Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IMHO Welcomes Tera Lynn Childs!


IMHO is absolutely delighted to welcome Tera Lynn Childs to chat with us today. Tera is the author of the Greek mythology-based young adult novels OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP, as well as the forthcoming mermaid book, FORGIVE MY FINS (summer 2010 from Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins). Her first (yet unpublished) manuscript was a finalist in the 2004 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart contest for unpublished romantic works.

In 2009, OH.MY.GODS. was nominated in two RWA RITA categories for published work, Best Young Adult and Best First Book. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said it is "an effervescent, fast-paced read.” Tera will put an autographed copy of the brand new shiny paperback edition of OMG (check out the new cover) in the “Mother May I?” gift basket.

Tera was born in Minnesota, but only lived there a month before beginning her nomadic lifestyle. Over the years she has lived in many places, including Colorado (three times), Missouri (twice), New York City (twice), Texas (twice), California (twice), and a bunch of other places only once.

She graduated from Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Missouri (alma mater of Brad Pitt) and went on to earn a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. Tera currently lives in her adopted hometown of Houston, Texas.

IMHO: Welcome to IMHO, Tera! So, what's the dish on your Dark Knight in Shining Armor?

TLC: Let me tell you, TJ, all my life, I've had a true weakness for bad boys. Although I'd like to blame my ill-fated attraction on Mr. Darcy, I think it all started long before I read Pride and Prejudice. There was my crush on the scooter-riding skater boy in sixth grade, the soccer-playing rebel in seventh, and a dizzying array of arrogant, egotistical, or downright delinquent bad boys throughout high school and college. Relationships with any of them were doomed to failure from the start.

Not that I've learned my lesson. I still have a major soft spot for guys who act like they own the world and could care less about following the rules. But the best thing about being a writer is that I can make them the heroes in my books ... and I get to redeem them!

I think a huge part of the allure of the bad boy—at least for me—is the (usually misguided) belief that, “Underneath his gruff, abrasive, or criminal exterior is a sensitive soft-hearted guy just waiting for the right girl to come along.” And don't we all dream of being that girl? Even if that scenario doesn't play out in the real world, in the fantasy world of a novel dreams really can come true.

Take Griffin Blake, the hero of my first book. When Phoebe first meets him, running on the beach with no one else around, he's aloof but nice. Later, surrounded by his buddies at the cross-country try-outs, he turns on his jerk self and is completely obnoxious to her. He even sabotages her race. Over the course of the book, we learn why Griffin acted that way and (although some readers—cough Steph cough—never quite forgive him) we see him show Phoebe a softer side he would never expose to anyone else.

And that's the fantasy, isn't it? We all want to believe that the jerk next door is secretly Prince Charming, that his bad attitude is just a shell to protect his vulnerable core. Too bad it doesn't play out the same way in the real world ... or does it?

IMHO: Thanks, Tera. Gotta love those bad boys. So, folks, what do you think about Tera’s Dark Knight? Leave a comment for Tera and answer this (for a chance to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket and to find out if you can forgive Griffin's bad attitude): Have you ever had the fantasy come true? Do you have any experience with a real life bad boy who turned out to be a sweetheart just for you? Or is this just an urban legend? Inquiring (and delusional) minds want to know.

Remember May’s gift basket will contain signed books by Deanna Raybourn, Catherine Kean, Tera Lynn Childs, Monica McCarty, TJ Bennett, a $20 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble, and a unique handcrafted “Charmed” jewelry set by BlackDogWhiteDogJewelry, local Houston artisans. For a chance to win the whole she-bang, leave a comment on our guests posts (the more comments, the more chances to win) during the contest period. Sorry, US and Canada residents only, please. Further details are on my contest page.

31 comments:

At Home Mommy Knits said...

Love your contests! Thanks for having one.

jcp said...

I only have the yearning for bad boys in fiction.

Colleen Thompson said...

You're right. Bad boys work out a lot better within the pages of a novel, but there, they're great fun!

Loved your first book, Tera! I've turned on several young readers to your work!

FORGIVE MY FINS sounds like great fun. Love your titles.

Kerri said...

Great Questions!

Fantasy come true? Definitely! My hubby took me to Ireland for our honeymoon and it was truly like a romance novel come to life. So romantic!

Bad boy changing himself? No way, Jose! A Zebra never changes its stripes. Once a bad boy...always a bad boy, IMHO. :-)

Tera, thanks for stopping by...here's my question for you...

Do you think it would be more fun to tame your bad boy hero OR is the chase and thrill of the hunt more fascinating?

kerribookwriter said...

Oops! I wasn't signed in when I posted that. Lemme try again!

JeanP said...

I have lived a boring life, never had an experience with a bad boy, just wished from afar. Thats why I always enjoy reading about them!

chey said...

The bad boy becoming the good guy seems to work out more in books than real life1

Maureen said...

I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of boys and some of them could be pretty awful. The bad ones could do something nice every once in a while but it was never enough to convince me that they had changed.

