Meet Debut Author Terisa Wilcox

Terisa Wilcox writes time travels that transport the reader to the misty moors of 17th Century Scotland. She sold the first two books of her MacGregor series to L&L Dreamspell. Her debut novel, Timeless Mist, was released in April. The second book in the series, Between Now and Then, is due out in 2010.

Recently widowed, Terisa lives in Florida with her three children, her daughter-in-law and her adorable two-year-old grandson. When she’s not juggling her time between the many characters running around in her head insisting she tell their stories and spending time with her family, Terisa likes to read, cook, crochet and swim.

Join me as we learn about more about Terisa and her journey to publication.

(Look at the bottom of the post for multiple drawing prizes offered.)

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Terisa Wilcox

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Terisa’s Journey Begins

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•Life is filled with many significant events that leave a lasting impression on us. For most novelists, choosing to create that first story is one such milestone. When did you hear the call to write, and how did you respond?

It was late in 1999 when I first decided to try writing. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but waiting for one of my favorite authors to come out with another story seemed endless. I had time as my children were now in their teens and, although I homeschooled them, they didn’t need quite as much direction, so I decided to write a story. I’d done a few short stories when I was much younger, but between moving a lot, getting married, having children, and just life in general, it took awhile for me to remember how much I’d loved writing as a kid.

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Terisa’s Inspiration

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•You write stories set in the scenic Scottish countryside of yesteryear. How did you choose that location? Had you traveled there, did some bonny Scot’s beautiful brogue captivate you, or was watching Mel Gibson in Braveheart a factor? 🙂

I haven’t had the chance to travel to Scotland…yet, but I’m hoping someday. I actually started my first story as a straight historical, set in Ireland. Then for a school project, my children and I were doing some genealogy research on my mother’s side of the family. I discovered that Wilcox could have been one of the names taken by the MacGregor’s during the proscription. It fascinated me. I spent hours upon hours researching the history of the MacGregor’s and Scotland. I fell in love with the pictures of the scenery and the many legends. From there, it just all seemed to come together.

As far as the Scottish brogue, that would have to be from Sean Connery all the way. 🙂

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•Your stories are time travels, in which the heroine of book one is transported to the year 1603 when kilt-clad MacGregor is fighting to retain his territory and book two’s brave heroine is thrust four hundred years into future. When did you become interested in writing tales that span centuries, and where did you get the ideas that led to Kristianna and Caitlyn’s journeys through time?

I wondered what would happen if a MacGregor fell in love with a Campbell. I’d started reading time travels at this point, so I wondered what would happen if a Campbell heroine from this century traveled back in time and landed on MacGregor land.

I hadn’t read many time travels with the hero or heroine traveling forward in time. With Caitlyn, who is Iain’s sister, I wanted to know how she would react to it all.

I usually start my writing with questions. What would happen if this or that took place? How would my character respond in this situation?

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•I noticed that a certain piece of jewelry plays an important role in each of your books. Did you model these after family heirlooms or museum pieces, or did you create them to fit the stories?

No, nothing like that. I started with a watch for Kris because, well, it seemed the most logical thing to use. Then, as certain elements got added to her story, I began having ideas about Caitlyn’s tale. I decided a different piece of jewelry for each heroine would be the perfect thing. Something unique for each of them. I may reuse something in the future, but we’ll see what happens.

I found a website that sells some beautiful Scottish jewelry. I wrote and asked permission for me to use the descriptions on my website and in my stories, and they were very happy to agree.

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Terisa’s High Points

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•The day you heard that L&L Dreamspell wanted to offer a contract must have been one of your most exciting. Please share with us the story of getting The Call and how you reacted.

It was very exciting. I had sent off the query and received a request for the full. Then, instead of just waiting to hear something, knowing it could take awhile, I began Caitlyn’s story.

It was only about two weeks later I received an email from Lisa telling me she’d like to offer me a contract. I was so excited, I think my family in Massachusetts heard me screaming lol. Everyone was home from work that day, and they all knew what had happened. We had a wonderful celebration. Although my husband threatened to buy a big ball and chain so he could keep me off the ceiling and tied to the floor. lol.

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I noticed some of your reviewers referenced your “consistent and impressive” Scottish dialogue. What research did you do to nail this aspect of your stories? Would you be willing to give us a little taste?

