Please welcome Terri Herman–Poncé, author of the paranormal suspense novels In This Life and Covet.
Giveaway: Terri has graciously offered to give a digital copy of Covet to one lucky reader: just leave a comment below today to enter the giveaway! Winner will be selected at random.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Oh man, this is easy. My perfect day would be spent writing stories at a window overlooking an azure blue ocean and white sand, with a wonderful warm breeze blowing through. And maybe someday I’ll actually be able to have that perfect kind of day!
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
Believe it or not, I DO have a signature phrase but it’s one I only seem to use at the day job. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I usually answer, “I’m groovy!” Maybe I should consider using it elsewhere. Whenever I say it, I usually get folks to smile. Then again, maybe they’re just laughing at me.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Two people inspired and continue to inspire me. One is my best friend, whom I’ve known for nearly 16 years and who encouraged me to stop writing fanfic and instead write my own thing. Besides being my best friend, she’s my most amazing critiquer (she’s tough as nails and usually right) and my Muse. The other person is Robert Crais. I don’t know him personally (and I’d love to meet him!) but I think he’s about the most gifted, amazing writer out there. I’ve read all his books over and over again, and study them so I can become a better writer myself.
Do you listen to music when you write?
I can’t write without it! Music inspires me, and I have a playlist that’s created specifically for my characters. When I listen to it, the images and scenes emerge in my head like a movie. Sometimes, I’ll play one song over and over again for just one scene or chapter, that’s how much impact music has on my writing and me. And often, if I’m facing writer’s block, I’ll listen to music and let it take me for a ride. Inevitably, the emotions that I hear in music will take over, and the movies will start playing in my head again.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Oh, great question! It would be dark chocolate with chili pepper because dark chocolate is decadent, and chili pepper is fiery hot. And, in my mind, my main character, David Bellotti, is decadent and fiery hot.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Well, I’ve had a love affair with David Bellotti since just after he was born in my mind, and that was many years ago. But the thing is, even though I’ve known him all this time I still don’t know him that well. So my stories are a way of exploring him inside and out and Covet, which is scheduled to release on March 25, was my way of tipping my hat to him. I’d never written him as a main protagonist before and I had the best time doing it.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
The trials and hopes and loyalty of love–through suspense and the otherworldly. I’m one of those writers who have to challenge my characters in the suspense that I write, but I prefer to do it to characters that already are in a relationship. There are so many books out there about couples coming together, which is really nice, but I love to show couples working together, and believing in each other, and who are willing to do anything to keep their love. You know, becoming better and stronger for it, as individuals and as a couple. In my case, I write about David and Lottie, whose love transcends time and that is deep on so many levels. And when challenges arise and the suspense heightens, drawing attention to those imperfections, they’re determined to fight through it for each other, ultimately finding that their love becomes even more profound.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
David Bellotti is a complex man but with simple values. He’s loyal, he doesn’t lie (he hates doing it and hates having it done to him), and he loves only one woman. He’s an ex-Marine turned professional soldier who truly believes that there is an order to be followed in this world and who detests inequity—to the point that he’ll become single-minded about it sometimes. There are many things that led him to become the man he is today that I, unfortunately, can’t share just yet because those things will be revealed in future books. But the biggest thorn in his side, right now? Galen, another professional soldier that David commands and who is also in love with Lottie. It makes for some interesting fireworks between the three characters.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Oh wow. You know what? I can’t do it. Maybe someone else will read David Bellotti and find similarities to other famous people or characters but I can’t. For me, he’s just David. Male character extraordinaire.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Well, there are three mystery authors I’d host at my dinner party. First, I’d invite Robert Crais. As I mentioned above, he’s just an abso-freaking-lutely amazing storyteller. I’d love to get into his mind and learn the inner-workings of how he creates fiction (and maybe a thing or two about Joe Pike while I’m at it). I’d also invite Hank Phillippi Ryan. Not only is she an incredible mystery and suspense writer but also an incredible person. Always willing to help out newbie authors and the unpublished no matter how busy she is. And lastly, I’d invite Gillian Flynn. I only recently got turned onto her books and I’m hooked. Every now and then you find an author whose picture should appear next to the word “gifted.” She’s one of them.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing my third paranormal suspense, tentatively titled “Carry On.” It is, of course, another David Bellotti story. I just can’t seem to get enough of that man. *wink*
Terri Herman–Poncé looks for any opportunity to make stuff up. Born on Long Island, New York, she thinks anything that can’t so easily be explained is worth an extra look and often makes a great story. She loves red wine, sunrises, Ancient Egypt, and the New York Yankees. The youngest of five children, Terri lives with her husband and son on Long Island. In her next life, if she hasn’t moved on to somewhere else, Terri wants to be an astronomer. She’s fascinated with the night skies almost as much as she’s fascinated with Ancient Egypt.
Terri is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. You can read about Terri and her stories at http://terriponce.com/ and can find her on Twitter (@TerriPonce) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Terri.Ponce.Author).