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Meet author Terry Newman and her journey from writer to award-nominated #pnr #author #RONEaward

I’m Terry Newman and author of Heartquake, a shifter romance, and a 2023 RONE Award finalist. Sponsored by Ind’Tale Magazine, the RONE Awards are awarded this month.

While I’ve written books since, Heartquake remains special to me because of the circumstances by which it came to be. I did the final edits and queried the publisher from a hospital bed in a nursing home. I’m told this isn’t the route the average author takes to publication.

I’d like to think, then, that I’m not your average author, because that’s what I did in the summer of 2020.

Not too shabby for someone who wasn’t even thought to be able to survive a two-week coma.

Yup. That’s why I was in the nursing home. Let me explain.

Sometime in the beginning of March 2019, I woke up from the coma. It was, it seemed, quite a surprise to the doctors. As my daughter describes it, I “defied all the odds.” I had entered the hospital several weeks earlier. Of course, I remember very little of this. The coma was a combination of several factors, but it appears I wasn’t breathing properly.

What I do remember is waking up and needing to talk. I had an urgent desire to tell my family I didn’t want to die. But with a trach down my throat, no words came out. My daughter handed me a pen and paper. I wrote: “I want to do so much.”

And I meant it. To say that the experience changed my world view is an understatement. I wasn’t ready to leave yet.

My first stop on the road to recovery, and getting the chance to do so much, was naturally a nursing home. And I definitely needed it. I was so weak I couldn’t get in and out of bed myself. In fact, the first month or so, the staff had to use a Hoyer—basically a crane for people—for that task. I didn’t even have strength enough to push the handle down on a toilet to flush it.

But I could pick up a pen and notebook. And my first two or three months there I entertained myself by writing stories in between physical therapy sessions. Gaining enough strength to walk was a priority.

Deep down, I probably knew these particular tales wouldn’t see the light of day, but it kept me busy. And I still did want to do so much.

Was I depressed at times? Yes. Did I cry until no more tears would come? Also, yes. I knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a nursing home. But the road to recovery seemed so long.

By June 2019, though, I was getting better and my daughter brought me my laptop. I had gained enough strength that I could wield it pretty well. I had a nearly finished novel that I had ignored for too long. I had focused on my nonfiction freelance work.

Now was the time to open that document to see what it looked like. Of course, I was still in a wheelchair. Getting back on my feet would be several months away, it turned out. (And I was impatient about it.)

But I could at least wheel myself around the facility. There was no need to wait for an aide or nurse to get me. So some days I’d wheel myself down to the lobby, sit at a table and write. Some days I’d climb into bed (which I was doing pretty well on my own) and write.

Every so often an aide peeked over my shoulder to see what I was doing. And I told them: I was writing a novel. And I would get it published. Did they believe me? Probably not.

An entire year later in June 2020, I felt confident enough in the story and its quality that I queried a publisher (maybe two).

That’s how Heartquake came to be.

The coma wasn’t my first brush with a serious, potentially life-threatening illness, though. Nearly a decade prior, the doctors diagnosed me with ovarian cancer. The same cancer that killed my mother when she was only fifty-six. I was fifty-five and a half at the time of my diagnosis.

Curiously, at the time, I had just begun to seriously pursue fiction writing. I had my first novel nearly completed. The year-long regimen of chemotherapy, blood transfusions for anemia, and later, daily high doses of antibiotics for a blood infection, kept me from finishing it.

But a year later, not only had I finished it, but I had found a publisher for it. It was called Out of Character. It’s the story of a romance writer whose characters jump out of the pages of their world to help her write her own love story. The publisher was swallowed up by Simon and Shuster and my book, though, on their website, didn’t get any attention.

When I signed with The Wild Rose Press, I took my rights back to this story, edited it (boy, it needed another good round of edits) and re-titled it to Rewrites of the Heart. It came out in February of this year.

And then last May, The Wild Rose Press published The Wizard of her Heart, a novella in their Jelly Beans and Spring Things series. In this story, Wyatt Ginn, owner of a paranormal publishing company and wizard casts love spells over jelly beans. His newest employee, Sydney Thomas, thinks he’s delusional.

