Fun Fast Five with Manda Collins

Fun Fast Five
with 
Manda Collins

 

Manda Collins grew up on a combination of Nancy Drew books and Jane Austen novels, and her own brand of Regency romantic suspense is the result. A former academic librarian, she holds advanced degrees in English Lit and Librarianship. Her books have been favorably reviewed in Entertainment Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Bookpage, and USA Today.  Her novel Duke with Benefits, was named one of Kirkus Books Best Romance Novels of 2017. When she’s not writing she can be found advocating for disability rights on Twitter, watching true crime documentaries, and knitting very inexpertly. A native of Alabama, she lives on the Gulf Coast with a very stubborn cat and more books than are strictly necessary.

  1. We met on a panel at the Decatur Book Festival several years ago, then became friends on social media because obviously we both lack time management skills. What is the one trick you have for overcoming writer’s block (or, as I call it, another excuse for procrastination)?

You are so right about it being an excuse for procrastination! And as writers I think we’re really good at fooling ourselves into thinking we just can’t even try to get words down today for whatever made up reason. What I’ve found though is that if I at least make myself open my manuscript and look at the previous days words it almost always makes me want to add to them. I don’t always end up hitting my planned word count but at least I have more than when the day started.

  1. You are a charming, terribly witty and outspoken advocate for disabled rights. If you could make Americans understand one thing about disabled rights, what would it be?

Thank you so much! I do try to find the humor in things. Always have. I think what I’d like more Americans to understand about disability rights is that they’re beneficial to everyone. Part of the human condition (unless you have infinite wealth and the ability to transplant your brain into a newer, healthier body) is that sooner or later every last one of us will have a disability of some sort. It’s just that some of us have to deal with them at a younger age than others. (So, the able-bodied jerk who is today parked illegally in the handicapped spot will one day need that spot. And if karma works, they’ll have to face-off with their younger jerkier self.)

  1. You’re writing something we don’t see a lot—humorous historical suspenses, or, as you say, Nancy Drew meets Jane Austen. I’m not gonna lie, that sounds hard to pull off, but you make it look so easy. What is the hardest thing about adding mystery to an historical romance, and which book of yours is a good entry into the sub-genre you pretty much created for everyone? (We can all thank her in the comment section.)

By far, the most difficult part of writing a blended genre is struggling to make sure I don’t give short shrift to either. Most of the time I think I do a pretty good job, but because ultimately I’m writing in the romance genre overall if anything gets sacrificed it’s usually some over the top mystery element. Which is probably for the best! And though I’ve always had humor in my books with my latest series I’ve felt more freedom to let my comedy flag fly. So, I think a logical place to start would be A LADY’S GUIDE TO MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM. (JFL sidenote: love this book! You will too.)

  1. You have a cat named Toast who is, by all appearances, is a lot smarter than my dog Moose. I always thought that Moose should at least do the laundry to help pay for his keep, but so far, no dice. Does Toast inform your writing in any way? Do you and Toast have a favorite TV series you’re binging?

If you could hear all the lectures I’ve given Toast about her treat habit! It’s like she thinks I’m made of cat food money! Despite the fact that I’ve always been an animal lover I haven’t written a lot of pets into my books. But in this latest series one of the heroines has a very temperamental Siamese cat who shares some qualities with my temperamental Tabby. Like Ludwig, the fictional cat, Toast is very talkative and does not mind telling me when she disagrees with my decisions about…well anything and everything! We do binge a lot of TV together though I pay a little more attention than she does. Lately we finally joined the bandwagon and watched Ted Lasso. It’s just as happy-making as advertised. (JFL sidenote: Tried to explain this show to my sister and failed. Just watch it. You won’t be sorry)

  1. What is the last book you read for pleasure that really tickled your fancy?

I’ve really been enjoying Martha Water’s trilogy of Regency RomCom’s, the third of which, TO MARRY AND TO MEDDLE, I was just lucky enough to read an early copy of. The writing style is effervescent and the books are genuinely funny. They remind me of the funny Regency trads I loved back in the day, but sexier


Fun Fast Five with kc dyer

FUN FAST FIVE
with
kc dyer


  1. In Finding Fraser and Eighty Days to Elsewhere, your protagonists turn into travelers and globe-trotters. I know you have done this globe-trotting yourself to bring authenticity to the journey. Have you always had wanderlust, and what’s the craziest, don’t-go-there-without-your-shots-and-a-dog place you’ve ever been?).

