Today is Terri Garey day on Romance Novel TV. If you haven’t had a chance to read A Match Made in Hell, check out Maria Lokken’s review below. If you have read it, then you may already know a bit about our today’s Guest Author.
“A Southern girl with an overactive imagination, Terri Garey grew up in
Dead Girls Are Easy, A Match Made In Hell, Ghouls Night Out, and You’re The One That I Haunt are part of an ongoing series about Nicki Styx, a former Goth girl who becomes an unwilling ghoulfriend to the dead. (from Terri Garey’s website)
RNTV: Welcome to RNTV – and congratulations on your latest release A Match Made in Hell, the sequel to Dead Girls Are Easy.
Terri: Thank you! I’m tickled to be here.
RNTV: Dead Girls Are Easy is the first in the series, followed by A Match Made In Hell – can you tell us a bit about when you got the call that the book would be published? And was it sold as a series?
Terri: Oh gee, let’s see if I can recall the details… October 12, 2005 at 4:13pm EST. LOL! As if I could ever forget! Plus, I wrote it down (very shakily, I might add).
I began writing Dead Girls Are Easy in April of 2004, and it took me over a year to finish that first draft. I signed with my agent in the summer of 2005, and in late August she submitted the manuscript to Erika Tsang at
Last summer, I was asked to write a Nicki Styx novella (included in the June 2008 paranormal anthology, Weddings From Hell) and this past September I received an offer for two more stand-alone novels in the Nicki Styx series. You’re The One That I Haunt is a March 2009 release, and there will be another (as yet untitled), in November 2009.
RNTV: I think the biggest question on my mind is how you created the heroine Nicki Styx. This is a heroine with lots of layers. She’s a goth girl, who is into fashion, she’s bold, brave and yet very sensitive, possessed with a wicked sense of humor, oh and yeah – she sees dead people. Did you just dream her up out of that creative mind of yours, or is she a combination of people you’ve known?
Terri: Weird as it may sound (particularly to those who’ve met me!) I must admit that I consider Nicki, in some ways, to be my alter ego. She’s who I’d like to be (minus the seeing dead people part!) I got married very young, had children, worked full-time in the computer industry, and never really got the chance to be young and carefree, much less goth—I was always too busy being responsible! Her wicked sense of humor is mine, but Nicki’s much more comfortable saying things out loud than I am. I felt like adding a gothic aspect to her personality would make her life more interesting—it’s one thing to be “into the dark side”, but it’s a whole other ballgame when the dark side becomes interested in you, don’t you think?
My husband and I have done a lot of volunteering in the arts community, so I’m very comfortable with people who are willing to be a little “out there”, so to speak. I’ve never seen a ghost, but I know some very credible people who claim they have. So basically, the idea of Nicki Styx came from playing the “what if” game: What if a free-spirited young woman, who thought the darker side of life was cool, actually died, then came back to life and started seeing spirits herself? How would she deal with it? How would it change her as a person? Would it still be cool? Her character really fell into place in my mind after that.
RNTV: You put a very interesting spin on things in this book – Nicki discovers she’s an identical twin. Being an identical twin myself, I thought you hit all the right notes on how twins can act and react toward each other. Did you know in the first book, Dead Girls are Easy that Nicki had a long lost twin – or did A Match Made in Hell necessitate her having a sibling? And why identical twins?
Terri: Wow, you’re a twin? That’s another concept that’s always really fascinated me. The idea of knowing there are two of you, yet knowing that inside you’re completely unique, must lead to a lot of conflicting feelings from time to time—at least that’s how I imagine it. So yes, I knew that Nicki would have a twin sister, and upped the conflict by making her a twin sister she never knew existed. Then I upped it even more by bringing her romantic interest, Joe Bascombe, into the triangle. Poor Nicki. LOL!
I have three sisters myself, and though I’m not a twin, I’m very familiar with how sisters can be with each other.
RNTV: Many authors create ‘rules’ about what happens in their world, particularly when it comes to paranormals. In A Match Made in Hell both Nicky and her twin Kelly see dead people, but each in their own way. Are there any other ‘rules’ you’ve set up in the over all arc of the series?
Terri: Actually, other than the difference you just mentioned between Nicki and Kelly’s abilities, I try very hard in each book to not make up any rules, and stay true to what I’ve read about ghosts, spirits, Voodoo, Tarot cards or any other supernatural element I decide to incorporate into the plot. It’s very important to me that my characters stay grounded in this world, not an alternate reality. You won’t see any fantasy elements in my books (again, except for the seeing dead people parts).
RNTV: A Match Made In Hell surprises the reader with unexpected twists and turns – are you a plotter or do you fly by the seat of your pants when you write?
Terri: The honest answer is that I’m a mixture of both. I begin a book with an overall idea, and then I work out the plot points as I go along, usually only a few chapters at a time. Once that first draft is finished, I go back and do what I call “layering”, adding emphasis here or there, taking out things that don’t add to the storyline, putting in things that do. Do I know the plot from beginning to end before I begin? Absolutely not. But do I have an overall, arching idea of what I’m going for? Definitely.
RNTV: I found I had to read your book with the lights on, do you personally enjoy watching scary TV shows or movies, or reading scary stories?
Terri: Oh, this is a great question, because I am the biggest scaredy-cat you’ll ever meet! (And a nice compliment, too. If you had to read it with the lights on, then I’m a happy ghoul!) I’m completely fascinated by the paranormal, because it really, truly scares me, and I figure if I have that strong of reaction to something, I should use it in my writing. On the other hand, I absolutely adore Halloween, grew up watching Addams Family and Munsters re-runs, and love the scary old movies of the 40’s and 50’s, but you will NOT find me watching horror, gore or splatter films, ever. I was permanently scarred by The Exorcist, and while I finally got up the nerve to see The Ring, I wish I hadn’t. Scared the bejeebers outta me!
Bottom line, I feel like there’s a big difference between “horror” and “spooky”. Give me spooky anytime. And if the writer can relieve the tension with a laugh now and then, so much the better (which is what I try my very best to do).
Thanks so much for having me today!
RNTV: It’s such a joy to have you with us today and now I’m opening it up to viewers questions and comments.