My next guest is prolific, bestselling author Terry Spear. Terry writes paranormal romance (she is well known for her werewolf romances) and she makes award-winning teddy bears. They’re cute and cool and she tells us more below about how she makes them for herself, readers, and other writers. (I’m tempted to ask her if she can do a barghest or a tiger. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a little stuffed Nova or Virtus? 😀 ) Links for finding Terry, her books, and her bears are below. Welcome, Terry!

Terry Spear, paranormal, author, crafts, teddy bear, Halloween

Like with books, creating original bear “characters” are lots of fun. But they’re also great companions for books. Years ago, my parents asked me to create an old-fashioned teddy bear to sit on the doll carriages they created that they took to doll and bear shows. I began winning awards for my bears and sold to stores all over, was featured in several magazines including Texas Monthly, Teddy Bear Review, The MacNeill Galley, Texas Co-op Monthly and several newspapers. They were even included in the Spectral Visions film: The International Teddy Bear Connection.

I realized, though I had created dolls, quilts, embroidered, cross-stitched, made rugs, you name it, bears were my perfect contribution to the world. As soon as the Internet came into existence, I wanted to tap into the market of the world! I was so excited to do so because I knew it would be a way to really showcase them and not just at craft or bear shows. Wilde & Woolly Bears have found homes all over the states, and across the world: Canada, Australia, Wales, Kazakhstan, Russia, France, and South Africa.

But how do I make the bear and book connection? Earlier on, I began to get requests for bears that would be given as prizes for authors’ new releases. The bears are really popular and I help spread the word to my fans that an author is giving away one of my bears as a prize. Cross promotion can really help.

Here are some of the bears I’ve recently made for authors as giveaways for their book promotions:

Matheson Clan Bears from Vonnie Davis for her Highland bear shifter books:

Matheson Bears
Matheson Bears

 Linda Warren has given away Texas Belle and a Texas Ranger bear:

Texas Belles Bear
Texas Belles Bear

A vampire author, Rick Tibauld, gave a vampire bear with his book. And actually created a coffin for it!

Vampire Bear
Vampire Bear

And many more!

Steampunk Bear
Steampunk Bear

The other thing I’ve been doing is that when I sell a bear or multiple bears to a bear buyer, I’ll ask if she wants one of my autographed books. I’ve had new readers excited about receiving a free autographed book with their bear order! A South African reader couldn’t get my first wolf book as it was out of print until they made up more, and she had ordered a wizard bear, so when I sent her the bear, I sent her and a friend a copy of the first book. They are loyal fans and spread the word to everyone else who worked at their firm.

A bear buyer in Wales had never read any of my books, and so I sent her the first one of my wolf series also, and she was delighted! And now is reading them all.

I’ve had several new readers who have gotten hooked on my bears, and now are reading my books. And some that have gotten hooked on my books, and now are buying my bears.

So if you have a creative talent and can cross-promote between authors and between selling what you make and your books, it’s a win-win promotional effort.

Even if you just give it away as some fun swag—like I’ve done with my bears at FB parties, and really seen a ton of response, that can help!

And also, I’ve given bears to critique partners and beta readers. So another way to share the love. Oh, and I create fun pictures with them—like a Halloween setting with two of my bears in attendance. And a wizard bear picture with a wizard girl. Just all kinds of fun.

my_favorite_bear_by_shapeshifter_goddess

Like with writing, it’s important to love creating a craft! And have fun in the promotion of it!

Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears.com

More about Terry:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and four medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly‘s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance, continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, loving to share her hot Highlanders, and having fun with her young adult novels. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook and on WordPress at Terry Spear’s Shifters.

The Senator Theater Baltimore, Maryland
The Senator Theater
Baltimore, Maryland

Hope everyone had a terrific weekend! Yesterday, my family went to a screening of several films that were made by middle and high school students last summer during a three-week summer camp (Steve Yeager’s Young Filmmakers Workshop). They were terrific!

View from Projection Booth
View from Projection Booth

The shows were followed by a brief, behind-the-scenes tour of The Senator, a 75-year-old historic art deco theater. My kids loved seeing the projection booth and I loved seeing the results of a recent $3.5 million dollar renovation. Afterward, we had an impromptu brunch at Shoo-Fly Diner (they have a fun menu that changes seasonally, but the neatest thing about the place is that it used to be an old shoe store). Most of the rest of the weekend was spent doing very unexciting things around my house.  

How about you? Did you do anything fun this weekend? Do you think Terry’s bears are as adorable as I do? If you could have her make a bear character from any book, who would it be?

Thank you, Terry, for guest blogging today!