Book Addict: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions! I’m going to just jump right in: I loved that Julia, the heroine in Heart of the Highland Wolf, is a Romance Writer! Did you write any of yourself in her? Are the tricks she tried to get rid of writers’ block ones that you use?
Terry Spear: Thanks so much for interviewing me, Patti!
Do I switch from one kind of a story to another while I’m still writing one? Yes. Am I inspired by a place or person that I might use in a story? Absolutely. Do I use tales that others share with me in my stories? Yes. Will a picture of a hunky man give me ideas? Hmm-hmm! When she is in the forest, thinking of a scene she could write about her hero and heroine, I do the very same thing. Awhile back, I went on a hike through a park with friends. I don’t know what they were thinking, but I was imagining being in the woods while a Robin Hood like character and his merry men were nearby. We crossed a wooden bridge that made me think of “The Billy Goats Gruff” and trolls, which made me think of “Willow”, and more trolls. When I visit places like that, my imagination takes over.
Book Addict: Laird Ian was a very sexy hero. Did you base him on anyone (living or historical)?
Terry Spear: I’m thrilled you found him sexy! I based him on a MacNeill ancestor that stole the heart of the Duke of Argyle’s daughter. From oral history, the tale stated they eloped and her father told Malcolm he could have all the land he could cover on foot in a day, though he was furious with him for stealing his daughter’s heart. But Malcolm was too proud and paid for passage to the Carolinas for Elizabeth and their two small sons and infant daughter. The ship was diverted to Prince Edward Island, and Elizabeth, unable to withstand the hardships,died. Later, my great grandmother and grandmother were questioned by Scotland Yard about the family Bible, as the last Campbell had died without issue and they were trying to find Elizabeth’s line. My family didn’t have the Bible that would prove their ties, but another more distant family did, so the history goes. I wanted a happy ending!
Book Addict: Your descriptions of Ian’s castle were thorough – did you research Scottish castles? Have you visited Scotland and/or a castle?
Terry Spear: I went to see several castles in Scotland in September, took pictures of them, and listened to some wonderful tour guide lectures. But I also have read about castles over the years and then made up my own to suit the story. The ones I loved the most were the ones mostly in ruins. Why? I think it was because I could use my imagination more to envision the occupants of a medieval time better, and how the castle would look today.
Book Addict: Julia’s books have been referred to in your previous books (apparently she’s very popular with the lupus garou crowd, lol), but this is the first time that we’ve actually met her. How do you keep all your characters straight and how do you choose who you’ll write about next?
Terry Spear: She’s done well with her lupus garou fans. It’s neat when you can have a secret fan base, don’t you think? It would be like a vampire writing about vampires, but only other real vampires knew they were based on the truth…
Of course, not everyone likes that she writes bout werewolves. Even though she doesn’t give a totally accurate picture of them, some worry that she might give enough about them away that people might begin to believe they really exist. Which for the werewolves would be a disaster.
My coworker at the library where I work suggested I write about a poor werewolf, but I’d wanted to write about a Highland wolf clan next. So I thought why not write about a laird who is about to lose his ancestral home and has to put up with an American film-making venture? But who would the heroine be? I thought, well, what if I had the romance writer sneak in with the film production crew to use Ian’s clan as a basis for her next story and help her to overcome her writer’s block? Sometimes, fans ask to see more of certain characters. Like with Meara, Hunter’s sister in To Tempt the Wolf. I really wrote her as an annoying sister, so hadn’t really thought anyone would want to see her find a mate to love. But several fans did. LOL. So I wrote the SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing (coming out in Spring 2012). My editor had been te one that joked that it would be fun to have a whole team of SEALs who were wolves, and I kept thinking about it, unil I thought, why not match up one of Hunter’s SEAL team members with Meara? But neither thinks that’s a great idea in the least. :-)
Book Addict: I like the world you’ve written for your wolves. You’ve written seven books in this series so far, and they encompass different heroes/heroines and wolf packs – how many different types of lupus garou are there (red, white, gray, etc.)? How long do they typically live?
Terry Spear: There are really only two- gray wolves and red wolves. Arctic (white) are really gray wolves. Wolves in the wild only live between 6-12 years. Up to fifteen or so in captivity. I couldn’t make them that short lived in my stories, and I based them on a semi-immortal creature because werewolves were hard to kill in the old horror stories, unless they were shot with silver bullets. So why not a semi-immortal creature?
Book Addict: Do you have a specific place/time to write? Is your desk messy or neat? Do you have a day job or is writing your full-time occupation?
Terry Spear: I work full time, so I write before and after work and during my days off. I have to or I’d never meet deadlines. My desk – okay, since you can’t see it, it’s very clean, no dust, no salt dotting the mahogany wood (from eating quick homemade meals while getting my writing down at night after work), no movies sitting on the corner (which somehow ended up on my desk and should have been left on the coffee table for this weekend, if I can get to them), no box of Kleenex sitting on the extended table (not for crying during emotional scenes but for annoying allergies), no bills sitting on the desk (if I tucked them away neatly somewhere, they wouldn’t get paid)…so yes, my desk is perfectly neat.
Book Addict: When you’re not writing, what do you like to read? Do you read other books in your genre?
Terry Spear: I LOVE Highland romances, and though I don’t write them, I love regency romances. I also love time travels. I don’t read werewolf stories unless I receive them in a contest that I have to judge. But none of the ones I have read are similar to mine, which is good. I don’t want to ever feel I am borrowing from someone else’s world. That’s partly why I love reading historical romances so much.
Book Addict: What’s coming up next for you?
Terry Spear: Right now I’m working on Heart of the Jaguar (Fall 2012 release date), the first in the jaguar series, lots of research, and lots of new world building, so it’s been fun! After that, probably Tom’s story, from Destiny of the Wolf.
Book Addict: Thanks again for answering my questions – I enjoyed Heart of the Highland Wolf and am hoping we’ll see some of Ian’s brothers in their own stories (hint, hint!).
Terry Spear: Thanks so much for having me, and yes, definitely!!! Duncan is in the next Highland story – though the title will probably change, but he’s in the Grand Cayman Islands being distracted by a female wolf when he’s trying to track down their stolen money in The Highland Wolf in Paradise (Fall 2012).
Thanks again for having me, Patti!!
A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry Spear has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer with a PW Best Book of 208 (Heart of the Wolf), she writes paranormal romance as well as historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information,please visit www.terryspear.com.
Heart of the Highland Wolf
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: June 1, 211
Each holds a secret they can't possibly overcome alone...
Julia Wildthorn is sneaking into Argent Castle to steal an ancient relic,but reluctant laird Ian MacNeill may be the key to unlocking the one answer she really wants discovered...
From brilliant storyteller Terry Spear, modern day werewolves meet the rugged Highlands of Scotland, where instinct meets tradition, and clan loyalties give a whole new meaning to danger...
Sourcebooks has generously offered a copy of Heart of the Highland Wolf to two lucky winners!!
To enter, leave a question or comment for Ms. Spear and a way to contact you if you win. US and Canada only. Contest ends June 17.