I'm happy to feature this Texas writer. Terry and I became friends long before he became an agent, and I love his books. Terry, what are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Redemption is my favorite – bad person who strongly resists doing right, but in the end ends up doing so in spite of themselves. The goal is to make them as bad as possible without the reader crossing the line and no longer holding out an hope or caring if they turn it around.
That's a hard line to hold. I'm working on one of those right now. What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I have a reprint of my 2002 book To Keep a Promise coming out from Mountainview Press with a greatly enhanced storyline and tentatively titled A Promise Kept. I also have a work for hire coming out, but it won’t have my name on it and I really can’t talk about it.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
Laura Bush, she’s a lady I admire and I’d like to tell her I appreciate all she has done for books and for writers.
I'm with you on that. I'm glad they came back to Dallas. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?
A dozen years or so – I’ve always written things, but that’s about when a good friend of mine, a novelist by the name of Dan Parkinson, convinced me that I had the gift and should use it.
What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Congratulations, you’re in the game. The publishing industry is like the old TV show Laugh-in. People on that show would open a window, deliver a line, then somebody else down the way would open a window and take their turn. Publishing is the same way, our job is to get our manuscript in while the window is open and at any given point in time there might only be ONE window open.
Rejection has little to do with writing and everything to do with connecting to the market.
Tell us about the featured book.
Young people today don’t realize there was no such thing as a teenager before WWII – kids went from whatever schooling they were going to get straight to working on the farm or in the family store. Many went west, and no special provisions were made for their age. This story explores two such young people who came west and had to grow up fast. It lets today’s teens get a glimpse of what life might have been like for them had they lived in that time period.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://www.terryburns.net/ and from it you can find my blog, my bookstore, a huge library of writing links and links to other writers and can connect with me at a variety of different places.
Thank you, Terry, for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend this time with us. I'll see you in Denver!
Readers, here's a link where you can order Beyond the Smoke:
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