 

LOVE travel. It’s my second favourite thing to do, after reading. All my books have been inspired, in one way or another, by seeing –and learning — something new, away from home. Without a doubt, the craziest place I’ve ever gone was on a run through the ancient limestone caverns far below the streets of Paris. At the time, I had NO intention of doing this, and in fact did not even know the tunnels existed. But I got lucky, and ended up being escorted by the only man in the city with permission to go into these dangerous caverns. Crawling backwards into that dark little hole in the ground might be the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Still — I got a scene out of it for Romy’s adventure in Eighty Days, so — worth it! (JFL side note: kc is the only person I know who equates “getting lucky” with crawling backwards into dangerous caves below Paris)

 

  1. You write both adult fiction and young adult fiction. That is what we in the biz like to call range, baby! Of all the books you’ve written, which one surprised you the most?

 

I really had to think about this one! Every book I’ve written has provided me with some form of unexpected adventure, but I guess FINDING FRASER was the one that really surprised me the most. I wrote the story on a whim, to cheer myself up during a kind of low point in my writing career. So to see it take off the way it did — an international best-seller — knocked the socks off me! It was absolutely the biggest surprise at the time, and I was beyond delighted to see the way people related to Emma’s adventure. Turns out readers love the idea of dropping everything in a mundane life, and running off to find a real-life version of their book boyfriend!

 

  1. You are in the teeth-grindingly enviable position of living a) in British Columbia and b) being a frequent traveler to Scotland. I’m so mad about it I can’t even think of a question. But I would like to know if one place inspires you over the other, or in a different way than the other when you are working?

 

You know, I am grateful every day for how lucky I am to live where I do. At home, I walk my dogs in the woods every day, and get to watch the sunset over the ocean every night. [When it isn’t raining, that is!] It’s quiet and hermit-like and a perfect haven for writing. As for Scotland, it feels like a home away from home for me these days. I’m answering your questions while tucked into a little cottage in Fife, at the moment! I have family here, and it’s obviously quite an inspirational place, as I’ve set quite a few of my books here. Like anywhere, it is a nation of stark contrasts, but I still feel thrilled every time I look up at Edinburgh Castle. It’s magical. (JFL side note: still mad)

 

  1. Everything public-facing about you has your name is kc dyer, lowercase. Even on your book covers. I am dying to know what is behind the lowercase name?

 

Ha! Pure aesthetics. I’m one of the Olds now, so I started writing before the turn of the last century, and I just really liked the look of my name in lower case at the time. It’s stuck, which makes me happy — and kc dyer fits on a cover a whole lot better than karen alexandra church dyer

 

  1. Okay, you’re at dinner with friends. What are you drinking, is dessert cheesecake or ice cream, and what book have you read recently that you’re talking about?

 

This question pre-supposes that dinner parties are a thing in my life, which [see above notes on hermiting…] they aren’t really. But since I make things up for a living, I’ll fake it. I have a friend who makes incredible lemon drop martinis, so I think that’s what we’d be drinking. Cheesecake [like there’s any question]? And we’d be fighting over books, because all my friends have diverse reading tastes. Personally, I just finished THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig. Matt’s a British author who’s written a ton of books, but this is the first I’ve read. It’s an insightful, moving fable that muses on the realities of life and death with gentle — tho’ often a little dark — humour. I didn’t expect a story that centers on suicide when I picked it up, but it handles the subject matter with care. I really enjoyed it, which means there will definitely be more of Matt’s books in my future. (JFL sidenote: Read and Loved Midnight Library. Awesome read!)


Fun Fast Five with Alexa Martin

Five Fun Facts with Alexa Martin

 

  1. You have four young children, so naturally I have to know—how did you manage to find the discipline to write anything during the pandemic?? Just how fat were your Chardonnay tears? (Mine were pretty big, not gonna lie).

 

It has been a struggle. I was on deadline for Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes and living in Mexico when covid first hit. If I’m honest, I was a mess. I am a creature of habit and I love to write in coffee shops. When they closed down, I didn’t know what to do. I did a few zoom sessions with Susanne Park to get some sprinting done and that was very helpful. Eventually, I changed my schedule and started waking up early to write before the kids would come down and demand food. I’m really luck that my husband is very supportive, so if I need to, I will put on noise cancelling headphones and lock myself in a room until words are written. On a side note, in Mérida, they banned alcohol sales a couple of weeks into lockdown, so my Chardonnay tears were woefully dry. (JFL sidenote: NO ALCOHOL IN A PANDEMIC? “I didn’t know that was even possible,” said one mess to another).

 

 

  1. Your new book, Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes, is about two childhood best friends who have met some challenges in life and have to move in together to get back on their feet. What’s the biggest challenge or the biggest boost you faced in your career?

