Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Guest Post by Author Candis Terry: DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?

As much as I love elves and fairies and maybe even David Copperfield (when he was a bit younger and a little more hip), that’s not the kind of magic I’m referring to. I’m talking about the type that is created between the pages of a book. You know, the magic that makes your heart race, your eyes mist, your stomach twist into knots, or dares you to even try to put the book down.

Yeah. That magic!

Every reader wants that to happen when they open a new book. So exactly how does a writer create those heart-pounding moments? Emotion. Not just any old emotion, but ones a reader can relate to. We’ve all had our hearts broken, lost a loved one, or had a joyous moment in our lives that we can easily recall. We’ve all had a want, a desire, or a dream. Those are the emotions a writer taps into, draws from their own lives, and shares.

I write quirky small town romances and I’ve been told I’m funny. So how does a quirky/funny writer create magic that will be emotionally satisfying and memorable for their readers? I pull from my own life. In my first book Second Chance at the Sugar Shack I created Letty Silverthorne, a quirky and maybe not so understanding mother who had a lot of issues with her children. Or maybe I should say her children had a lot of issues with her. She had a lot of work to do to make amends. But . . . she suddenly died. Throughout the Sugar Shack series each of Letty’s three adult children come back home--tangled up with emotion and remorse about having lost the chance to make up with her. Magically, Letty reappears in the backseat of her beat-up Buick—a mere ghost of her former self--to dispense unwanted advice from beyond the grave.

How does that situation draw from my own life? Though my mother is still alive, she and I do have unresolved issues. And since my mother has Alzheimer’s we will never be able to settle those things. I can’t begin to tell you how many wild and sad emotions that brings out in me. So when I wrote those scenes between Letty and her kids (even though they were pretty humorous), I had no problem drawing deep from the emotional well.

Draw from what you know. How you feel. What makes you laugh? Cry? If your heart races chances are so will your reader’s. A romance reader knows they are going to get a happy ending. It’s the emotional journey to that happy ending that makes them open the book and keep reading.

I invite you to check out the Sugar Shack books—the third book Somebody Like You will be on sale June 19. Also For Love and Honor, the military heroes anthology (on sale May 29) I’ve written with historical romance author Cathy Maxwell and women’s fiction author Lynne Hinton. For Love and Honor has been given a starred review from Library Journal Reviews and was called “Uniquely Satisfying.” All my books are available in both ebook format and print.

I’m tickled to be here with you today and I’d like to give away a copy of my first book Second Chance at the Sugar Shack. Just leave a comment and tell me what you think brings magic to a romance. One winner will be randomly selected on Friday, May 25, 2012. Open internationally.

URLs
Website: www.candisterry.com
Twitter: @CandisTerry

*******
Candis Terry, author of the Sugar Shack novels, was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to scooping up road apples left by her daughter’s rodeo queening horse to working as a graphic designer. Only one thing has remained constant: Candis’ passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after. Though her stories are set in small towns, Candis’ wish is to give each of her characters a great big memorable love story rich with quirky characters, tons of fun, and a happy ending.

26 comments:

JoAnn said...

Thank you for visiting the Southern Magic blog. I have to agree with you -- it's the emotion that makes romance magical. Can't wait to read about Letty!

Anonymous said...

the unexpected happenings. thanks for the chance, Terri Clark Terrilea@yahoo.com

Candis Terry said...

Good morning everyone! A little late getting started but I am really excited to be here today!

Joann I hope you'll enjoy Letty. It was really fun to watch her learn some life lessons (even after the fact) while still struggling to control the situation. Now that the series is done I'm really going to miss her.

I like that, Terri! I am all about the unexpected!

Carla Swafford said...

Oh, my, I think you've done a great job creating magic, especially with Dean and Emma. The scene outside the bar when he kissed her against the car. Oh, my. I was on my treadmill and had to stop it to catch my breath. My heart was pounding enough without adding more. LOL!

Thanks for blogging with us!

Candis Terry said...

Thanks Carla! Poor Dean, he was so much fun to torture. There's nothing more satisfying for a writer than teaching a wordly man who thinks he knows it all, a thing or two about love!

Candis Terry said...

