Monday, August 17, 2009

Guest - Terry Spear

Good morning every one! Today's guest is one I'm sure you'll all enjoy. Terry Spear is is rapidly becoming an auto-buy for many of us with her exciting and engaging werewolf tales. This newest one is sure to whet your appetite for more -- be sure to check out my review of To Tempt The Wolf.

Sourcebooks is giving copies of To Tempt The Wolf to two lucky readers. Read all the way to the Lynda Again section to find out how you could win.

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What is Urban Fantasy?
By Terry Spear

When I first started writing fantastical realms, I believed two kinds existed: fantasy—where fantastical creatures lived in an old-world, rather than contemporary-world; and paranormal which described the paranormal, psychics, ghosts, angels and such.

But the term urban fantasy kept popping up in describing demon, gargoyle, vampire, werewolves, and other fantasy creatures in a contemporary setting, not old-world, and something other than strictly paranormal. I began seeing definitions of urban fantasy—has to be set in a city, no sex, doesn’t have a romance, doesn’t have happily ever after, dark, has to be first person point of view, etc, etc, etc.

Here’s how I like to think of it: Urban fantasy is a contemporary world where fantastical creatures/characters live. It’s a world where they can own homes, go to dance clubs, use cell phones, and have websites. It’s a place where everything is just like what we consider normal in our everyday lives, except fantastical creatures live in them. They can exist in secrecy, or openly become part of the community. Urban fantasies can be hot and sexy, or sweet, or have no romance at all. They can be dark or light or a something in between. The fantastical characters can live in cities or in the country. The stories can be written in first person or third person point of view.

What makes them urban fantasy? The fantastical element, whatever it is, existing in our real world today.

But then again, why does it even matter what we call our fiction? By tagging it with terms like paranormal romance, or urban fantasy romance, it helps us to get the word out to readers who love the kind of stories we create. Tags help drive search engines.

Just think if I only called my werewolf romance, romantic suspense, and the first time a reader read where the hero shapeshifted into a wolf, what would the reader think of that, if he or she only liked romantic suspense?

This actually happened to a NY Times Best Selling author. The romantic suspense was a paranormal complete with vampires, but it wasn’t marketed as such. In this author’s case, some of her romantic suspense readers were appalled. And vampire readers wouldn’t have known to read her series, thinking it was just strictly romantic suspense. So tags are important for us as writers to target the right audience.

We can further “show” what our stories are about so that readers can find the kind of stories they love to read with extra tags like: dark urban fantasy, light urban fantasy, and urban fantasy romance.

So what are my werewolf tales? Urban fantasy romances on the suspense side with a twist of humor. No, not twisted humor. =) In the series, werewolves do not exist, unless you are one of them, of course.

In To Tempt the Wolf, the heroine finds the hero naked on an Oregon beach…what is the poor woman to do, but take the injured man into her home before the full force of a winter storm hits? Only he quickly takes charge when he learns SHE is in real danger and that’s when the REAL trouble begins.



Thanks so much for Star-Crossed Romance having me today, and I hope readers will friend me and check out my books!

www.terryspear.com
http://twitter.com/TerrySpear
http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear
http://www.myspace.com/terryspear
http://www.terry-spear.blogspot.com
http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com
http://www.wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com
http://shapeshifterromance.wordpress.com

Terry Spear
“Giving new meaning to the term ‘alpha male’.”



About the Author
A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, award-winning author Terry Spear has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. Her 2008 Sourcebooks Casablanca release, Heart of the Wolf was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Destiny of the Wolf and To Tempt the Wolf are in stores now, and more are on the way: The Legend of the White Wolf (February 2010) and Seduction of the Wolf (August 2010).

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-- Lynda Again.

To enter the drawing for To Tempt The Wolf, please leave a comment AND send me an email with To Tempt The Wolf in the Subject line and your address in the body of the email. That's it :-) Good luck to you!

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42 comments:

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks so much for having me, Lynda! I'm off to work in a little bit, but on my lunch hour, before I go to work and afterwards, I'll be popping in! And thanks for the terrific review! I'm off to let the whole wide world know. :)

Beth Caudill said...

Hey Terry

Nice review. I sometimes wonder about tagging books. Half the time now I have to ask an associate to look up a book because I can't find a book on the shelves. It's because it's been put on an endcap, or tower, or just not on the shelf yet but they 15 copies in the back.

It used to be easier finding books I wanted to read before labeling became such an issue.

Congrats on the release.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hi Beth, thanks and yeah, and you know sometimes "they"--not sure who they are who decides this stuff, but someone decides your books belong in one area that is the wrong category and nothing can be done about it! Thankfully not with my wolf books though! :)

tatt3r said...

