For starters, I’m an imperfect person and that rings true for all of my characters. I’m also on a spiritual journey with Christ. Each day I try to imitate Christ’s attributes but oftentimes fail. Before I write my story, I choose one or two Godly principles that my character needs to learn and work it into the storyline. Some of my characters will have my sense of humor and possibly my attitude. I’ve been told I can be a bit feisty. My daughter says she can hear me when she reads certain passages. I try extremely hard to create three dimensional characters, but you might recognize me every once in a while.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done? As a child I painted a cat, but we won’t mention that bad moment.
One year we had a family calendar on our kitchen wall where we wrote everyone’s schedules down. Each month had a picture of a baby or another scene at the top with the dates at the bottom. One year my son thought the picture on his birth month was horrible, so he took a marker and scribbled all over it. He later ripped it down and threw it in the trash after the month was complete. After he left the room, I pulled the crumpled page out of the trash can. I decided to keep the picture, and it showed up in his Christmas gifts. Years later the picture lives on. It is hidden in another unsuspecting person’s gift at Christmas. This tradition has been going on for over twenty years.
When did you first discover that you were a writer? Frequently, people ask if I grew up wanting to be a writer. Not exactly. As a young girl, it was quite common to find me in my bedroom reading the latest Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden books. Years down the road while rocking my baby girl to sleep, she asked to hear stories about a picture hanging on the wall or about her toys. She desired new fairytales each time we sat in the rocker for a nap. Actually, I believe it was her stall method. However, not until my daughter was in college did I consider penning my first novel. After she read several unexciting books, my daughter said, “Mom, you could write better than this.”
Challenge accepted! I was 52 years old. You’re never too old to learn a new craft. My passion for writing Christian fiction sprouted from her challenge.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading. My favorite books to read are historical fiction. I love reading about places and times that I can only imagine about. Castles and historical homes are a fascination for me as well as the period clothing and challenges of that day. Who doesn’t love chivalry or a good western? I also enjoy an enticing mystery or a suspense book that keeps me reading late into the night and makes my heart race. I’m a big scaredy cat, so I can only handle a few of these each year.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world? Putting Christ first in my life by reading my Bible, attending church and not stressing over things out of my control keeps me sane. I stopped watching the news long ago. When my sphere of the world throws ugly things at me, I pray to my God who is in control of this wacky world. I also try to limit my schedule by not always saying “yes” to requests—choose wisely! I’ve come to realize it’s OK for me to take time for myself and not work every second of the day. God never intended for us to stay busy all the time.
How do you choose your characters’ names? I look up names for the time period I’m writing and jot down male and female names along with the correct spelling. Spellings have evolved through the years. I already know my characters attributes, so I look for a name that “feels” right for their personality. It’s not a scientific way, just my personal choice. It’s funny because sometimes a name reminds me of someone from my school days I did or didn’t like. That plays a part in the selection as well. If we didn’t like each other, their name might be my villain. Haha.
I’ve used that villain tactic in my writing, too. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of? Aside from being a wife and mother, I’d say one of my favorite accomplishments was when I became a writer. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing or where to turn, but I persevered to write and publish my first book, Heaven Help Us! This first book took me five years to complete but I never thought to give up. I joined a writer’s group and watched webinars on writing to better learn the craft. After accomplishing the initial book, I write and publish one book a year while holding down the job of wife, Mimi, and working a secular job. I found where there is a passion, I make time to pursue that passion.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why? I would be a white, house cat with blue eyes. I’d relax during the day enjoying the adoration from those who love me, pounce on people when they don’t expect it, and then when everyone is gone, I’d do what I wanted. Run. Scatter stuff. Play with things off limits. Nap wherever I felt like it. Chase birds if I’m outside. Basically, have fun and lay around looking gorgeous!
What is your favorite food? Are peanut butter and chocolate food? Haha. If not, I love food with tomato sauce like lasagna, spaghetti, or pizza and I’m not even Italian.
Yes, they are food and part of my diet as well. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it? Keeping my notes organized was my greatest roadblock with my writing journey. I’d look up information and jot it down on a sticky note, or a napkin, or a sheet of loose paper, or in a notebook. My research was scattered. When it was time to write about a certain character, talk about horseback riding or using a sword, etc. I’d have to stop my writing to locate my notes that might be in my purse, wallet, car, desk, or on the kitchen table. One year for Christmas my daughter got me a Character Development Journal. It’s been a life saver for me. All of my research about the place, people, foods, weather, etc., is now in one place. This is a fabulous resource when I’m writing the next book in the series. I’m able to go back to previous characters without trouble finding my notes.
This is the first book in the Warrior Bride Series. It’s set in 1611 at the border of
In book 2, 3, and 4 I’ve chosen a family member to continue the series.
Please give us the first page of the book.
August 5, 1611
There ... angry voices. Poppa argued with another man! Bam ... bam. She bolted upright at the sound. Frantically trying to untangle herself from the bedlinens, she heard a scream. Was someone hurting her grandparents?
In haste, she grabbed the sword she kept under the bed and stumbled toward the door. She rushed down the hallway toward the back stairway. She tiptoed halfway down and paused, listening. Hearing a door slam, she hurried on toward the kitchen.
Hoping to catch the predator unaware and knock him in the head with the hilt, she snuck up to the doorway and peeked around the edge. The kitchen stood empty. With the sword held at ready, she moved farther into the room. Her gaze darted around. The kitchen stool overturned. Blood dripped from the table and pooled on the floor. Fear choked her.
With heart pounding, she followed blood drops toward the kitchen door. Emerging into the yard, the raging storm slapped her in the face. Rain came down in torrents. Lightning struck. Where were Nana and Poppa?
She screamed, “Nana! Poppa!”
In a matter of seconds her drenched hair blocked her view. She raked her left hand through the matted mess and saw the barn engulfed in flames!
Oh no, Cinnamon! She dashed toward the barn to save her horse. She came to an abrupt halt when Sir Arthur emerged from the door holding a loaded crossbow. He yanked on the horse’s halter.
He’s trying to escape on Cinnamon!
looked up when the horse twisted in a circle. His eyes connected with hers, her
body an easy target standing in the middle of the yard. With the cottage too
His evil laughter floated on the wind. “You cannot escape!”
heard him over the fierce storm. Thunder rolled and lightning flashed, but
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.teresasmyser.com
Thank you, Teresa, for allowing me to introduce my blog readers to your book. I’m eager to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book.
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