Sunday, March 9, 2014

Welcome Back, Teresa Slack

by Molly Noble Bull

Today our guest is Teresa Slack, an old friend to Writers Rest as well as a regular writer here. Teresa is a published novelist, a devout Christian and a very nice person, and she has written many interesting articles here. Today she is going to tell us about her life, her writing and her new book, RUNAWAY HEART.
Welcome, Teresa. So, let’s get right to it. 

.   Why do you write?

I write because I love making an impact on people through stories. I love creating characters and story worlds and inviting a reader in to get to know them. I love to entertain and encourage people. Doing it with stories just comes naturally. But the main reason I write as I race toward the ½ century marks is because life is short and I don’t want to leave anything undone. 

.   What is your favorite genre to write?

My favorite is suspense, though I love romance and humor. I’ve even tried my hand at a historical western in the last year and I loved it. I hope to create a western series by the end of the year.

.   What do you read?

My favorite books are mysteries, especially ones with a romantic element, though finding one that really hooks me is difficult. I am much more critical about how I spend my reading time than I used to be. The most important thing I look for is a good storyteller. Some of my favorites are Daphne DuMaurier, Ken Follett, James Michener, Fannie Flagg, John Grisham, Tess Gerritson. I love a good romance as long as the cheese factor is kept to a minimum. Not so crazy about a damsel in distress. Humor is important. I also love historicals and hope to write one someday. I enjoy Gilbert Morris, Lawana Blackwell, Deanna Gist, Debbie Macomber, Brock and Bodie Thoene, John Aubrey Anderson, to name a few. 

.   What's on your nightstand?

A Bible with a marker, as of this moment, in 2nd Kings.
There’s also a journal I seldom make time to write in, and a writing craft book I should really get back to. 

.   Why did you decide to self-publish?

Life is short. Over the last few years I’d gotten so far away from writing, I didn’t even feel like a writer anymore. I hated that feeling. I don’t want to be a busy person who writes books. I want to be a busy writer. I’m tired of spinning my wheels waiting for something to happen in my writing career. If it’s going to happen, I have to make it happen. 

.   Are you a plotter or pantser?

Definitely a pantster. One of my most popular titles, A TENDER REED, (which is being re-released as an ebook at the end of March) was inspired one night when my barking dog wouldn’t let me sleep. So I started a book. I was 3 chapters in before the heroine had a first name. I’m not quite that undisciplined anymore. It’s a very inefficient way to write. But I love sitting down with a nugget of an idea and going crazy. To me, that’s when I feel the most creative.

.   I’ve never heard of shrimp farming in Ohio. What made you include it as a story element for Runaway Heart?

Small family owned farms are shrinking or disappearing throughout Ohio. I wanted to explore viable options for farmers looking to create additional income. And of course, I’d never read a book about shrimp farming either. Investigating and learning about it was fun.

What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading RUNAWAY HEART?

Life doesn’t come with guarantees, no matter how much we wish it did. We have to trust in something. People and circumstances will let us down or not measure up to our expectations. God is always there in our fear and disappointment. He won’t let us down if we call on him.

Thanks for stopping by again, Teresa. I look forward to reading your book and reading more of your wonderful articles right here at Writers Rest.

Author bio: Teresa Slack began creating stories and characters about the time she learned to hold a pencil. Her first novel, Streams of Mercy, won the Bay Area Independent Publishers’ Assn award for Best First Novel. The third book in her Jenna’s Creek Series, Evidence of Grace, debuted nationwide according to Christian Retailing Magazine. Her latest novel, Runaway Heart, is set for official release March 7, 2014.  She grew up in rural southern Ohio, which provides the background for much of her writing. Her down-to-earth characters and writing style have endeared her to readers and reviewers alike. Teresa believes people who think nothing ever happens in a small town just aren’t paying attention. She loves writing in many genres, especially suspense, mystery and romance with a touch of humor stirred in. Someday she even hopes to write a historical.  

Back Cover Blurb for Runaway Heart: Running at the first sign of opposition is nothing new to Kyla Parrish. She’s never held onto a relationship for more than a few months, and she’s quit more jobs than most people apply for. Until Will Lachland. He’s the first man who ever made her think of getting serious about something, about putting down roots. He seems like a dream come true, but like every other man she’s ever met, he expects more than she’s willing to give.

Kyla is determined not to end up like her mother with a string of bad relationships and dead end jobs behind her, but she can’t find a balance between trusting someone with her heart and losing control of her life. But she’s tired of running. Running from life and running from love.

A new man and a new life on the farm where she spent her childhood summers seem like the answer to her prayers. But things are never as simple as they seem. Her heart yearns for love and security. Can she find it even though she can’t forget Will? Or is something else, something greater, calling her heart toward home? 

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Caroline said...

Love the idea of a shrimp farm! Fantastic thought. :) Sometimes we have to do that, Teresa: take matters into our own hands. :)

Teresa Slack said...

Carole, so good to see you here. I researched aqua-culture when I got the idea of shrimp. As you probably know there are a lot of trout farms in Ohio. But they are a lot of work for the farmers. My farmer character was an old man so I wanted to make his life simple.

Romantic Christian Women said...

I love shrimp and trout, and I think I would love Ohio. I know I will like Teresa's book because Teresa wrote it, and she is good at writing interesting characters.
Speaking of shrimp, have you ever eaten really big shrimp dipped in eggs and flour, salt and peper and fried?
It is SO good.
Try it and Runaway Heart, too.