Today we sit down for a chat with mystical and paranormal thriller author Terry Segan. Learn more about Terry and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels? About a decade ago. I dabbled in a few travel articles for an online newsletter that welcomed guest authors. It was then I realized how much I loved writing and was hooked. Shortly afterwards I began writing my first novel. It isn’t the book currently published but will be my next.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication? From start to finish Photographs in Time took about two and a half years to write and self-publish. The best thing I did for my craft was to join a writer’s group. Through their knowledge, encouragement and critiques, my novel took shape and my journey as a writer moved forward in leaps and bounds. The story went from being simple words on a page to an engaging adventure with twists and turns I hadn’t even imagined until I’d gotten there.
Where do you write? Where don’t I write would be an easier question! My boyfriend and I travel as often as we can by motorcycle. My stories take form in my head as we roll through miles of highways or shorelines. Sometimes the landscape inspires me, or I work out difficult plot lines. Once we reach our destination, I grab my iPad and put down my next chapter. My love of traveling and writing inspired the blog on my website, “Musings From the Back of the Bike,” where I share our journeys.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? I don’t need either. My writing happens wherever I can set my iPad, whether it’s a restaurant, bar, or beach. Rarely is the din of surrounding patrons so loud that it pulls my focus. All I need is a clean area. Clutter makes me crazy and inhibits my creativity. This can be a bit of a challenge as we’re full time RVers and space is limited. It’s all about choices: need versus want.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular? The plots are fictional, but my characters may ring with a bit of truth from real life. So far, each of my novels centers on a female character. My currently published book, the next one I’m getting ready to launch, Precious Treasure, and the third one I’m working on, Five Steps to Celestia, all have a strong female lead. I’ve always been independent and driven to explore the world around me, and some of that rubs off on my characters. Minor roles may have traits of friends, family or complete strangers. Living in Las Vegas opens many avenues of people-watching.
Describe your process for naming your character. There’s nothing magical about it for me. I simply pick one that feels right.
Real settings or fictional towns? Many are inspired by real places, but my specific settings are fictional. My main character, Sami, lives in a Victorian-style house on the hills of Palos Verdes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The town is real, yet her house resides firmly in my imagination. My next novel takes place on Long Island, where I grew up, but the cities are fictitious.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has? The enjoyment Mr. Chang, the grandfather of one of my main characters, takes in making people uncomfortable with his vague responses. While having all the answers, he revels in doling out just enough information to evoke additional questions or cause frustration in those seeking his knowledge.
What’s your quirkiest quirk? Probably humming Flight of the Bumblebee while struggling into a pair of pantyhose.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written), which would it be? Why? The Eight by Katherine Neville. My favorite books are those that either take a part of history and weave it into a current tale or jump back and forth in time. Katherine Neville’s story alternates between a young woman in the 1970’s and a French nun from two hundred years prior. Throw in a mystical chess set created by the ancient Moors that has the answer to life, and you have absolute brilliance! As the book progresses, she brings the lives of the two women closer and closer. I strive to have her story-telling ability.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours? I wish I’d started writing in my twenties. The idea was there, but I didn’t have the confidence to put pen to paper. Having a vivid imagination, I could’ve entertained thousands for the last few decades.
What’s your biggest pet peeve? The series “Firefly” being cancelled after only one season.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves? My iPad with a charging brick, a well-stocked wine cellar of red blends from the Paso Robles area, and satellite WiFi.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held? Working as a secretary at a preschool. The director reeked so badly of cigarette smoke that potential parents touring the facility visibly recoiled at her approach.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read? As mentioned above, The Eight by Katherine Neville.Every few years I need to re-read it.
Ocean or mountains? No contest—ocean! I’m a beach girl at heart. Couple that with my gypsy soul, and there are many shorelines yet to wander. That’s probably why my first book has the main character living in a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I might even be a little jealous of her!
City girl or country girl? I’m a mix. Put me in a city with a great public transportation system, and I’m in exploration mode. My current favorite is Boston. So much history, great people and places to wander—not to mention the seafood. I do like the country as well since I enjoy tent camping. A few weekends every summer we hook up a small travel trailer to the back of the motorcycle and head for cooler parts like Mt Charleston outside of Vegas or Pine Valley, UT.
What’s on the horizon for you? I’m currently seeking representation for my next book, Precious Treasure. It’s a great story and I’d like the opportunity to make it available to a wider market. Paranormal fiction is very popular, and this book fits the bill—a missing husband, a journal written by a Confederate soldier, and the author appearing to the bereaved wife as she tries to find the connection between the two.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books? My mind is constantly on overdrive creating storylines and chapters. Much of my writing begins as a sedate plot then twists into something supernatural or fantastical. I’ve embraced this side of me and feel my writing is better for it.
Photographs in Time Sami and Jimmy have devoted their lives to bringing couples together in a most unconventional way—time travel. Despite being born eras apart, happy unions are forged. After two unexpected disasters, it’s not until a third mishap occurs that Sami and Jimmy discover it’s the intentional meddling of an old nemesis. As they dig deeper into the past and seek help from their predecessors, the daunting truth is their own relationship is in jeopardy. They must stop this mad man in time to complete the thirty matches required before more casualties result from his vendetta. It will take every resource, past and present, to assure they all have a future.
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