Monday, April 7, 2014

Featured Author Interview: Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist.

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In 1994 Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots, while challenging her readers to think and grow. She hopes to remind them that they’re valued by God and that their trials have a purpose.

The following is an April 2014 interview with Terri.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of Truth Stained Lies or Distortion
by Terri Blackstock


One copy of each to be won
Contest open to entrants with USA addresses only.
Contest runs from 4-18 April NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself.

I spent the first twelve years of my life traveling in an Air Force family. I lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because I was a perpetual “new kid,” my imagination became my closest friend. That, I believe, was the biggest factor in my becoming a novelist. I sold my first novel at the age of twenty-five, and have had a successful career ever since.

In 1994 I was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted me to switch gears. At the time, I was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. My newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of my suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. My goal is to entertain with page-turning plots, while challenging my readers to think and grow. I hope to remind them that they’re not alone, and that their trials have a purpose.


How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I’ve known I wanted to write since I was about twelve years old. I had a poem published in my local newspaper, and from that moment on I knew I wanted to do this professionally. I majored in English in college, then when I finished, I started writing my first novel. I joined writers’ groups and traveled to national conferences where I could get appointments with editors and agents. From those connections, I was able to sell my third book. My first two just weren’t good enough and thankfully never saw the light of day. Next to actually getting a book written, I think conferences are still the most important way to sell a novel to a traditional, paying publisher.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

It actually impacts lives. Readers can step into the skin of the characters and feel what they feel. They might forget a sermon, but they never forget something they’ve experienced emotionally. That’s why Jesus taught in parables. Instead of saying, “God is always there when you’re ready to return to Him,” he said, “There was once a man who had two sons.” That was just like saying, “Once upon a time …” Jesus knew the power of fiction to teach His powerful principles. I feel very privileged to have been called to do the same.

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How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

I hope they are moved or changed, or that they wake up to the fact that God is powerful and is concerned with the details of their lives, that He’s not disgusted with them, and that there is redemption for those who accept it.


What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

I never tire of getting letters from readers saying that they’ve given their lives to Christ because of something in my books. I get letters from parents who’ve lost children, and they tell me that some of my books—like Predator and Dawn’s Light-- have comforted them. That’s such a blessing, because I know it’s God giving that comfort, and that He’s just using my story to do it. I also hear from a lot of addicts and their family members who’ve read my Intervention Series, and those are especially dear to me. The letters I get from readers are all the affirmation I need that I truly am called to do this, and that God is blessing and using it.

There are people who think that fiction is a waste of time, and that there’s no way God can use a story. But that doesn’t bother me, because I get my marching orders and my affirmation from God. I know the truth about the power of fiction.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

I take my books and their messages very seriously, and I can’t effectively write anything with any power if I’m not “connected to the Vine.” The more intimate with Christ I am, the more depth my books have. If I have dry spells, during which I’m not reading my Bible or praying consistently, I can tell it in my writing and my zeal for the story. I really can’t do anything of importance without the Holy Spirit guiding me.

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Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life?

I’d like to be a great mother and grandmother, and see all my children and grandchildren give their lives to Christ, and know His peace.


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I love being with my grandchildren. We had three born last year, and we already had one. It’s an abundance of babies, and we can’t get over how much we love them.  I love every stage of development.


What can you tell us about your latest novels? 

Truth Stained Lies was the first book in my Moonlighters Series, and it released last year. In March, Distortion (Book 2) is out. Fans of the first book will see the same characters, but this one centers on Juliet, the oldest sister in the family.

When Juliet’s husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?

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What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

I’m working on the edits of Book 3 in the Moonlighters Series, which will be out next year. (We haven’t settled on a title yet.) I’ve also just started a new book in a brand new series. This book has been in my head for a couple of years, so I’m really enjoying this new storyline and new characters.


What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?
Thank you for reading my books! I’m always blown away by the fact that my books are read in other countries. That’s just evidence that God’s hand is in this. I would love to visit your beautiful country someday.


Do you have any parting words?

I would appreciate prayers for my work, that I’ll learn the lessons God is teaching me and pass them onto my readers, and that the books will get into the right hands.  I don’t care if people remember my stories, but I want them to remember the things God revealed to them through my stories.  That’s the most important thing. I’d love to get to Heaven when I die, and see that many others got there because of something God used in one of my books.


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Shadow in Serenity

Carny Sullivan grew up in the zany world of a traveling carnival. Quaint and peaceful Serenity, Texas, has given her a home, a life, and a child. Logan Brisco is the smoothest, slickest, handsomest man Serenity, Texas has ever seen. But Carny Sullivan knows a con artist when she sees one---and she's seen plenty, starting with her father. As far as Carny Sullivan can tell, she's the only one in town who has his number. Because from his Italian shoes to his movie-actor smile, Logan has the rest of the town snowed.

Carny is determined to reveal Brisco's selfish intentions before his promise to the townspeople for a cut in a giant amusement park sucks Serenity dry. Yet, as much as she hates his winning ways, there is a man behind that suave smile, a man who may win her heart against her will.

Shadow in Serenity is a modern-day Music Man, penned by a Christy Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author.

Purchase Shadow in Serenity
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]


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Truth Stained Lies

Cathy Cramer is a former lawyer and investigative blogger who writes commentary on local homicides. When she finds a threatening note warning her that she's about to experience the same kind of judgment and speculation that she dishes out in her blog, Cathy writes it off as mischief ... until her brother is caught in the middle of a murder investigation—the victim is his ex-wife. As her brother is tried and convicted in the media, and bloggers and commentators like her have a field day, Cathy wonders if she should have taken the threat more seriously.

Cathy and her two sisters, Holly and Juliet, moonlight as part-time private investigators, working to solve their brother's ex-wife's murder. Juliet, a stay-at-home mom of two boys, and Holly, a scattered ne'er-do-well who drives a taxi, put aside their fear and lack of confidence to learn the art of investigation.

But will it be too late to save their brother from a murder conviction, or his five-year-old son who's the killer's next target?

Purchase Truth Stained Lies (Moonlighters Series #1)
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]


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Distortion 

A husband's lies can have deadly consequences.

When Juliet Cole's husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voicemail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.

Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers' demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband's dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal? 



Purchase Distortion (Moonlighters Series #2)
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]



Buy Terri's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of Truth Stained Lies 
or Distortion
by Terri Blackstock


One copy of each to be won
Contest open to entrants with USA addresses only.

Contest runs from 4-18 April NZDT


Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Terri Blackstock. Simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. 
All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


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