October 17, 2011

Q&A WITH AUTHOR…..TERRI MOLINA

  

I’m one of those people who just has to do things right and succeed,
and I’ll keep working on it until I do.
Some call it persistence…I call it stubborn.    -- Terri Molina



Tell us about your book, FORGET ME NOT. How did you come up with the idea?

Well, here’s the blurb: Romance novelist Casey Martinez thought changing her name would help her escape the pain of her past but when she receives photographs of a grisly murder, it becomes evident that a killer is stalking her. Over the past six years, women who share an eerie similarity to Casey have been found raped and mutilated—each with the remains of Casey’s book by their side. Haunted by the death of her mother twenty five years earlier, Casey reluctantly seeks refuge in the town she swore she would never return to—Rosehill, Texas.

Detective Scott Weller is assigned to protect Casey, and it's no easy job dealing with the stubborn, independent woman who wants nothing to do with him. But living in such close quarters leads to temptation neither can resist. When Casey is attacked during a break-in, evidence points to a second stalker. And with the gruesome discovery of another body, it becomes a race against time to find the real killer before Casey becomes the next victim.

This book actually started out as a suspense, but as I started writing the characters, I couldn’t help but put them together. The story is actually based on an event in my life and a “what if” this happened? It just moved on from there.


You went through 2 agents and 1 1/2 editors AND had to wait 8 years before your book was published. Why persist? What was it about the story that compelled you?

I’m one of those people who just has to do things right and succeed, and I’ll keep working on it until I do. Some call it persistence…I call it stubborn. I think I take the “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again” adage a bit too seriously. Hah

FORGET ME NOT was the first book I’d ever completed (there were many starts and stops of other stories) and I truly believed it was a great story. I knew it deserved an audience and I was going to make sure it had one. Like my character, Casey, I don’t like someone telling me I can’t do something. I even had another writer tell me I wasn’t going to succeed, so I was compelled to prove him wrong.


Your two novels have western settings. And everyone loves a good cowboy novel. How do you add your dash of Latina flavor? Why?

I was born and raised in Southeast Texas, so it was only natural that I would use it as a backdrop for my stories. The town I lived in was pretty much segregated when I was a child but (and I’m only guessing) my mother didn’t believe it was fair to us, so we moved into a “white” community when I was an infant…although I think trying to take care of five children under age five in a one bedroom shack had a lot to do with it too. Lol

Anyway, when I think of Texas, I think more about the Hispanic population and culture and less about cowboys. So, adding that Tex-Mex flavor just comes naturally.


What do you love about romance novels? How long have you been reading them?

I’ve been an avid reader since I learned how to read. I love stories but I didn’t read my first romance novel until 1997. It was a Nora Roberts book that I happened to see in the grocery store and I bought it as a birthday present to myself. I loved that she could bring two completely different people together and have them fall in love. I especially love romantic suspense and I’ve gotten lost in many a great story by other authors. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t mind cooking…or ordering pizza.


What authors have inspired your writing? What Latina authors?

There are a lot of authors who’ve inspired me to not only be a better writer, but to never give up. The list is just toooo long. There’s a lot of heartache in this business because of rejections, but these authors, who are also friends, know how to pull me out of a funk. I enjoy many Latina authors, but sadly they aren’t as well known as some. Eileen Cruz-Coleman (author of RUMPLE and SWEETWATER AMERICAN) has some wonderful books. Nina Cordoba (pen name) is another not so well-known author I enjoy. And of course, Michele Martinez. I loved her Melanie Vargas series, but sadly she hasn’t written one in a while.


You have 4 kids. Tell us your secrets to time management and how / when you find time to write.

My kids have always come first and they kept me busy, so when they were younger, still in elementary and middle school, I would wait until they went to bed then go into the game room, where our only computer was, and write. So, my writing time was from 9PM to Midnight…or later. They’re older now, only one in high school and one in college, so my schedule is different but my days are still very busy. Most time I can eke out a few hours while my daughter is in her classes (she’s special needs so I take her to school and wait for her at the student center). Honestly, I can’t tell you how I find the time to do anything…I just do it because it needs to be done.


What advice would you give a new author?

First: Learn the craft! I studied the craft of writing for several years before I decided to write a full length novel…and even after I completed it I still had a lot to learn. Read every “how-to” book you can get your hands on and never stop learning.

Don’t be in such a hurry to get your book out there. It will happen when it’s meant to happen.

Join a writer’s organization or writing forums. You can learn a lot from seasoned writers and make some great friends in the meantime. And always stay true to you.


What are you working on now? And how can your fans learn more about you?

At the moment I’m working on two novels. Both are suspense with supernatural elements. They both take place in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. One will be a romance also and it’s a follow-up to a still-waiting-to-be-published-novel I wrote two months after I wrote FORGET ME NOT…so, yeah, this one is going on 8 years also. It’s called DARK OBSESSION and is also one of my favorites and has gotten some great comments from my beta readers, so I’m determined to get it sold even if I have to self-publish. :-)

If anyone wants to know more about me, they can visit my website http://www.terrimolina.com/ or visit me at Facebook or Twitter. I’m not quite an open book, but I’m happy to answer questions.


COMMENT:  Do let us know if your persistence -- like Terri's -- has paid off and how.  And let us know which Latina authors have inspired you lately.