By: D. VonThaer
This week I had the pleasure to sit down with Florida native Terry Odell for my first author interview for the APA. Terry is a suspense/romance writer with quite a collection under her belt. Her collection of works is growing; with four novels, three publishers, and a collection of short stories, there was a lot of ground to cover. I was fortunate enough to snatch a sliver of time with her for a chat, as well as a formal series of questions. During our one-on-one, we talked about the publishing industry, writing, inspiration, and PR.
I was thankful to find Terry, like myself, hates to give things away as much as she dislikes writing jacket copy and blurbs, as well as those pesky thing known as the query letter. It’s refreshing to know that even for someone whose been through the process a few times, some things never get easier. I think some of us can take refuge in that piece of knowledge, and find comfort knowing it’s not just us!
Our focus was on her latest book, When Danger Calls, by Five Star Press. WDC is an action-adventure (with a twist of romance!) about Frankie, a single mother who’s gone home to Montana to care for her ailing mother. Insert Ryan Harper, a government co-op agent on the bad side of his former employer, who’s been thrown into a tug-of-war with Frankie over the life of her daughter and national security, with millions of lives at stake. (One might suggest a little mystery-romance hides beneath the action-packed pages.)
Terry is currently working on a sequel to When Danger Calls, expressing a feeling many writers experience, but not everyone truly understands, “The characters demanded their stories be told, and who am I to argue?” That gave me an immediate feeling of kinship with someone who understands the innate desire to write, not for profit, or for fame, but because the story held within just will not rest until it has been told.
Terry’s words to the wise when it comes to writing and publishing? Separate! Take the ‘me’ feeling from the book and understand it’s also a business. I find this to be not only excellent advise, but advise not often given. So often we’re immersed in the craft of writing, that when it’s all said and done, it feels like giving birth, and the whole world is commenting on your infant. Remembering that it’s indeed a business enforces Terry’s wisdom: “A thick skin is a requirement of the job.”
Ms. Odell’s final words for aspiring writers? “Persistence. If you're a writer, you'll write because you love it. Because you have to. Publication is the cherry on the whipped cream on the sundae.” I’ll have what she’s having, thanks.
Terry Odell’s novel, When Danger Calls is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as other retailers and Terry‘s website. Please ask your local library for a copy! It costs you nothing, but helps get the book out to audiences. Her other novels include What’s in a Name, Finding Sarah, and Hidden Fire all by Cerridwen Press. Her short stories are with The Wild Rose Press, and you can find out more by visiting her website at www.terryodell.com where she's compiled sources for helping other writers, workshops, and finding inspiration.
Want to win a signed copy of Terry Odell's novel, When Danger Calls? Go to your local library to request a copy of the book. Snap a photo of something in the library; books, shelves, the librarian, whatever! Just make sure I can tell it was taken in a library, and not your basement. Send the picture to email@example.com before September 30 to enter.