 

Without question, finding Pitch Wars and making the decision to try it out was the biggest game changer for me and my career. I will admit that I had no idea what I was doing when I began writing. I was an avid romance reader and an idea for a book popped into my head while on vacation. I started writing as soon as we got home. It took me four years to finish that book and hot mess is the understatement of the century. Applying to Pitch Wars was my way of saying I was going to really pursue a writing career. I didn’t think there was any way I would get in, but getting to know the community would’ve been enough. Just like in Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes, finding a group of people who will lift you up and cheer you on can change everything. I made friends that I am still close to today and watching our writing grow and evolve over the years has been so amazing. (JFL side note: Pitch Wars is a program where established authors and publishing professionals mentor aspiring writers)

 

  1. I happen to know you like the Real Housewives reality shows, and I am a huge stan of them myself. I have so many burning questions, but the Big One, the one ALL Housewives fans are dying to know: Erika Girardi had to know something, amiright? If you were a Housewife, how big would your glam squad be?

 

Okay. Listen. I have so many thoughts on Real Housewives and Erika that I could write a book on it. I’m obsessed. I started watching in high school when it was just OC, sketchy camera work, and terrible fashion. I’ve gone back and forth when it comes to Erika. I don’t think she knew everything. Tom doesn’t seem like he was the type of person to let her in on all of her dealings. However, I do believe she knew something was amiss. In a world that loves gossip and rumors as much as we do, I’m hard pressed to believe she never heard whispers of what Tom was doing. And to not only indulge in the profits he was quite literally stealing from the pain of others, but to flaunt it? Yikes. Not a good look. The more the season is going, the more I’m beginning to question her. All hail Queen Garcelle and Sutton though!

 

Now, for my glam squad? Considering my hair is in a semi-permanent bun on my head and my 11-year-old can do makeup better than me, it would have to be huge. Like the scene in Miss Congeniality where they are trying to get Sandra Bullock in pageant shape… but more. My style is also way closer to Kathy Hilton’s screen print t-shirts and jeans than it is to Dorit’s name brand everything. Actually, there is a scene in Mom Jeans where Jude goes on a rant about logo covered name brand apparel. I didn’t realize it at the time, but maybe Dorit was the inspiration for that! Ha!

 

  1. You married your high school sweetheart! And he went on to play for the NFL for many years! That is a whole other ecosystem that most of us know nothing about. It sounds super exciting to this Cowboys fan and gave you the foundation to write your fabulous Playbook Series (Intercepted, Fumbled and Blitzed). And it just begs the question: How much football do you actually have to watch on any given weekend? More or less than the average Jane?

 

When he played, it was definitely less. I’d go to or watch his game and that would be it. Now it’s a little more since he’s home to watch the games on Sunday instead of playing. He also coached for our high school for a few years, so my Fridays were also full of football. It was a lot. I am admittedly not a huge football fan. The hits make me anxious and I’m a little spoiled in that I’ve always had a personal attachment to a team. My husband played or my friend’s husband was on a team. Now that all of our friends have retired, I can’t get invested. However, our oldest son is 13 and loves the sport, so I have a feeling it will be playing on our television more than I appreciate. More Bravo, am I right? (JFL Side note: is there ever enough Bravo?)

 

  1. Most people don’t know how much goes into writing and publishing a book. There are parts I love about it and there are parts that make me wish I was a UPS driver (dying to know what arrives nearly every day across the street). What do you like about this career and what do you dislike?

 

Oh my goodness! It is so hard! I was talking to someone the other day about how there are times where I wish I could go back to the blissfully ignorant person I was when I first began this journey. There was so much freedom in just getting lost in the pages, not realizing I was breaking rules or my pacing was off. Just letting my creativity run wild and being happy with it because there were no expectations. I still love that feeling though. There are times when I get lost in the words I’m writing and it just flows out of my fingers. I think my favorite part of writing is the healing it provides. Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes was written at a time I was going through really difficult things with my own mom. Writing a story where I could safely explore all of my feelings and create an ending I didn’t have in my real life was so cathartic. I also love getting to do things like this! Fun interviews and meeting people I never thought I’d have the opportunity to talk to. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that this is my life.

 

What don’t I love? When it comes to writing, there is a point in every story, usually right around the fifty percent mark, when I’m convinced everything I’ve written is trash and I call my friends crying, telling them I’m going to quit. That’s never fun. It tarnishes that process a bit because even when I talk myself over the hump, it’s still changed the way I view the project. I’m also not great at social media. It’s really hard for me not to compare myself to others and there’s just SO MUCH! Instagram, Facebook. Twitter, TikTok, Linkedin…. Make it stop! I can’t keep up. (JFL side note: It is truly amazing to me that every writer at every point in a career has the same issue at the 50% mark of a work in progress, yours truly included)…


Fun Fast Five with Meg Tilly

Five Fun Facts with Meg Tilly

 

  1. You, famous actress (Big Chill, Valmont, and Agnes of God to name a few), walked away to raise your kids and turned to writing. Did you start like many writers I know (quivering behind a curtain, hoping no one will see you pretending to be a writer and laugh), or did you go into it with a burst of confidence?

