ABOUT THERESA

Theresa Weir (a.k.a. Anne Frasier) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of thirty books. Her memoir, The Orchard, was an Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the October Indie Next List, a B+ featured title in Entertainment Weekly, a One Book One Community Read, Target Book Club Pick, and Books-A-Million Book Club Pick.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

AWARD SEASON AND CURRENT PROJECTS







We're heading into award season and I recently got news that Stay Dead was listed as one of the best suspense thrillers of 2014 by Suspense Magazine.





Complete list of winners in the suspense/thriller category:

Peter May
Jenny Milchman
m.c. Grant
Lisa Unger
Alan Jacobson
Anne Frasier
Jon Land
Allison Brennan
Steven James






Other news:

I finished the third Elise Sandburg book in November. Right now it's scheduled for a July 25 release, but that could change. AND damn if I still don't have a title. :D Nobody's fault but mine. I have a list of possibilities, but nothing feels 100% right. 

What I'm working on now:

This is a long, boring story. This summer I was invited to be a part of a super-secret project involving a big and exciting concept. I can't go into a lot of detail because... secret. The whole concept was so compelling that I couldn't say no. I wrote a post-apocalypse crime fiction story (50,000 words) for this project.

 When will I learn not to get involved with new companies? I should have learned my lesson with Quartet Press. Remember them? Didn't think so. They folded before they started, but not before sucking up a lot of my time and leaving me with nothing to show for it. So it happened again with this super-secret project. I was wrapping up the first draft of my story when things fell apart, and now I've spent a total of five months on this story—first writing it for a high-concept project, then later trying to revamp the super-secret story into straight crime fiction.

 If you've ever done a major revamp you know it can take ten times as long as simply starting from scratch. It's like trying to remove the baking soda from a recipe once you realize you added it by mistake.  Yeah, you could dump it completely, but you used this really fantastic chocolate that you'll never find again.

  So now my post-apocalyptic book has dwindled to 15,000 words of straight crime fiction. And it should be 80,000. Basically I'm starting over.  Sigh. Hope to have it finished by June. It actually DOES have a title, but it's too early to share. Present day crime fiction set in Minneapolis. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

ANOTHER HOLIDAY STORY (FICTION)


       
                        

