An Interview with Terri Osburn, Author of “Ask Me to Stay” with Linda’s Book Obsession
- What was your motivation in becoming an author and writer? What did you do before you were a writer?
My motivation was absolutely my love of reading. I found romance novels around age 13 and devoured them from that point on. By 20 I dreamed of writing one, and even dabbled with the idea of a female gambler in the old west on a mission to find the man who’d killed her father. Maybe I’ll dig that out someday. Hmmm…
I did many things before becoming a published author. I’ve done a ton of customer service, some retail, was a country radio DJ for years, and then worked in government contracting. I admire people who find what they love early and spend a lifetime doing it. I took more of a winding path.
- What motivated or inspired you to write?
As I mentioned, I fell in love with romance novels at an early age and I truly credit them with getting me through so many difficult periods in my life. During my teen years for sure, but many times after. They gave me so much. They made me smile and cry and sigh and laugh. I wanted to created stories like that and give back to the genre that had given me so much.
- How did you go about researching for your book?
Research for” Ask Me To Stay” was extra fun because I got to take a trip. In searching for a location to set the story (I always base my fictional worlds on a real place) I found a tiny island off the coast of South Carolina and was instantly intrigued. Who knew that there was a remote place with no cars or roads or stores or restaurants? Just the island, the wildlife, some huge houses, and lots of golf carts. I knew to get the setting right, I needed to be there, so off I went. Four days on Dewees Island all by myself. It was fabulous and by far the most peaceful place I’ve ever been. And by the time I left, I totally wanted my own golf cart.
I also did research on some areas of New York City, a little about the mob (you’ll have to read to see why,) and one of the sweet parts was finding a model for my hero’s dog, Amos—a sweet, black and white pit bull that will instantly steal your heart.
- What are your goals for readers to take away after reading?
I’d love for readers to smile, first off all. And maybe sigh. But then I’d love for them to consider taking an adventure of their own. Step out of their comfort zone and live a little. I think we get so swept away with the day to day of getting through life that we forget to live.
- What is a typical day your life?
I wish I had a more glamorous answer but a typical day for me is sleeping in way later than most (because I also go to be WAY later than most,) feeding 4 cats and 2 dogs, cleaning up whatever mess was left from the night before (I have 2 college students in the house,) and then sitting in front of my computer. I do get to leave the house now and then, and I’ve been fortunate to take some wonderful trips, but those only happen on the a-typical days.
- What are your hobbies or things you do in your downtime?
I don’t necessarily have a hobby, but I’m a big Nashville Predators (hockey) fan so I watch all the games and go to at least 5 or so a season. I’m also a big music fan (see the radio DJ part above) so I love to take in a concert whenever I can. I also splurged on season tickets for our local Broadway style theater this year. I love musicals, but I also ADORE Hamilton: An American Musical, and it’s coming to town next season. So I’ll be all over that!
- What can you tell us of any new writing projects that you might have?
I’m happy to report lots of new work coming this year. After Ask Me To Stay, I’ll release a sexy short story in May, a novella in the Shooting Stars series in July, and then the fourth full-length novel in the Shooting Stars series this fall. It’s one after the other and I’m excited to share so many stories with readers.
- What are your favorite genres of books that you like to read?
Though I write contemporary, I’ve always loved historicals. Those are the books I grew up reading, and I love to be swept away to England or Paris or the American West. Those ones don’t seem to be as popular today, but I loved the sweeping Civil War period epics, and the daring women who ventured into what was then a lawless area in the west and the cowboys who saved them, loved them, and became better men because of them.
9 What advice can you give to someone that wants to be a writer?
Write. It’s truly the only way to really learn. To hone your own voice and figure out what stories you want to tell. It’ll feel like swimming through quicksand for a while, but once you start to find your footing, the going gets smoother. It will never be easy, but the actually writing is the most fun thing I do. Little can compare to that moment that you read a scene or a chapter and feel pride that you wrote it. That it’s real and good and you were meant to do this.
- If your book were adapted to the screen, what actors, actresses could you envision for the main characters?
I hadn’t thought about this. Hmmm… Let me see. For Liza Tiller I’d cast Mamie Gummer (who happens to be the daughter of Meryl Streep,) and for Kendall James it would have to be Tyler Hoechlin (from Teen Wolf.) I couldn’t skip Ray Wallis so that might be fun with Ian McKellen. Might as well aim big, right?
- How would you like the readers to connect with you?
I’m always happen to meet new readers on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TerriOsburnAuthor/or they can contact me through my website any time. That’s TerriOsburn.com. Nice and simple.