My special guest today is author Teresa Blue whose first novel just debuted. Here's the blurb:
Travis Howland washes up on the shores of Lost Isle and into the arms of an angel. Known as the Night Bird, Emma Samson dedicates her afterlife to a solitary existence on Lost Isle, easing the passage of the dying. When she finds Travis weak and desperate, she gives him the only gift she has—a few more days to settle his affairs before his death. Sorely lacking in faith, Travis lives life with no thought for the future. When his lovely rescuer claims he has died, he can't believe it. He must warn his father that their ship was plundered by a greedy business partner, but only a leap of faith can save him. Together, Emma and Travis use his last few hours to avenge the traitorous deeds that torment him, and along the way discover that love can be found in any stage of life…even after death.
Welcome, Teresa. You must be very excited about seeing your first book published. How did it come about?
The story Night Bird came after listening to a CD I purchased by Eva Cassidy that had a song with the same title. Eva’s sultry voice and haunting melody sent my imagination spinning. The song’s about a woman in some hotel room in Memphis, alone and one night she found a man on the streets who would surely die, so she took him in…and taught him how to fly. ‘Is the moonlight just a place, for his memory, now he’s gone.’ Sigh . . . It’s a lovely song and I could listen over and over.
Tell us about your writing journey.
I’ve always had my nose buried in a book and when I moved to California, I read from sun-up to sun-down. Anaheim is a big place and not knowing many people, my salvation came in the form of those wonderful characters found tucked between the pages of romance books. I devoured each monthly Doubleday book club selection, waiting impatiently for the next shipment. Later, once my kids were big enough to go to school, I picked up a pen and tried writing as a hobby, hoping to clear the voices in my head.
In 1999 after reading a novel called, The Charm School, I wrote a fan letter to the author, Susan Wiggs. She actually wrote back and told me about RWA. I joined the local Mid-Michigan chapter and penned my first novel.
The ink was barely dry in 2001 when I came home from a writer’s retreat, (a weekend filled with informative workshops- I think that year we had Deb Dixon) and a special guest, editor Linda Kichline, who actually requested my full manuscript, Dark Desire.
The ride home was full of chatter as we (Annette, Jeanette & I) processed all we’d learned those two lesson packed days. And I’ll never forget turning into the drive and wondering where all the water was coming from. It ran down the gravel drive in ripples, pooling along the roadside. Because our house sits back in the woods, it wasn’t visible until reaching the top of the hill. People I’d never seen before stood scattered in the yard watching the charred remains of my house crackle and burn. The fireman said it probably took a matter of twenty or thirty minutes and everything I owned was gone. Poof! My family, thank God, was safe, and even my dog although I’ve never seen him look so sad.
It took several minutes to sink in as I crawled out of the car. I no longer had a manuscript, my backup files were toast. Worse, I didn’t even have a home! My husband came up and reassured me we’d be fine. We had great insurance. Nice try…but I bawled like a baby.
It took an entire year to build the new house and in the meantime try and return some order in my life. Determined not to lose sight of my dream, the first thing I did was buy a laptop. I would write (at least keep lists) of stuff I wanted to remember, and outlining the destroyed manuscript made me feel as if I were still in the game, so to speak, pursuing my desire to write. Although I may never rewrite that particular story, I do have an outline for it. :-)
I remember that time and how devastated we all (your chapter mates) felt for you. I've always admired your strength in returning to writing after that disaster. Now, tell us about Night Bird.
I love new beginnings. There so much to look forward to. The beginning of anything always raises my heartbeat and gets me thinking. What if . . . Or, do you suppose . . . The fun part of being a writer is the ability to play with all of those possibilities.
Let’s suppose someone’s foot did accidentally hit the blasted gas knob, turning it on, like in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Captain Greg wasn’t ready to leave this life yet? Is there really a pull to the other side or is it a process, (sort of a beginning) that requires a few steps into the next phase?
My story Night Bird is such a journey. Travis faces all this and more. The suddenness of his death has left him unprepared. But, Travis needs someone to guide him through the last final hours until he’s ready to cross into the next realm. That’s Emma, the Night Bird.
It appears that Emma is a ghost, an angel, or something more. I'm not telling. LOL The reader gets to figure it out. Is this your first venture into paranormal romance?
No. Dark Desire was a paranormal. That story line had a female vampire who had been beaten and tossed out in alley to die with sunrise. She was desperate and my hero just happened to be in the wrong place. That first sip changed both their lives.
Sounds intriguing. What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Create the stories living in your head, and enjoy the journey crafting folks and universes unknown to the rest of the world. Something only YOU can build. It’s your voice and your strokes that turn the blank pages into something memorable to share with the rest of us. Don’t lose your power. Only YOU can write the book of your heart.
Great advice. Something even those of us who've been at it for a while can take to heart. All right then, what's next for Teresa Blue?
I’m tickled to say that I’ve signed a contract with a new ebook publisher Crimson Romance, a project from Adams Media, the non-fiction publisher who delivered such books as Why Men Love Bitches (an excellent book for story characterization) and the Cup of Comfort series. I discovered a great page on their website aimed at writing: story middles, dialogue, titles and beginning a story. http://www.adamsmedia.com/cup-of-comfort
Jennifer Lawler is the editor in charge of the romance line and has been very welcoming. And she’s actively seeking new authors. Although Crimson Romance is primarily an ebook distributor, there will be a POD (print on demand) version for those who want a paper copy.
That is marvelous news, Teresa. I'm so glad you shared it with us. It's been great having you here as your debut book launches. I thoroughly enjoyed your book, Night Bird. I'm so glad you stopped by to share some of it with us.
You’ve done a great job of introducing me, Diane! And I’m honored to be your guest here today. Thank you so much.
You're very welcome. Teresa Blue can be found at
As a special treat, here's an excerpt from Night Bird:
“Tell me, exactly what has transpired these last few days to change me from a man to a…monster?” He grabbed her by the shoulders. “Explain, damn you!”
Emma watched the fleeting emotions score his face, understood his shocking disbelief at what he’d been told. “I told you. You have died, to put it frankly.” And then more gently, she said, “Upon the beach. I found you and transformed you.”
She cast him a shrewd glance as she chewed on her bottom lip and waited for more—anger, tears, something to convince her he believed. Except for the rapid swell of his chest, there was none. Usually those chosen were willing, even eager, to make the deal. Typically, the lives she’d encountered were desperate enough to agree to anything if it granted them precious time to make things right before their demise. But since there’d been no time to gain Travis’s permission, she’d acted on instinct.
Maybe she’d been wrong.
Night Bird is available at Amazon.com