Terri Brisbin – Love and the Romance Community

August is Read-A-Romance Month.


I hope you’ll visit ReadARomanceMonth.com every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about the Joy of Romance.

(Check out the calendar. And follow RARM on Facebook!)

Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo

The Joy of the Romance Community

There are so many facets of the joy of romance and romance novels, but I think the one 9780451469106that is important to me is about the community that reading romances creates. A community of not only romance readers but also of romance writers and one of instant connections, shared experiences and, sometimes, long time friendships.

When I first began reading romances, I was a very pregnant, first time mom-to-be and I discovered one of Julie Garwood’s historicals. After inhaling it, I went searching at a local bookstore for more and met my first romance buddy – Judy.  She would put books aside for me and we chatted and met for lunch. It was such a thrill to talk to someone who understood my love for these stories. Judy introduced me to more authors, more books and Romantic Times, both the magazine and the convention.

Wow – my first convention introduced me to. . . my people! They knew characters by their first names, plots and covers by memory and, better yet, they knew authors, too. I was in heaven – talking about my favorite books and always looking for more. It was sheer bliss. Everyone would get so involved in talking about romance novels that it sounded as though they were talking about ‘real’ people!

It was at one of the RT conventions that the writing bug took hold of me. Well, I’d written many things in my life—poetry and short stories in high school, technical articles and journal editing in my dental hygiene career—but this was the need and want to write a romance and to share the joy of creating stories readers would love.

That led me to the romance writing community. Again, these were my people! They shared, joyfully, their expertise at writing and crafting stories, their love of romances, their knowledge of the market and publishing with me. Although I’ve met a writer or two who is down (due to rejection or real life), I’ve never met a writer who is not lifted up by the joy of sharing their words or plots or stories with someone else who understands romance.

I came full circle when my books were published and now I get to share my stories with Readers Mo and Trish with Terri-1998readers who understand the joy of reading about characters who face challenges and seek love. I get to talk with those people who are just like I was – enraptured by the story and characters and even covers and who can quote plots and scenes by heart!

Now it’s my turn to experience the joy of having readers read, inhale, consume, discuss and remember my stories – and nothing is more joyful than listening to that! Or attending events and answering questions. Or having readers remember characters’ names when I don’t!  But the best part is meeting readers who become friends.

So, when I think of the joy of romance I think of the connections and the community. And joy shared is joy multiplied…. And considering the number of romances I’ve read and the 35 I’ve written so far, that’s a lot of joy!

Terri recommends:

I have enjoyed Bec McMaster’s ( www.becmcmaster.com )  different take on historical, steampunk, paranormal romances in her London Steampunk series and I highly recommend her books.

Margaret McPhee’s ( www.margaretmcphee.com ) emotional romances from Harlequin Historicals pull me in and have me holding my breath over how things could possibly work out. If you like heroes who are a bit tarnished, she’s the author for you!

And when I want to read something hot-hot-HAWT, I turn to Cara Carnes (www.caracarnes.com ) and her erotic tales. Have a fan and something cold to drink when you pick up one of her books!

Questions for the Author:

Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

I would have to say the moment when an editor called me with an offer to publish my first book in 1997. That moment of sheer joy was then tempered by the reality that I was in a hospital bed in my living room recovering from a fractured back! I tried to speak calmly and ask questions but finally said I needed to call the editor back—I hung up the phone and began screaming….so much and so loud that I scared the physical therapist who had just arrived for a visit! It took a while to calm down enough to complete the discussion and agree to the offer…LOL!

Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.

That’s easy. Scotland. I feel as though I am returning home to a place I belong. And leaving brings me to tears. I love just being there, breathing the air, visiting the wild places in the highlands and on the islands. Pure, unadulterated joy.

Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.

Music brings me joy – especially music that reminds me of my children as they grew up. I love the Sesame Street Christmas soundtrack. I love Muppets’ songs. I love Pearl Jam because my boys did (and do).  I also love Celtic music that inspires me to write. So, music brings me joy.

What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?

