Award-Winning Author Terry Spear was kind enough to stop by for an interview about the next installment of her urban fantasy romance series, To Tempt the Wolf. Terry will be giving away a copy of her new book and answering comments throughout the week. See below for all the giveaway details.
Award-winning author of urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense, Heart of the Wolf just named in Publishers Weekly’s BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE. Originally from California, she’s lived in eight states and now resides in the heart of Texas. She is the author of Heart of the Wolf, Destiny of the Wolf, To Tempt the Wolf, Legend of the White Wolf, Winning the Highlander’s Heart, Deadly Liaisons, The Vampire…In My Dreams (young adult), Deidre’s Secret (young adult), The Accidental Highland Hero (2010), two more wolf tales from Sourcebooks, and numerous articles and short stories for magazines.
Book Blurb: In this third in the series, wildlife photographer Tessa Anderson must prove her brother innocent of murder charges. But when she discovers a gorgeous naked man barely alive on her beach, she’s got a new world of troubles to deal with, not least of which is how he affects her with just a look, a touch, or a whispered word. Hunter Greymore is a lupus garou, a grey werewolf. Hoping to keep a low profile at Tessa’s cabin on the coast, he’s drawn into her life—and into her bed. His animal instincts war with his human half, but in the end, the only thing he can do about this fascinating, adorable woman is to leave her forever —unless she becomes one of them.
ATUF: To Tempt the Wolf is the third book in Heart of Wolf series (which are all stand alone novels), what do we need to know before diving in to this book?
TS: Up until book 5, the stories really are stand alone titles. Once you get into Seduced by the Wolf (Aug ’10), Leidolf’s story, this goes back to earlier stories, especially the first, Heart of the Wolf. There is a cameo appearance of the hero from Heart of the Wolf (Book 1) in To Tempt the Wolf also at the end of the book. Also, my books do have consummated love scenes so I refer to them as urban fantasy romances, rather than strictly urban fantasies that might not have a romance element or a happily ever after. Mine definitely are HEA. 🙂
ATUF: What drew you to the paranormal/urban fantasy genre considering that you began your writing career in medieval historical romantic suspense genre?
TS: I’ve been a fan of the paranormal since I was little–loved ghost stories, couldn’t get enough of them. And my first taste of Dracula was seeing him at a college play when I was thirteen and I fell in love. But how could someone as sexy as he was, be the bad guy? I had to right the wrong, and began writing my own vampire romantic suspenses. 🙂 I’m eclectic also, though, and so I love historical romance. I probably read more of it than any other genre. Although when I can get hold of a neat paranormal romance, I’m in heaven. 🙂 Or hell, depending on the paranormal world. 🙂
ATUF: What inspired you to write a series about werewolves?
TS: Initially, it was the idea that the market was so flooded with vampire romances, I couldn’t get my foot in the door. The only werewolf stories I’d read were about those in horror stories though, except for a teen werewolf comedy. And like with the idea that vampires could be the good guys, I wanted a werewolf world where some are truly the good guys. 🙂 I’d been asked this question so often, I finally really dug deep into my past, just like we have to do with our characters, and recalled that my first love of wolves came from Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild. And so I never had any thought other than of making the shapeshifters wolves for real, when they shifted to that form. And not some hideous wolf-like creature.
ATUF: I understand that you are very concerned with accurately portraying how wolves behave in the wild. Can you tell us some of the research you did in writing this series?
TS: It’s ongoing. The more I research, the more I learn. It’s fun to create a fantasy world that is just a total fabrication. But it’s fun to study something that’s real and incorporate it as much as possible into a fantastical situation. Take for instance, a werewolf shapeshifts into a wolf. He’s taking a run on the wild side, to feel the wind against his fur, to mark his territory, to let other werewolves know this area belongs to his pack, and then, a deer darts through the woods, catching his eye. He’s a werewolf, so his instinct would be to continue to do what he’s there to do…the human side of him. The wolf instinct would be to chase the deer. 🙂 That’s what’s fun. Taking both sides of the werewolf, the man and the wolf, and dealing with them both when they’re a man, and when they’re a wolf. The two make the werewolf whole. It’s not like taking off a fur coat and now he’s totally a man. Or putting on his fur coat and now he’s totally a wolf. 🙂
ATUF: You chose the Oregon Coast as the setting for To Tempt the Wolf. What made you decide on that location?
TS: I went to college in Portland, Oregon, and I loved trips to the coast and to many other locations in Oregon also. It was just the perfect place to hike and enjoy nature. So when I wanted to do something different, I really wanted to place the story on the Oregon Coast. The place where I set this is rugged. We hiked down to a beach very much like the one I described. It had a very short beach, surrounded by rocks, not a long beach like in Florida or NJ where I’d lived also and you could walk forever. So the isolation on the Oregon beach seemed a perfect place to locate an injured, naked man–of the werewolf persuasion. 🙂
ATUF: Hunter Greymore is a lupus garou-a grey werewolf. Can you explain the significance of the various colors of your wolves?