Jody F. said...

Unfortunately, my life has been pretty down-to-earth. No fantasies come to reality for me. That's not to say that I've stopped looking though.

BNickerson said...

Yeah, I was a good girl and I dated a couple of bad boys. I think with the right girl they'll act right. But unfortunately, some get themselves into situations they can't pull themselves out of. I love reading about the bad boy and good girl because the bad boy always has the chance to redeem himself. Oh and the good girl is not always that good!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hello, ladies! No need to enter me for anything. I'm dropping in to let you guys know I've posted about this at Win a Book. If we can help you promote anything else, give a holler.

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Hi all! Thanks for all the thoughts on bad boys. Some of you are giving me (very faint) hope that they can be turned around.

As to Kerri's question ... I think a combination. Yes, the hunt would be fun. Yes, I'd like to see him tamed. But I'd still like to see the bad boy side come out every once in awhile. =)

Virginia said...

Hi Tera, glad you could join us here! You are right we all love them bad boys. I even had one when I was young and no he didn't turn into my prince charming, although I wish he had. Even the man I married was a motorcycle rider but I didn't think of him as a bad boy, maybe a bad boy want to be! He turned out ok. Your books sound great! I just finished reading a YA book and really enjoyed it. So bring on your bad boys for us!

DPfeiffer said...

Hey Tera!
Loved OMG, as did my nieces, and we're all looking forward to reading the sequel. Griffin was definitely a "good" bad boy! ;) For awhile there, I was wondering if he was going to end up having an evil twin... Can't wait to see how things turn out for him and your heroine.

As for my own experiences with bad boys, I guess I never had the guts to get involved with one--usually just watched them from a safe distance. Though I love reading about them and them being reformed. As for my own husband, you could say I met him through another bad boy. I think that kinda makes him somewhere in between! Which is perfect!

Also have to agree with another comment here--love your book titles.

Icedream said...

I agree that bad boys in fiction are fun to fantasize about because they are really softies inside.

As far as real life, I've yet to find one that isn't as rotten on the inside as he is on the outside. Not very romantic, huh? LOL

Thanks for the chance.

bridget3420 said...

Awesome contest!

Debby said...

I do so love my bad boys

Tera Lynn Childs said...

So glad to know I'm not alone in my bad boy obsession!

@Debbie I never even thought of giving Griffin an evil twin. Brilliant! =)

Suzanne said...

Hi Tera,
you gotta love a bad boy, especially in a YA novel.

I married a bad boy who grew up enought to treat me like a princess (but didn't change enough to convince everyone else, lol). Best thing I ever did. :)
~Suzi

TJ Bennett said...

Folks, you can continue to leave your comments for Tera, but I'm heading off to bed, so I want to thank her SOOO MUCH for coming by today and chatting with us. Thanks, Tera! Loved it! And if I know these folks, they'll still be commenting for days. LOL!

Remember, IMHO readers, to leave comments for at least one other guest host (and more is better) to have a chance to win the basket. Stay tuned for Monica McCarty, NYT Bestselling author of Scottish historical romance, next Wednesday, May 27. And check back regularly between now and then, because you never know when there might be a Random Freebie in my hot little hands that I'm just dying to give away (in fact, I know of one now...)

Take care,

TJB

gaby317 said...

First I thought this was a tough question and had a few bad boys that behaved...but then i realized my definition of "bad boys" was probably a bit to broad. After rethinking this, I guess the real bad boys don't change much. Sigh!

But someone in between - bad enough to be mysterious and keep me on my toes, those are much more my speed. And they've shown the flexibility to be kind, considerate and wonderful while still seeming dreamy.

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

Margay said...

I've come across a couple of bad boys in my life and, in my experience, they didn't change. I still hold out hope that one eventually will - that's why I love reading about them so much!
Margay

Carol L. said...

I love Bad Boys more on the pages than in real life. They always seem to come through for you then. In real life I think they pretty much stay that way andjust grow up to be Bad men. lol
I haven't read any of th books yet and look forward to it though. Thanks
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Kim said...

I think it's probably more interesting to read about bad boys than to date them. In books, people undergo amazing change, but that doesn't always translate into real life.

Lisa said...

well, someone has to fix them.. :o)

LuAnn said...

I think it's an urban legend! Bad boys are just that and the ones I've met would never chance for anything or anyone.

Judy said...

I was out of town and couldn't comment earlier. I love to read about bad boys who are reformed by the right girl.

Minna said...

I agree with jcp. In real life, bad boys are just bad.

Katie said...

Great interview!

Marie said...

I've never had a fantasy come true (I wish!) and my love for bad boys remains only at the fictional level.

marielay@gmail.com

Babyblue22 said...

The one bad boy that I was serious about, we dated off and on for a few years and I jept waiting for that sweet warm s=center to come out......but by the time he seemded to really want to fight for us I was done waiting.
So I think that it's better reading about the bad boys, then trying it in real life.
~Afshan