I’ve just re-read for the umpteenth time Penelope Williamson’s KEEPER OF THE DREAM. It is such a wonderful story and romance, I love to read it over and over again. It grabs me on an emotional level and I love the history, too.

And for fun, the joy of choice ~

Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) – trying for a little diversity! ;o)

I think this is most difficult question! Haha! Can I give you my top three instead? Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt and Chris Pine. All fine young men… and I think I would have a blast with Chris Pratt.

Terri is generously giving away two print copies of a backlist book of a winners’ choice (based on availability) to US readers, and one copy to international readers.

TerriBrisbin-photoAward-winning, USA Today best-selling author Terri Brisbin is a wife, a mom, a grandmom and a dental hygienist. She’s sold more than 1.8 million copies of her historical and paranormal romance novels and novellas in more than 25 countries and 20 languages around the world. Terri’s current and upcoming historical and paranormal/fantasy romances will be published by Harlequin Historicals and NAL/Berkley through 2016. Terri has also re-released her earlier works. Visit www.terribrisbin.com for more info about Terri, her works and upcoming events. Visit her on FB at www.facebook.com/terribrisbin

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  • It’s truly fantastic that there can be a group or a community with whom we can share our love and passion for romantic stories! It’ a big gift of Read a romance month, for me! Thank you for your words and the international part of the contest!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Marinella – Glad you could be here! And truly, no one understands us like another romance reader/writer does….

  • Marissa Yip-Young

    Romwnce writers have a great support system.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Marissa – romance writers really do support each other… it’s a wonderful community to have!

  • mariannewestrich

    Book conventions are the very best places and the very best people. I’ve been lucky to attend at least one or two a year for the past three years. I’ve met so many amazing, friendly, talented and gracious people (and authors). I now have friends all over the country who have the same passion for reading and writing that I do.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Marianne – I thought I’d died and gone to heaven at my first RT! I met Christina Dodd – carrying a poster of her famous three-armed heroine cover in an elevator. And I chatted with Bertrice Small about her VERY steamy romances…. What a thrill!

  • Mel K.

    Hi Terri, Scotland brings me much joy as well. I went in 2010 and would like to go again. I’ve made a lot of wonderful friendships riding this rodeo of romance since 2000. I’ve been to a lot of book signings and two RT conventions. My mom went with me to one in Daytona and she said ‘It took you an hour to get down one row. All the hugging and smooching!” LOL!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Mel – I wish more readers would come to booksignings — not just to buy books but to meet authors. We write in very solitary conditions and talking to the people who read our work is so rewarding…and fun!
      My last trip to Scotland was in 2009 – I cannot wait to get back there….

      • Mel K.

        Terri, visit The Shetlands if you can. And if you decide to do so I can hook you up with the best tour guide ever! She’s one of my FB pals. Michael Palin (Monty Python fame) was staying in our hotel. He was writing a book.
        I go to conferences to meet authors. I know I’ll get a signed book but I want to meet the author. My first RT was in NY and I’ll never forget having a cig. out front with Heather Graham. Or meeting Diane Gaston in a bathroom. 🙂

  • Amy Livesay Hart

    I hope one day to visit Scotland. (Probably when my kids are grown and can fund my visit, lol)

    • Terri Brisbin

      Amy – That would be a nice thing they could do for you…. I hope you get there soon!

  • Sharlene Wegner

    Congratulations on your success! I also feel that the romance community are “my people”! LOL

    • Terri Brisbin

      Sharlene W – Thanks! And yes, you are MY PEEPS!

  • Sheryl N

    New author for me! Thanks for the chance and I enjoyed reading the post

    • Terri Brisbin

      Sheryl N – Nice to meet you!

  • Jennifer C

    I have been to England but haven’t made it to Scotland yet. I would love to go! I love historical romances, so happy to have found you!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Jennifer C – Oh, you must get to Scotland — there is just something magical about the land and the people! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Scotland! Home of my ancestors and another place on my bucket list. One of these days. I share your feelings of finding “my people” and, coincidentally, one of the first romance people I met in person was you. It was at the 2006 RWA Literacy Signing in Atlanta (my first romance signing) and a good friend (Falcon) from Celebrate Romance days told me to be sure to find you and say hello. You were warm, welcoming and everything I had hoped an author whose books I enjoyed reading would be. Thank you for that!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Ohmigosh PJ! Celebrate Romance was one of the best community gatherings in romance — reader/blogger based and great to attend them. And Falcon — oh gosh it’s been a long time! Glad you stopped over – then and now!

