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Donna: Hi Teresa! Thanks for blogging with me. Why do you write about military heroes? What's the allure?
Teresa: What can be more appealing than a man who’s willing to lay his life on the line for the people he loves? Who isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in? Who knows who he is? Those are all the reasons I love to write about military heroes.
Service personnel have a great deal of dedication to follow their chosen path. They have to be ready to stand between us and a bullet or a bomb. Imagine the courage it takes to know and accept that responsibility. And to live it day after day. How can that not be appealing?
Part of the allure for me is the cocky sureness I find in the military hero. I love alpha males. All the heroes in my favorite movies are alpha males. All the heroes in the books I write are alpha males. And traditionally the military man is an alpha male.
Alphas are usual confident take-charge kinds of guys who hide their human weaknesses behind a façade. I don’t mind allowing my hero to take charge of my heroine’s heart or mine (because I always fall a little in love with my heroes). But delving deep into their psyche and exposing their humanity is part of the allure, too. These guys bleed red just like everyone else. They have feelings, though it’s hard for them to lay them open for everyone to see. They’re used to putting themselves in harms way, but they’re not used to being vulnerable emotionally. Forcing them to acknowledge the power of their feelings and showing their process in dealing with the loss of emotional control is fascinating.
Donna: How do you get realism into your characters? Have you gotten feedback from readers who were in the military?
Teresa: I wrote my first military romance Breaking Free as a way to work through some of the memories I had of my father serving in the Marines. The war in Iraq brought back all the issues of separation and sacrifice we, as a family, went through while he was in Korea and Vietnam.
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Being part of a military family, living the life on post and off, gives me an understanding of what the men go through and the wives and children they leave behind. I’ve watched the men train. I’ve seen them coated in mud and sand, running with forty-pound packs on their back in full battle gear, experiencing physical hardship and building mental toughness. I’ve seen how hard it is for them to get on a plane and fly away from their families.
There are many issues in my books that go heart deep for me. And it’s easy to impart realism to an issue you’ve experienced firsthand. And as for the realism of my battle scenes, I research and research and research in an attempt to get it right. Being able to imagine your loved one in that situation makes it both harder and easier to write.
I’ve received some wonderful reviews and feedback from readers, military wives, and women in the military who have appreciated my efforts. I take every suggestion they make to heart.
Donna: What's next for you creatively?
Teresa: This week I released a paranormal romantic suspense titled Timeless. It's available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
And I’m thick into the second book of my SEAL Team Heartbreakers series titled Breaking Through which I hope to release in May 2012. I have four other books planned for the SEAL Team Heartbreakers. Breaking Away, Breaking Out, Breaking Hearts, And Breaking Chains are the working titles.
I’m also working on a trilogy of paranormal novellas I plan to publish together in one volume. The working title is Forces Unleashed. They’re a blend of horror and paranormal. I hope to bounce back and forth between the genres and build a readership in both.
And as you know I write historical romance as well.
My two books Highland Moonlight and Captive Hearts were my first published works and historical romance will always be in my blood. So I haven’t ruled out writing another historical either.
Writing Timeless, which bounces between present day Scotland and the medieval period, has inspired quite a few story ideas.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Donna! I’ve really enjoyed it.