AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
Welcome, Terri. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview for my blog. Can you tell us a little about yourself in general?
I’m originally from the Boston area and have lived in Florida since my husband was transferred to Tampa in 1987. I’m a Registered Nurse but stopped working four years ago when my husband retired and we moved to the island of Cedar Key. I have three grown children and seven grandchildren. I’m a huge animal lover and our home is also home to three cats, a Scottish terrier and a cockapoo. Readers can visit my author website at www.TerriDuLong.com or my blog at www.islandwriter.net
- What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a Christmas novella that will be released November 2010 from Kensington, with Fern Michaels headlining the anthology. I’m also working on book number two in the Cedar Key series. This novel will focus on Monica, Sydney’s daughter from SPINNING FORWARD and will also be released November 2010.
- What have you just finished reading?
Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
- What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out?
I’ve read women’s fiction since I was a young mom in the sixties and seventies. I was especially drawn to novels like A Woman of Substance, The Thornbirds, The Shellseekers. Stories about women going through a difficult time but developing the confidence and strength to overcome adversity and succeed.
- What gets you started on a new book? A character or story idea or….?
For me, I start with a sense of “place.” Once I decide where my setting will be, I begin to think about my character. What is it, exactly, that has caused a conflict in her life that will ultimately end up changing that life? And my character is usually created by something I’ve seen or heard, possibly a composite of people I’ve met and this is when my story idea and my character are no longer separate. Up until this point, all of the planning has been done in my head, just jotting down notes. But once I understand my character and the story she will tell, then I’m ready to begin writing. For SPINNING FORWARD, I wanted to tell the story of a woman in her early fifties, who had been content to let her husband handle all of the financial aspects of their marriage until an unfortunate event forces her to develop awareness and take charge of her life, which in turn leads to her finding her own identity.
- What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
Probably that the older I’m getting, the more I’m realizing that I think I was always destined to be an author, even though I took many varied and different paths to get here. I was an only child, have always loved to write, had an imaginary playmate named Mary Jane and I’ve been an avid reader since age five. Yet it took many years before I took my writing seriously enough to pursue this on a professional level.
- What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
Most of all, to read! Whatever interests you, because by reading, it will enable you to discover which genre you feel drawn to write. I feel very strongly that the two go hand in hand. If you want to be a writer, there’s a high probability that you love to read. I also strongly suggest attending writer’s conferences to fully understand both the craft of writing and the industry, to purchase some of the great books on writing and always make the time to write, write, write!
- What is something you would like to share with us about writing your favorite genre in general?
Because my genre is women’s fiction, I like the fact that the story becomes centered on relationship . . . sometimes mother/daughter, girlfriends, siblings, lovers. Sometimes one of those relationships and sometimes all of them combined. But it’s always the focus of the relationship that is the primary substance of the story.