                                                CRACK HOUSE

I live in Walmart. No, really. I live in Walmart.  A few years back I dated a guy who’d been involved in the construction of the Super Walmart on Highway 8 in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. 
            “There’s an anomaly in the wall,” he’d told me. “A crack you can squeeze through.”
            I thought he was lying, and I’d insisted he take me there, show me the crack.  He was almost too fat to squeeze through.  But me, I made it easily.  Once inside, we pulled out our key chains with their little lights.  A room about twelve-by-twelve.  Cement block walls.  Cement floor.  “Somebody could live here,” I’d said, laughing.
            And then the recession hit.
You wouldn’t recognize the place now.  Green shag rug, red lamps, posters, inflatable couch and an inflatable bed.  A small television.   It’s really quite cozy.
            I usually sleep late, then wake up to hit the restroom followed by a visit to the Walmart cafe before taking my usual spot in the traffic outside.   I was still nursing my eggnog-flavored coffee when one of the security guards approached my table near the front of the store.
            “Afternoon, Molly.” 
I’d guess him to be close to my age, maybe twenty-six. He’d asked my name once, and I’d told him.
            “Hi,” I replied.  That one syllable ended in a cautious lilt as I wondered what he wanted.
            “Enjoying your day at Walmart?”
            “Um, yeah.” 
            “I’ve noticed that you’re here quite a bit.”
            “I like to people watch.”
 “Me too.”  And now he was giving me one of those you-know-what-I-mean looks.
He knows.  He knows about my secret room.
I hated to think of moving.  Especially now, at Christmas.   I glanced around, expecting more guards to materialize.  When they didn’t, I calmed down.
“Well, have a nice day,” he said.
  Once he was gone, I remembered I was dressed in insulated Carhartt overalls, a wool stocking cap, and a red scarf.  Not attire for a day of shopping.  I wasn’t fooling anybody.
            Outside, I took a spot on the median so people in cars were forced to look me in the eye as they entered the parking lot.  The cardboard sign I held said Merry Christmas in black magic marker.
            Panhandling was against the law, but nobody could really do anything about saying Merry Christmas.  And it wasn’t as if I didn’t mean it. Christmas was my favorite time of the year.
            Two hours later, I’d had enough of the near-zero temperature.  On my return to Walmart, I passed the Salvation Army worker ringing her bell, shifting from one foot to the other, her breath a cold cloud.  I removed a mitten, reached into the pocket of my overalls, pulled out a ten, and tucked it into the red kettle.
Inside, I sat down at a table near the soft pretzels and popcorn to count my earnings.
Two-hundred dollars. It would last a few weeks if I didn’t go crazy.
“You might want to move along.”
I looked up to see the young security guard standing there, a stern expression on his face, his eyes cold. 
“Sure.  Okay.”  I gathered my money and shoved it in my pocket. A movement caught my eye, and I turned as a group of teenagers sauntered away.
When I swiveled back around, the guard’s face had lost its chill.   I pulled off my stocking cap and tried to smooth some stray strands of hair.
“We’ve had a lot of robberies lately,” he explained.
I’d always taken care of myself, and I didn’t need anybody watching out for me, but all the same his concern felt nice.
“What’s that button?” I pointed to his lapel. 
“This?” He tugged at the blue pin with an upside down V that looked like a roof.  “I’m a member of Have a Nice Day.  It’s a secret society for hidden spaces.”  He was giving me that look again.
 “You know about me, don’t you?” I asked.
 “Your space? It’s not unique. Not a mistake. There are close to ten thousand Walmarts in the world, and all of them have at least one secret space.  Most superstores have more than one, and don’t even get me started about Sam’s Club.  A hidden city.”   He smiled. “We just think of it as reclaiming what used to be ours.”
 “What about surveillance cameras?”  I’d often wondered why I hadn’t been caught.
“We take care of that.” He pulled a pin from his pocket and gave it to me.  A yellow smiley face.
“This isn’t like yours,” I said.
“The blue pins designate the builders; the yellow pins, the occupants.”  In a gallant gesture, he found my hand, almost brought it to his lips, but seemed to think better of it, then said: “Have a nice day.”
  
Crack House was previously published in Discount Noir.

Friday, December 19, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS


Rerun—my annual Christmas story


Ah, nothing like Christmas memories.

I posted this back in April, but it's such a warm and tender and 100% true holiday story that it just begged for a rerun.  Some people thought this was piece of fiction. It's nonfiction. It happened to me.



THE GENTLEMAN CALLER

A phone call on Christmas Eve.

I answer.

A strange man's voice on the other end. Kids are lying on the living-room floor watching TV, the tree a few feet away.


"I hate to tell you this," the man says, "but your husband and my wife were having an affair. I found his name and phone number in her purse." His voice is deep and flat. Menacing without the menace.

I say nothing.

"I just killed her. Blew her brains out. And I know where you live. Tell your husband that I'm going to do the same thing to him. Tell him that as soon as he steps out the door Christmas morning I'm putting a bullet between his eyes."



Click.

My thoughts race. Christmas Eve. Some sick prank. But not a kid. The voice belonged to a man, probably someone in his forties. Who?

The back door opens and a cold gust of wind comes in, wrapping around my ankles.

The children shriek and run to their father. "Can we open a present? Just one?"

I don't say anything about the phone call. Not at first.

But later, after the kids are in bed, I tell my husband. And he reacts in the way I thought he would. He gets out his rifle, loads it, and begins pacing the house.

"I wish I hadn't said anything," I say. "I shouldn't have told you. You're acting crazy."

"I have to be prepared."

"Are you saying the woman is real?" I pull up a stock image of a murdered wife, and I imagine her looking like someone who might sell real estate. Very put together, with a white suit, high heels, caramel-colored hair, and a big shiny bracelet. Her purse, the purse with the name and phone number, is white leather.