  • cheryl c.

    We took a tour last year of Scotland, and I fell in love with the country. I have always enjoyed books about Highlanders, so it was meaningful to me to actually visit the Highlands. I want to go back!

    • Terri Brisbin

      I begin to crave a return trip as soon as I arrive there! Hoping to get there in 2016!

  • Karen Mikusak

    Although I’ve not read any of your books, I’m always happy to find new authors. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Thanks for visiting! And I hope you give my stories a try!

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    love the books but like your chris answers….chris pratt is my favorite!

  • i love hearing about authors’ reader experiences and the journey and connections of authors & readers. and conventions! woot!! 😀

    • Terri Brisbin

      I just love that man!!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Carrie Marie – I attended 3 RY conventions as a reader before ever going as a writer!!

  • Kerrelyn Sparks

    Terri, you definitely spread joy wherever you go! It’s a joy to know you!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Awwww Kerrelyn thanks so much!!

  • Kareni

    I’ve enjoyed a number of your books, so thank you for providing me with that joy. Wishing you much writing success in the future (and a healthy back)!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Kareni – thanks so much!!

  • Molly

    I love your books and I would love to go to Scotland someday.

  • Barbara E.

    I love Bec McMaster’s books too, Terri! Great post, and I love the romance community too.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Barbara – I picked up her first one because of the cover (is that bad?) but loved it so much I’ve read all of them! I also recommend Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series, too!

  • Patty Vasquez

    I’m continually amazed and impressed by the close knit group that comprises the romance community. I’m also really happy you “found” your people and it led you to success and the opportunity to give back to new writers.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Patty – romance readers and writers are THE BEST people in the world! Glad you stopped over!

  • Aleen D

    Thanks for recommending steampunk! I would love to see more from that genre!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Aleen – I love love love Bec McMaster’s steampunk series. Another I highly recommend is Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series – lots of paranormal and steampunk elements and great characters and romance! Two thumbs up for both!

  • Carol Luciano

    My dream is to visit Scotland. It just calls out to me. I’ll make it though. 🙂 Terri, I loved every book of yours I’ ve read. So thank you for all those enjoyable hours of reading. And the giveaway chnce.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    • Terri Brisbin

      Carol – I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my stories — thanks for stopping by!

  • Dawn Anderson

    I absolutely loved your Storm series.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Dawn – Thanks so much for those kind words….I loved writing that series for Kensington Brava — my first foray into erotic historical romances…with a touch of paranormal….

  • Sue G.

    35 books in 18 years that is a lot of books! Congrats!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Sue – I can’t believe it sometimes! And 25 of those were for Harlequin Historicals!

  • Sheila M

    I’ve had Keeper of the Dream on my to read list. I think I will have to move it up.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Sheila – Penelope Willamson’s? MOVE IT UP!! It is the quintessential medieval historical with just the tiniest touch of magic… LOVE IT!! I just wish she’d written the sequel that seemed to be hinted at in the epilogue…

  • Glenda

    Thanks for the recommendations. I love Bec’s books but haven’t read the other 2. 🙂

    • Terri Brisbin

      Try them Glenda!

  • Kathryn Trask

    Oh yes those early historical romances of Julie Garwood a sheer joy. Must be wonderful to attend the RT convention.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Kathryn – the RT conventions as a readers were splendid — as an author they were fabulous! Of course, it was as a reader that I helped out in the cover model contest dressing room….OOH!

  • Erin F

    your books sounds fantastic! Congrats on your success and thanks for such a fun post!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Erin – thanks for stopping by

  • Michele Hayes

    Visiting Scotland is on my bucket list. Thanks for the chance to win.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Michele – I hope you get there…. one of my favorite places – Ring of Brodgar on Orkney!

