave me a sense of getting to know Teresa's heart.
THANK YOU for the encouraging remarks about writing for a purpose above publication.
Joyfully Writing For HIM - Joy Avery Melville

NMusch said...

There's not a lot of Christian fiction set in Wisconsin -- some, but not much, and definitely not much romantic suspense (I'm wracking my brain to try to think of ANY.) Wisconsin's not far from Ohio, so research wouldn't be too hard. Yep, definitely time for some Wisconsin Christian romantic suspense. By the way -- great interview!

NMusch said...

There's not a lot of Christian fiction set in Wisconsin -- some, but not much, and definitely not much romantic suspense (I'm wracking my brain to try to think of ANY.) Wisconsin's not far from Ohio, so research wouldn't be too hard. Yep, definitely time for some Wisconsin Christian romantic suspense. By the way -- great interview!

Carla Gade said...

Nice interview, Teresa and Carole!
I loved learning more about Teresa's writing. Ah, Maine, a great place to set a novel - so many remote places.


carlagade [at]gmail [dot] com

Kathryn Page Camp said...

How about suspense and intrigue at the Indianapolis 500? It might be a fun challange to put a new spin on it.

Janet said...

I would LOVE to win Teresa's 3 book series! I am a lover of mysteries, suspense, romance and it sounds like her books have a little of all 3! And I think her next "series" should be set in my big state of Texas!! We have a lot going on "down here"! lol
God bless you for hosting Teresa and you, Teresa, for using the talent God gave you!!

MoziEsmé said...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings:

I haven't read Teresa Slack's books, yet - so thanks for the intro to a new author! Got her books on my wish list now...

And Oregon would be a great setting because we've got it all - mountains, forest, desert, beaches. I live right by the Umpqua National Forest on the road to Crater Lake - there are lots of suspenseful areas here, even though the small-town atmosphere leaves us all feeling really safe.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Carly Kendall said...

These books sound wonderful. I would love to win them. I have always admired writers because the more I read about the writing process, the more difficult it seems to do. It truly amazes me when writers can craft such wonderful stories.

jill said...

She should set a book in Illinois and make it a political suspense novel. That way, no one would have any idea which crooked politician was the villain, as there are so many from which to choose.

Linda Glaz said...

Yeah for romantic suspense. Why, Michigan, of course. Our political structure alone should be grist for a dozen or more suspense novels. hehehee. Great interview, keep up the wonderful writing!

Jo said...

I have never read any of Teresa's books but will be looking for her books as they sound quite interesting. I have never read any christian suspense based in Arizona where I live so think that would be interesting to read especially since close to the Mexico border as well.


Wendy said...

Thanks for offering the books by Teresa. There has been some Christian fiction set in Minnesota but not alot. I think the Boundary Waters would be a good place or International Falls also would be good to be the focus of a novel - remote places.

Charity said...

I have never heard of this author before!! So glad to find another author who sounds very interesting:) I will have to put these on my wish-list.
As far as why Teresa should write a book in my state, what is not to like about FL!! The sun, the beach, the weather, the people:) What more can I say. Personally, I like stories in the mid-west or northern states, but FL is my home state, soo.
Please enter me:) Thanks!!


Amanda said...

I think more books should be set in Iowa!! Thanks for the giveaway!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

Carmen7351 said...

Romantic suspense are the best, except for a few thrillers.
Haven't heard of Teresa's books. Would love to! Please enter me. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Holly said...

Great Interview!!! FLORIDA is the setting for your next book!! :) Think of it beaches... sunshine... palm trees... gorgeous weather... (most of the time;) ) Good ol' southern hospitality... paradise right? What could possibly be better than adding a little susoense and ahem "terror" to this paradisical place? grin In all honesty I think Florida would be a great place!

Caroline said...

Gulp! Glad I don't have to choose one of your state's for my next book's setting, gals. Love all your answers. Wow, some super answers.

Thanks for visiting!

runner10 said...

Great post. KY would be a great place for your next book. Beautiful land and even more beautiful horses.

Donna Alice said...

I live in Ohio but I've often thought that it would be cool to read a book set in some unusual state like North Dakota. When's the last time you saw a book set there?

