Welcome to the New Year’s Eve Club!
“Five friends reunite on New Year’s Eve to reinvent their ten-year old college list of the perfect man, then each promises to meet that guy before the year is out.”
Here’s another Boroughs Author!
(Don’t forget to check out Boroughs’ writing contest! Many of the Lunchbox Romances that have been featured STARTED in last year’s Boroughs Love @First Sight Writing Contest!)
Terry Irene Blain
Terry Irene Blain was lucky enough to grow up in a large Midwestern family with a rich oral tradition. As a child she heard stories of ancestors’ adventures with Indians, wildlife, weather and frontier life in general, so she naturally gravitated to the study of history and completed a BA and MA then taught the subject at the college level. Married to a sailor, now retired, she’s had the chance to live in various parts of the country as well as travel to foreign places such as Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland. She currently writes historical and contemporary romance novels set in the American West.
Here are a few questions I asked her:
Me: What inspired SARAH’S COWBOY?
Terry: Since The New Year’s Eve Club is a series, we actually brainstormed and plotted out major story points over a week end retreat. What we wanted to do was make each story different. As this was the first contemporary I wrote, I wanted to choose something I know a little about, and since I’ve been writing about cowboys, I needed a contemporary cowboy. Fortunately, I have a brother and sister-in-law who are in ‘the business’ so I came up with a stuntman, Kit, working on a western movie. That way I could combine the cowboy/historical stuff (they go horseback riding) with the modern/contemporary stuff (they ride on his motorcycle).
We had set it up that each of the five members of The New Year’ Eve Club wanted a ‘something extra’ in addition to the items on The List, so I had my school teacher, Sarah, long for a little adventure – and teaching on the movie set would be totally different from anything else she’d done. I think the combination worked out well. And I like stories where the couple falls in love quickly.
Me: What is your typical day like?
Terry: My husband and I are both recently retired, so no more 5:20am alarm. Now we get woken up by our dogs, Smokey (Scottish terrier) and Bandit (Welsh corgi) saying “it’s getting light – time to get up and feed me”. We eat breakfast and feed the dogs and read the morning paper. My husband takes the dogs for a walk and I go through my email while walking on my treadmill. Then depending on the day, I’ll try to get some writing in the morning. Some days I have a morning class, and once a week we take the dogs for an agility lesson. So I try to get some more writing time in the afternoon. I generally don’t write in the evenings unless it’s editing or blog writing. In the evenings we watch television and I usually do needlework while I watch.
Me: Why do you write historicals?
Tery: Oh dear, this is sorta my soap box, so here it is.
I started out writing historicals as that’s mostly what I read, and of course, I taught American History and Western Civilization at the college level, so you know I love history. I was lucky enough to grow up knowing all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. You hear all the stories of when they were little and the retelling of the stories they heard from their parents and grandparents. So I grew up loving history. History of the story of who we are and where we came from, and that (our history) is the foundation we use to make the decisions of what we want or need to do going forward.
I like to tell about Koko the gorilla who learned sign language. When she ‘talked’ about something in the past, she motioned in front of her, as she can ‘see’ the past. For the future, she motioned behind her as she can’t ‘see’ the future. So the more you know about the past the better decisions you can make about the future. That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed teaching history as an educated electorate is essential for a democracy or a republic.
One of the saying I have posted on the wall in my office is an old Chinese saying: Every time you open a book, you learn something. So I want to present an authentic representation of a past time in my historicals.
Me: What’s your next project?
Terry: Right now I’m writing another contemporary cowboy story – he’s a rodeo cowboy and she’s an old acquaintance who owns a ranch where they raise stock for the rodeo.
Me: Quick! You’re dragged 300 years into the past, what ONE item do you take with you?
Terry: Ahh? 2013 – 300 = 1713. Ok now I know where I am. What I’d really like to take is hot water heater. We did a lot a camping when the boys were young and carrying and heating water is a lot of work. If I can’t take the technology for the hot water heater or my kindle, then I’ll settle for a big library of books. I could handle living in 1713 where the technology would be pretty much like camping, but I couldn’t live without a lot of stuff to read.
Me: Please list your top five historical books (fiction or non-fiction). Title and Author.
Terry: Dawn’s Early Light – by Elsworth Thane (fiction)
The Kentuckians – Janice Holt Giles (fiction)
The Last of the Wine – Mary Renault (fiction)
Queen Elizabeth I – J. E. Neale (biography)
Washington, The Indispensable Man – James Thomas Flexner (biography)
Me: What MUST you have when writing?
Terry: A computer. I really didn’t start writing until my husband bought a word processor (what they called really old computers). I’m a terrible typist, and the computer makes it so much easier to write. When I first published, you had to send in a hard copy on paper of the ms.
Me: Describe your ideal romantic date.
Terry: Oh, I’m not very creative. I’d be happy with a movie in the early afternoon, and then a really nice dinner at a fancy restaurant and then stay overnight in a hotel, then a nice brunch on a patio with a great view. Just a nice easy day when I don’t have to do any work and get to spend it with my husband.
Me: What is your ideal reading space?
Terry: Anywhere there’s a book or something to read. Who doesn’t read the cereal box at breakfast? But I read anywhere, especially now that my husband bought me a kindle. I used to have to carry a paperback book with me all the time, but now the kindle takes up less room and give me lots of choices. In the evenings I generally read in the living room, that corner of the couch with the table for my soda is mine.
Me: On the weekends I like to…
Terry: To answer this question I looked at my calendar. Last weekend my mom and I went to a baby shower for my daughter-in-law (an out of town trip). Next weekend is my local RWA meeting. The one after that is a walk with the corgi group. Then comes the walk to raise funds for the local animal shelter. Then it’s another out of town trip to an agility trial, then it’s time for RWA meeting again. Since we retired, the weekend is generally a busy time for at least one day.
Me: In high school, were you an introvert, extrovert, or homeschooled?
Terry: Pretty much of an extrovert in high school. I was on the drill team and participated in intermural athletics. And by high school I knew I wanted to be a history teacher. You don’t choose the profession of teaching if you’re too introverted to stand in front of a classroom.
He was tall and whipcord lean, just like a hero out of the old movies that were her favorites. His grey hat was pushed back on his head, revealing again that curly dark blond hair. Today he wore no chaps, but that didn’t stop her from instinctually checking out his backside. Nothing like Levi’s and boots to make a man look manly.
Thank you, Terry!
Stop by every Wednesday for the rest of the month to meet the other members of the NYE Club and learn about their books!
And don’t forget to visit Boroughs’ website for more Lunchbox romances, novels, novellas, and romantisodes.