Friday, February 10, 2023


Rewrites of the Heart

Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Terry Newman's Rewrites of the Heart!


History professor-turned-romance author, JJ Spritely, writes characters who come to life. Figuratively, that is. Until the characters from her work-in-progress, Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale make the literal leap eager to help the author write her own personal love story.

There are just two small snags in the characters’ plans. JJ has met the man they think should be the love of her life—and she wants nothing to do with him. The other snag? They can’t get back to their own world, despite their unconventional attempts.


What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began? 

It’s a paranormal romantic comedy with enemies-to-lovers trope. And perhaps a bit of office romance thrown in.

Are you more character or plot driven?

I’m character driven. You can have the best plot in the world, but if your readers don’t care about what happens to the characters, it’s all for naught. 

A good character can take a writer a long way.

With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

My characters are individuals. I have no problem keeping them separate in my mind. 

Sometimes, I need to make notes about hair and eye colors, but their personalities are unique. They remind me of that every day.

I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Blake tried to steer me in a different direction now and then, and he succeeded. But two of the secondary characters wanted bigger roles—and honestly, they deserved them.

When I first wrote the book Deb Dilley, the history department secretary, and Dr. Thomas Chare (rhymes with chair) had their own occasional points of views. Needless to say, I had to delete those scenes, but I did save them. I’ll be posting them on my website soon. I love those two.

Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

Blake is based on a friend of mine from graduate school. He had the most upbeat personality I had encountered, and he was so darned smart. So smart. And perhaps a bit hyper. 

We were an elevator together once and he hit the floor number button…again…and again. I had to physically restrain him.

Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?

The secondary character, Deb Dilley, is loosely based on the history department secretary at Ohio University, when I was there back in the— well, we don’t have to say how long, do we? —who always seemed a little too interested in the professors and graduate students’ lives.

Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

Confession time. I’m not good at writing love scenes. Not at all. You would think I would use some common sense and write closed-door scenes. No, what fun would there be in that?

I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

Okay, I’m going with two characters. Out of the main characters, it’s Blake, just because he reminds me of my friend. And just when you think he’s not listening, he comes up with a spot of wisdom.

Of secondary characters, it’s Dr. Chare. I see him as an older man who says he doesn’t want to foster romantic relationships between professors, but is quite pleased when they occur. He has a backstory I’ve yet to develop.

How do you get inside these characters’ heads to find their perfect HEA?

When I meet my characters, I usually know from the start what their perfect HEA is. And while they lead me through all sorts of side trips, we always end up with it.

How long did it take you to write this book?

This was the first novel I ever finished and it was published in a different form under the title Out of Character. I worked on it parttime, not sure it was good enough for about five years.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I wanted the title to reflect that it was a romance (because with the original title it could have been anything) and that it was about an author. I tried on several terms that had meanings to writers, but Rewrites of the Heart, seemed best. JJ is a young widow who’s not quite sure she’s ready for another relationship.

If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

Of course, I would love them. All of them. They’re so different in their own ways. I’d love to sit down and have dinner with them. That would be interesting.

If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters?

I don’t know about all of the characters, but I’d like Benedict Cumberbatch to play Blake Teesdale, Chevy Chase to play Dr. Thomas Chair, and Reese Witherspoon to be JJ Spritely. 

Not sure who I want for Alex Zurich, though it might be Megan Fox. And Kennedy King Cooper? I have no idea.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

I’m currently in edits for my novella, The Wizard of her Heart. 

Sydney Thomas is the new social media director of the small paranormal publishing house, The Mercurial Quill Press. The owner of the company, Wyatt Ginn, believes he’s a wizard. Among his talents is casting love spells over jelly beans. She knows it doesn’t work. Then why are two couples already seem to be perfectly matched.

She can’t stop thinking about him. No, she’s not…she can’t be.

 The tagline is: She’s certain he’s no wizard. He’s sure she’s pure magic.

There’s no release date yet.


Check out all my interviews/reviews for Terry Newman!


Two things you should know about me: I have an offbeat sense of humor and characters are constantly talking to me, trying to get me to tell their story. Other than that, I’m a normal person.

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 starting 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.

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JJ Spritely, romance author, writes characters that jump off the page. Figuratively, that is. She never expects them to make a literal leap smack dab into her world. But Alex Zurich and Blake Teesdale do just that. And they’re on a mission to help JJ write her own personal love story with a man she recently met, Kennedy King Cooper.

A history professor, Cooper doesn’t see the value of romance novels and he has even less regard for those who write them. Until he meets a woman who haunts his thoughts.

There’s only one small snag in Alex’s and Blake’s plan…okay…two rather large snags. JJ wants nothing to do with Cooper. The other snag? Alex and Blake aren’t able to return to the pages of their own book.

Will JJ and Cooper write their own love story? And will Alex and Blake find their way back to their own world?

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