Wednesday, January 18, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH TERRA KELLY!

Hi there! I’m so excited to be here. Thank you, Caroline, for the opportunity. This is a perfect distraction in between my writing time. I’m currently working on the fourth book in my Winters Family Series. Plus, I’m preparing to rebrand the first three books in that series. Lots happening. 2017 is off to a perfect start!  

Please tell us about growing up.

I grew up in a very small town in Michigan. The town is called Freeland and it only has one stop light. When I lived there we had minimal restaurants, and McDonald’s was the highlight for us all. I haven’t lived there in over 20 years, and the town has grown so much … lots more restaurants now, too. My family and I were pretty close, especially my sister. My Sister and I always did something together, she even let me hang out with her friends in high school. The highlight of my adolescence is all the family trips we took in our motorhome. We traveled all over the U.S, and had many laughs.

Terra and her husband


I’ve been married for 19 years, been with my best friend for 22 years. We met when I was just 19, crazy how time flies when you’re having fun. We lived in Tucson, Arizona for 15 years, and now currently Charlotte, North Carolina. We have three furry babies that make our life complete (one dog and two cats).





I've never seen a photo of a more contented cat than the tiger one above. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

That is tricky. I love too many. My favorite genre is contemporary romance and mystery/thriller, but lately I’m a huge fan of some non-fiction books, too.
Favorite authors: Susan Mallory, Jill Shalvis, Bella Andre, Clive Cussler, Steve Barry, Joanna Penn, Tim Grahl, Jeff Goins, Nick Stephenson, and many more!

I met you on Nick Stephenson's Facebook group. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?

Relaxing with my hubby is the best, we love watching movies, sports, and TV series. I’m also a food blogger (www.cafeterrablog.com) and love creating new recipes. My husband and I even create recipes together which is awesome. I also love yoga to recharge after sitting and writing, or walking my dog to get some story ideas happening.  

How long have you been writing?

My story is unique and long, you can read about it here and here. I definitely didn’t start out with the intent to have a writing career. At 13 while vacationing in New York City, I decided I wanted to be a disc jockey on the radio in New York. I had that plan all the way up until I met my future husband. I did get to work as a disc jockey in Michigan, and still have fond memories of that experience. BUT New York never happened, instead we trekked all the way to the opposite side of the country. I’m a believer that life takes you on paths for a reason. Mine led me to this career, and when I hit publish in November 2014 that changed everything for me. I wouldn’t change anything about my past, I loved all the adventures. Since November 2014 I have published six books and have grown so much as an author. I love everything about this career.

Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

I have a super long list of issues with my back, so sitting at a desk is no fun. I have a lazy boy and TV tray that is my writing space (it’s not pretty, but definitely keeps my back happier). I have a MacBook Air and it’s loaded with so much love. I have my iPad and iPhone synced up to the drives, so I can access my writing anywhere. Thank goodness for technology. I actually write better in silence. If my husband is home, I take my hearing aids out for silence … so he can still watch TV. Having a TV on is not distracting for me, because when in the zone I don’t even register it’s on.  

Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Answer: Definitely a panzer. I will write down my thoughts for a story idea in Evernote. Then just start writing and let it create itself.

Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?

For my last book I did some research before, and then as I went along. It was a mobster book, and I wanted to try to keep it as realistic as possible. For my steamy contemporary, no research is really needed, except for the recipes I create for each book.

Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

That’s funny you ask that. So, just this month I am officially able to say, I’m a full-time author entrepreneur. In the past I would write tons to get a book complete, then just write here and there. I didn’t have any daily writing habits. Now, this month I’m working on changing my habits by participating in a 31-day writing challenge. It really is only for me to get a better habit set in place. My goal is to write daily and to get at least 1.5k to 3k completed for each session. For goals, I didn’t have any. Now, I have created a production plan through March 2018, and have already got myself set to achieve everything on the list. I plan to publish three books and one short story in 2017. I would love to up that number in 2018, but remember, I didn’t have a writing background, so I want to make sure I produce solid content and keep growing. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon after all.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.

