Interview with Tera Shanley (31 Days of Halloween)

Thank you for joining me in the
shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette over there. Weird things live
here.  Where do you hail from?
Hello, hello, lovely readers and strange silhouette waving in the corner. Tera
Shanley here and I hail from Dallas, Texas where that scorching southern sun is
hot, and the menfolk are hotter.
Tell me about your latest book. What
makes it stand out from the crowd?
Love in the Time of the Dead is a new release…I mean, yesterday was release day
so it’s all shiny and new. It’s a zombie apocalypse story second to a love
triangle and a difficult decision for Laney to make between to amazing men. I
haven’t seen many zompocalypse stories with such an emphasis on the love story.
This Dystopian story is firmly seated in the romance genre which is different.
Do you have anything new in the
works and can you tell us a bit about it?
Of course! I’m always working on something because my characters tend to be
very needy and mouthy if I don’t give them their day in the sun. Right now I’m
working on a Fantasy Romance called Shatterland Veil about a woman who was
kicked out of her own world through a tear in the veil when she was a child.
She’s trying to regain her memories of where she came from and the reasons for
reoccurring dreams of a boy she feels she should know.
What advice would you give to
writers just starting out?
Just write! If you have a story, put it down on paper. Don’t be intimidated by
the task of writing a book because it doesn’t have to be perfect. We’re all a
work in progress. I promise, when you get working on it, it gets much easier
than the effort it takes to put off a story. Plus, you’ll piss off your
characters and eventually, they’ll be the single-handed reason for your
How did you deal with rejection
letters? Any tips for unpublished writers?
If you’re unpublished and looking at other authors like ‘man, they make it look
easy,’ know it’s all smoke and mirrors. We all deal with rejection. LOTS of it.
But we as writers would rather poke our own eyes out than post our rejections
on facebook and twitter. I’ve found that with about 25-30% of my rejection
letters, the publisher or agent would give a reason why it didn’t work for them.
What a lovely, honest little critique you didn’t have to pay for! Work on what
isn’t grabbing the reader’s attention. Also, reading is SO subjective, just
keep at it. Just because one agent or publisher doesn’t get it, doesn’t mean
the next won’t fall in love with your story.
It also helps to have a plan B. For example: If this agent says no, I have a
working list of people I’m going to send it to next. Or, if this publisher
doesn’t offer a contract, I’m going to send it here, here, and here, or enter
it in this contest and get feedback to improve it, then resubmit where
possible. A plan B softens the blow if you already know your next step in
finding your manuscript the right home. Other than that, I’ve found ice cream,
key lime pie, and fruity beers rally demolished egos.
What tools of the trade are
must-haves for you?  Great music, a trustworthy laptop, good red pens, and
a printer that doesn’t complain about long hours and little pay.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve
ever done to research a story?
Ha, the craziest thing, huh? Well, in researching for Love in the Time of the
Dead, which is set in the Rocky Mountains, I goaded my dad to climb a pine tree
with me, just to make sure it would, in fact, hold the weight of two grown people
on the run from a horde of zombies. And it did.
What do you like to read?
Any sub-genre of Romance. As long as it has a love story, I’m golden.
Who is your favorite author and
why? Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series. She’s a beast (in a
good way). She spends three years on each of her long books, and I’m slightly
obsessed with Claire and Jamie’s story and the history of all of it. Plus,
Scottish burr, yum-yum. I own the series and can’t even count how many times I’ve
reread it.
Now for the fun questions.
 Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job
alongside writing and will you tell us about it?
Yes! I’m a Domestic Engineer/Zoo Keeper. Simply put, a stay-at-home mom. I
still pick up the odd graphic design job from my past career, but I love
staying home with my kiddies.
If you weren’t a writer, what career
might you have chosen?
I’d probably be picking up more graphic design freelance gigs. I feel really
fulfilled with my writing career though and don’t have that urge to mess with
Who is your favorite superhero (or
heroine)? Can be from a comic book, movie, novel, cartoon, video game or
anywhere else heroes reign.
Super Mario. Because he could shoot fireballs. Like a dragon.
Your favorite book hero?
I’ve mentioned that redheaded Scottish rogue before and I’ll claim him again.
Jamie Fraser is my book boyfriend. *creepy whispers* Love you Jamie, always and
You finally have an evening free to
spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?
Get me out of this heat! Texas, I love you, but I feel like I’ve belly flopped
onto the surface of the sun. I’d fly to Colorado, Breckenridge to be exact, eat
copious amounts of Bubba Gump shrimp with my mister. Then we’d take the horse
drawn carriage to the small movie tavern in town, and after the show, inhale a
milk chocolate and strawberry crepe from Crepes A La Carte, go swimming in the
outdoor heated pool underneath the towering pine trees, and then miss our
flight home and have to stay an extra week.
You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with
the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are
you? Why?
Oh heck yes, this is easy. I’d be a wolf. I don’t even care about the pain of
the change, werewolves are SO cool. Strong, barely in control, surrounded by
sexy wolfmen…I’d happily accept the increase in body hair if it meant I got to
howl at the moon – Owwoooooooooooooooo!
Thanks so much for being my guest
today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to
give us links to your website etc.
Author Bio

Tera Shanley writes in
sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance,
to Dystopian Romance. The common theme? She loves love! A self-proclaimed
bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found
decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her
husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her
family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is
dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great
Laney Landry has been fighting Deads alongside
her brother and friends for three years. But she has a secret. She’s immune to
Dead bites and has to find the right people to trust with the information. Her
team rallies around her to find a doctor who can extract a vaccine from Laney
which could fight the virus that ended the world.

Sean Daniels leads a colony that provides her
team with much needed shelter and supplies. He is obviously interested in
Laney. The question is whether he’s only intrigued by her as a source for the
possible vaccine, or for something more. Tests for the cure might push her body
beyond what it can endure, and just as she faces a ghost from her past, her
longtime teammate Derek Mitchell hints at an interest in more than just her
Dead slaying abilities.

Two honorable and alluring men – one colossal
decision to make. Despite historically bad taste in men, can she rise above the
chaos of the apocalypse and choose the one who deserves her heart? The right
choice could mean the difference between surviving…and living.