I appreciate your description of Urban Fantasy. I've got to find your books, the reviews are intriguing!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, tatt3r!

One of my fellow Casablanca authors mentioned about songs today on the Casablana blog and it got me to thinking about Wooly Bully's Lil Red Riding Hood~~Sam the Sham...and wondering if he really was a werewolf: "You sure are looking good. You're everything that a big bad wolf could want.
Owoooooooo!" :) I'm thinking it should be the ring tone on my cell phone. :)

Sharon E. Dreyer said...

This is an interesting blog entry. Glad that I came upon it while checking out the blogs on Red Room. Good luck!

Check out my first and recently released novel, Long Journey to Rneadal. This exciting story is a romantic action adventure in space.

Rayna said...

Ooh I have that on order. I was hoping to get it in early. I read Heart of the Wolf a few weeks ago. It was good. I think this on will be too.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, Sharon. Good luck with your book!

Thanks so much, Rayna! I hope you love it!! :) Drop me a line and let me know what you think when you get it! :)

Renee said...

Terry, thank you so much for defining urban fantasy and the importance of correct marketing.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hi Renee, thanks for dropping by! I'm an eclectic reader, but when I'm looking for a particular kind of work, I want to be able to find it. :) Not have to hunt it down.

Cathy Shouse said...

Terry,

This description of what you write is very helpful.

I'm gathering from the reviews that yours is super steamy as far as sensuality?

I agree with you that readers like to know what they're getting into. I read a variety of genres, but I like to know a little bit about what to expect when I pick something up.

If you don't mind, could you give a line or two about how yours might be similar to or unlike Charlaine Harris' Dead Before Dawn? That was pretty much my first paranormal (or is it an urban fantasy? Sigh I'll have to learn the differences better).

By the way, I'd like to win a book but I don't know where to find Lynda's e-mail to let her know.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hi Cathy! I've read one of Charlaine Harris's books, and yes, it's urban fantasy. I felt hers are more chick lit, lighter paranormal/urban fantasy. Mine are based on a society that feels real...that werewolves could live among us. It's darker--adventure, suspense, murder mysteries. And yes, the romance is really strong and an essential part of the story...lots of sexual tension and 3-4 consummated love scenes in each of the books. Hope you give mine a try and like them!

SiNn said...

Terry I have yet to read any of your books but they all sound so good the review that I read today makes me want to read more and more about them. So thank you for stoping by today.

Cathy Shouse said...

Thanks for the comparison, Terry.

Now then, will someone explain how to find Lynda's e-mail address so I can enter the contest to win the book?

Thanks.

Tambra said...

Hi Terry,

I love the description of your books. I can't wait to read one.

I wish you the best with your books.

Hugs,
Tambra

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Terry,

With the mixing of genres now, it is hard to define a novel as belonging to just one category.

Perhaps I am quaint in my views, but like you, when I see the word 'fantasy' to describe a book, I immediately think 'sci-fi futuristic' because that's the kind of genre my DH likes. Why, even The Writer's Complete Fantasy Reference by Terry Brooks bases Traditional Fantasy Cultures (CH. 1) in describing, throughout the rest of the reference guide ,how to create fantasy worlds with a medieval ages ambience. Think Lord of the Rings.

Paranormal, to me, is something that's human (or earthy?), but a bit more---like ghosts, vampires, and werewolves. Don't know if that makes sense.

Regardless, though, at the heart of it all is the romance and the HEA. At least for my classification in books. And this is why such a book would be in the Romance section, regardless of the other genres involved. I mean, you can read on the blurb if it is a sub genre you like, whether it's paranormal, futuristic, historical, contemporary, suspense, etc.

So if I were to read a book that was in the Romance section that did not have romance AND an HEA, I would be sorely disappointed. Maybe even ask for my money back! :-)

Julie

susan said...

hi Terry. glad to drop by and say hello and let you know i love your books. susan L.

Nicole North said...

Fantastic post, Terry! I loved To Tempt the Wolf! It was awesome!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, SiNn! I hope you check them out!

Hi Tambra! Thanks for dropping by from ParaNormal Romance. Hope you read some of the books and enjoy them!! :)

Julie, I so agree. I want HEA in my romances. Heck, I want them in nonfiction books too. If it doesn't have a HEA, I don't want to read it! :) There was a library joke going around that to get your book on the "Best" Lists in children fiction, the dog/horse had to die. ARgh. Old Yeller...etc. Not for me.

Thanks so much, Susan! I hope you love To Tempt the Wolf. :)

Nicole, I'm glad you loved Hunter & Tessa and the rest of the motley crew! Thanks for dropping by!

