Zerry Greenwood is 53 years old, married the love of her life at 18. They produced 7 beautiful babies. Over the years hubby has supported her in many adventures she has explored. Now she is writing historical romances.
Why did you choose the history-romance genre?
3 years ago my mother, my heart, died. I could not pull out of the funk it put me in. She had written 5 books she never published and gave me 3 of them. I pulled one out to get close to her, and it sent me on the most wonderful journey. Suddenly I was 16, running home to read her pages and talk to her again. I wanted to give that gift to my children and grandchildren. Her books were historical romances, so I went with that.
Tell me about how you met the love of your life at 18?
He was my sister’s best friend in high school, 6 years my senior. He was the entertainment at a bachelor party we through for their mutual friend. He jumped out of a box in his underwear, and cowboy boots. We had to get him pretty drunk to do it. Then all the women left, and I stayed with him to sober him up. It was a great night; we talked all night, and both of us were dating other people so it was not sexual at all, just good conversation. Later I broke up with my boyfriend and didn’t have a date now for my senior prom. I called him because I had danced with him at the wedding and knew he could dance. I wanted to have fun with a good friend and dance. He said yes, even though he was 24 yrs. old. We had a great time, he wrote in my dance card, “I hope this is the beginning of something special.” and it was.
Tell me about your passion for dancing – it seems we share it
My parents were great dancers. I bought my dad tickets for The Glenn Miller band concert and we got up and jitterbugged to In the Mood, off to the side of the band. The whole band stood up to watch us. The director came up to us afterward and said he had been directing for ten years and we were the first ever to dance at their concerts. My husband is a great dancer as well. Girls get a man who can dance!
My dance teacher used to say: A good dancer is known by the touch. Are you in the same opinion?
Do you base your works on your own life?
My first one has so much of me and my husband, my sister was like, Ok that was the first romance I could not place myself into. Lol! Mostly they are about being a strong woman and a good man. For 36 years this saying has hung in our home. “I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.” Mostly it is about finding a person who doesn’t want to change you and one you don’t need to change.
Tell me about a female character you have based on yourself?
She is young and her father allows her to have her head while her mother wants her to be proper. When she loses them both, she struggles to find her way in a new world with set ideas about how a woman should behave…when she can’t…she finds people who will accept her for who she is. Never be afraid to find your tribe.
Describe your tribe?
I am attracted to people who don’t fit in a square peg who say this is me, love me or hate me. I tried to raise my children to see through people’s shells and only see the inside. Inside we all want the same thing, to be loved and accepted. If people do not want to accept you, don’t get angry, bitter and mean. There are so many people who will love you, go find them.
Are your love scenes steamy?
It is the 18 hundreds, after marriage sex and all. they are rated PG 13. However, I am of the opinion romance is the best part. As a woman, we know all we have to do is show up naked to have sex. We don’t always get romance. Too, romance for me is not flowers and candy, it is supporting you while you pee because you got hurt, it is listening to you rant and not butting in, it is looking at your rock collection and sometimes it is having them say a pray for you. Does that make sense?
Yes, I call this the Imperfect Romance, I think I have a blog post on this subject.
Well…your favorite quote from your novels?
A quote from a saloon girl: “Nice guys get Hard-Ons too.”
Are your books funny?
All but my second book. I wanted to touch on my childhood abuse, so it gets a little dark.
How do you craft a story? What’s the recipe?
Well, the one I am working on now is a western adaptation of The Twelfth Night, and then the next I thought up while researching my third book, a very disturbing News Article! However, mostly I talk to myself a lot, then I write down a chapter synopsis. Mostly I stick to it but sometimes the story has a mind of its own. I remember when my mom was writing her second book; I was married by then; she called me crying because she had to kill off my character. It was pretty hard on her, but sometimes the story tells you where it needs to go.
So talent is hereditary in your family? Do any of your kids write as well? If not – what are their occupations?
One of my sons writes, he self-published one and now is too busy, wife, kids, job. Another son is writing a YA book and one daughter dallies with writing.
How do you feel about torturing a character?
I just had a flashback…the aforementioned childhood. I think however to be true to life we have to have that aspect in everyone’s story, life is torture, without it, we could not appreciate the good.
Would you like to share about this flashback?
Um, it is in my second book. I cried thinking about what I wanted to share, cried when I wrote it, cried editing it, and had to tell my editor I needed to put it away during the holidays because I was in a funk. I’ll say this… my mother was a beautiful human being, my father was not.
Do you describe yourself as a generally positive or negative person?
Very positive, you can let your past destroy your life or you can let your life destroy your past.
How about the present? What makes you happy?
Haha, my husband and I bought a Chinook. If you don’t know what that is, google Toyota chinook.
For $20 in gas, we can get in it and escape to anywhere, fish, camp, rock hound and museums. 36 years later and he still tells me I am his favorite person to talk to. My life makes me happy.
Can you describe your partner?
He is a cattle rancher; we bought the ranch he was born on. He is all the things you think of when you think of a good honest hard working cowboy. And…he is HOT HOT HOT!
Time for bragging. Tell me why I should read your books?
Because it is a true, old-fashioned, feel-good, romance. You will fall in love with Five Wounds and you will want to be friends with Rose. It is one of those love stories, that days after reading it you are still morning to be a part of Two Spirit’s world.
Tell me about lovemaking in your 50s?
Well, we have always had a good sex life, nothing wild and crazy, and that is all I am comfortable telling.
His most romantic gesture?
So many, I wrote three and deleted, then went I got it. Offered to sell his family ranch to make sure I lived through cancer, we didn’t have insurance and I needed an operation and chemo. We didn’t have to sell the ranch, but he did sell all the cows.
Warm thanks to loving Zerry Greenwood and all the wonderful folk she has cherished in her life!
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