Wednesday, October 3, 2012

KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE WEEK THREE WITH TERESA REASOR



Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Today I'm honored to introduce you to another amazing woman who never stopped reaching for her dreams. I first met Teresa Reasor through her writing. Her first book in her new series, Seal Team Heartbreakers, Breaking Free was the first book I downloaded on my new Kindle.

When I joined the KOD critique group, Lethaladies, I received this very nice welcome from a Teresa Reasor. The name sounded very familiar, but it took me a moment to connect the dots. Then it hit me and I got this excited glee ―like when you are sitting in a restaurant and Tom Hanks is seated next to you. I'm not too bashful to admit that from that moment on, I was a little star struck. I wasn’t kidding when I stated in an earlier post how in awe I am of authors. Now that I have met a few, I try very hard not to embarrass myself.

A few weeks later, Teresa began posting chapters from her new WIP [Work in Progress] Timeless and the second book in the Seal Team Heartbreakers series, Breaking Through. I was thrilled to be part of the revision process.

Teresa has since critiqued almost every chapter of my WIP and her suggestions have made my story so much better. Like I have said before, no one reaches their dreams all alone. I just hope I have been as much help to Teresa as she has been to me. 

Teresa, thank you so much for being part of this series. Your spirit truly inspires me.







   

Would you please tell us a little about yourself?

I’m from a small town in Southeastern Kentucky.  But I’m a Marine Corps brat and we lived all over the country. I went to nine schools in twelve years.

I’ve been married for thirty-seven years to the same guy. I have three children of whom I’m very proud, all grown. Two of them are married. No grandchildren yet, but I have grand dogs and grand cats.

I just retired last October from teaching Art to primary students after twenty-one years.  I had Kindergarten through third grade for fifteen years. Preschool thrown in there for about five. Then they moved the third grade to a different school because our enrollment went up. At that point I was seeing 650 students a week.  I had Kindergarten through second grade for the last six years. Again we had an enrollment spike and I was seeing 650 again. I also taught at the middle school for a year and the alternative school for a year during that twenty one year period.

I teach night classes for Eastern Kentucky University and have for the last ten years. I’ll be retiring from that at Christmas of this year.

And I’ve been writing since I could read. I wrote my first book about a little girl who had leukemia when I was in second grade.

I’ve written ten manuscripts, but the first four will never see the light of day. The first two I felt might be publisher ready were Highland Moonlight and Captive Hearts (both historical romances) and they were published in 2007 with The Wild Rose Press. 

Breaking Free (Book 1 of the SEAL Team Heartbreakers) I self-published in June of 2011.  It’s sold 30,000 copies. I released Timeless, my paranormal romantic suspense in January of 2012.  And the second book of my SEAL series Breaking Through has just been release in September 2012. Thus far it’s doing well. So, I’m cautiously optimistic that it may do as well as Breaking Free. But it’s like catching lightning in a bottle. You never know how a book will be received and what interest it will garner. But I do think it may be one of the best things I’ve ever written.


People of all ages have forgotten how to dream. What inspired you to dream?

My dad. He was a Marine for 23 and ½ years. He retired as a 1st Sergeant. During the time he was in the Marines, he did a variety of things. He was a drill instructor. He was on the Marine marksman team and was number five in the nation for five years. And he went through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He did two tours of duty at each. He’s a tough act to follow.

Another thing about him that inspired me was that when he retired from the Marines, he went back to school at the University of Kentucky and earned an Architectural Drafting Degree. He went back to work for another twenty-five years.  He never stopped growing as a person or as a professional in everything he did. He worked as a geologist and surveyor for a mining company for the last seven or eight years he worked for the company.

We all place obstacles in our path which brings our dreams to a dead stop. I call these obstacles dream killers. What was your dream killer and how did you overcome it?

REAL LIFE nearly killed my dream. My oldest child decided college wasn’t for her, but my two youngest went.  I had two kids in college at the same time. We didn’t want them to start a life after college with 100,000 dollar student loans so I went out and found a second job. There were days I was working fourteen hour days. I did that for eight years until everyone was out of school and every credit card, and college expense was paid off.

I’ve continued to teach for Eastern Kentucky University since then, but after retiring from my day job, I’ve been able to release the book that took me nearly three years to write, Timeless.  I’ve been told it’s different than any other paranormal book of its kind. (It’s about monoliths in Scotland.) I hope it is. If I hadn’t had it to turn to and take me away from real life, I may not have made it.

After my retirement from teaching college at Christmas, I hope to release the third book of the SEAL Team series Breaking Away by summer of next year.


