Terri Molina - Must-Read Suspense with Memorable Characters
Award-winning Tex-Mex Romance Author Terri Molina is the wife of a Ret. USCG Petty Officer, a co-dependent mother to four grown children and a doting grandmother to two adorable children. Terri began her writing career at age 40 while a stay-at-home mom raising four children after her husband, retired from the US Coast Guard and stopped moving them around every two years. Her stories are set in her home state of Texas and blend in the flavor of the southwest with her Mexican heritage. After twenty-five years of living a nomad life, she has finally settled back in Texas with the sidekick where she finds inspiration around every corner. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, House of Cards.
Please give us a short introduction to what House of Cards is about.
House of Cards is a romantic suspense about a young woman, Jesse Pena, who fears her missing sister has been murdered by the husband. She knows the police don’t believe her accusations since it’s not the first time she’s accused her brother-in-law of murder, so she starts her own investigation. But, her search for answers will not only risk her life, but test her sanity as well.
Readers say you had them at the edge of their seats, turning the pages to find out what's going to happen next. How did you pull this off?
As I was writing this, I saw it as a movie in my head, which made it a little easier to go deep into each character’s point of view and emotion. And I tried to end each scene with the reader needing to turn the page to find out what happens next.
Tell us about your writing journey. Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?
Yeah, I always loved reading so the move into writing was a seamless transition. I actually wanted to write plays and wrote my first one when I was about ten. It was based off a comic strip my little brother drew of Billy the Kid. My siblings and I even acted it out for my mother and aunts.
I didn’t think about novel writing until I was in my twenties, but I didn’t write my first novel until I was almost forty. I wanted to learn how to write first and, of course, I had four small children at home to take care of.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
Every book I write is a challenge for me. A lot of times it’s because, when I’m researching certain things for the story, I find other things of interest for different stories and sometimes there’s no end to that rabbit hole. Haha It makes me a bit of a slow writer and I also tend to edit as I write. I can’t move on to a new scene or chapter until I’m happy with the previous ones.
What did you have the most fun with?
I don’t know if I’d call it ‘fun’ but I enjoyed the research parts of this book. I interviewed several people as well as a deputy sheriff to get a few things correct. And, any errors in the story are mine alone.
Your characters are relatable and memorable. Are they based on anyone you know?
Thank you. I always hope my readers can connect with the characters. They aren’t based on anyone per se, but they are loosely based on true events. I will say, I tend to use the names of people I know for the secondary/background characters because they like to see their names in print. haha
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I’m a bit unorthodox. Although I always have a premise for a story, I can’t start writing it unless I have a title. Once I have a title, I need character names, then I come up with their individual stories.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
When I first started writing I wouldn’t open my files until after I played a game of Scrabble on the computer. That was my way of getting my brain started. Haha Now, I just play games on my laptop for a few hours to get in the writing mood. Whatever works, right?
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on a paranormal romance about a ghost who can’t move on until she helps her estranged sister find love.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My books are at whichever e-tailer you buy your books. You can learn more about me at my website: https://www.terrimolina.com/ /p>
And you can find me on my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTerri.Molina/
A frantic phone call from her estranged sister sends Jesse Peña rushing home to Brownsville, Texas, only to find that Alicia –seven months pregnant– has vanished. Jesse's search for answers will risk more than her life, it will test her sanity as well.