Please welcome Terry Newman who is my Spotlight Author today!
Terry Newman has always loved words. As the editor-in-chief of a national natural health publishing company, she has written books on a variety of topics, as well as writing direct-mail advertising.
She’s also worked as a reporter, a communications specialist and a freelance writer. She’d had clients worldwide, and researched and wrote hundreds of eBooks and print books as well as ghostwrote novellas and short stories.
One day she woke and decided to make her dream of writing her own novel come true. She sets all her stories in fictional towns in northeast Ohio and writes about things she loves—like coffee.
Terry has taught workshops on writing and character development.
She has a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy, and lives in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio.
Terry’s debut novel Heartquake is out now! A shapeshifter romance with a wonderfully topical plot.
‘His hands seemed more like paws. Not destructive mauling paws of a feral beast, but the large loving ones of an animal dedicated to protecting those he loved. She feared if he kept his hand on hers too long, she would start to think about love at first sight again. Yet she didn’t move it.
When he did remove his hand from hers, she felt an immediate and crushing disconnect. She fell back to earth and experienced the gripping weight and limitation of the force of gravity. Did an astronaut experience this remorse and loss of freedom when he re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and found himself bound by gravity?
“I apologize,” he said, as he shook his head slightly. “I think I’ve overstepped my bounds. That’s not at all what I intended to happen. That was uncharacteristic of me.”
“Don’t be,” she said. She couldn’t take her gaze from his eyes.
“Don’t be sorry.”’
All about Charlee. I thought we’d kick off our shoes and ask Charlee, central character to the story, what makes her tick. This is what she had to say:
‘Welcome to That Coffee Shop. I’m Charlee Lightheart, the owner. Yes, the name is unusual. Let me grab you a cup of coffee and a warm muffin and I’ll tell you how I came up with it.
Thanks, I’m glad you like the muffin. After Mom died, it was just Dad and me. And he needed a lot of help. His arthritis crippled him. He couldn’t even tie his shoes.
But through all his pain, he was worried about me. He thought I didn’t get enough time to myself. So, we had an agreement that a couple times a week I’d go meet my friends at a coffee shop in town. Every time I would leave, he would tease me, “So, you’re going to that coffee shop.” He would never say the name.
I would nod and he’d say, “Good. Have a great time. You deserve it.”
When I received the generous settlement from his wrongful death, I decided I wanted to open a coffee shop. I couldn’t decide on a good name. Then I thought of Dad. Well, how could I name my new venture anything but that. Every morning when I leave for work, I tell him, “I’m going to That Coffee Shop.”
Because I named my venture in honor of my late father, I promised myself it would fulfill two missions. The first is to bring the community together. It’s a place where people of all ages and all walks of life can spend time.
The second mission is to help as many people in need as possible. I never turned down a request to hold a fundraiser here. Mel, my assistant and good friend, teases me I lose money on those events. Money is meant to be shared.
My life as a coffee shop owner has taken turns I never could have imagined. Who would have thought I’d be a vocal opponent of fracking? Well, maybe some would have. After all, I did everything in my power to hold the big drug companies responsible for my dad’s death with all the arthritis pills he took. The fracking companies are every bit as big and heartless the pharmaceutical corporations.
Here, let me refill your coffee. There.
But I never would have dreamed I’d end up a Prague, Ohio city council member. That was a surprise. Yes, you’re right. I do stir up a bit of controversy, but I like to think I do a lot of good, too.
But the biggest turn my life took was when I met Riley Brockton. The man is a billionaire—with a “b”. Given my natural distaste of large corporations, I should have been repelled by this man. But he is the kindest, most sincere man I’ve ever met. All those wonderful traits wrapped up in one gorgeous body. And he loves me.
Though, the going was rough there for a while, between his secrets and mine. And Gretchen Carlyle discovered something about Riley that even shocked me. Let’s just say after that bombshell of a revelation, I wasn’t sure who he was or if I could love a man like that.’
I have reviewed this as a 5 star read on Good Reads and Amazon. Curiosity always gets the better of me, so I had to ask, didn’t I?
‘Have you always wanted to be an author?
Yes! I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. I discovered The Happy Hollisters, when I was in fourth or fifth grade. It was a series that came in the mail every month. I “made” my mom buy them for me. At that point, I swore I wanted to write and illustrate books. I’ve since given up on the illustrating portion of that dream. My artistic talents leave a lot to be desired.
2. What real life experience influenced your novel?
Heartquake focuses on the dangers of the fracking industry to the environment and to the health of those living near the wells. I was inspired by a group of residents—which included several of my friends—who were passionate in their opposition to it. The group gained national and international recognition for their efforts.
4. What real life experience made it into your novel?
I wanted to showcase two aspects of the fracking industry that the Youngstown area felt. The first is the boom-and-bust cycle of prosperity that’s inherent in the industry. Fracking brings in jobs as well as out-of-town workers that pump money into the economy. But it usually is only temporary.
The second issue was the issue of the cost of economic prosperity in terms of the residents’ health.
5. Where do you write?
Where do I write? Well, pre-pandemic I practically lived in coffee shops and small, local restaurants. I love the background noises of people talking, plates clattering, and the occasional coffee refill by friendly servers.
Now, I write from home. The benefit of this, though, that I’ve connected a larger monitor to my laptop and I can’t tell you how appreciative my eyes are. But, I still am waiting for the day when I can return to writing in small cafes.
6. Does your family support your career as a writer?
Unfortunately, my husband didn’t live to see me become a published author. But I’m sure he’d be proud. I’ve ghostwritten many nonfiction books, and every time someone would visit, he’d pull one out and tell them I wrote it.
My daughter totally supports my writing. She shares my Facebook posts about Heartquake with her followers. And she’s always there when I run into an issue with a story, offering alternative scenes, suggesting where I can go when I’m stuck, as well as reading and re-reading chapters.’
Thanks Terry, for everything. It’s been a real pleasure hearing all about Charlee and a little more about you. But that’s not all folks! Here are Terry Newman’s buy and social media links:
Social Media Links
Facebook: Terry Newman
TikTok: @ terrynewman614