This week’s featured author is Teri Polen from Bowling Green, KY and her YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy book The Gemini Connection.
By Teri Polen
1. What message are you hoping people will receive when they read your book? I don’t really have a message I’m trying to get across, but I hope readers will connect with my characters, immerse themselves in the story, and escape reality for a while.
2. Why did you write this book? I wrote this book because I had twin brothers in my head who wouldn’t let me rest until I told their story. Do you know how hard it is to sleep with those voices yapping all night?
3. What has been the hardest part of the publishing process? Hands down, marketing. Writing the book seems to be the easiest part, but connecting with readers, getting reviews, and finding the perfect marketing niche for your book is probably the biggest challenge facing indie authors.
4. What has been the biggest (pleasant) surprise in your publishing journey? One is connecting with other writers. Having a supportive group of writers has been invaluable when it comes to sharing experiences. The other is meeting and talking to readers at book events. As an introvert, I kind of dreaded it the first time, but then I realized as a book nerd, I was among my people.
5. Would you write a sequel to your book? Why or why not? Both of my books are standalones (I’m currently writing a duology), but they each have the potential for a sequel, and I’ve been asked by readers if any are planned. I never intended to write sequels for either, but I won’t say it’s a hard no.
6. What author or book has influenced your writing? There are so many who have inspired me, but I’ll try to keep it short. This year will make the fifth writer’s retreat hosted by C.J. Redwine that I’ve attended, and what I’ve learned from her could fill a book. Maybe even a library. Victoria Schwab’s ability to create incredible worlds and unforgettable characters continues to astound me. Stephen King’s book on craft, On Writing, taught me so much about the writing process. I’ve read it numerous times.
7. You are stranded on an island with only 3 books. What are their titles? It’s probably cheating, but I have to name three book series. Harry Potter, V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, and Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series.
8. What is your philosophy about rejection? Writers need thick skin because you can count on rejection the same as death and taxes. It’s inevitable. Once you experience it, take ten minutes and feel sorry for yourself. After that, look at the reason for the rejection and determine if it’s something you can improve – character development, world-building, dialogue, etc. Like life, writing isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. You should always work on improving your craft.
9. Do you have a day job? What is it? I spent over ten years in human resources, and when my first son was born, I was an employment manager for a healthcare facility that required travel for recruiting. With a husband that also traveled for his job and no family in the area, it wasn’t something that worked well for our family at the time, so I began doing medical transcription at home. It isn’t something that requires the use of either of my degrees, but it allowed me to be home with my sons when they were younger, and now gives me time to write.
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