 

When Singing Songsmy first novel was published, I had to go on book tour and I was terrified. I had never been to an author reading. I didn’t even know there was such a thing, and they wanted me to do it?! Now you have to understand, I started writing Singing Songs because memories from my childhood, the real ones, not the PR spin ones I presented for public consumption, those unacknowledged memories were threatening to drown me. I wrote with the hope that the act of writing them down would help silence the memories and allow me get on with my life. So, this created dueling impostor syndromes during that first book tour. First impostor syndrome: I was pretending the novel was absolute fiction. 100% fiction. I spent the entire book tour terrified that someone was going to leap up in a reading, or during an interview and say, “Wait a minute, you’re lying! This isn’t a novel. It’s how you grew up!”

 

The second layer of imposter syndrome: I had no illusions. I knew I wasn’t an author. I just wrote the darn thing, and weirdly someone wanted to publish it. I was worried… Don’t laugh… I was seriously worried people were going to yell “She’s not an author! What is this crap?” That they were going to boo and pelt me with rotten tomatoes and rotten eggs that they had saved up just for the occasion. Seriously. It wasn’t until my fifth novel was published that I started to think, “Hey, maybe I am an author…” (JFL side note: I can so relate to this! With every book, I think, this is where they find out…)

 

  1. You and Colin Firth (Hands down the best Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy EVER, fight me) were partners around the same time he was supposed to be my boyfriend. Don’t worry, I’ve sort of gotten over it. But it begs the question – what is your favorite Jane Austen novel?

 

I discovered Jane Austen as a teenager and loved all of her novels. They were one of my rainy-day comfort reads. If I had to choose, my favorite was Mansfield Park because there was something about the family dynamics and interactions that reminded me of my own family, albeit in a kinder, gentler package. (JFL side note: I loved Mansfield Park!)

 

As far as the Colin Firth thing, you have great taste. He’s a brilliant actor and even more importantly, a dear friend and a wonderful guy.

 

  1. You have penned some fabulous romantic suspense books, such as the Solace Island series set in the Pacific Northwest, and now, The Runaway Heiress, set in Hollywood. How old were you when you started reading romance? What is the first romance novel you can remember reading? What was the last one you read?

 

Thank you! I just need to sit here for a moment and gloat over the fact that you, Julia London said I’ve “penned some fabulous romantic suspense books…” I’ve got the biggest grin on my face right now. You see, Julia, you are one of my auto-buy authors. I have read every book you have ever written and your site is Bookmarked on my Favorites bar so I know when you have a new novel coming out. (JFL side note: OMG! I’m not blushing, YOU’RE blushing).

 

Okay, back to the question(s). I started reading romance as a teenager, although I didn’t know it was a category. The first one that comes to mind is The Blue Castle, by L.M Montgomery. I loved that book. The last one? I read a LOT! Recent releases that I loved are Mariah Stewart’s, An Invincible Summer, Mary Bly/Eloisa James’s Lizzie & Dante, Jess Q. Sutanto’s, Dial A for Aunties. I’m going to be cracking open Susan Elizabeth’s, When Stars Collide, tonight! Can hardly wait to dive in. Okay, that’s not one. It’s more like a fruit salad of delights.

 

  1. You have a fabulous series on YouTube (Meg’s Cozy Tea Time), started in the pandemic, where you drink tea and tell fascinating stories about your life and people you’ve known and things you’ve done. What has been your most popular episode to date? And what is your favorite tea?

My most popular episode was the one where my sister, Jennifer, came to tea. We had so much fun! I don’t have a favorite episode. Some conversations might be more interesting than others, but they all sort of blur together for me, and I don’t re-watch them. What remains is the feeling. The sense of warmth and community that’s been created. People write in and ask me questions and I answer them. I started Meg’s Cozy Tea Time to give my husband something to focus on during the lockdown. He does all the uploading on YouTube etc. I just plop in my armchair, sip a cup of tea, read a question and open my mouth and talk. Whatever comes out, that’s the show for the day. I’m surprised anyone is interested to tell you the truth. (JFL side note: You have to check this out. She tells the most amazing stories).

 

As for favorite tea. Ahem. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s difficult for me to narrow favorites down to one. However, Murchies Tea put together a Meg’s Cozy Tea Time Collection. You can order online. They ship around the world and if you use the code MEG they will take 5% off the purchase price. (I don’t get paid or kickbacks for this. I just love their tea, and some of my TeaTimers wanted to sip along with me while they watch.)

