Terry Maggert has a way with words. This author has jumped from different genres, and different characters smoothly and easily, and he’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s created monster hunters, dragons, action novels, and zombie erotica novels. He’s ability to craft a whole new world is impressive, and we’re very happy he’s joining us today!
Terry’s got a whole lot of stories in his head, and we’re able to sit down with him and get to pick his brain!
Born in 1968, I discovered fishing shortly after walking, a boon, considering I lived in South Florida. After a brief move to Kentucky, my family trekked back to the Sunshine State. I had the good fortune to attend high school in idyllic upstate New York, where I learned about a mythical substance known as “Seasons”. After two or three failed attempts at college, I bought a bar. That was fun because I love beer, but, then, I eventually met someone smarter than me (a common event), and, in this case, she married me and convinced me to go back to school–which I did, with enthusiasm. I earned a Master’s Degree in History and rediscovered my love for writing. My novels explore dark fantasy, immortality, and the nature of love as we know it. I live near Nashville, Tennessee, with the aforementioned wife, son, and herd, and, when I’m not writing, I teach history, grow wildly enthusiastic tomato plants, and restore my 1967 Mustang.
Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, but I spent many years in Central New York. You could not select two more different places, unless you actually left the planet. For the first year, I was the kid in a beach shirt wandering around looking confused, but I learned to love the mountains. Both Florida and the Adirondacks figure heavily in my writing, as does being a sort-of beach rat. I live near Nashville now, but I haven’t had any overpowering urges to write country songs, mostly because I don’t dislike anyone enough to make them listen to me sing.
Tell us your latest news??
I just released “Banshee”, a post-apocalyptic story of dragons and mankind teaming up to battle the legions of hell. I’m a lifelong dragon nerd, so I’m really proud of this world. I’ve got three titles coming out this year—the fifth book of my “Fearless” series, which is Urban Fantasy set in Florida, but with a bit of a hook. The tagline is “Three lovers, Two demons, One problem.” I love my characters, and see that series going to seven or eight books at minimum. I wrote something a bit unusual (for me and the world, it seems)—zombie erotica. I published a short story on Amazon titled, “Cool to the Touch” and it got noticed, so I’m pleased to say I’ll be signing at Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky in August. The best part is that I’ll be on a panel with some of the actors from The Walking Dead. Who says smut doesn’t pay?
My third series starts in July. “Halfway Dead” is a paranormal witch mystery set in a fictional lakeside tourist town. The witch, Carlie, is also a short order cook in the best diner around, and she descends from a long line of powerful women. I love the mystery of her past, and in essence, she’s asked to solve a century old murder by the ghost of a missing boy. He reaches out across the years on an old glass photographic plate, and I think imagery is wistful even though Carlie is rather sassy. She makes pancakes, casts spells, and handles tourists. She’s cool like that.
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve written most of my life, but I got serious two years ago. I’d be up late at night with my young son, and started tinkering with some ideas that had been cooking for years. I’m not a southerner, but when I saw my first roadside crosses, I knew that there was a ghost story waiting to be written. 400,000 words later, here we are!
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
Anne McCaffrey gave me dragons. Ernest Hemingway gave me a lust for the experiences that become great stories. Clive Cussler taught me that good guys can win, and Diana Gabaldon confirmed what I’ve always suspected—it’s okay to write smart books. People will find them.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
From The Fearless series, we have the big three—Ring (the guy with the knife), Wally (the girl who makes things happen) and Risa (the thinker). They’re parts of a whole, and when you add side characters like a 2400 year old succubus, you see them function as a family. It’s important to me that they seem real. In Banshee, the heroes are Saavin, who is a young woman on her dragon (Banshee), and French, who is her counterpart—he’s the soldier who knows that Saavin is tough, and smart, and together, they can win. I love the idea of people being complete, and THEN finding the other parts of their life. It’s interesting to see if we can overcome our own stupidity. I know I can’t, just ask my wife when she watches me try to pick a shirt that matches my pants.
What motivates you to write?
I want to write the books I want to read. Period. My books are unique, because I write what I personally think is cool or odd, or challenging. Does that mean I want a zombie girlfriend? No. Can you imagine how boring dinner dates would be? “What do you want tonight, babe? Please don’t say brains again.”
What is the hardest part of writing?
We have a Basset hound, two Great Pyrenees, and multiple cats. There is your answer. Paws and all, they sound like a wall of raging rhinos. I like to write late at night, when the herd is snoozing.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
When I wrote The Forest Bull, I learned that if you make a character like beer and fishing and women with nice legs, readers will automatically assume it’s me. That is only PARTIALLY true. I also like cheeseburgers and football. I have layers.
Where do you get your ideas?
I read. Daily. I read everything. When I’m not reading, I’m doing something. I’ve lived the bulk of my life in motion, and it makes for a full cup of stories to share. As a writer, I find myself watching the world, too. It’s an interesting place, and I feel a little like Ferris Bueller—I don’t want to miss it.
What does your family think of your writing?
They love it. Totally supportive, although my Mother-in-Law finds the zombie erotica a bit. . . .off-putting, let’s say.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Trust me, taking extra time to edit and be a pro in everything you do will produce better work. And write every. Single. Day. Do it. Even if it’s only a few lines, write it down.
What book are you reading now?
I am re-reading all of my Calvin and Hobbes collection. I do it about once every two years, and I laugh like a fool. It’s so smart, and whimsical, and charming. Seriously, who doesn’t want to be six years old and have a tiger as a pal?
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