Weir, Theresa 1954-
WEIR, Theresa 1954-
PERSONAL: Born 1954; married; children: one son, one daughter.
CAREER: Romance and mystery writer.
Amazon Lily, Pocket (New York, NY), 1988.
Forever Man, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1988.
Loving Jenny, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1989.
Iguana Bay, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1990.
Pictures of Emily, Silhouette (Buffalo, NY), 1990.
Forever, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1991.
Last Summer, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1992.
One Fine Day, Fanfare, 1994.
Long Night Moon, Fanfare, 1994.
American Dreamer, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.
Cool Shade, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.
Some Kind of Magic, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.
Bad Karma, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.
NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM ANNE FRASIER
Hush, Onyx (New York, NY), 2002.
Sleep Tight, Onyx (New York, NY), 2003.
Play Dead, Onyx (New York, NY), 2004.
Before I Wake, Penguin/Putnam (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Romance novelist Theresa Weir is known for creating heroes that do not fit the usual mold. As she told Anne Marble in an interview for the All about Romance Web site, her first book "was turned down again and again. I received some incredibly hostile letters—most of which I took quite personally. The recurring theme in the letters was this: They hated my hero." Eventually her book Amazon Lily, featuring a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed anti-hero escorting a social worker into the Amazon jungle, was published and won the Romantic Times Best New Adventure Writer award. Weir has gone on to publish both romances and mysteries that stretch the supposed boundaries of these genres, including a number of books under the pen name Anne Frasier.
Long Night Moon features a budding romance between a sleazy tabloid journalist and a socialite. Suspecting that Sara Ivy's perfect life and marriage are not all they seem, Nash Audubon first tries to dig up dirt on her and then, frustrated, actually splices two photos together to make it appear that Sara is having an affair. Her enraged husband takes out his rage on Sara, then tries to have Nash beaten up. Oddly enough, this leads to a budding and dangerous romance between the two, which Weir chronicles in "the compelling and lyrical writing style that has made her such a powerful author," according to Romantic Times reviewer Jill M. Smith.
In American Dreamer Weir provides "a subtle but shattering bucolic love poem of the American heartland," in the words of a Publishers Weekly reviewer. When Lark Leopold, a sexual assault survivor, travels to Iowa to conduct a government study on the contentment of cows, she falls for Nathan Senatra, a farmer with a strong environmentalist streak. However, Nathan has wounds of his own stemming from a nasty divorce that nearly cost him everything. Then Lark finds the body of Nathan's ex-wife floating in his pond, and the two would-be lovers are forced to confront their fears and pains, with Nathan's former brother-in-law breathing down their necks. Cool Shade features an agoraphobic hero, Eddie Berlin. When Maddie Smith comes to town to investigate the disappearance of her estranged sister Enid, she discovers that Enid has become a prostitute and Eddie was one of her clients. Eventually, she infiltrates Eddie's house, and finds herself falling for him while she tries to unravel his secrets.
A different kind of suspicion appears in Bad Karma. When the police chief of Egypt, Missouri, calls in psychic Cleo Tyler to help find the town's lost master key, officer Daniel Sinclair is disgusted. Sensing a con, he decides to keep a sharp eye on Cleo, who begins to have her own doubts as she senses dark secrets behind the town's pleasant facade. The result, according to Connie Ramsdell in Book Bug on the Web, is "a character-driven story line that provides a veritable roller-coaster ride of emotion right to the very end." Strange and otherworldly undercurrents also figure in Some Kind of Magic. When Claire receives a voodoo doll for her thirtieth birthday, she wishes for a more exciting life, only to find herself kidnapped by Dylan. Dylan turns out to be more of a puzzle than he seemed, and soon these two are engaged in a highly erotic and dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, with each gaining and losing control, though at times it seems the voodoo doll itself may be manipulating events.
As Anne Frasier, Weir has also written a number of mysteries featuring dark and frightening themes. Though these mysteries are filled with brutal and sadistic murderers, Hush features one of the worst. According to a Publishers Weekly contributor, "few serial killers penned by suspense writers today are as warped or as fully realized as the Madonna Murderer," who preys on baby boys and their unwed mothers. One victim, Ivy Dunlap, survives these attacks, although her son does not, and eventually Ivy becomes a criminal psychologist. When the killer reemerges after a sixteen-year hiatus, Dunlap teams up with Detective Max Irving to finally bring him to justice. Sleep Tight centers on a serial killer in search of the perfect woman who plucks out the eyes of his victims. Again, the killer is truly horrible and much of the detail is particularly graphic, but Frazier goes even further in Play Dead, which features necrophilia and zombification in Savannah, Georgia. As a reviewer put it in Publishers Weekly, Frasier "has perfected the art of making a reader's skin crawl."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 1998, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Some Kind of Magic, p. 214.
Library Journal, May 15, 1997, Kristin Ramsdell, review of American Dreamer, p. 69.
Publishers Weekly, December 20, 1993, review of Amazon Lily, p. 52; August 2, 1999, review of American Dreamer, p. 72; April 15, 2002, review of Hush, p. 47; March 17, 2003, review of Sleep Tight, p. 60; May 17, 2004, review of Play Dead, p. 39.
Rambles, October 14, 2004, Virginia MacIsaac, review of Play Dead.
All about Romance Web site,http://www.likesbooks.com/ (November 20, 1998), Anne Marble, "Write Byte: Taking a Risk with Anti-Heroes," and review of Cool Shade.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (November 22, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of Play Dead.
Bookbug on the Web,http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/8078/bookbuzz-w01a.html (November 22, 2004), Marilyn H., review of Amazon Lily; Connie Ramsdell, review of Bad Karma; June Folk, review of Cool Shade; June Folk, review of Some Kind of Magic.
RomanticTimes.com,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (November 22, 2004), Jill M. Smith, review of Long Night Moon, American Dreamer, Cool Shade, Some Kind of Magic, Sleep Tight, and Bad Karma; Toby Bromberg, review of Hush.
TheMysteryReader.com,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (November 22, 2004), Susan Scribner, review of Play Dead.
Theresa Weir Home Page,http://home.comcast.net/~annefrasier (November 22, 2004).
Writerspace.com,http://www.writerspace.com/ (November 22, 2004), interview with Frasier.*