 

  1. Important question: What is your favorite thing you own? And can you buy it at Target just in case we all want one?

The thing that SAVED us during the pandemic was my old Cuisinart 2 Qt Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker. I purchased it at a hardware store, so I’m sure Target would have it as well. There was something about having homemade ice cream that helped calm my husband when everything was locked down and the world as we knew it had ground to a halt. If he had ice cream, for that moment in time, all was well with the world. I’ve always made a little ice cream over the years, but nothing like this last year and a half. I’ve made copious amounts of Rocky Road, chocolate chip, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, pina colada, malt, chocolate, mint chip, coffee, rum/whiskey/chocolate chip/peanut brittle ice cream, cherry brandy, vanilla for banana splits with hot fudge sauce… If I could think it up, I made it. There were some weeks when the world seemed on fire that I needed to make two or three batches. As long as there was ice cream in the fridge, there was the promise that everything was going to be okay. (JFL side note: OMG, I am dying and why didn’t I know about this during the pandemic? Show of hands – who is on their way to Target right now?)

 


Fun Fast Five with Janna MacGregor

 

 

Fun Fast Five with Janna MacGregor

I’m so happy  to introduce you to the wonderful historical romance author, Janna MacGregor! She born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri and credits her mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and one smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pug. She loves to hear from readers.

Website: https://www.jannamacgregor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JannaMacGregor/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JannaMacGregor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jannamacgregor/
Newsletter: https://www.jannamacgregor.com/newsletter/

  1. You are the mother of triplets. Triplets!! The mind boggles when imagining triplet toddlers. Please tell us that when they were babies you got them confused and to this day, you’re not sure who is who. But if that’s not true, then tell us the hardest thing about being a mother to triplets. 

 

Julia, thank you for having me and celebrating A Duke in Time’s release! First, let me say…you ask the best questions.

 

Even though my triplets (two boys and a girl) are thirty this year, I never got them confused. They’re all fraternal so they look like siblings. The hardest thing about raising multiples is the first year. Neither my husband nor I remember much as we were constantly trying to care for them while suffering from sleep deprivation. Plus, my husband was just graduating law school when they were born, so he was pulling double shifts-taking care of newborns and studying for finals. The second hardest part was teaching them to drive. Everything took a lot longer because you have three who need time behind the wheel. Needless to say, every time one of them made a mistake, the other two were offering advice in truly a “back seat driver” manner.
(Julia’s note to self: never teach three teenagers to drive at the same time).

  1. Writing is your second successful career, after being a family law attorney (it’s my second career, too!). What is your favorite thing to ever have happened in your writing career that we all know a stupid law degree could never compete with? 

A law degree can’t compete with me holding my first published romance, The Bad Luck Bride, in my hands. I’d imagined that day for years, and it was a dream come true. It’s still one of my favorite covers too.

(Julia side note: I LOVED that cover. Suffered serious cover envy).

  1. I follow you on Instagram (@jannamacgregor) and cannot figure out your geography. You post GORGEOUS pictures of farmer’s market flowers from Minneapolis (or, as I call it, MinneAP), and then from Missouri, from I think is the very confusingly named Kansas City, MO. Where are you really, and more importantly, what is you pug’s name, and does it get to go to the farmer’s markets with you? Where is the most inappropriate place you have ever taken your dog? 

I love flowers and never miss a chance to go to the farmer’s markets in Kansas City, Missouri and Minneapolis. Fun fact, Kansas City, Missouri, which was first called City of Kansas, was renamed Kansas City in 1889. Kansas City, Kansas was named in 1872, so they are the original Kansas City. Both are divided not only by state lines, but by the Kaw River, hence the name of Kansa or Kansas from the Kaw tribe of that region. I split my time between these two beautiful cities. I was married in Minneapolis and raised my children in Kansas City. Two of my three still live there, so it’s our home base. But my husband is a huge hiker and paddleboarder, so Minneapolis is perfect for him. I love them both, and lucky for me, I can write anywhere.  

My pug’s name is Mad Max. He’s a rescue, and we’ve had him for about four years. He’s going with me to the Minneapolis Barnes and Noble at Uptown when A Duke in Time releases for some “in the wild” photos. When in Kansas City, he loves to go to a store called the Cellar Rat, a lovely liquor store known for their wine selections. They know him by name and have treats on hand ready for his arrival.
(Julia snickers: Janna likes to pretend they have treats ready for her dog, but I think we all know who’s really getting the treats).

  1. You write some fun and lusty regency era historical romances. What attracts you to that era, and when you were a little girl, did you have a prairie dress that you wore to pretend to be a princess? I did. 

