Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.
Terri started scribbling in 1987 when she was in the 8th grade. It was her first year in a public school, the farm girl's first time in a real library. After falling in love with the choose-your-own-adventure books that were all the rage, Terri decided to write a few of her own. She shared them with her three brothers, supportive parents, and any friends who could be talked into reading the jumbled papers.
That same year, Terri completed her first novel titled Gundi's Great Adventure. It was about a little gnome and his friends who took to the mines and rescued the poor people of their land from the clutches of an evil villain. It was written in pencil, the pages stapled to death.
The following year, Terri made a submission for the first time. Her reaction to losing the short story competition about a unicorn was typical of a confident, cocky thirteen-year-old. They were totally wrong to choose another as their winner. Her story must have been the best. She'd been reading adult novels since she was eight for crying out loud!
Terri pouted. The pencil was put down. She didn't attempt writing again for sixteen years.
In 2004 Terri met Pulitzer Prize winner, Anne Tyler, who encouraged Terri to follow her dream of becoming a published author. With renewed vigor, Terri took up her pencil once more. Ms. Tyler graciously mentored Terri through the writing of her first novel.
The confidence from Terri's childhood returned and quickly morphed into arrogance when Ms. Tyler said Terri would someday be signing a book for her. Ms. Tyler wrote letters of introduction to a few agents who agreed to look at Terri's soft romance manuscript.
Of course, Laura Langlie and Amy Berkower didn't understand the big thing they decided not to get in on. Donald Maass' critique of the first three chapters was off the mark - he certainly didn't know what he was talking about. Or, so Terri thought.
The fourteen agents who agreed that Terri's writing was 'jarring' and 'sloppy' cracked her self-confident shell. Her arrogance was shredded by each until all that remained was a woman who realized she had a lot to learn.
Terri put her pencil down once more.
In 2008 Terri started working on a fantasy novel which is still a work in progress. Since that time, she's joined an awesome writer's workshop, Scribophile, and delved into flash fiction and short stories. She's been lucky enough to have four published.
The determination of the thirteen-year-old farm girl has doubled, but this time she's willing to glean whatever she can to help her on her scribbling sojourn.