"Of course not, but there's a nut out there."

"It's Christmas Eve. It's some sicko making random calls. He most likely doesn't even live around here."

We call the cops and tell them about the strange man. A couple of weeks later someone from the police department stops by.

"The guy who called you on Christmas Eve? He was caught," the cop says as the three of us stand clustered inside the back door, the door where my husband was supposed to have met that bullet. "The man was a telemarketer in California. Do you remember getting a call from a tool salesman?" the cop asks.

My husband nods. "Yeah, I gave him a hard time. I put the phone down, walked away, ate something. When I came back he was still giving me his sales pitch. I put the phone down again, did some other stuff, then hung it up about thirty minutes later. The guy was still talking."

"Well, he kept track of every person who treated him badly and he spent his Christmas Eve making phone calls. Complaints were filed all over the country."



Monday, June 23, 2014

"HAVE I MISSED AN ELISE SANDBURG BOOK?"


Some people have worried that they've missed a book in the Elise Sandburg series because the second book, Stay Dead, begins after a traumatic event in Elise's life.  Maybe I'm getting soft, but the Tremain incident felt too horrible to put on the page as it unfolded, but I'll most likely revisit the event once Elise is finally able to face the atrocities that took place.


You haven't missed anything. There is no book between Play Dead and Stay Dead. Thanks for the emails, thanks for looking for that mysterious book that hasn't been written, and thanks for reading!




Thursday, June 19, 2014

INTERVIEWING CHARACTERS — DIG DEEPER

I used to interview my characters. I had a list of questions that were lame. I think the list originated from some celebrity interview thing in Parade Magazine. Remember that snooze? The questions were things like favorite movie and favorite food and favorite music and favorite color. The idea being that even these simple questions, once answered, would give the writer insight into her characters. But the questions were so boring that I gave up on the idea way back in 1988, before electricity. A few years ago, when I had the run-in with Agent Orange (a.k.a. add a murder to your memoir), he suggested I interview my characters. I'm sure he was just going over the bullet list he held in his hand because his delivery had that telemarketer drone to it. Words to speak to writer 8,988. I really wanted to say I didn't need his Writing 101 pep talk, but I didn't. I kept my mouth shut.  But I digress…

Today I read this:

Proust Questionnaire 

And then I decided to condense the questions and use them to interview my characters. Here's the list:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Where would you like to live?

What is your idea of earthly happiness? 

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?

Who are your favorite characters in history?

Who are your favorite heroines in real life?

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Your favorite musician?

The quality you most admire in a man?

The quality you most admire in a woman?

Your favorite virtue?

Your favorite occupation?

Who would you have liked to be?

Your most marked characteristic?

What do you most value in your friends?

What is your principle defect?

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

What would you like to be?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?

Who are your heroes in real life?

What is it you most dislike?

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

How would you like to die?

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?

Would you like to provide any additional information?

And I realized these are just as boring as my original ones from way back whenever. THERE IS NO EMOTIONAL PAYOFF. I NEED EMOTIONAL PAYOFF.

So…I made a list of my own. Here it is. Feel free to copy and paste and use it yourself. Or better yet, make up your own questionnaire, one you feel passionate about. 



WHAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD TO YOU?
WHO MEANS THE MOST TO YOU?
NAME ONE PERSON YOU LOVE
WOULD YOU DIE FOR THAT PERSON?
WOULD YOU GO TO PRISON FOR THAT PERSON?
WOULD YOU KILL FOR THAT PERSON?
WHAT DO YOU MOST REGRET?
WHAT SHAMES YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF IF YOU COULD?
WHAT WOULD YOU NEVER CHANGE?
IF YOU COULD DO ONE THING OVER IN YOUR LIFE (WITH A DIFFERENT OUTCOME), WHAT WOULD IT BE?
WHAT WAS THE WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE? A DAY YOU NEVER WANT TO RELIVE.
WHAT IS YOUR PERFECT DAY?
HOW MANY PERFECT DAYS HAVE YOU HAD?
DO YOU EVER EXPECT TO HAVE A PERFECT DAY AGAIN?
MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOU?
GREATEST STRENGTH
GREATEST WEAKNESS
DOG OR CAT
GOD OR THE DEVIL
OCEAN OR LAKE


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Short Fiction




Blood Moon
by
Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir

I was born under a blood moon. At least that’s what my grammie always tells me.

