Monday, March 27, 2006

Make-Believe Mondays With Teresa Bodwell

Last week Make-believe Mondays was pushed back while I dealt with the flu, but today I am well and happy to be able to introduce Teresa Bodwell, my friend from RWAonline. For those of you who've emailed saying you wished there were more western romances out there, Teresa writes western historical romance for Kensington. I don't believe I've mentioned this previously, but as with all of my published friends from RWAonline, you may purchase signed copies through their website on my links page. Now lets hear from Teresa.

First, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Teresa: I'm trying something new--a sexy contemporary. The working title is "Hot Lips" named for the hero, a jazz trombonist with great lips and a nimble tongue. When the heroine meets him, she tells him that she's always wanted to kiss a trombone player. He fulfills her fantasy in more ways than one.

What an interesting way to begin!

Mark Twain said, “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” How do you fill your creative well to keep your imagination in focus?

Teresa: Creating and enjoying creative works go hand in hand. That means reading books, watching good movies and spending time with the greatest creation of all--nature.

There is nothing like being outdoors--feeling sun on your shoulders, walking through snow, running along a sandy beach, watching powerful river surging over rocks. These things all spark my imagination.

Debra: In westerns the lansdcape is so much a part of the story and you have an appreciation for the outdoors which really shines through.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Teresa: Yes. It varies with each story when that magic occurs, but it does always happen. After the characters become friends who will confide in me, I may have to go back and revise parts that I had written before I really knew the characters.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Teresa: Yes. As a matter of fact it was a very powerful dream image that gave me an essential scene in "Moonlight Whispers", my story in the anthology, MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS. I dreamed of snow falling on a moonlit night. Unlike rain that will wake you with its sound, snow falls silently with no warning. A bright full moon on new fallen snow will make the night shine almost as bright as day. I've sometimes been awakened during the night, thinking I'd overslept because it was so bright only to find that it was the moonlight reflecting off of snow. That was my dream--a bright light waking a woman. As she stands gazing at the light, a man comes up behind her, wraps her in a blanket and whispers to her. That scene comes in the middle of the story, but it is a key to the whole relationship.

Debra: How amazing that a strong visual image can lie at the core of a story, spreading out as if it were a seed planted. For many of us dreams are a powerful aid to creating and what a gift they are when they stay with us in such a strong way!

Teresa, thank you for visiting with us to share a glimpse into how dreams and imagination come together in an authors life. To learn more about Teresa and her books visit

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