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
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.”
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