I have a severe hearing impairment. Something that started when I was born and gradually got worse. I was always nervous to get hearing aids and how people treat me (in school I was teased for not being able to hear things). Well, in October 2016 I was given the gift of hearing, thanks to my parents. I love my hearing aids and love listening to all the beautiful sounds most people take for granted. For 41 years I managed through life by reading lips, that’s how bad my hearing was. Most didn’t even know I had an impairment, because I could read lips that good. My parents taught me when I was born to read their lips when learning to talk.

What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Happiness. Excitement. Hunger (since I put recipes in my books). I write from the heart, which I think most authors do. I share stories that include things about me, just snippets. So I hope readers will be able to relate, and find peace and happiness when they finish a book.

My feelings, too. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Well, if you read the blog post I shared up above about my writing past- I would say, don’t ever listen to bullshit. Seriously. I let someone tell me I was a poor writer and should find a different career … AND I believed them for a long time. Overcoming that was a long road, but now the shining light is reading messages from readers who tell me they adore my books. The messages I receive from readers warms my heart every day. If you have a story to tell, tell it. If you’re nervous to publish, STOP, and just publish the damn thing. Someone out there wants to read your story, trust me. Oh, and make sure to start building your email list from the very start, that is the holy grail for authors and building our audience.

Tell us about your latest release.

My latest release was December 6th- It was the second book in my romantic suspense series, Torn Pieces. I started writing contemporary romance that was more on the steamy side. I know I kind of played it safe and definitely felt too nervous to jump out of my comfort zone. Then my author friend challenged me to try suspense, so I did. Now, I find my readers like my suspense maybe more than my other books. I have also fallen in love with writing suspense, and made TAKE THIS PAIN AWAY more suspenseful and less on the romance. Now that I ventured out of my comfort zone, there is a serial killer suspense/thriller series in the works. It does pay to expand your wings and fly.




TAKE THIS PAIN AWAY (Torn Pieces: Book Two) Synopsis: Finley Scott devotes his life to the Emergency Task Force, Toronto, and it's what he loves. So when being asked to go undercover to protect a woman from the biggest mob boss Toronto has ever experienced, he doesn't hesitate. Giano Nesta stops at nothing to get what belongs to him and yet, Finley is ready to be the savior Letizia will need.

Letizia Magrino lives in St. Cloud, MN, has her own bakery, and nothing to worry about but a cupcake bake-off she wants to win. That is, until her life comes crumbling down when a mob boss starts hunting her. With nowhere to hide at home, she starts running with the help of Finley and his crew. But too many lies made her distrustful of people around her, so how can she believe that Finley will protect her no matter what?

With her life turned upside down, can Letizia and Finley find a way to escape all the horrors-and find the happy ending they desperately seek?

How can readers learn more about you?

I’m a marketing nerd, hence why I run three blogs, ha! You can catch me on social, email, website, wherever you choose.

Terra Kelly, Author
Terra loves walking her dog, snuggling with her two cats, and relaxing with her amazing hubby. A steamy romance book is never far from her grasp, and 2:00 a.m. seems to be the sweet spot to finally put a book down and sleep. She laughs loudly, smiles often, is a bit of a klutz, and tries to always find the positive in everything.

Writing was not on the list of must-do’s for her career, but she always had stories swirling around her mind. Now, today she couldn't imagine her life without writing. She enjoys writing when the mood strikes, and will stay up late to get all her thoughts out.

When she's not writing, she’s creating recipes, and learning all about bourbon and wine. Terra has had a food blog for over six years, at www.cafeterrablog.com. That’s why you will find serious food love in each of her books. She considers herself a bourbon and wine lover. Each book will express her love for both types of alcohol, along with beer thrown in the mix. 

She loves hearing from her readers, please stop by one of her social sites and say hello!


One more thing: Something to look out for in March 2018, I will be publishing my first cookbook/romance book. The story takes place at a family wine vineyard, so the recipes will be infused with wine love.


Thank you so much for letting me share a little about myself today! 

4 comments:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks for appearing on the blog, Terra. I enjoyed learning more about you.

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