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Flashback Friday – Teresa Medeiros

I’ve been so lucky in  my life to not only meet amazing people, but question them and learn from them. I’ve been able to amass a pretty large catalogue of interviews because of their generosity, and they have really helped me get my foot in many different doors.  So first, to all the people who have been gracious enough to give me their time and patience, thank you!

I’ve created the Flashback Friday series to show these interviews and reviews.  They’ve been locked away in my archives but now it’s time to share them.  I hope you enjoy this look back on the articles that got me started and introduced me to some of my best friends.  Enjoy!

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What’s so wonderful about Teresa is her consistency. Her unfailing ability to never let a reader down. When I walk into a bookstore and see a new Teresa novel, I pick it up without bothering to read the back. I just know….it’ll be that great.

Her newest book, Some Like It Wicked, was no exception. It was everything I ever want in a book: thrilling, romantic, sexy, real, honest. It was the perfect blend of sweet and bitter, light and dark, humor and sex. It made me read my favorite stories from Teresa’s backlist: The Vampire Who Loved Me, Yours Until Dawn (one of my absolute FAVORITES!!!), A Kiss To Remember (Another FAVORITE OF MINE OF ALL TIME IN ANY GENRE!), Thief of Hearts, a Whisper of Roses, Lady of Conquest, Shadows and Lace, Heather and Velvet, Once an Angel, Fairest of Them All, Breath of Magic, Touch of Enchantment, The Bride and the Beast, Nobody’s Darling, Charming the Prince, After Midnight and One Night of Scandal.

Wow, I just listed every Teresa book as my favorite. Like I said, she’s consistent. 🙂

So here she is, a woman who just thrills me….Teresa!

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1. Tell us about your new book, Some Like It Wicked. 

I’m celebrating my return to Regency historical romance and the Scottish Highlands (after doing my two vamp romances) with SOME LIKE IT WICKED. The book features Simon Wescott–one of my baddest bad boys yet! Think of him a sweet and fizzy cocktail with a splash of Sawyer from LOST, a twist of Captain Jack Sparrow and a spritzer of Cary Grant. If you indulge in too much of him, you might wake up with a hangover but I can promise you that you’ll have no regrets! Simon might be a knight in tarnished armor but Catriona Kincaid is determined to make a hero of him. When she goes to Newgate to get him out of jail, she offers him both wealth and freedom if he’ll help her find her missing brother and reunite her clan. But Simon has his eye on a much sweeter–and more sensual–prize. And don’t worry, Bethany! Your ARC is in the mail…really…just like my tax rebate and that prize from the Publishers Clearing House.

2. You’ve written over a dozen books. On your great, informative website, it says you actually have 17 books and over 7 million copies in print. All of them have been national bestsellers. Does that add pressure, or does that make you sit back and say “I’ve made it?”

SOME LIKE IT WICKED will be my 18th book. For me, it’s always been about creating a body of work. My goal from the very beginning was to try to write one “keeper” a year. The greatest thrill will always be finishing a book but a close second has to be glancing over at my bookshelf and seeing my published books all lined up. I think the pressure worsens the longer you write instead of getting easier because you always want to keep challenging yourself and to come up with something that feels fresh to you and your readers. The day I say “I’ve made it” should probably be the day I retire.

3. It has always been said that it is difficult for a woman to carve out a career for herself. What struggles have you faced? 

I’m an only child with parents who were in the front row of every school play I was ever in so that gave me a tremendous amount of confidence. I’ve also had the privilege and pleasure of working primarily with women in both of my careers–nursing and writing. I just never paid any attention to anyone who said, “This is impossible” or “You can’t do this.” I do believe there’s a glass ceiling in many professions, including romance writing. But with historical romances and authors like Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn now consistently charting as high as #1 and #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, I believe it’s possible to crash right through that ceiling and shoot for the sky. The greatest struggles for me have always been internal ones like perfectionism.

4. You’re a member of several writing groups, most notably, the Romance Writers of America. How important are those groups to you, to aspiring authors, to readers?

I would recommend that anyone serious about a career in romance writing join Romance Writers of America. Some of the benefits include the amazing annual and local conferences, access to networking with editors and agents and the reams of information you get from their monthly publication, website, etc. But by far the most important gift that RWA gave me was my friends! We room together at conferences, we chat for hours on the phone, we have e-mail loops where we laugh and cry over our personal and professional struggles and triumphs. I try to remember that when this life is done, it won’t be the number on a bestseller list I remember but the privilege of knowing such wonderful women.

5. Every single book you write is lyrical and and grande but also very charming. Did it take a lot of time to develop that “voice”? What was the journey like?

Oh, thank you, Bethany! I think “voice” in a writer is very similar to “voice” in a singer. It’s something you’re born with but it’s also influenced by every book and writer you ever read while growing up. I once heard Mary Jo Putney say that she was born with the “natural voice of a 19th century essayist” and I can totally relate to that because I can hear my historical characters speaking with such clarity it’s as if they’re real. Growing up, I always loved books like T.H. White’s THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING so there’s also a strong thread of whimsy in my voice. As far as developing the ability to write sensual tension, I certainly can’t discount the influences of writers like Tom and Sharon Curtis (who also wrote as Laura London) and Judith McNaught. Since I’ve written in almost every sub-genre of romance, I’d have to say my greatest influence in that vein was Jude Deveraux, who switched so effortlessly between historicals and contemps and paranormals in her early career.

6. You were an RN before becoming a full time writer. How difficult was it to balance such a demanding job with another very time consuming, demanding job?

I started writing the same year I started nursing so I worked as a registered nurse for nine years while I was writing. My sneaky little trick was to work the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift on my nursing job and write in the mornings. I’m a morning person so I knew my most creative hours were in the morning. I wrote 6 books by simply writing from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every weekday. (I had to knock off at 12:30 to watch AS THE WORLD TURNS :)) I retired from nursing to write full-time in 1992. Oddly enough, I was probaby more productive when I was working both jobs because I was so focused. Now that I can wander around all day answering e-mail and glancing into the refrigerator, it seems like I get less done!

7. Finally Teresa, besides writing, what are some other passions you indulge in? And by indulging in those passions, do you feel that helps your writing? 

Oh, absolutely! I’ve always felt that if a writer doesn’t have a “life”, eventually the creative well will run dry. My husband and I are big bikers (a la Lance Armstrong, not Evil Knievel). I adore baking and decorating, which also fulfills my incredibly strong creative drive. Like most writers, books and movies are my lifeblood and nothing makes me happier than to settle in for a rainy afternoon with the BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I’ve always had a passion for all things cultish and quirky a la STAR TREK, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, LORD OF THE RINGS, etc. My current “crushes” of the moment are Colonel Shepherd and Ronon Dex from STARGATE ATLANTIS. I always say I have the best job in the world because I have to study the “beautiful male animal” so I can write him well in my books ;).

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