I've read and loved Teresa's books! Hi Teresa! Enjoyed reading the interview.

Cindy W. said...

Well, my birth home state is California and I always thought a suspense novel set in the Happiest Place on Earth (Disneyland) would be fun... or a suspense novel in the Big Bear mountain area. Ahhh...I do miss those things. But I currently live in Indiana. It's a beautiful FLAT state so there would be no place to hide in wide open places, that's for sure. But maybe a suspense story centered around the Indianapolis 500.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Carole said...

First, let me say that Teresa is a very good writer. I read Streams of Mercy recently and loved it. It would be great to win the series!

My home state of Georgia would be a great setting for a romantic suspense novel because there are so many contrasting areas from which to choose:

- the lovely Blue Ridge mountains of North Ga
- antebellum Stone Mountain with all it's southern charm
- the bustling city of Atlanta with its famous Peachtree Street
- the national seashore and horses that run free on Cumberland Island
- historic Savannah on the coast
- Okefenokee Swamp on the Ga/Fla border

Thanks for the interesting interview and chance to win Teresa's books.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Teresa Slack said...

Wow. Love all the responses. I can't believe no chatty Ohioans chimed in. The rest of you have given me some great ideas and inspiration. Thanks everyone.

Carole, how long do I have to make up my mind?

Caroline said...

Teresa, contest ends next Tuesday, May 11, so say a couple days after that. Then you're in for it. All of these readers want a NEW book set in the state you choose--what do you say, gals, give her 6 months? LOL

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read these books.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I think Michigan would be a great setting. We have a very depressed economy, so a crime there would be easy to write about. We have some beautiful settings, like Mackinaw Island, all the beaches around the great lakes. Plus, we do have some major industries here (what is left of them).

MJ said...

South Carolina would make a wonderful setting. From the coastline to the mountains or anywhere in between. I think Charleston would be a perfect place!!


Roseanna M. White said...

Now, now, I can present the case for TWO excellent states. MARYLAND is awesome because it's a small state with a lot of variety--from the romance and charm of the Chesapeake to the splendor and grace of the mountains. And I'm also a big fan of the state I was born and raised in, WEST VIRGINIA. The Mountain State is surely unsurpassed in beauty--everywhere you look, hills rolling into mountains, trees covering it all, and the love of the Appalachians runs deep in its people.

Edna said...

I am with the last commenter South Carolina would be a great place for a book. I live here also

Please enter me into the contest I have not read any of Teresa's work but I am always trying new authors, I just love books.

Follow on google


Abi said...

Thanks for the post.
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Nancye said...

I think Kentucky would be the perfect setting for a suspense novel. Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, now that would be cool!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Wendy said...

There is so much mystery and adventure in Minnesota.

ebeandebe at gmail dot com

thecoolmom said...

These books sound awesome. Texas would be an ideal place to set a book. You have lots of environments to choose from. We have big cities, tiny towns, remote ranches, high desert area, beaches, lush hill country, and East Texas piney woods with magnolias and evergreens. You can find areas heavily influenced by Hispanic culture, the Wild West or the Deep South.

Linda Kish said...

Count me in, please.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Barbara said...

I've never read one of her books but I'm looking forward to doing so. Tennessee has the Great Smoky Mountains and Music City - Nashville. And we are in the Bible Belt!


bluerose_shelnut said...

I would love to win these books! Alabama is such a beautiful state, and I think it is many times overlooked. I don't know of very many books set in Alabama.
(Carmen sent me) :)

Esther Y.M. said...

Please enter me into the contest. And Texas- because a great sister in Christ lives there- my sis Suni.


God bless!!!

Esther Y.M. said...

p/s i forgot to mention that Carman sent me.

Teresa Slack said...

So many fun and convincing arguments for each state. This is going to be a hard choice. I wonder if the winning entrant would host an out of town author while she did her research. Hmmm...I like that idea. In the meantime I will send my choices to Carole and let her sort it out.

Thanks so much, everyone, for entering.

Break Time!

In Case Anyone is Wondering What's Going on with few posts lately-- I'm taking a short hiatus. Deciding where I want to...