Author Interview with Teri Lee
I’m interviewing Teri Lee, author of YA Paranormal “Troubled Spritis”. Thank you, Teri, for taking the time to respond to my interview questions.
1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
When I was in High School, my Creative Writing teacher, Ken Allen, told us to write a descriptive paragraph. I walked down to the river near my house and just wrote what I saw. Every time I read it, I could feel myself there. Even though I continued on to become a nurse, that’s when I decided I wanted to be an author. I wanted to be able to take people to places they’d never been just by opening a book.
2. Where did you get the inspiration for Troubled Spirits?
A few of my ER coworkers invited me to join them as ghost adventurers. We planned on going into one of the old hospital buildings to attempt to make contact with a spirit. The hospital admission nixed that idea and none of us were brave enough to try to sneak in. But for me, the adventure continued, because that’s when Troubled Spirits was born.
3. What is your editing process like?
I’m part of a critique group and I wouldn’t trade those ladies for anything. They have each taught me so much about the writing process. We meet regularly and review each other’s work, then make suggestions. Then I go back through that section and see what parts of the story need to be changed. I won’t say I use all of their edits, but without a doubt, they helped make Troubled Spirits a better story. On top of that, I read what I’ve written out loud and I pick up a lot of clunky sentences that way. I don’t like editing. It’s tedious, but it is necessary.
4. What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
After I thought I was finished with the story, I had a critique with Taryn Albright at the New England SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference. After meeting with her, I realized my story needed a subplot and I just dreaded starting over at the beginning and weaving that in so I set it aside for almost six months. After some prodding from my amazing critique group, I went to work on it. Once I got started I was glad I did, it was the starting process that was painful.
5. What are your writing goals for the rest of 2014?
I’m working on a sequel to Troubled Spirits. I’d like to get that finished and start the query process by the end of this year.
6. Are you working on something now? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
In addition to Whispering Spirits I’m working on a young adult fantasy which right now I’m calling Wijia – To belong. Wijia is the Abenaki word for belong. The story is about a teen who in the process of discovering her roots, realizes she has a very special gift. I’ve also started a middle grade story that I haven’t titled. It’s inspired by an experience I had in the ER that I feel like I’ll never be able to let go of until I finish this story. Although it’s inspired by one patient, absolutely none of it is fact.
About The Book
Title: Troubled Spirits
Author: Teri Lee
Genre: YA Paranormal
Ghosts aren’t real.
That’s what Annie Waters believed before she snuck into the abandoned Caldwell School. Before the dark presence followed her home. Before she realized, her only hope was to believe.
Growing up in Maine, Teri Lee spent most of her time reading and exploring in the woods. And that hasn’t changed. When she’s not writing, you’ll still find her lost in a book or out hiking. And if she’s not there, try the ER. But don’t worry, she’s the nurse, not the patient. Teri has three grown children and still resides in Maine with her husband.