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Interview with Terri Reed

How did your tagline, “Heart Warming Romance, Heart Pounding Suspense…to Lose Yourself In,” come about?

The first part (Heart Warming Romance, Heart Pounding Suspense) was used in a promo piece Harlequin made for me. I liked it so I kept it. The last part (to Lose Yourself In) came out of an online class on Author Branding through RWA. The instructor, Stephanie Bond, suggested adding the end to my tagline. I think it speaks to my hope that readers will step in to the world of the book and enjoy themselves.

In your latest release, Ransom, your setting is Niagara Falls. Have you been there? How do you research your books?

I have not been there but hope to visit one day. The great thing about the Internet is you can visit anywhere in the world without actually going. It’s more fun to actually travel to the place, but that’s not always an option.

When I’m researching a setting I read all the tourist and chamber of commerce info I can find plus read reviews of the area on travel sites. It’s interesting to read others people’s perceptions of a place. Some can be quite diverse, which makes developing the setting more real.

I read that you love Nancy Drew and Gothic romances. What do you love most and how do you incorporate that?

Yes, I’m a huge fan of Nancy Drew mysteries. I still have my collection of all the books from when I was a kid. I read my first Nancy Drew book when I was 10 and hooked on mysteries. I wanted to be her, to have her gumption and confidence.

I enjoy mysteries and was happy to discover Gothic romances in my late teens. I enjoyed the romance aspect as much as the mystery and started branching out reading more romance and suspense books. That’s why I’ve gravitated toward writing romantic suspense. Though I do write romances without suspense as well. They provide a nice occasional break.

You started writing while pregnant with your first child but you’ve wanted to write since seventh grade, right? What prompted you to start writing?

My seventh grade English teacher sparked a love of the written word. All through my school years my teachers encouraged and inspired me to dream of writing a novel. As a way to distract myself from morning sickness, I took a class at the local community college on how to write a romance. The instructor told us about Romance Writers of America and I joined the next week.

My first published story was a historical inspirational romance novella for Barbour Publishing. I switched to contemporary inspirational romance when my second child came along after hearing an author advise, “write what you know”. Plus trying to do research at the library with two small ones in tow wasn’t happening. This was before the Internet.

You have held a variety of jobs. How have your different jobs helped you write different characters?

Like many authors, I’m a people watcher. I’m fascinated by human behavior. Having had a wide variety of experiences interacting with diverse people has definitely helped me flesh out my characters and bring them to life.

Do you have any specific writing or brainstorming methods to conjure up new storylines?

When I’m brainstorming, I read news articles looking for ideas or play the “what if” game with my critique partner. Sometimes when I’m out and about watching people I’ll make up stories using what I’m observing about them. That has led to a few books.

What draws you to write a particular novel?

I’m drawn to each book for different reasons. Sometimes a character will come to me first and other times the scenario. It’s putting all the pieces together that is such fun.

What has been the most significant milestone along your publication journey?

The day I received ‘the call’ is the most significant milestone. I still get delighted chills when I think about it.

Physical books or e-books? What books are in your To Be Read pile right now?

I prefer physical books, but I do read e-books—just not at night because the screen light has been proven to disrupt sleep. I need all the sleep I can get. As for my To Be Read pile: The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery, Find Her by Lisa Gardner, and Too Close To Home by Lynette Eason.

Any parting words?

Ransom is my 35th published book with Love Inspired and the fourth book in the Northern Border Patrol series. The last book in the series, Identity Unknown, will be out in October 2016. My latest release is out now, Protect and Serve, book 1 of the Rookie K-9 Unit series. This series features the brave men and women who work with dogs to pursue justice. And there are puppies!

Also, next fall I have an inspirational romance with Howard Books coming titled A Family Under the Christmas Tree—also featuring a puppy. I think I’ve had puppies on the brain the past year and have taken the plunge. We pick up our new Australian Shepherd next week. I will post pictures on my webpage if anyone is interested: and on Facebook.

Morgan Tarpley is an award-winning newspaper reporter and photographer in Louisiana. She is also a novelist currently seeking representation. Besides writing and traveling to more than a dozen countries, her interests include acting in her local theater group, genealogy, photography, and singing. She resides in Louisiana with her husband.

For more information about Morgan, visit her website and blog she writes with her husband. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Goodreads.

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