As seen in the April issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.
Uncaged: You write in the Contemporary Romance genre for the most part, did your work as a country music station DJ inspire your Shooting Stars series? Can you tell readers more about the series?
My history with country music definitely inspired the series. I have a degree in the music business (sounds fake, I know, but totally real), worked for a short time on Music Row back in the 90s, met my country-singing ex-husband at Gilly’s in Nashville (book isn’t remotely autobiographical, sadly), and spent 8 years as a country radio personality.
All that went into creating the Shooting Stars series, which centers around the Shooting Stars record label and the artists and dreamers who pass through its doors. Love isn’t easy under the best of circumstances. Toss in fame and travel, media and all the temptations so readily available and things get all the more complicated.
Uncaged: How many books are you planning for the series? Can you tell us what is coming next?
As of right now, I have ideas for three more beyond these first two, so possibly five total. The next book will feature the first female artist signed to the label. For those who don’t follow country music, there’s been a surge in recent years of male artists with very few female artists breaking through. I assure you this is not due to a lack of talented women knocking on record label doors. So this one will explore that bias and the challenges women have faced in Nashville for years, which basically reflect the same challenges faced by women in many other industries. Let’s just say, Time’s Up is a strong influence on this one.
Uncaged: You are an attending author of Wild Deadwood Reads coming up. Are there any other conventions you are attending this year? What is your favorite part about attending?
I’m quite excited about Wild Deadwood reads. I’ve never visited South Dakota or even that region of the country, but I’m also looking forward to meeting lots of new readers. And spending an evening hanging with some bull riders won’t be a trial either.
I’m a talker by nature, so getting to chat face-to-face with readers is my favorite part. Some are nervous, others are excited, and there are those who haven’t heard my name before but are gracious enough to smile and chat anyway.
I’m essentially on a whirlwind tour this spring with two other big events before the Deadwood one. I’ll be spending the first two weeks of May in Europe to attend the Festival du Roman Feminin in Paris the first weekend, and the Love Letters Convention in Berlin during the second weekend. I’ve never attended a reader event in Europe so to say I’m excited about these is an understatement. I’m pinching myself daily.
Uncaged: Do you read your reviews? What do you take away from them?
I do read some reviews, usually the ones posted before the book comes out and right after. I wish I could resist, but I have to know what readers are saying about the stories. I have a thicker skin than when I first started out, so these days I smile at the good notes and typically nod along with the not so good, typically seeing the reviewer’s point. I can say that at the beginning of my career there were lots of comments about the endings of my books being too abrupt. I took this to heart and now work extra hard to make sure readers get the endings they want and deserve.
Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?
I have an avid supporter in Australia who once favorably compared me to Judith McNaught in a review. My career could have ended there and I’d have felt like a success. Still the greatest compliment I’ve received.
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
The writing truly is the greatest joy. Meeting these characters who walk into (or maybe out of) my imagination is crazy fun. Getting to ride along as the story comes to life is a fabulous way to spend my time. They make me laugh and cry and often teach me something about myself.
My least favorite part is the marketing but only in the sense of trying to come up with new ideas of how to reach out and how to be available to readers. It’s a schedule and brain space thing. I’m terrible at locking down a routine without the demands and limitations of reporting to an office and a boss daily. This means I don’t ever really clock out. Makes for long days and even longer nights. But all that said, I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is by far the coolest job going.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Per the previous answer, I don’t have much time that isn’t spent writing or doing something writing-related, so my one break is music. I love concerts and musicals and make the time to attend lots of events through the year. Country, rock, alternative or anything Broadway and I’m there. I’m also an avid Nashville Predators fan so lots of time is spent watching or attending games. Maybe someday I should write a hockey romance series and then I can consider the games research. Hmmm….
Uncaged: What is the hardest part of a book to write? What is the easiest? From start to finish, how long does it take to finish a complete book?
For me the toughest part is the beginning. So much has to be established from page one that I stress more over the first fifteen to twenty thousand words than any of the rest of the story. But once I get past that first quarter or so, the rest is a blast. The easiest part for me is the middle. I’m amazed when writers say that’s the toughest part. That’s where all of the story happens! That’s where they fall in love and lust and where the secrets build and the attraction simmers. The middle is like the best part of the roller coaster—the giant ups and downs and twists and turns.
I’m a fast writer, and an immersive one, which means I need to be head in the book all the way with no distractions. Though I have months to write each book, my brain thinks that light at the end of the tunnel has to be really close before we start. Makes for a stressful five to six weeks, but again, it’s a rollercoaster ride and I’ve come to accept that my brain or muse or whatever it is needs that pressure to bring the story to life. This also results in extra money spent on coloring out the gray hairs.
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I have to say thank you to the fans. I’ve been beyond fortunate since embarking on this publishing journey, and I owe every good thing I have to the readers who are generous enough to spend their precious time reading my books and telling their friends about them. Since 2013 I’ve sold more than a million books worldwide. That’s a number I can’t even wrap my head around so just saying I’m grateful doesn’t come close to how much I appreciate every single reader out there.
Anyone who wants to keep up with me and my work can check out my website at www.TerriOsburn.com or follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TerriOsburnAuthor/. I also have a board for every book over on Pinterest. You can find me at https://www.pinterest.com/terriosburn/.
Thank you so much for this interview. This has been fun!