Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Terri.
I’m a stay-at-home mom with three children. My third child was born two weeks before The Cobalt Protocol was released, which has made for an interesting year! Being a mom has been the biggest part of my life for the past eleven years, but I’m always finding new and interesting things to try. I’m eclectic. Everything fascinates me, and a lot of that finds its way into my writing.
When I’m not being a mom or writing, I can be found flitting between interests. I played ice hockey for a couple years, bowled, majored in Equine Studies in college, learned medical transcription, and got a two-year degree in web and graphic design. I’m a Jane of All Trades, you could say.
Autism is a major factor in my life as well. My daughter is autistic, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. My son likely has Asperger’s also, and time will tell for the baby. I speak up for equal treatment and science-based research.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I think it’s what people are learning right now: That I write GLBT romance. I was going to hide it from my real-life friends and family, but I realized that I don’t care what they think. I grew up in a very conservative community, and you don’t go there. The tangential surprise is that people would never have guessed that I am bisexual. I’ve been in a monogamous marriage with a man for over fourteen years, so that’s not possible, right? Well, it absolutely is. And that’s okay.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I started writing when I was a young kid. In second grade, I wrote and illustrated—on ruled notebook paper, of course—an adventure in which my favorite Chicago Bears were kidnapped by aliens and had to escape. In fifth grade, I wrote a mermaid tragedy and took it to a young authors’ conference. It seems that I am still writing.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
Not by a long shot, and in so many ways. I used to imagine churning out books to be published by the big houses and then finding them on bestseller lists. The first dose of reality was learning how much work goes into producing a publishable manuscript. The second dose was learning that procrastination is a bad thing. And the biggest dose has been the upheaval in the publishing industry.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
Relief. Most people get giddy, I imagine. Me? I felt relief. Getting published is a validation that yes, I can write a good story that people want to read. That I haven’t been suffering from delusions of grandeur all this time.
Anxiety. Maybe it’s because of the Asperger’s, or maybe it’s normal, but the idea of publicity terrifies me. I think part of the reason I didn’t finish several projects that were close to done is that I knew that if I got published, I’d have to do publicity. Don’t get me wrong—I love meeting people and look forward to interacting with readers! But all that background stuff makes me nervous. I finally decided it’s time to get over it and move forward. So here I am!
Excited. I can’t wait to see how this goes. The Cobalt Protocol is my debut novel, so I’m at the beginning of this adventure. “Spoon!”
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
Bringing life to a new story or world. I love being surprised at what happens and seeing how characters grow. And call me silly, but I get a real kick out of seeing my words fill page after page of a book.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I need to make more time for reading. Between being a mom and writing my own stories, I haven’t read a book for fun in a while. Right now, I have two books I’m waiting to read: Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Angel. You read that right! Two very different steampunk novels. Angels is by Kevin J. Anderson, working with Rush drummer Neil Peart. Angel is by Cassandra Clare.
I enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and steampunk and confess to having read most of the Star Wars novels. Anne McCaffrey’s novels have always been among my favourites. Neal Stevenson is another amazing author.
In romance, I prefer paranormal and urban fantasy. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kresley Cole are both great choices.
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I’m actively writing a steampunk novel, which I plan to put out under my other pen name. All I will say is that living, breathing dragons are involved, and they don’t always play nice with airships!
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
The Cobalt Protocol is my debut title. It is a f/f superhero romance that takes places in fictional Bay City. We open with Cobalt being struck down by her arch-enemy. The story follows her recovery and introduction to Alexandra Renteria, the paramedic who responded to the battle scene. Together, they have to face an uncertain future, a ruthless villain, and a chance at love.
Cobalt’s life is changed when she’s struck down by her arch-enemy. Her life revolves around her superhero identity. As Quinn Summers, she’s just another rich socialite. As Cobalt, she saves lives. Now that her future is in doubt, she must face what it means to be a hero.
Alex Renteria always admired Cobalt from afar. Being hired to help care for Quinn Summers after a crippling fight is part nightmare, part dream come true. While guiding Quinn through recovery, Alex stands to lose far more than her heart.
