Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday Promo- Terry McLaughlin
Today I have the privilege of showcasing Harlequin Supperromance author Terry McLaughlin. An RWA chapter mate and fun person. She's here to share some about her and a blurb from her June release, A Small Town Homecoming.
Why do you write romance?
The simple answer is: I fell in love with love stories.
I'd always loved "the best parts"–the romantic subplots–in every book I read or movie I saw. But I had no clue there was an entire section of the bookstore devoted to those best parts.
I stumbled across the genre when I read Hidden Riches by Nora Roberts, which I found in a 1994 Reader's Digest Condensed Books anthology. It was one of the best stories I'd ever read. Ever! I went to the bookstore the very next day and asked a clerk if Nora Roberts had ever written anything else :-).
By the time I'd read a few more romance novels, I was completely hooked on the genre. In fact, in the past fifteen years, I haven't read much other than romance. I had a lot of catching up to do. Happy sigh :-).
How long does it take you to write a book from conception to out the door?
That depends on a number of factors: whether the book is a stand-alone or part of a series (where the characters and setting are already defined), whether I have a lot of travel or family commitments during the period I'll be working on the story, and whether that "conception" part requires a lot of planning and research.
The fastest I've ever written a book was approximately three months (one month to work up the conception/proposal and two months to complete the book). That one was the third in a series, and I knew the characters and their situation extremely well.
The slowest? Before I was published, I fooled around for nearly two years finishing a manuscript (which was eventually published). Nothing like contractual deadlines to keep me focused and productive ;-).
Usually I write a book in 3-4 months. I consider myself a slow writer–I don't produce all that many words or pages (or ideas!) on any given day. But once I get going, I slog along steadily, seven days a week.
Where do your story ideas come from and do you have a book or file box with ideas?
I have no idea where my story ideas come from. Most of the time I'm simply struck with a daydream-like vision of a character or a scene. I do a little informal brainstorming (as little as possible) to see if I can come up with an important scene or two, and then off I go. I'm not much of a plotter :-).
Twice I've tried designing a story to fit a certain list of requirements. For instance, I've recently completed a proposal for a Cinderella tale, and I'll soon begin work on a themed series suggested by my agent.
No, I don't keep a file box or a notebook filled with story ideas. I don't get all that many ideas, so I never forget the one idea–or two–I might have in mind at any given moment ;-). I worry more about not finding an idea when I need one!
Blurb for A Small Town Homecoming
All architect Tess Roussel has ever wanted is to open her own design firm. She gets the chance when she returns to Carnelian Cove and wins a coveted waterfront project. It's the contractor hired for the job who's got her distracted. John Jameson Quinn isn't her choice. And definitely not her type.
Tess doesn't go for brooding bad boys–especially one who isn't shy about going after what he wants. And he wants Tess. Never mind that he's got a scandalous past to overcome. A daughter to raise. A boss–Tess–and a town to answer to. Quinn follows his own drumbeat. Only, now Tess is starting to hear it, too. Because he's good. And they're good together.
Her design. His construction. Can they build a love to last?
Terry, thanks for chatting with us today!