Honestly, you and I are so alike. The clothes first attracted me to that era. The first romance novel that I read was a Regency. I couldn’t stop looking at the clothing the models were wearing. That started me down a rabbit hole of research. Plus, when I read Pride and Prejudice along with Emma, I was hooked. Yes, I did have a prairie princess dress made of pink tulle when I was a little girl with matching shoes. I blame that dress and shoes for my love of footwear to this day! 
(Julia’s side note: Mine did not have tulle! I am calling my mother right now)

  1. Writers are readers first and foremost. What’s a book you read during the pandemic that took you completely out of the real world?

I know this sounds crazy, but I had a hard time reading during most of the pandemic. I was glued to watching the news. Somehow, I found a Lorraine Heath series that I’d completely missed. It was The Hellions of Havisham. Thankfully, that got me out of reading slump and took those dark days of winter and turned them into something spectacular.


Fun Fast Five with Teri Wilson

Fun Fast Five
with
Author Teri Wilson

This month I’m excited to introduce you to my best friend and author extraordinaire, the fabulous Teri Wilson! If you follow me on social media, you may have seen pictures of me and Teri traipsing around the world like two Ms. Gotrockses.

Teri is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes heartwarming contemporary romance with a touch of whimsy. Three of her books have been adapted into Hallmark Channel Original Movies by Crown Media, including UNLEASHING MR. DARCY (plus its sequel MARRYING MR. DARCY), THE ART OF US and NORTHERN LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS, based on her book SLEIGH BELL SWEETHEARTS. She is also a recipient of the prestigious RITA Award® for excellence in romantic fiction for her novel THE BACHELOR’S BABY SURPRISE.

Teri has a major weakness for cute animals, pretty dresses and Audrey Hepburn films, and she loves following the British royal family.

Feel free to visit and connect with her on social media at the links below. You can also add and share her books on BookBub and GoodReads.

 

Website: https://teriwilson.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeriWilsonAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TeriWilsonauthr
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teriwilsonauthor
Newsletter: https://teriwilson.net/index/vip-newsletter/

 

Five Fun Facts with Teri Wilson

  1. We are besties for a reason! We both love to travel, we love to shop, we love handbags, and we love dogs. Tell us what is the most ridiculous thing you have ever purchased for your favorite furbaby? (note to subscribers: this is going to be good)

 

Julia, how could you do this to me? I can’t believe you are making me answer this question. Also, I don’t even know where to start. Was it the tiny Cavalier King Charles spaniel-sized pink bunny slippers? The puppy stroller that seemed super practical because it came with a cup holder? The dog bed that looked like a giant Tiffany’s box that I bought at Harrods in London and had them ship to my home in Texas? Stop laughing. I could go on. (side note: she could)

 

  1. Once Upon a Royal Summer is set in a theme park and features Princess Sweetpea and a real live prince. When is the last time you were actually in a theme park, and what was the last ride you were on?

 

The last time I was at a theme park was in 2017 when I was at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for the Romance Writers of America Conference. I honestly don’t remember the last ride I was on there…but I definitely remember having neon blue martinis at the Brown Derby in Disney Studios and then helping my friend Patricia choose between two Star Wars handbags to purchase at one of the Disney shops, only to find out that it was the same bag the whole time and just had R2D2 on one side and C-3PO on the other. 

 

  1. You write some of the best rom-coms around, and I should know, because I seethe with jealousy when I read them. What is the number one tip you would give an aspiring writer for writing a romantic comedy (besides you kind of need to be funny)?

 

Hmm. This is hard. I’m going to give two tips because I can’t decide on just one. First, I’d say read a lot of romantic comedies, because I think the best way to learn about any genre is to read it extensively. Also, I’d say to keep things light. It’s still great to have emotional depth in a romcom, but in the end, these books are supposed to be fun, feel good reads and too much serious subject matter can take away from the humor. That might just be my personal preference, though.

 

  1. You and I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot together to “writing retreats.” What is the best trip we’ve taken? And when we can make long-haul flights again, where would you have us go?

 

There’s no way I can choose a favorite. I’ve loved all of our trips! If you’re going to force me to pick one, I’m going to say our trip to London in December when England was all decorated for the holidays. We got to see the Princess Diana fashion exhibit at Kensington Palace, we got together with author friends from the UK and we went to Windsor. I adored everything about that trip. When international travel is a thing again, I hope we can go back to Scotland, stay in Edinburgh for a day or two of fabulous dinners and sightseeing and then head to the Highlands to write, drink wine and watch the dogs herd sheep from the living room window. (side note: Scotland was and is heaven)

 

  1. You love the contemporary royal romance genre. If my readers are not up on this niche (and if you’re not, WHY AREN’T YOU?), what fun book would you recommend to get their feet wet?

