Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Interview - Tera Lynn Childs

Darque Reviews welcomes Tera Lynn Childs

Hi Tera, thanks so much for sharing your time with Darque Reviews! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and your work better.

Oh. My. Gods. is scheduled to release on May 1, 2008 by Dutton Books (Penguin Group, USA). Can you tell us a bit about Phoebe Castro and her life at the Academy?

TLC: Phoebe is a California girl whose mom marries the headmaster of the Academy, a super-exclusive private school on a tiny Greek island. She just wants to get through her senior year with a B-average and a few cross-country wins because that’s her ticket to a USC scholarship. But when they arrive she learns that the school is populated by the descendants of Greek gods--and she’s the only one who’s not! How can she compete with that? As my cover blurb says, Phoebe’s in for a romantic odyssey of mythic proportion.

Which came first, Phoebe or the Greek gods?

TLC: The gods. Actually, the (original) title came first. My working title was Growing Up Godly--a twist on the Growing Up Gotti reality show--and since I’m not an inspirational author I knew I had to find another meaning for the “Godly” part. I’ve always loved anything ancient, so the Greek gods were a perfect fit.

Will this be a stand-alone story, or can readers expect to see more of Phoebe in the future?

TLC: There will be at least one more--I’m revising the as-yet-untitled sequel right now. I can’t say too much without revealing Oh. My. Gods. spoilers, but the second books takes place the summer after Phoebe’s first year at the Academy. All the familiar characters (Nicole, Troy, Griffin, Adara, and Stella) play major parts in the story.

Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and what influenced you to choose it as a profession?

TLC: I know the exact moment I started thinking about writing as a legitimate potential career. During my masters thesis defense one of my advisors said, “You are a very effective writer.” Now he was only trying to soften the blow of his next comment, but it got me thinking. Maybe, just maybe, I could.... Two years later, in 2003, I decided to really go after the career.

What was the most difficult part of the writing process for your first book?

TLC: Finishing. The first book I completed was a Regency historical romance the will never see the light of day. Before that I’d started one book after another, but never got more than halfway before giving up. After you reach the end once, then you always know you can do it again, but that first time is scary. You’re plagued by doubts. What if I can’t finish it? What if it’s horrible? What if, what if, what if? You have to push that aside. Just. Keep. Writing.

What are you working on now? What can readers look forward to next?

TLC: Like I said, I’m just finishing up the sequel to Oh. My. Gods. Hopefully there will be more books in the series because I’m not done with Phoebe yet. In the meantime I have a few others in the works. I have BADD (Book Attention Deficit Disorder) so I always have half a dozen ideas at the ready, but until I have a contract I can’t know which ones will make the cut.

Which genre do you enjoy reading? Who are some of your favorite authors?

TLC: Of course I’m reading mostly teen books right now and some of my favorites are Stephanie Hale, Jaclyn Moriarty, E. Lockhart, John Green, and Rachel Cohn. My first love, though, is historical romance and my must-reads are Sophie Jordan, Shana Galen, Suzanne Enoch, and unequivocally Julia Quinn.

What did you do to celebrate the sale of your first book?

TLC: I got a tattoo! I’d been wanting one forever, but was very cautious about the what and the where. Choosing the location was easy--my back hip--but I couldn’t decide on the art. TeenVogue published a picture of a Brazilian girl with a field of stars over her shoulder. That was perfect! I was unpublished at that point and made myself a deal: I could get one star for every book I sold. Which reminds me, I still need to get a star for the sequel...

How do you spend your free time when you find some?

TLC: (I find way more than I should!) I’m a reality TV junkie--gasp, I know. If someone has a chance to win a bunch of money by doing something disgusting, embarrassing, or awe-inspiring, then I’ll tune in. I also like to read, rearrange my furniture, travel, browse bookstores, make lists, and covertly observe teenagers at my local coffee shop while I’m supposed to be working--it’s market research!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers or aspiring authors before we say goodbye?

TLC: Never give up and never stand still. If writing is your passion and you are committed to never stop learning and changing and growing as author you will eventually succeed. Author friend Lynda Sandoval once gave a very powerful speech in which--and I’m majorly paraphrasing/interpreting here--she said, “Imagine if you gave up the day before. The day before you got the bestselling idea. The day before you sent the query that landed you an agent. The day before all the hard work paid off. How can you ever give up knowing that today could be the day before?”

Thanks so much for spending time with us. The best of luck with your upcoming release, Oh. My. Gods.!

TLC: Thank you for the fun interview and for the luck--all writers need that in heavy doses.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

You can visit Tera Lynn Childs website, here:

You can visit her blog, here:

You can order a copy of Oh. My. Gods., here:
Oh. My. Gods. - Amazon


Anonymous said...

Wow, the storyline sounds quite unique. I'll need to check this out. Would you place this in the YA category?

Kimberly Swan said...

It is wonderfully unique, and yes it's a YA title. :)

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the premise of your book and can't wait to pick it up. I know you've gotten great reviews on it. Congrats!

stephhale said...

This book is amazing! Great interview and review! :)

TinaFerraro said...

I can't wait to read this! Not only does the blurb sound fantastic, but its author happens to be one of my favorite people...

P.S. I gotta see this tattoo sometime.

Kimberly Frost said...

Looking forward to Tera's release. Thanks for the excellent interview!

Kim Lenox said...

Great interview, Tera!! I'm so glad I don't have to wait much longer for OMG!

Kimberly Swan said...

Hi all...thanks for stopping by! Less than a month now until release, and definitely worth the wait! :)

Unknown said...

Jeez...I didn't think I could love Tera more--until I read this interview, that is. And I'd have to say she's way more of an inspirational author than she claims. :) XO

Kimberly Swan said...

She was certainly a pleasure to interview. :)