“Girl, you came shootin’ out like you couldn’t wait to start raisin’ hell,” is what she says.  And then her face darkens and she reaches for the bottle.

It ain’t easy knowing your birth killed your own ma. And not a day goes by but Gram doesn’t remind me that I’m a murderer. And not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could turn back the clock and be unborn. But it don’t work that way, and when the townspeople come to the swamp to have their fortunes told, I cling to their soft, perfumed hands longer than I should because I want to feel something besides my life with Gram. And even if I sense bad things, I don’t tell the customers. I look for the positive and happy.  I want to see their shoulders relax in relief. I want to see them smile.  And it don’t hurt that they tip more for good news.

Once they leave, I take the money to Gram and she puts it in a jar and we sit down by the bed, one on each side. And just like we’ve done for the past sixteen years, Gram rubs olive oil on my mother’s leathery arms and legs while I brush our dead darling’s hair, lightly, barely touching so I won’t do any more damage.
            
Short story and image by Theresa Weir
Please respect the author and do not copy or reprint image or text. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

RELEASE DAY!


The day is finally here! STAY DEAD (Anne Frasier title) is available for purchase!  Early feedback has been positive, but there's no real way to gauge response until the book is out in the world.  STAY DEAD is the second book in the Dead series, and features homicide detectives Elise Sandburg and David Gould.  I'm including blurbs for both books in case you haven't read PLAY DEAD, which was recently reissued by Thomas & Mercer.
PLAY DEAD (BOOK ONE)

PURCHASE:

No one is more familiar with Savannah's dark side than homicide detective and native resident Elise Sandburg. She's been haunted for years by her own mysterious past: she was abandoned as a baby in one of the city's ancient cemeteries, and it's rumored that she is the illegitimate daughter of an infamous Savannah root doctor. The local Gullah culture of voodoo and magic is one that few outsiders can understand, least of all Elise's new partner. Now someone is terrorizing the city, creating real-life zombies by poisoning victims into a conscious paralysis that mimics death. As the chilling case unfolds, Elise is drawn back into the haunted past she's tried so hard to leave behind.
STAY DEAD (BOOK TWO)

PURCHASE:

New York Times bestselling author Anne Frasier takes readers back to her dark, enchanting Savannah—a place as terrifying as it is mesmerizing.
Homicide detective Elise Sandburg is traumatized after her run-in with a madman the press has dubbed “The Organ Thief.” As Elise takes refuge in her deceased aunt Anastasia’s abandoned plantation to recover from her ordeal, she begins to question everything—from her dangerous line of work to her complex relationship with her handsome, tortured partner, David Gould. But with a madman on the loose, and her mother’s claims to still hear from Aunt Anastasia, she may have more immediate problems on her hands. In Elise’s world, where cold hard crime mixes with the local Gullah culture, nothing is ever what it seems, and no one is above suspicion—not even the dead.

In other book release news:

We've put together two bundles of Weir titles. One of New Adult romances, and another of what we consider to be some of my best romances, some old, some new. 


UNBROKEN: NEW ADULT ROMANCE BOXED SET


PURCHASE:



In this bundle you will find FIVE titles, four New Adult romances and one New Adult short story.

COME AS YOU ARE
HE'S COME UNDONE
GIRL WITH THE CAT TATTOO
GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO
MADE OF STARS


BREAK MY HEART: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE BOXED SET


PURCHASE:


B&N

COMING SOON TO KOBO

In this bundle you will find SIX titles, five contemporary romances and one short story.

HE'S COME UNDONE
COME AS YOU ARE
AMAZON LILY
COOL SHADE
LAST SUMMER
MADE OF STARS


As always—thanks for reading!!

XO
Theresa

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