Iain has a wee greeting for you:

“Och, lassie, ’tis happy I am to be chatting wi’ ye today. Kris tells me quite often that she could just sit and listen to me speak for hours. I dinnae understand it, but ’tis happy I am to accommodate her.”

I didn’t actually do any research for the brogue. Unless you count watching Sean Connery movies. lol. I do read a lot, and my favorite romances are usually set in Scotland. There are many authors who do a very good job at the brogue. I think I just picked it up from reading it a lot.

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Terisa’s Low Spots

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How did you develop the thick skin we writers need to deal with the rejections? Or were you one of those blessed souls who doesn’t have a collection of passes?

I am one of those blessed souls :-). I have a total of three rejections, and those are all from agents. L&L Dreamspell was the first and only publisher I’ve queried at the moment.

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You celebrated the sale of your first two books with your best friend and partner of seventeen years, Earl. Your beloved husband was here for the release of your first book, but tragically he won’t be here for your second, since the Lord took him home September 15th. My heart and prayers goes out to you. How have you been dealing with the enormity of this loss? Have you been able to write, or has grief stilled your creative spirit for now?

Thank you, Keli. Your prayers and those of my family, friends and fans are much appreciated at this time. It is an enormous loss for me.

Earl and I had known each other for over twenty-six years. We were friends, and then it developed into more and we married. I was truly blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life for so long.

My faith and knowing that Earl is now at home with the Lord, whom he loved so very much, helps. I have good days, bad days and some really bad days, but with the Lord’s help, strength and comfort, it gets easier every day. I’m trying to take each minute at a time and not worry about things.

At the moment, I haven’t been able to write. But it is slowly coming back. I know Earl would not ever want me to give up on my dream or let my writing go just because he’s not here anymore. He encouraged me every step of the way and wanted me to succeed at being an author. It is my dream career, and Earl was there to see me achieve the beginning of it.

I have ideas for several more books that I bounced off of him and he liked. The excitement and desire to write is definitely still there.

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Terisa’s Partners on the Journey

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•What’s it like to be part of the L&L Dreamspell family? How does the house support its authors? Do they offer editing, marketing assistance, book signing opportunities, etc?

Linda and Lisa have been wonderful. They offer editing, and Linda does a fantastic job on the covers. They also have a group set up for their authors for support, encouragement, ideas etc. It’s a terrific bunch and I love being a part of it.

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Terisa’s Debut Novel

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•Please tell us about Timeless Mist.

Timeless MistKristianna discovers the magic of Scotland when she comes face to face with the man of her dreams – four hundred years in the past…

Art-history major Kristianna Campbell gets more education than she bargains for when she visits Scotland with her college class. On a shopping excursion she picks up an unusual souvenir—an antique pocket watch once owned by Iain MacGregor.
The enchanted watch pulls her back through time where she lands smack in the middle of Iain MacGregor’s territory—in the year 1603, during the proscription against the MacGregors.

Unsure of where she is or how she got there, Kris is stunned when she sees Iain and realizes he’s not exactly a stranger to her. She’s dreamed of him for weeks. And her attraction to him is stronger in the flesh than in her dreams. Realizing the danger in revealing her real surname of Campbell, Kristianna tells him her last name is Armstrong.

The situation is tense as Iain battles enemies on all sides, thanks to King James VI and the decree that the name of MacGregor be outlawed, and the Earl of Argyll, Archibald Campbell’s desire to see the MacGregors decimated. Iain has neither the time nor the inclination to deal with the strange lass who mysteriously landed in his territory.
But Kristianna affects him in ways no other woman has. To desire her is acceptable, but when she begins to reach the heart he thought long dead, he knows he will never be the same.

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Terisa’s Journey Continues

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Timeless Mist is on the shelves, and Between Now and Then is due to be released next year. What are you working on now? The third in the series, perhaps?

Actually, yes, I am working on the third book in the series. I have no title for it yet, but Hailey Armstrong, Kris’ best friend from Timeless Mist, is the heroine, and Jamie MacGregor, Iain’s eldest brother, is the hero. I’m having quite a bit of fun with these two. Especially Hailey because she knows what’s going on as well as who sent her back in time.

At the moment, I have ideas for several more books in the series. I’m also working on fixing, editing and probably completely rewriting my very first attempt, which is called Raven’s Heart.

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Five Fun Facts About Terisa, the Writer

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~ I write by the seat of my pants. If an idea sounds good, I write it.

