Friday, February 3, 2012

FRIDAY FIRSTS with Terry Odell

The First Five Sentences of... HIDDEN FIRE 

Under the table, Sarah’s toes found the cuff of Randy’s pants and inched their way up his calf, the coarse hair tickling her foot. His eyes widened, his eyebrows arched and the standard restaurant candle-in-a-jar caught the hazel flecks in his otherwise brown eyes. He brushed a lock of hair from his forehead, but it flopped back the way it always did.

She smiled at the hovering waiter, placed her hand over her empty coffee cup, and shook her head. “No more, Tony. Thanks.”

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Available now

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1. What was the first romance you ever read?
Son of the Morning, by Linda Howard. My mother had been visiting and she left it behind. Since I'd been writing Highlander Fan Fiction at the time, the time-travel and Scottish setting intrigued me. Of course, I was also shocked that my mother read books with the word "penis." Then again, when I finished it, I gave it to my daughter. So I guess it wasn't that big a deal.

2. What’s the first thing you do when you sit down each day to write?
I look at the dreck I wrote the day before. When I finish a scene, I print it out and read it in bed. Then, the next morning I look at the notes I've made on that scene and fix it, which gives me a running start back into the manuscript.

3. What was your first date with your significant other?
I was taking a Biology class at UCLA, and the lab TA wanted to do a "dry run" of a field trip to the tide pools before the actual event. He invited me and one other girl from the lab section to go along. He dropped her off first, and because I didn't scoot over to the window after she got out of his pickup truck, he figured there might be some interest. We had dinner afterward, but we didn't officially 'date' until after the quarter was over, since it wouldn't have been appropriate. So, our first real 'date' was dinner on New Year's Eve at the Pirate's Cove Restaurant in Marina Del Rey. Have no clue if it's still there.

More about Terry: Terry Odell was born in Los Angeles, moved to Florida, and now makes her home in Colorado. An avid reader (her parents tell everyone they had to move from their first home because she finished the local library), she always wanted to "fix" stories so the characters did what she wanted. Once she began writing, she found this wasn't always possible, as evidenced when the mystery she intended to write rapidly became a romance. When she thought about it, she realized that her favorite mysteries were series where she could follow the developing relationships of the protagonist—to the point where she'd read the book twice; once for the relationship and again to follow the crime and its solution. So, she started reading romance, and found there was a genre that included mystery themes as well as a relationship.

Although her genre is labeled "romantic suspense", Terry prefers to think of her romantic suspense books as "Mysteries With Relationships."  HIDDEN FIRE is the second book in her Pine Hills Police series, a sequel to FINDING SARAH.

You can find more about her at her website,
Twitter: @authorterryo


  1. Thanks for coming on today, Terry. Sorry again about the Blogger snafu.

  2. My pleasure. Stuff happens, especially when cyberspace is involved.

  3. Helly Terry & Rebecca,

    I just finished reading "Finding Sarah" and looking forward to the sequel. Sarah & Randy are an interesting couple.

    Your other one "Deadly Secrets" also contains romance although the mystery prevails. I like the way you pull in relationships. It adds another dimension to the mystery.

    Do you still do 2 passes on the manuscript? Also, do you actually have the 2 plotlines set up on cards?


  4. Janet. First, glad you found Randy and Sarah interesting. I I kind of like them, too. had fun taking their relationship further in Hidden Fire.

    I use what I call a tracking board when I write, which helps me keep track (duh). There's a brief handout about it on my website.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Sorry I didn't make it here yesterday, Terry. I loved this opening scene and really enjoyed reading about Sarah, Randy and the Pines Hills Police. You could keep writing stories about them and I would be happy.

  6. Thanks, Karen. Glad you enjoyed Randy & Sarah. Being my first characters, they're special