 

Contemporary royal romance is my jam! I love it when a heroine finds out that she’s accidentally been dating a prince and thinks it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to her. I’ll read that storyline again and again and love it every time. A few royal books I’ve really enjoyed lately are Royally Crushed by Melanie Summers, which pairs a sheltered princess with a Bear Grylls-type adventure star (it’s hilarious!) and American Royals (and its sequel Majesty) by Katharine McGee, a lush, soapy, young adult series that takes place in a modern-day America where George Washington was a king instead of a president and the country is still ruled by the House of Washington. 


Fun Fast Five with Tif Marcelo

Fast Five
with
Author Tif Marcelo

 

  1. You were in the military (thank you for your service!), then got your nursing degree, THEN got married and had FOUR kids and started writing books (I’m so exhausted just reading this that I need to lie down a minute) – What is the one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers about not losing your mind with a busy life and a deadline stacked on top of it?

Ahhhh—thank you!! Written out like that it feels like A LOT, but I think if all of us wrote out our bios (helloooo Julia, I’m looking at you too!) I think we’re all pretty impressive! In all honesty, I think what I do to stay on top of it is understanding that things change at a moment’s notice. So what I do, and I’m not sure if it’s wise or otherwise, is work the best I can when I have the energy or when circumstances allow. I kind of live in a way that I know that something is going to interrupt the moment, especially being a military family and often times solo, so when I get the chance to work, I take it. I don’t take quiet time for granted. What keeps me from truly keeping the balls from falling everywhere is to write things down. It feels super rudimentary and basic, but when I do so, I can focus on that next step. 

 

  1. What is the one thing all the women you know probably have in their kitchen/closet/purse that you don’t have? 

Oh my gosh this is easy, a pen. I’m a writer and yet…but I always have a snack in my purse if you want one! (side note: she is not the only writer in the world who never has a pen. Ahem)  On the daily: bed made? Or unmade?

Made. Not pretty, but when I get up at 5am, my husband (when home) is still usually in it. I call it “pull my covers straight.” That’s the best I can do. 

 

  1. What was the most surprising book you read in the last year? 

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. I was so eager to get my hands on it because she’s such an amazing romance writer, and wanted to see how her work translated across genres and it was just so sooo good. I love reading thriller/suspense on top of romance/WF, and I recommend her book to anyone I can!

  

  1. You have written some amazing books, including Once Upon a Sunset and The Key to Happily Ever After, in addition to many more. If you had the opportunity, is there a book you’ve written that you’d go back and tweak? (Or are you one of those ridiculous writers who gets each book right the first time and it’s so perfectly executed your editor loves it and has no revisions…not that I’m bitter if you are that writer. Never mind).

 I never look back! Is that bad? I just feel like the book is no longer mine. Not to say I don’t worry about the book at publishing, but after a while, as I move on to next books to write, I almost feel like they no longer belong to me! BUT if I had a choice to tweak, I would go back to The Key to Happily Ever After. I would make it a little longer, and add a smidge more romance (since it is a contemporary women’s fiction). I do love the de la Rosa sisters and I wish that I can write more of their family!

Out Now!
In a Book Club Far Away


Fun Fast Five with Victoria Schade

FAST FIVE with VICTORIA SCHADE

  1. What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received? 

 The best writing advice I’ve ever received was keep going! I quit writing my first book at about 10,000 words, probably due to a massive case of Imposter Syndrome. Years later I was lucky enough to have a dog training client who also happened to be a NYT bestselling author. She agreed to take a peek at what I’d written and she said those two words to me … keep going … and it was enough to get me to finish the book. I credit her with my writing career. If she hadn’t given me that boost, I wouldn’t be here!  

  1. The pandemic has sucked, but not everything has been misery. Tell us the best thing about the pandemic and/or quarantine for you.

As someone who works from home, the pandemic didn’t change my daily life much at all. However, my husband’s changed considerably: he went from either being in the office or on various job sites to working exclusively from home. And I loved it! We’re lucky enough that we have some separation between our offices so we were able to stay focused when we needed to, but we were also able to visit, goof around and get mid-day hugs when we needed a break. I discovered I liked having him as a “colleague”! 

  1. Your book is about a dog who ought to be in pictures and a dog custody battle. As a real-life dog trainer, what’s the weirdest thing you ever encountered with your people clients? 

I have oh-so many stories about strange things I’ve encountered with clients. I was an in-home trainer so I got to be up close and personal with my clients in their natural habitats around Washington DC … I’ve gotten locked out of the house with clients and had to climb in the window because I was the only one tall enough to reach it, I’ve worked with hoarders, a presidential great grandson (you’d definitely recognize his name!) and a high ranking presidential advisor who took me to lunch in the private White House dining room! 

