Wednesday, May 20, 2009
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 Her first (yet unpublished) manuscript was a finalist in the 2004 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart contest for unpublished romantic works.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.