~ I’m not the most organized person and usually have notes and who knows what else scattered all over my desk.

~ I love the editing part of my writing. When the story is finished, I get to go back and rewrite and fix.

~ I have to keep reminding myself to write the entire story before I edit.

~ I can go for days without writing a word, then I’ll just know where I want to go and nobody will see me for days.

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Five Fun Facts About Terisa, the Person

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~ I’d rather have a bag of chips than chocolate. Weird I know. lol.

~ My favorite color is deep red.

~ I love to cook and I’m always trying new recipes, especially desserts.

~ I like to color with my grandson.

~ I truly believe all things work together for good and no matter what happens, God is in charge.

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Terisa’s Question for You

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•I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Terisa. Thanks for your great answers to my questions. Now it’s your turn to ask a question of your visitors, so fire away.

Thank you so much for having me, Keli. It’s been enjoyable.

Now, my questions for your readers: If you could travel to any time period and country, what would you pick and why?

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Learn More About Terisa

Visit her Web site ~ http://www.terisawilcox.com

Friend her on Facebook and My Space ~ Terisa Wilcox

Follow her on Twitter ~ TerisaW

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Leave a Comment for Two Chances to Win

To leave a comment, click on “Comments” below the date in the title at the top of the post.

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My Regular Drawing

My next drawing will take place October 10th. We took my daughter to college recently. She packed relatively few books, but one that went was an unabridged copy of Little Women, which is a classic tale she and I love. We’ve watched the movie version of the story with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon many times. Since I’m missing my daughter and feeling nostalgic, I’m giving away a new copy of this DVD, one you can share with a loved one.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by October 10th and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On October 11th, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.

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You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and September 30th. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On October 1st, I will choose one person who will have her/his choice of covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your debut novel in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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8 Responses to Meet Debut Author Terisa Wilcox

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Terisa! It’s great to have you as my guest and have this opportunity to get to know more about you and your writing.

    If I could travel to some other time and place, I’d go to my hometown and neighboring area in the heart of California’s Gold Country in the year 1870 because that’s where and when I’ve set my stories. I would want to stay for long though. Can’t imagine wearing a corset, petticoats and long-sleeved, floor-length dress during our 100 degree plus summers.

  2. Sherrinda says:

    Oh I love time travel! LOVE IT! I thought about writing a medieval time travel, but I know that it would never go over in the Christian arena.

    Congratulations on your quick sale! Only 3 rejections is very impressive, so I hear! 🙂 May God fill you with peace and bring you back to a place of joy in His presence. I’ll be praying for you, Terisa!

  3. Linda Henderson says:

    I really enjoy time travel books. If I could choose a time to travel back to it would probably be regency England. I wouldn’t want to stay long though because I like my creature comforts too much.

  4. terisawilcox says:

    Keli,
    Thank you again for having me. I couldn’t imagine wearing a corset and such in that kind of weather for long either. Although I like warm better than cold, which is why I’m in Florida, lol.

    Sherrinda,
    LOL, I know how that is. I had a crises of conscience about that myself. But after praying about it, I decided that it was okay to write time travel. It was alot of fun to write, too. Thank you for your prayers. They are really appreciated.

    Linda,
    I too enjoy my creature comforts. Actually, so does Hailey lol. Which is why I’m having so much fun with her hehe.

  5. Autumn Storm says:

    Terisa,
    I’m so pleased to hear that there’s a sequel to Timeless Mist. It was one of my first purchases from L & L Dreamspell and I loved it. We were extremely sorry to hear about the loss of your husband and prayed that you would soon find peace. Hang on to your memories…write them…hold them close to your heart…time will take care of the rest. May God bless you and yours.
    Autumn

  6. Thank you, Autumn. That means an awful lot to me. I’m so happy you enjoyed Timeless Mist. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. They are much appreciated 😀

  7. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Terisa, I love reading time travel books and its been a while since I have read one. I also love books set in Scotland because I have always wanted to go there. So I travel there in books. Your book sound like an awesome read. Do you take trips to Scotland for your research?

  8. Jessica says:

    Hi Terisa,
    Congrats on your sale! I’m sorry to hear about your husband.
    I love Scottish romances and my favorite color is deep red too, most of the time.
    🙂
    Thank you for sharing your journey!

Comments are closed.