How do you keep the dream alive under extreme adversity – external or internal?

When my dad died in 1999, I was in the midst of writing Highland Moonlight. After his death I couldn’t write a word for eighteen months. I couldn’t even focus to put two words together. I had to work through the physical and emotional trauma of that loss before I could go back to it.

Then I decided that life was too short to put my dream on hold for everyone else. It took four years of writing, working, and submissions but my first two books were published.

Then my children needed me and my work schedule made it extremely difficult to find the energy to continue, but I did. I clung to those few words I was able to put down on paper and allowed them to take me away from all the stress I was going through. 

I went through the submission process again. At one time Breaking Free was on six different editors desks at one time and every time I’d call they’d say it’s still on his/her desk. I’d think they haven’t even looked at it. But the assistants that I spoke with insured me they had.

I finally got tired of waiting. And the wave of self-publishing was just kicking into high gear. One editor called to offer me a contract, and I just couldn’t take it. I thought I’m tired of this process, this waiting, this putting my dream on hold because of work and because of the machine called traditional publishing that ran at its sluggish “dream killing” pace.

I’d waited four years, working my behind off trying to write a quality story and danced to everyone’s tune. And I just drew a line in the sand and said, “NO MORE.”

So I self-published Break Free and the rest is—still happening.

When you reached the top, how did it feel?

I don’t feel like I’ve quite reached the top of what I want to accomplish.

I’m thrilled—wildly thrilled at my success with my books.

Highland Moonlight has sold extremely well, too.  Timeless is still too young to say what it will do.

I’d like to write another medieval romance, and another paranormal. I know you’re supposed to brand yourself, but I have too many diverse interests and too many stories going on in my head to do that.

And good business sense says keep writing the military romances. Write the medieval romance.  But I have these characters going through my head begging to be heard.

When I have a book on the New York best sellers list, I may feel like I’ve made it to the top, but we’ll see.

 All I know is that I have this drive to put words down on paper and hear these character’s voices. And if I never published another book, I’d still be driven to write the stories.

How did realizing your dream change you?

I’ve shed ten tons of weight when I shed the day job. For the last five years it was MISERABLE.  That release was a dream come true.

And now I’m living my dream. Not many people can say that. And I’m so grateful for it. I thank God every day for it.

I’ll continue to live my dream as long as my fingers will work to type in the words and the voices are still whispering in my ear. 

But as far as changing me—

I know I’m more content. I know the drive I had to pour into my two jobs has shifted, and now I’m pouring it into my writing. And I’ve been told that because I’m no longer so stressed out, I’m different. I’m clearer. My mind functions again without having exhaustion dragging at my every thought.  And I think I’m turning into Estelle Getty on Golden Girls.  I don’t watch what I say anymore.  I just say what I think.

What's next? What new dream would you like to reach for?

My friends say I need to try a romantic comedy.

Who knows, maybe I will. One day.

But the next book of the SEAL Team Heartbreakers will be my next project.

I also have a children’s book I’m trying to finish the illustrations for.  I have three more to go and I’ll be done.
I’d love to see it ready for Christmas.

And I’ve had some of my artwork printed and my prints are selling. So more drawings and paintings will be in the works. I’m working on a multimedia work right now that I think will be different.

So I don’t just write but I paint, too. But writing is my major passion and always will be.




Illustrations by Teresa Reasor for a children's book, working title, Haiku Clue.






Thank you for having me.  I really appreciate it.  I’ve loved sharing with you.

Teresa






Seal Team Heartbreakers, Book 2 Breaking Through
Released September 2012 



What happens when a Navy SEAL wakes from a month-long coma to discover he’s being investigated for murder?

When Ensign Brett Weaver is accused of murder, he knows he’s innocent, but how can he prove it with Naval Investigators breathing down his neck? A chance meeting with reporter Tess Kelly offers him an opportunity to get the press on his side. But can he trust her to keep his other secrets off the record?

Tess works hard to live up to her father's expectations. When Brett offers her information about SEAL training in exchange for an introduction to her award-winning journalist father, she jumps at the chance. The situation Brett lobs into her father's lap is a major scoop. But the secret she discovers about Brett is just as newsworthy. Will her feelings for this wounded warrior win out, or will she release a story guaranteed to destroy Brett’s SEAL career?
 





Timeless
Released March 2012





Archaeology student, Regan Stanhope, lands the chance of a lifetime when she’s chosen to work on a summer dig in Loch Maree, Scotland. The ancient monoliths hidden beneath the loch are the most important discovery since Stonehenge. And for seven hundred years, they have been waiting—for her.

