On May 21st 2015, we lost romance author, Terry Irene Blain, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. She was best known in romance circles for her knowledge of history, often appearing on RWA Chapter blogs and speaking at workshops and conferences.
But Terry was so much more than that.
Terry was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, veteran, and a dear friend to many in the romance community. Over the course of her career as an author, she published three historical and contemporary romances set in the American West. She was always a bright spot at the San Diego RWA Chapter meetings, and was a big supporter of our California Dreamin’ Writers Conference.
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.
Terry never stopped honing her craft. She was part of a close knit critique group for many years with Jill Limber, Teresa Carpenter, Jackie Allen and Diana Saenger. Her commitment to her craft and to helping her friends reach their goals was inspiring to many. 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.