Interview with Teri Thackston

This month, fellow romance author, Teri Thackston, is stopping by to say hi and answer a few questions about her latest book, THE SALVATION OF CAPTAIN BEN CHANDLER published through Cerridwen Press.

Here’s a quick blurb about the book: Rumors of her death have cost Clarity Breckenridge her home and her precious Arabian stallion Sir Robin. Civil War weary Captain Ben Chandler just wants to deliver the stallion he purchased for his cousin in Texas. Thrown together by fate, held together by mutual attraction, they struggle together to outwit a killer who threatens both their plans.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today, Teri!

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And how did you get your start?

I’ve been writing since I was about eleven years old, inspired by Nancy Drew stories initially and then later by Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean.

2. Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere! People I meet, stories I hear or read—both fictional and real—even the whisper of the wind through high grasses on a mysterious hillside…yikes, I’m getting ideas right now!

3. What is the one writer’s tool you can’t live without?

My initial answer would be my laptop, but I really could write with the ancient tools of pen and paper. It’s my God-given imagination, I guess, that is most important to me.

4. How many words/pages do you do in a day/week/month? And how do you keep yourself motivated to do them?

I’m not very disciplined, so I don’t count words or pages. I write until my brain shuts down—sometimes that’s after a couple of hours, other days it’s only after my stomach or my bladder remind me that it’s time to get out of the chair for a break.

5. Whose work has influenced you the most?

Alistair MacLean—no doubt. He didn’t have a lot of romance in his stories, but he knew how to meld action and plot in a way that simply stunned me. I learned how to tell a story by reading his works. I learned to add romance from writers like Christie Craig, Colleen Thompson, Kim Lenox—there are just too many inspiring writers to name.

6. This month is the release of your western historical, THE SALVATION OF CAPTAIN BEN CHANDLER. Where did you get the idea for that?

I was working on my first western romance for Cerridwen Press THE ABDUCTION OF MISS JENNY CHANDLER, and one of the secondary characters—Jenny’s cousin Ben—kept popping into my mind. I actually wrote a few scenes from his point of view and I liked them so much that I left them in that book. That’s unusual for me. I generally stick to the hero’s or heroine’s POV (okay, not always, but usually). I just liked Ben so much that I had to come up with a story for him.

7. Tell us a little about the book.

It takes place shortly after the Confederacy surrendered to the Union—a highly emotional time for our country. Heading home to Texas, Confederate Captain Ben Chandler catches Clarity Breckenridge stealing the Arabian stallion he bought in Kentucky. Clarity claims to own the horse and is determined to get it back. But everyone she knows claims that she died at the end of the war. When a killer tries to permanently end her attempts to prove her identity, Ben whisks her—and her horse—to Texas.

Ben is emotionally and physically weary. His parents are dead, the woman he loved has left him and he suffered so many near-misses during the war that he just wants to hide himself back home. When Clarity’s joyful outlook threatens to bring him painfully back to life, he resists his growing attraction to her.

Meanwhile Clarity’s vow to return home and prove her identity is strained by her growing attraction to the handsome captain who saved her life. But a near rape years earlier makes her afraid that she could not be a whole woman for him, so she pulls back, too. Fleeing a killer and their own pasts, can they reclaim Clarity’s identity and find love and new lives together?

8. This book is a sequel to THE ABDUCTION OF MISS JENNY CHANDLER. Tell us a little about that. Will there be more books in the series?

Jenny’s story takes place in Texas and Mexico a few years before the Civil War. Jenny is a young lady from Louisiana visiting family in Texas. She enjoys a life with no more pressing problem than what to wear to the next cotillion, and she’s content to remain “Daddy’s little girl”. Then she meets Texas Ranger John Grayling and realizes that growing up might not be so bad. Unfortunately Gray’s latest love has just announced she’s marrying someone else. Deeply hurt, Gray swears off women and vows to devote himself to his job. But when Jenny is kidnapped by bandits and Gray is captured trying to rescue her, the young woman’s spirit and sensuality test his vow.

Renegade Comanche and Army gold figure in the couple’s escape, adding to the action and emotion. Gray falls for Jenny, but can he trust her when every other woman in his life has failed him? Jenny loves Gray, but can she break through the barrier around his heart? Can passion’s fire ignite lasting love before evil plays its smoldering hand?

I do have ideas for a couple of more books featuring the Chandlers, but those ideas are still percolating in my imagination.

9. What are you working on now?

I’m working on another romantic suspense, set along the Texas Gulf Coast.

10. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

When I was young, I wanted to be a world-famous novelist and a spy but I realized that those two occupations wouldn’t go together very well. Today, I think I’d be a sculptor. I find writing is similar to sculpting in that the story is revealed by removing unnecessary layers. I’m not sure I’d be very good at it—my Playdough sculptures seemed limited to snakes and balls!

11. What’s your favorite genre to read? What’s your favorite genre to write?

Oh, that depends on what day of the week it is. I’ve written western, suspense and paranormal and I love all three. If I could write only one…well today I would say westerns. But a few weeks ago, my answer was paranormal. I guess I’ll just keep writing all three.

You can find out more about me and my books on my author page at Cerridwen Press:

Or my website: or my blog I also hang out on Facebook and MySpace and a lot of reader/writer loops and I love to hear from readers and other writers.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.