Kelsey Card said...

Hi Terry,

Great post and thank you for pointing out the significance of clearly defining a book--it’s all about reader expectation. Also, thank you for breaking down the definition of Urban Fantasy and all the nuances of the category.

Kelsey
Tales of magic, adventure, and romance

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Hi, Kelsey!! Thanks for dropping by and commenting! You're so right about it being all about reader expectation. :)

elaing8 said...

Great post. I haven't had the chance to read one of Terry's books yet.I've read great reviews,I'm looking forward to reading them
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Sheila Deeth said...

I'd say super and steamy rather than super-steamy. Looking forward to reading more.

sdeeth at msn dot com

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks, Elaing8! Hope you enjoy!

LOL, Sheila...I never know what to say...but you your version is great! :) Thanks!

Kytaira said...

I love shifter books and have your's on my TBB list.

I so agree with knowing what kind of book your are getting. I love paranormals. There have been a couple of times a book has given the illusion it was a paranormal when in reality it wasn't. I probably would have liked the book if I had gone into it with different expectations.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Cathy and everyone!

My email is lyndak.scott@gmail.com

Keep sending your entries. I'm running the contest until Friday (I know...I forgot to mention that up top--that's what I get for not having coffee before I get online, lol)

Anyway, I've got a good number of entries for Terry's book but there's still time so make sure you enter.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Oh, Kytaira, thanks! Your comment reminds me of a book I read that was a historical romance and I thought it was about a big cat shifter, can't remember which kind. But all you "saw" was him (as a cat, I think) stalking her at the lake where she was swimming, and you never saw that he shifted or that it was really him, or why he was one, or if he truly was...I was soooo disappointed! It was like this neat opening and then the whole concept was dropped. :( Like the author wanted to make it a shifter story, but then again didn't. That she wanted the paranormal element, but then didn't. :(

Lynda, thanks for clarifying!! Friday it is! :)

Sewicked said...

It is _all_ about expectations. As long as they are accurate (wait, why is this story where everyone dies in the romance section?), it's a good read. Love your description on what makes tags useful, as well as the implication of what happens when they aren't.

Your books look very interesting. Luckily, my fave bookstore will order for me. No hunt & find, or not, for me. Yay!

Calila1988 said...

I don't think I have ever read an urban fantasy, but I can't wait to now.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Sewicked, good point, and thanks! Someone who wanted to write romance asked if she could kill off the hero at the end of the book. :) We go through all that suffering so the hero and heroine can be together so that he can die? Ack, not my kind of romance reading. :)

Calila, super that you want to give them a try! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry,
I finished reading Heart of the Wolf last night, (propping my eyelids open. I just couldn't put it down.) I really liked it a lot and found it to be satisfying. I think that kind of devotion in a mate is something we all strive for. (The fabulous sex wouldn't hurt either!)
I like that you can take a new term like Urban Fantasy and bend it to make it your own.
Thanks!
Shannon

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Woohoo, Shannon, I'm thrilled you loved Heart of the Wolf! I've got to quote you in my Happy Hookers online workshop. :) LOL...Now, like my wolves have to do in the afternoons after an adventurous night, you'll have to take a nap... :) Just to get ready for Destiny of the Wolf! :)

Florence said...

Thanks, Terry, for the definition of Urban Fantasy. I have a book started that I've been classifying as Urban Fantasy, and, thanks to you, I know that is indeed what it is. I enjoy your books and look forward to reading more.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks so much, Flo! I hope you enjoy the next!!

Lynda K. Scott said...

Good morning!

Congrats to Beth Caudill and Julie Robinson who've each won a copy of Terry Spear's To Tempt The Wolf!

I know you'll enjoy them as much as I did!

Lynda

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks so much, Lynda, for having me!!! :)

And Beth and Julie, congratulations!

But anyone who didn't win, more contests coming your way!

And if anyone wants to: To Tempt the Wolf is up for Best Books at LASR and needs votes!
http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm

Julie Robinson said...

Woohoo! It's a grand morning. Thank you Terry and Lynda. Terry;, I'm headed to LASR now.
Julie

Julie Robinson said...

Terry, you're ahead with 33% of the vote, but you need more. This link should work for any who want to vote.

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm

Julie

Julie Robinson said...

What's not coming out at the end are the letters "tm" after the "h"to make it a full link.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Thanks so much, Julie! I noticed after posting the link elsewhere, there were spaces between some of the words too. Thanks so much! And congrats again!

Julie Robinson said...

Terry,

Thanks so much. After 2 long day, I got home to find my prize package. I look forward to reading To Tempt the Wolf.

Julie

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

Congrats again, Julie, and enjoy!!!