An Interview with Terry Blain

Please help me welcome Terry Blain to my blog today. Terry is generously giving a $10 Amazon ebook certificate to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.

full-sarahs-cowboy_2What is your favorite part of writing?

The best part of writing? When you feel the story coming together, you really know your characters, and the story seems easy to write. I like writing the first draft, but I do a lot of character studies and storyboarding/plotting before I start the ms.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

Actually getting my butt in the chair and my fingers on the key board. I really like the writing process once I get there, but getting there? Just getting started each day can be a pain. I remember when I first started writing, one of the published authors said she knew she was avoiding getting started when she decided to pluck her eyebrows instead. So guess it not such an odd thing to have getting started the hardest part. Weird, huh?

What does your space look like?

I have an office and when I sold my first book, I bought a desk and several book cases. I don’t have a view from my office (so I don’t spend time looking and not writing). I’m surrounded by books, a big shelf of romance, several book cases full of research books for stories I’ve written and for stories I’d like to write. Collages for the historicals, and a bulletin board with anything I find interesting. Of course the computer and printer. Sorta an organized clutter.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on another contemporary western.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?

My first rejection was for a historical romance (later published as Kentucky Green). The editor said “Your writing took me to another time and another place, I found you hero and heroine realistic and sympathic,” (and by this time I’m hearing the ‘but’ coming) so the editor continued “I took it to the senior editor (another ‘but’ coming?) and the senior editor liked it”, BUT (knew it was coming) “Marketing said ‘no’”’ as Kentucky Green is set in 1794, and marketing didn’t know what to do with it.
So I did write down the good things she said – to remind me that I should keep writing. Then the next historical ms. (Colorado Silver, Colorado Gold set in 1880s) I wrote was in a more ‘market friendly’ era. There is something to learn from every rejection, so now I write in both historical and contemporary setting.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have they helped you with your writing? How?

My local San Diego chapter of RWA has been a big help and I’ve been a member for over twenty years. Those early years gave me a foundation in craft through workshops as well information on the business of writing. The actual writing, learning the craft came from my critique groups. In my first one, none of us were published, but we wrote and the critiqued each other every week. Then one of our long time published authors gave an eight week workshop attended by ten to twelve of us. Out of that class, we formed a new critique group, at that time all of us unpublished. Now that we’re all published, we morphed into a plotting group – which is where the New Year’s Eve Club novellas came from. If you’re in the right critique group, you’ve got the best learning tool and the best support group you can have.

Tell us a little about yourself and your latest book

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a large Midwestern family with a rich oral tradition hearing stories of ancestor s adventures with Indians, wild life, weather and frontier life in general. This gave me a love history leading to a BA and MA in History and teaching American History and Western Civilization at the community college. So the first books I wrote were historical. However, my latest novella, Sarah’s Cowboy, is a contemporary romance, part of The New Year’s Eve Club.

What inspired your latest book?

Remember when you were young and single and had an idea of that perfect guy you were looking for? Then life happens. The idea for The New Year’s Club series came from a friend of Jill’s and Teresa suggested we do a series of novellas. Our brainstorming/plotting group gets together one or two times a year to work on individual stories, but last year on one of our weekends we plotted all five stories, making sure they mashed and how they would overlap while keeping each story unique. My novella, Sarah’s Cowboy is about a practical school teacher who decides she wants a little adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when she falls for a stuntman on a western film set.


Terry Irene Blain was lucky enough to grow up in a large Midwestern family with a rich oral tradition. As a child she heard stories of ancestors’ adventures with Indians, wildlife, weather and frontier life in general, so she naturally gravitated to the study of history and completed a BA and MA then taught the subject at the college level. Married to a sailor, now retired, she’s had the chance to live in various parts of the United States as well as travel to foreign places such as Hong Kong, Australia, England and Scotland. She currently writes historical and contemporary romance novels set in the American West.

This novella, Sarah’s Cowboy is part of The New Year’s Eve Club series,

13 thoughts on “An Interview with Terry Blain

  1. My favorite part of writing is also when the story comes together and you’re in the zone. Beginnings are difficult, at least until each character makes their first appearance.

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