  • Lisa Hutson

    Congratulations on your moment of joy. haha How crazy is that timing?!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Lisa – it was crazy and exciting…for me. The PT almost didn’t survive!

  • Pamby50

    Scotland and Ireland are on my bucket list. I want to go in search of my ancestry. Love books that take me to the Highlands and men in kilts.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Ireland was splendid but Scotland feels like home to me. Hope you get there!

  • Charlotte Litton

    Thanks for the chance ❤

    • Terri Brisbin

      Welcome! 🙂

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Although I have heard of you, you are basically a new to me author. I loved Eileen Dreyer’s posts about the trip were on with her. I think it was to Ireland this summer. I will be checking out you books. Thank you for sharing your post.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Eileen – I have never laughed as much as I did on that trip to Ireland with Eileen Dreyer – truly a trip-of-a-lifetime… Hope you give my books a try!

  • Marcy Shuler

    Thanks for the post, Terri. I love the pic of you in Scotland. I’ve always wanted to go there and attend a Highland Games competition.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Marcy – I’ve never actually attended Highland games – there or here! But if means men-in-kilts, I’ll give it a try!

  • catslady

    Have to add that this is a great cover. I loved traveling and enjoy hearing about different places and people.

    • Terri Brisbin

      catslady – thanks for stopping by

  • Bernadette Long

    I hope to attend a RT Convention one day.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Bernadette — eat your Wheaties before you go!! RT conventions are fun and nonstop fun….

  • Linda Henderson

    My daughter and I will be discussing a storyline or characters from a book and my son in law will come in during the conversation and start asking us questions. Then he figures out we aren’t talking about real people but characters in a book. I mean to us, they are real. He frequently makes fun of us but we can take it. We are diehard readers.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Linda — done that! LOL! I have conversations like that with coworkers and patients will ask if this is someone’s brother….. before I tell them what they really are… it’s a reader thing!

  • Texas Book Lover

    Bec McMaster’s books are on my list to read. I have one or two but need to get the rest before I start because I know once I start I’ll devour them all!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Texas – oh yes, have them all ready! I will do a re-reading binge of them soon…

  • Jerry Marlatt Pierson

    I would love to go to Scotland some day. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Jerry – thanks for stopping by

  • Diane Sallans

    I’d love to get to visit Scotland again – it’s been a long time – for now I travel thru reading.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Diane – it’s been six years for me….need to go back….

  • May

    I love Scotland… It’s so peaceful and pretty!

    • Terri Brisbin

      May – it is a lovely country….

  • kirsten west

    Great picture! Scotland is on my to do list.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Kirsten – yes!! make it happen!

  • Rhi

    I love the conventions. I don’ get to go enough, but they are always fun.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Rhi – they can be crazy but I love going to them

  • flchen1

    I’ll bet that was one exciting moment, hospital bed or no, Terri! Thanks for such a lovely post, and how wonderful how many joyful moments you’ve had since then and how many you’ve created for us readers!

    • Terri Brisbin

      fedora – thanks so much for your note!

  • Melisa Safchinsky

    Romance has such a supportive and caring community. And instant friendship are formed simply by talking about romance novels!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Melisa – yes! I’m still surprised by how quickly it happens!

  • Joan Varner

    Scotland is on my sister’s bucket list and I am not letting her go by herself. The picture of you is very beautiful.

    • Terri Brisbin

      Joan – absolutely not! You MUST go with her… Hope you get there soon!

  • Seanna Yeager

    Christ Pratt for the jokes!

    • Terri Brisbin

      Seanna – he is just adorable all the time and hot, too!

  • Janie McGaugh

    I love Scotland, too, and managed to make it there some years ago. I agree with your feeling of coming home.

  • marypreston

    All of the Chris’s are might fine. A lot of romancing to be had.

  • Kai W.

    I have never been to Scotland but it is on my bucket list.

  • rebecca moe

    Sooo hard to pick just one Chris, Those would be my top three too (but Christopher Plummer isn’t far behind, and Chris Rock does make me laugh, so…)

    Thanks for posting!

  • Mary McCoy

    You always look at home in your pictures from Scotland.