Saturation diver Quinn Douglas is contracted to recover some of the megaliths from the loch’s bottom. The job will breathe life into the struggling salvage business he and his brothers are building. But from the moment he arrives, Quinn is plagued by dreams and feelings from a past he did not live. Or did he?

Regan and Quinn are drawn to each other as they research the monoliths and the reason behind their shared visions. But both sense something mystical at work, delving into their minds, manipulating their emotions. And when they finally discover the monoliths’ extraordinary secret, they know they must seal them away from those who are desperate to unlock their power. Even if it means remaining caught in a timeless struggle between the past and present forever.





Highland Moonlight
Released 2007



To find more about Teresa Reasor, visit her here:


teresareasor@msn.com
Highland Moonlight  

Captive Hearts
Timeless
Breaking Free (Book 1 of the SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers)
Breaking Through (Book 2 of the SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers)
at http://Amazon.com
and http://www.barnesandnoble.com
Visit me at http://www.teresareasor.com
http://mymusesmusings.blogspot.com/

19 comments :

Carole St-Laurent said...

Teresa, you're an inspiration. Love this post.

Mary Manners said...

Awesome post, Teresa! Thanks so much for sharing.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks for joining me on the blog ladies. I appreciate it.
Teresa R.

Kimberly Hill said...

Teresa! Thank you so much for sharing this! I am so excited about your books!

Teresa Reasor said...

Kimberly:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I know you've read both my SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers. It's really wonderful to have a fan like you who supports me.
I really appreciate that.
Teresa R.

NancyCWeeksAuthor said...

I want to add my thanks for everyone who stopped by to say hi. Teresa, you inspire me--challenge me daily to be a better writer. Thanks again FOR being a guest and sharing your amazing journey. Hurry up and finish Haiku Clue children's story. I have some grand nieces and nephews who will love it.

AND---HAVE A WONDERFUL HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Teresa Reasor said...

I'm working on the art work this weekend. I have to finish the illustrations and get it ready for Christmas. That's my goal.
And I've got to finish the chapter for Breaking Away the next SEAL book and post it to the crit loop.

So many stories and so little time.

Teresa R.

JM said...

Teresa, you should absolutely do a romantic comedy! I'm sure it will be as good as all of the rest of your books.
Keep plugging away lady!

Teresa Reasor said...

J.M.:
One day I will. Maybe I'll start out small and do a novella and see how it goes.
Thanks so much for commenting on the blog!
Teresa R.

aarbaugh said...

Teresa - great post. It's very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story.

Cherie Marks said...

Very, very inspiring. Nice interview, great post.

Teresa Reasor said...

Aarbaugh and Cherie:
Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I really appreciate it.
Teresa R.

Rashda Khan said...

Great post Nancy & Teresa!

Teresa, I'm awed...love your artwork. And so glad you write the stories you want instead of pigeon-holing yourself. Wishing you all the best!

Teresa Reasor said...

Rashda:
I'm so glad for this wave of acceptance with the Indie publishing. It has freed many authors from being pigeonholed. I allowed an editor to dictate a story line in one of my first books published and that book has never done as well as I believe it would have had she left it alone. So yes, this is a freeing experience!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Teresa R.

cdavis3 said...

Teresa:
Great post. I have to agree with earlier comments that you are an inspiration, especially to writers like me who still fall under the category of "aspiring."

Nancy:
I love the theme of your blog. We should all be inspired to keep our dreams alive.

Teresa Reasor said...

CDAVIS:
Thanks so much for stopping by. Never stop dreaming or aspiring to what you want.
Teresa

NancyCWeeksAuthor said...

Hi Rashda,
So glad you dropped by. You are pretty inspiring as well with all you do. I loved your Djinn series. Talk about not being pigeon-holed.
Hugs...

NancyCWeeksAuthor said...

Thanks so much CDavis. I'm glad you are enjoying the series. It has taken on a life of its own, which is fantastic. Keep writing and keep dreaming. Hugs...

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I am so impressed with all that you've accomplished, Teresa. You know I was so delighted to pick up your book with Eilean Donan on the cover. I cannot wait to delve into those pages. I so believe in dreams because my dream of 23 years happened for me in August when my first story was published. You are right, it does change you a bit when you finally reach that goal. You do enjoy the writing a wee bit more knowing that someone has validated your writing.

Best of luck always in your writing. I look forward to getting my hands on more of your books.