Quinn and Alex must find common ground and courage to face Cobalt’s greatest enemy and darkest secrets. If they survive, they just might find the greater treasure: love.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
Bay City has a number of heroes, most with super powers. If people respond well to Cobalt, I have a growing cast of heroes whose stories want to be told. I already have an outline for a sequel to Cobalt. As in real life, some of the characters will be GLBT, and some will be straight. Ultimately, it’s about writing fun, smart action romance.
Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my book! I look forward to hearing from readers. Feedback will help as I determine the directions in which I choose to go. You can easily find me on Facebook and Twitter, or at my website: www.terrirowan.com.
It’s my goal to provide great, well-written stories for you to enjoy.
Thank you so much for the interview, Terri!
Terri Rowan's most recent release:
The Cobalt Protocol
Excerpt from The Cobalt Protocol:
Cobalt dropped eight stories and crashed face first into the pavement. Every cell in her body creaked, and she couldn’t move. The nanites were almost at the end of their duration, and Hellion wasn’t slowing down.
She had to get away before her powers vanished.
The soft thud of Hellion’s boots next to her head twisted what was left of her stomach. His psi-whip hummed in her ear, but she couldn’t turn to see him. Through the pain haze, she felt the buzz that warned of the nanites’ imminent shut down.
No, no, no.
“Is it possible?” Hellion crowed in his singsong way. “The great Cobalt is near defeat?”
He grabbed her by the hair and turned her head to where she could see him leer.
He made a sound like laughter. At least she thought it was laughter. It was hard to tell through the rushing tunnel.
“Who would have known a simple EMP was all it took? I should’ve tried it years ago.” He laughed again as he towered over her. Tall and good looking, he was the pretty-boy of super villains.
Cobalt commanded her body to move—begged it to move—but nothing happened. She knew she wasn’t paralyzed. Every nerve ending screamed with her injuries. She tried to will the nanites to action, and then Hellion’s words sunk it. Electromagneticpulse? That’s what he’d hit her with?
For the first time since taking the nanites into her body, she wanted to cry.
Dad…I’m so sorry.
She really was going to die. It never seemed real before, not like this. She was going to die. A tear escaped onto her cheek.
“I’m used to making girls cry,” Hellion crowed. “But you? That’s a first!”
The psi-whip’s buzz rose to a shriek. Its deathly familiar scream split the air as Hellion spun it above his head. Cobalt would have flinched if she could have moved.
“Freeze!” A rough, yet feminine voice sounded over a megaphone. Cobalt recognized that voice as Lieutenant Seana McGrew of Bay City PD, head of the Vigilante Task Force. Shit.
“Put the weapon on the ground, and you won’t get hurt,” McGrew announced. Her voice echoed through the plaza.
The psi-whip’s buzz lessened, but Hellion’s church-boy face remained amused. “Oh, it’s the police. How cliché, the lieutenant and her SWAT team. We’ve seen this how many times?”
“Stand down, Hellion,” McGrew shouted. “We will fire if you don’t put the weapon down.”
Hellion laughed. “And kill a town hero? I don’t think so!”
He nudged at Cobalt’s side, flipping her onto her back. Her injuries screamed anew, and gorge rose in her throat, threatening to choke her. The sun blazed in her unshielded eyes, meaning the nanites were done, and she was shifting back. She tried again to move. She had to get away. If she was going to die, she didn’t want everyone to see her real face. It would bring more sorrow to her dad than that of merely losing her.
“This is your last warning!”
Hellion tapped Cobalt’s chest with his foot. “Stay, bitch.”
Cobalt’s fingers finally responded. Asphalt crumbled under her gloved hand. If Hellion wanted clichés, she’d give him a cliché.
“Fuck you,” she coughed.
Hellion leaned over, eyes wide. “Did you just say what I think you said?” He laughed. “You don’t swear. You’re a superhero!”
Blood bubbled in her mouth. “Fuck you, Hellion!”
With every shred of will remaining, Cobalt flung the asphalt dust into his eyes. She used the momentum to slip onto her front. Freed by the movement, her cape fluttered over her head. At least the news choppers’ cameras wouldn’t get picture of her face once the change back was done. It was the best she could do. Struggling to her feet and limping away was not going to happen.
Hellion yelled. Through the pounding rush in her ears, Cobalt heard fighting.