But wait…there’s more.

My wanting to do so much doesn’t end there. I’ve completed the first draft of Hearts on the Rocks, a romantic comedy in which the fictional characters from Rewrites of the Heart, Alex and Blake, once again leap into the real world. This time, the assignment is to help a PhD student go from fake dating to true love, whether she wants to or not.

I also have Heartquest nearly completed. Two secondary characters from Heartquake get their well-deserved romance (and try to help the environment at the same time).

And one more item on my to-write list: a cozy mystery set in an assisted living facility where at least a few of the residents are shifters, perhaps lion shifters or bear shifters, or…we’ll see.

The Universe talks to each of us differently. It definitely got my attention when I realized a survived a coma. Today that note I wrote in the hospital room—“I want to do so much”—sits framed on my end table. I look at it often and I think where my writing career would be had that never happened to me. Perhaps I would not be eagerly anticipating the RONE awards.

Title Heartquake

Author Terry Newman

Genre Paranormal romance

Publisher The Wild Rose Press

Book Blurb

Coffee shop owner, Charlee Lightheart, views corporations with contempt. She believes her father died at the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. When she's approached to run for city council on an anti-fracking platform, she's reluctant. She's not sure this movement is her cause.

Billionaire Riley Brockton has given up on love. Then he walks into Charlee's shop. All he wanted was coffee and muffins. From that first electrifying touch, he knows he needs more. He withholds one piece of vital information: he's a lionshifter.

A rogue reporter sets out to reveal the one secret that can destroy the anti-fracking movement and the couple's relationship. Can their love survive the truth and public exposure?


Their hands accidentally touched. The electric surge flew through her fingers, up her arms and, she swore, jumpstarted her heart.

Her heartbeat raced and with it a cascade of sensual feelings flooded her body. Feelings she hadn’t experienced since…well, she didn’t think she’d ever felt before. Not even with her last boyfriend.

Did he feel it too?

Of course not, she told herself, immediately dismissing the idea. After all, he looked like Mr. Impervious. I bet he expected women to be weak-kneed and short of breath in his presence.

She let out a short gasp, which of course, Mr. Impervious called her on. Thinking quickly, she said, “That’s some static electricity you have built up.”

“So I’ve been told.”

She wanted so much to mock him, but when she looked at his face, she saw a lopsided smile packed with a boyish charm instead of the smug grin she expected. That’s when she took a second look at his hair. Tawny brown and curly. Certainly not the type of hair befitting a man who would be trying to win high-powered negotiations.

She could easily imagine him in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. And he would be every bit as comfortable and every bit as…dare she say…handsome.

He stuffed his change in his wallet, closed it, and put it in his pocket. “Sorry, if I gave you a jolt, miss.”

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

Author Biography

I’ve spent most of my adult life writing in some fashion, from small-town reporter, to editor-in-chief and ghostwriter for a national natural health publishing firm. The last decade and a half I’ve worked as a freelance writer, penning ebooks that range from how to start a doula services business to Native American herbs.

I’ve finally took the plunge to fiction after having many doubts. I pushed the doubts aside. My first novel with The Wild Rose Press, Heartquake, won a 4.5 crowned heart review with Ind’tale Magazine.

All my books are set in fictional towns in northeast Ohio, where I grew up, and I write about things I love—like coffee. I’ve taught workshops on writing and character development.

I have a daughter, a son-in-law, and a grandpuppy and live in North Lima, a real town in northeast Ohio with all my characters. Yes, it does get crowded.

Social Media Links

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댓글 3개

Charlotte O'Shay
Charlotte O'Shay
2023년 10월 13일

Wow, Terry! What an amazing journey and a triumph of your spirit. Congratulations on your success and best wishes for more and more stories.


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
2023년 10월 13일

Thank you, Terry, for your incredible author spotlight! It's always a joy for me to feature you and your books.


2023년 10월 13일

Terry you are an inspiration and each of your books is a special gift in its own way. I love your character building and your imagination. You do have so much still to do! Keep up the fantastic work!

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