  1. You also got to be an official dog trainer for the Animal Planet Puppy Bowl! Get OUT—how fun was THAT? What is the numero uno training tip for dog owners, novice or (ahem) experienced owners with a dog who does what he wants and is afraid of clouds? Or maybe just your number one tip?

Puppy Bowl is everything – I’ve been a part of the show for fifteen years now! I have so many training tips that it’s hard to choose one, but I guess my top suggestion is to learn more about canine body language. Our dogs work so hard to understand us but we don’t do them the same honor, and that leads to misunderstandings and worse. Knowing what your dog is truly saying (and not just making assumptions, like a wagging tail means he’s happy) makes you a better advocate for him and strengthens the bond between you. Want to become a student of “doglish”? The illustrator Lili Chin has an adorable body language book that’s a great overview. And then there’s the OG of body language books, Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas – it changed the way I look at dogs. (Oh, and one more tip? Use better treats when you’re training your dog, like cheese, hot dogs or freeze dried chicken!)

 

  1. What book did you read in the last year that really let you escape from the Year of our Lord, Hellscape?

Present company excluded? (Hiii, You Lucky Dog!) During the pandemic I got wrapped up in Pretty Things by Janelle Brown and got my dog-fix from Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy by Zazie Todd. Good stuff!

 

(side note: take it from me, you will love her book).


Fun Fast Five with Suzanne Enoch

Fun Fast Five with Suzanne Enoch

 

  1. We all know you’re really good at writing. What other skill do you wish you were really good at? 

Well, thank you for saying so. I’ve always wished I could learn to fence, not that that has much practical application today. Archery would be cool, too.

 

  1. You are a notorious Star Wars fan. A nebula is headed right for your space ship and only one can save you: Luke Skywalker? Han Solo? Or None of the Above?

Good Lord! Not a nebula! If Han Solo didn’t come to save me, I guess I would just have to settle for being vaporized. I’ve been in love with that man since 1977.

 

  1. What is the first romance you read that made you want to write romance? 

One of my friends loaned me “Devil’s Cub” by Georgette Heyer when I was in 9th grade. I’ve been a big reader for as long as I can remember, but that one just stands out. It was so dashing and romantic, and made me want to escape into that world. (note to the audience: Devil’s Cub is one of the best regency romances there is).

 

  1. You have beautiful handwriting, because you write by hand (note to the audience: no one writes by hand). How long does it take you to write a complete manuscript WITH YOUR HAND? (Question submitted by Mrs. Thompson’s 7th grade typing class).

LOL – thank you again. It takes me 3-4 months to write a book by hand. I spend the mornings handwriting, and then the afternoons typing up what I’ve written. That way I kind of get an immediate first edit, which actually helps me figure things out before I write myself into a hole. Most of the time, anyway.

 

  1. What was the last best book you read and what did you love about it? 

The last book I read just for fun was Karen Hawkins’ The Book Charmer. It was so full of small town southern life and had some magic and some romance… Being a suburban girl from Southern California, I found it really charming and fun.


Fun Fast Five with Sasha Summers

 

Fun Fast Five with Sasha Summers

  1. What’s the last best book you read?

That’s hard. I just went back and reread one of my all-time favorite Julia Quinn novels – What Happens in London. I’ll admit, watching Bridgerton might have inspired me to do so. But, before that, I’d read-and adored-Dating Makes Perfect by Pontus Dunn.

 

  1. Dogs, cats, or cows? 

Well I love all three but cows aren’t exactly ideal indoor pets and they take up the whole couch. Cats are delightful creatures but I just know they’re planning world domination. So, as a smitten new puppy mom, I have to say Dogs.

 

  1. What is the worst purchase you ever made? 

Hmm… I’m thinking the pretty lacy nightie-negligee thing I bought online. I trusted the size chart (I know, I know), only to discover they’d most definitely lied about their sizes as the garment I received would only fit a Barbie. Or be used as a banana net to prevent bruising… I will neither deny nor confirm that this is something I’ve learned first-hand or if it’s hypothetical… That answer got a little carried away.

 

  1. What celebrity would you rate as a perfect 10? 

This is easy. Chris Hemsworth. AKA-THOR! I’m a bit of a fangirl (we are not going to talk about my Thor collection but I feel certain The Husband would say my collection was my worst purchase ever.)

 

  1. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

Imposter syndrome. Every book I’m second-guessing what I’ve put on the page. I’d like to think I’ll get to the point where I don’t feel like I should stop writing and go back to my cubicle but… time will tell. 

 

I’m happy to tell you, Sasha’s books are wonderful and trust me, she won’t ever be returning to her previous cubicle life J  And speaking of wonderful books, I hope you’ll check out her latest release, SONG FOR THE COWBOY.