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    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Teresa Searches for Her Happily Ever After

    One of the tricks I use to spice up my own novels is to incorporate the primal power of classic fairy tale themes. My favorite fairy tale fantasy is BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. No matter how sardonic your duke or how arrogant your knight, there’s always one turning point in the book when his love for your heroine should bring him to his knees. Only then can his transformation from beast to prince be complete.

    The legend of SLEEPING BEAUTY represents our heroine's emotional and sexual awakening. Whether she's a ravishing beauty, a dowdy spinster, or a prim ice princess, it is our hero's kiss that first stirs her slumbering desires to life. Once awakened, she is both curious and eager to explore her newfound sensuality.

    CINDERELLA is one of most timeless and rewarding fantasies, confirming that the secret to happiness in life is a successful makeover. Who can forget the pivotal moment when Cinderella scrubs off her ashes, dons her glass slippers, and dances her way into the prince's heart? If you set this revelation at an actual public event such as a masquerade ball, you’ll reward your readers with the doubly dramatic bonus of witnessing the crowd's response to your character’s transformation.

    As an aspiring writer, if you can find a way to incorporate some of these themes into your own work, I can guarantee both you and your readers a happy ending!

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Top Ten Ways to Tell Teresa Is a Geek

    1) Her china cabinet is filled with STAR TREK plates instead of china

    2) She can admit she's a William Shatner fan without blushing

    3) In the original version of her novel A WHISPER OF ROSES, Morgan MacDonnell was a Klingon

    4) She thinks Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgees is a plump little hobbit love muffin

    5) One of the Christmas trees in her house is decorated ONLY with talking Star Trek ornaments

    6) Instead of seeking therapy for her problems, she lies on the couch and pretends she's talking to Counselor Deanna Troi

    7) If she had her very own holodeck, she would spend all of her time re-enacting her favorite romance novels and never come out

    8) Her cat is named "Buffy the Mouse Slayer"

    9) She owns all 3 seasons of LAND OF THE LOST on DVD and once had imaginary friends named Will and Holly

    10) She's currently at the STAR TREK 40th Anniversary Convention in Las Vegas!

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Teresa Asks, "Where Do You Like to Do It?"

    I know Russell Crowe is supposed to be a voracious reader but I'm not sure if the pic to the left is intended to promote reading or be a cautionary warning against smoking in bed.

    I will say that it did get me thinking about where I like to read. Unlike some of you, I'm not coordinated enough to read in the bathtub. If I tried, I'm afraid the only result would be a very wrinkled me and a swollen, sodden mass of wood pulp that used to be a book.

    In the summer I love to curl up on this divine divan in our sun room. I've coveted a divan ever since I was a little girl and I saw an illustration in LITTLE WOMEN of Jo March reclining on her attic divan on a rainy day, eating a juicy red apple and reading a novel. (Unfortunately I'm more likely to be stuffing my piehole with a bag of dark chocolate M&M's.) It's so relaxing to be reading with a gentle breeze drifting through the windows or the rain pattering down on the metal roof. Of course the real challenge is resisting the temptation to lay the book aside and snuggle down for an afternoon nap!

    In the winter I nest in this oversized chair in the corner of our living room away from the TV. It was the wall-to-wall bookshelves that sold me on this house and there's something terribly comforting about glancing up and seeing all of those other books glowing softly in the light--some already well-read and loved, others just waiting to be discovered. And the best thing about this chair-and-a-half is that there's exactly enough room for me and at least half a cat!

    When I was a child, my dad used to cook a big breakfast for us every Saturday morning. And my official job while he cooked stay in bed and read! I still remember how cozy it felt to be tucked into bed reading HALF-MAGIC or THE PRINCESS BRIDE while the sound of my daddy's whistling and the succulent aroma of bacon wafted up the stairs.

    There are some books you always remember because of WHERE you read them. (Hospital waiting room, anyone?) I first read THE HOBBIT on a sunny Saturday afternoon while sitting cross-legged at the very top of a fire tower at Pennyrile State Park with the forest stretched out below me as far as the eye could see. (I could almost see the Eagles come swooping over the horizon to save the battle and the day!) I read ROOTS when I was 13 during a long car trip to Disney World. And I finished Stephen King and Peter Straub's THE TALISMAN on the way home from a vacation in Massachusetts with Phil Collins singing, "Take Me Home" as the perfect accompaniment to the final moments of both the trip and the book.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    Teresa Gibbers on Hysterically About Her Writing Process

    Process? I'm supposed to have a process???!!! After 20 years and 17 books, now's a fine time to tell me! This is what I do. I write a book, celebrate, then panic when I realize I have to write another one. Oh wait, you want specifics, right?

    Okay--the first thing to come to me is usually the hero and heroine's names. Next up is their personalities. THEN I come up with a plot. And I've always required a BIG PLOT because that's the skeleton I build my story on. I like Backstory, Characters Who Meet As Children, Big Hooks, Masquerade Balls, Amnesia, Evil Twins, Stolen Kisses, Shocking Revelations! Which means I usually start out with about a dozen scenes that I "know". Each scene I "know" usually leads to 3 or more scenes that come as a pleasant surprise to me.

    I'm a perfectionist with a very stringent internal editor. (Yes, I edited this blog 6 times.) So it usually takes me 6 months to write the first 200 pages and 6 weeks to write the last 200 pages. There's a reason for that. It's called DESPERATION. Once that deadline clock starts ticking, I'm able to knock that nasty internal editor off of my shoulder and the story starts pouring out of me. And the strangest thing of all is that those are the pages that usually require the least editing! It makes me nervous to talk about process because I'm one of those writers who prefers not to analyze the magic and the mystery of what we do. I can say that I've always ascribed to the Jill Landis theory of writing--"I can write a book in 6 months. It just takes me a year to do it."