In Memory of Terry Irene Blain

Terry Irene Blain

This week on the blog, we’re taking a moment to remember a long-standing member of our chapter, Terry Irene Blain, who passed from this world on May 21, 2015.

Terry was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and veteran – as well as an accomplished romance novelist. Over the course of her career as an author, she published three historical and contemporary romances set in the American West. She was a mainstay at our monthly RWA meetings, where she touched the lives of many of her fellow writers and friends.

Below, our chapter members share their fondest memories of Terry:

Terry was very kind and open to me as a new chapter member. We bonded over history, dogs, and soccer. My last memory of her was watching the USA beat Panama at the Sub Hub center, along with Jackie, in February. She wasn’t feeling too well that day, but was a real trooper. I will miss her.
— Michele Barber


Terry Irene Blain

Before I was published, when I was still submitting to publishers of series romance and getting rejected, Terry presented a workshop for an RWASD meeting about making your writing publishable.

During the Q and A period I put Terry on the spot by asking: “How do I learn to sparkle? I’m always being rejected because my writing doesn’t sparkle.”

Since then, we’d kept up a running dialogue about learning to sparkle, and at the end of my last conversation with Terry, mid-winter, she asked me: “Are you sparkling yet?”
Toni Noel


Whenever Terry and I saw each other at meetings, we went into soccer mode and always talked about the game here and abroad. We may have sounded like we were talking a foreign language, but we understood each other.
Jannine Corti Peska


I used to love talking to Terry, especially about history. She loved history as much as I do. We always ended up sitting next to each other at PALs meetings, lamenting the state of the historical market or talking about research, our current WIP, her dogs and her granddaughter. She was always so upbeat and positive and always striving to write her stories and to keep at it. I’ll miss seeing her at meetings and at all the different events. She was a wonderful lady.
Georgie Lee



When I joined RWA in 2009, I didn’t know anyone. My first RWASD meeting is kind of a blur, but one thing that sticks with me was meeting Terry. She scared me a little with her brusque swagger and big voice when she came up and introduced herself. She told me “If you want to get published, you’ve come to the right place. This is a great group.”

Terry and other members of RWA San Diego at a book signing.
She was right.

She was also a big part of what made our group great.

Whenever we needed volunteers, Terry was the first to offer to help. She and I sold raffle tickets together, filled-in at the check-in table together, and eventually I helped her get her author “page” going on Facebook. Remembering our crazy back and forth email exchanges when I tried to help her figure out if she was on her “profile” or her “page” still make me smile. But she was determined to learn, and that’s exactly what she did.

When Terry wasn’t helping out, she also took the extra time to thank those who volunteered, mailing thank you notes and sending emails. I’m going to miss seeing her posts on social media about soccer and her dogs. And I’m going to miss seeing her at our meetings.

Her love of history and historical romance inspired me. She was passionate about her books and her writing, and she never gave up. You couldn’t ask for a more courageous writer, woman, and friend.
Lisa Kessler

Terry Irene Blain

12 thoughts on “In Memory of Terry Irene Blain

  1. One of the things I miss most about not being in San Diego anymore is seeing people like Terry on a regular basis. She’s an example of how to weather a storm, and I know she’s going to inspire me for years to come, and not only with my writing. It’s fun to read about Terry and how she was so welcoming to every member who walked through that door. I like to think that she’s doing that even now, where she is, and all the souls she meets are the better for it.

  2. The picture posted with Lisa’s memory is the first time I met Terry. She was on the library panel and I’d been invited after my first RWA meeting. It surprised me so much that these published authors would be so welcoming to a newbie. But they were. Terry especially. It was always a comfort to see her sitting across the room, hearing her laugh with her friends. At her memorial, I learned more about her, not having known her particularly well. As evident by the love in those she left behind, she will be missed.

  3. “I am deeply indebted to Terry for the publication of my book “Code Name Dove” with Silhouette. Terry thoughtfully let me know that they were starting a new line and where seeking “kick-ass heroines!” That publication was the first of many. When Terry, Christie Ridgeway and I were just getting started we shared a critique group, and my memories from that experience were most happy ones. Terry was fun, enthusiastic, caring, ethical. A good friend I will always remember her with much love.” Judith hand

  4. Oh Jackie, my condolences to you and your critique group and others who knew her well.

    Terry was a remarkable member and huge asset to RWASD. She volunteered to help others, and I believe she also was chapter president. She will be greatly missed by all of us at RWASD.

    Terry and I both worked at the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, and I have fond memories of her chasing me around, so we could write during the lunch hour. She was dedicated to her craft and her love of westerns. I’m glad she got the chance to see westerns have a resurgence in the last few years.

  5. Terry was such a strong and positive force in our chapter, that we will never be the same after her loss. But we are all so much better for her being part of our lives. My thoughts go out to all of her close friends and family.

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