And while I'm here . . . In recognition of man's best friend I'm running a contest on my FB fan page. If you have a dog, enter their photo for a chance to win a book a month for an entire year from Avon Books! Contest is open until June 6, 2012. Here's the link! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candis-Terry/131817443567853?sk=app_306544422759185

HoweHowse said...

Candis, you are a New-To-Me author and I look forward to learning and reading more of your stories. It is such a treat to find someone who can touch you through their story-telling.
Thanks!

Heather said...

I can't wait to read these books. I love levity in a romance - life is too short, and we should find opportunities to laugh and appreciate the humor in situations when we can (AND after reading Carla's post, I have to find out about this scene outside the bar!)

Jaye Shields said...

Carla, that is sooo cute that you came to a halt on the treadmill. I admire a woman who can read and get exercise at the same time.

Thanks Candis for sharing the emotions behind your books. It's always touching to know that there is something more behind a book than just a great idea and ability to write.

Candis Terry said...

Hi HoweHowse! When I first began reading romance novels back in the day, I realized it was all about the emotion for me. I was always surprised when I got that funny feeling in my stomach and when my heart actually raced. It's my deep desire to give that to my readers, otherwise I don't believe I'm doing my job.

For a quick read with a strong emotional pull, please check out FOR LOVE AND HONOR. Army Ranger Lt. Aiden Marshall grabbed hold of my heart from the moment he sprang up in my head and he didn't let go until I gave a sigh at the end of his story.

Candis Terry said...

Hi Heather! I totally agree with you. Life is too short and I laugh every chance I get. Usually it's at myself!

Candis Terry said...

Hellooooo Ms. Shields! I can guarantee that a whole lot of me and my emotions go into my books. Just ask my hubby. :)

Sheila L Stephens said...

Hi Candis! A close family member with which I've had lifelong conflicts recently died. Something happened right before he passed that allowed me to resolve them, so I'm looking forward to seeing how your character helps her children resolve their conflicts with her!

Also, I could use a little humor right now!

Sheila

Lexi said...

I think the best writing is based, in some way, on what we know. We all draw on things and put them on the page. Thanks for visiting Southern Magic!

Chrisbails said...

I think the characters make the book magical. Especially the secondary characters. They bring the breath of fresh air to the story. I think the secondary characters are especially important if it is a series because then they are leading up to their story. Thanks for the giveaway. would love to win and read this book.
christinebails@yahoo.com

Candis Terry said...

Hi Sheila! Deepest sympathies on your loss, but I'm so glad you were able to find a resolution.

Letty is pretty special as is her best friend Edna. Neither of them make it very easy for Kate, the heroine in Sugar Shack. So it sure was fun to see Kate turn things around on them!

Candis Terry said...

You are spot on Lexi! And thank you. I'm really enjoying being here today.

Candis Terry said...

Hey Chris! I love secondary characters. To me, they can be the vehicle to reveal so much about the main characters. In all the Sugar Shack books there are pets who are definitely a big part of the stories and not just mere fluff balls lounging around waiting to be fed.

Alicia said...

I think what brings magic to romance is the unexpectedness. When you don't know it's coming it is ten times more extravigant! The fact that it is new and unexpected is all the magic I will ever need!

Candis Terry said...

Hi Alicia! Yes! The element of surprise. A wonderful piece of magic! Thank you for bringing that up!

Alicia said...

No problem, I have just always seen that as a huge part of the magic behind romance :)

Candis Terry said...

Thank you so much for having me here today. It's been a blast. Thank you Carla Swafford! You are amazing.

Everybody check back Friday, May 25 to see who won the signed copy of Second Chance at the Sugar Shack!

Carla Swafford said...

Thank you, Candis! Come back anytime!

Louisa Cornell said...

Late to the party, but I wanted to say I truly believe the magic in writing comes when the author pours some of themselves into the story. It is magic because the writer allows the reader to see a bit of her real self. Anytime two people meet across the page under those circumstances it has to be magic.

Candis Terry said...

CONGRATULATIONS HEATHER!

You are the winner of a signed copy of Second Chance at the Sugar Shack!

Please email me your address so I can get the book to you pronto! candis.terry@yahoo.com

Heather said...

Awesome! I will email you my email address asap :)

H