TS: They’re based on real wolves. Grays are in the majority. Reds are a separate species. Arctic wolves are actually gray wolves. So are Timber wolves. Often, different places have different names for them, but for the most part, they’re gray wolves, even when they’re black or brown. The Arctic wolves, because of the location they live in, have shorter legs and ears. Reds are smaller than the grays. It made it fun to include this in the pack politics for werewolves also.
ATUF: At the time that you wrote Heart of the Wolf (book 1 in the Heart of the Wolf series), you said that you hadn’t read any other werewolf romances. How did that unfamiliarity contribute to the mythology of your books?
TS: I was used to the werewolf horror stories–man ripping off his clothes as the full moon comes into view. He shifts into a hideous creature and can’t remember who he is or what evil he’s done, but he’s remorseful and doesn’t want to be this hideous creature. And even if the clouds hide the moon, he can’t keep his wolf shape. Silver kills him. Those are the main things I remember about the old werewolf horror stories.
ATUF: What are some unique aspects of the werewolves that you write about as opposed to traditional werewolf mythology?
TS: They can shift based on any phase of the moon except for the new moon. I wanted one time when they had a breather from shifting. But also, if they could have shifted only during the full moon, that wouldn’t have given them much of a window of opportunity to shift. Silver still is a problem for the wolves. In the horror stories, also, a werewolf’s bite could kill or turn someone. Mine is the same. But many of the werewolves were born that way and some have very few human roots, just werewolf, and they’re considered royals who can shift whenever they please.
ATUF: Do you have a pet peeve when it comes to werewolf books?
TS: Only in that werewolves have such a bad reputation. 🙂 They can be just as sexy and hot as a vampire, believe me. But then here come the shedding fur jokes and the teasing about fleas or ear mites. And it’s just not fair. My wolves–werewolves love showers, hot tubs, saunas, lakes, you name it—very clean. And sexy. Did I mention that? So are my vampires… 🙂
ATUF: You are a retired lieutenant colonel in the U. S. Army Reserves, has your military experience helped your writing?
TS: Absolutely! I rappelled down towers, buildings and mountains, and in Destiny of the Wolf I had my heroine, poor thing, climbing down an icy mountain. I hate heights. LOL So she had to suffer what I did. But also, I’ve had weapons training, and hand-to-hand combat, so I’ve used some of these skills in my books.
ATUF: What are your top three favorite urban fantasy books?
TS: I loved Karen Moning’s Immortal Highlander, just read Dawn Thompson’s Waterlord, and loved it, and picked up one of her vampire books, but haven’t had time to look at it, and Joy Nash’s Celtic Fire.
ATUF: Where do you see the future of this series going?
TS: I’m a total pantser, which means I write by the seat of my pants. I’m just writing book 6 now and hope to have Jake’s story, the brother of the pack leader in Destiny of the Wolf in his own story, and the romance author whose work I’ve mentioned in the books, in good old Scotland. But nothing’s approved. Just something I’d love to do.
ATUF: If To Tempt the Wolf was made into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
I loved Red Eye because the director cast unknowns in the roles and they did a wonderful job. That’s what I’d love to do. Have unknowns make a name for themselves in one of my movies. 🙂
ATUF: You’ve also written a YA Paranormal under the name Terry Lee Wilde titled, The Vampire…In My Dreams. Which do you prefer writing about, vampires or werewolves?
TS: I love both!!! And I love writing time travels and love reading them too. I’m really very eclectic. It’s fun for me to switch gears and write something different. I’d love to write The Vampire…In My Nightmares next. But I have to finish my wolf series, and if I sell a couple of more books on proposal, I’ll be working on those first. 🙂 But I do have a vampire romantic suspense, adult version, coming out in January also, Deadly Liaisons. One of my favorite vampire adult books.
ATUF: I loved your guest blog on Loveromancepassion.com (It’s Not Just About the Sex) where you said, “…in MY books, sex is not what makes the story, even though mine are sexy. It’s about the characters and how they care about each other. It’s the LOVE, ROMANCE, and PASSION.” Can you elaborate on that aspect of your books?
TS: I love the ordeals the characters go through and how they help each other through them. They set aside their own needs and desires to help satisfy the other’s needs and desires. It’s the character growth, the unselfishness, the love, protection and caring that make all the difference in the world. Sex is really only one small aspect. The rest is what makes for a happily ever after. 🙂
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Abigail! I’m honored!!! And thanks to commenters who stop by for a chance to win a copy of “To Tempt the Wolf,” or any back copy of my books, if there’s an earlier one the winner prefers.
US/Canada winners only.
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To be entered in the contest, leave a comment with one of the following:
- Ask Terry a question
- Comment on something you learned from one of her sites
- Answer the question: Shedding fur aside, what would make you fall in love with a hunk that just happens to shapeshift into a werewolf from time to time?Enter by 10/5