Romance author Theresa Troutman lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their dog, Niko. A voracious reader with a love of theater and traveling, she published her first novel, My Secret Summer, in October of 2013. Featuring a pair of misfit adolescents who become friends and fall for one another, My Secret Summer is an emotional coming-of-age story about the thrill of forbidden love. Troutman’s second novel, A Special Connection, was released in early 2014 and explores the intimate relationships between three friends.
In April of 2014, Troutman published Life’s What You Make It, the first in her Love’s Great Adventure trilogy. Inspired by Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, which Troutman read when she was 16, the series follows British playboy Sebastian Irons, who struggles to find discipline and purpose after being banished to America by his domineering mother, and his tutor Tess Hamilton. As their once-platonic relationship gradually evolves into something more, together they embark on a journey of passion, introspection and self-discovery.
Troutman is currently working on contemporary romance called By My Side, which will be released in early 2015. Visit Troutman’s website to learn more about her and her writing.
What were you like as a child, and how did your upbringing shape who you are today?
I was the first born, so I was always a go-getter. I was raised to work hard and be self-reliant. These things have served me well as an adult.
What made you initially decide to become a writer? Was there a particular moment when you decided that you had a story to tell and the desire to tell it?
When I was a kid, I loved the Star Wars movies. I was so mad when The Empire Strikes Back came out and I knew I had to wait three years to see how it all ended. That spurred me to write my own story on how I thought the saga would end. I’ve been writing every since. I don’t think they even used the term fan fiction back in the early ’80s!
Who are your biggest creative influences?
Books: Evelyn Waugh and J.K. Rowling. Art: Ken Done, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol. Music: Neil Finn.
What do you find most interesting and exciting about the YA/NA romance genre?
I love this genre because it’s such a volatile and intense time in life. You are growing up, making mistakes, finding your way in the world and looking for love and acceptance. It’s an author’s playground full of options to explore.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the Love’s Great Adventure series?
This series is such a big part of me, it was a joy to write and I can’t say I struggled with the plot or the characters. The biggest challenge is marketing the series. As an indie author, I don’t have the marketing machine of a publishing house behind me to spread the word. I rely on my street team, bloggers and reader’s recommendation to get the word out about the Love’s Great Adventure series. I’m so grateful to each and every person who took the time to read the book and contacted me about their emotional journey while reading it.
How much of your own personality is there in the character of Tess Hamilton?
I was an excellent student and very driven like Tess; however, I have a love of art and travel that is all Sebastian. I’m a mixture of both these main characters.
Does writing come easy to you? If so, has it always?
Yes, writing comes easy because I love it. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. It’s my escape. I think if you don’t love what you do and your heart isn’t in it, you struggle.
Do you believe in fate, or are we all free to choose and shape our own destinies?
I don’t know if you call it fate, but I do believe things happen for a reason. It’s how we react to those things that shapes our destiny.
What’s the last great movie you saw?
I don’t get out to the movies too often, but the last film I saw that I loved was American Hustle. It had an amazing cast, dialogue, and art direction.
If you could have a romantic fling with any fictional character from throughout literary history, who would you choose and why?
It would have to be Sebastian Irons from the Love’s Great Adventure series. He has spent so many years “in my head” talking to me, he’s like an old friend. I value friendship, love and loyalty, and Sebastian epitomizes these values. He also treats Tess like a queen, so who wouldn’t fall in love with a man like that.
What is your favorite kind of soup?
Italian Wedding Soup.
If you could offer one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?
Pursue your writing career at eighteen. Don’t spend your life doing jobs you don’t like for a paycheck.