Author Interview with Terri Ferran

Today’s post is part of a blog tour for Terri Ferran’s latest release, Choosing Charity. The book is the final in the Finding Faith, Having Hope, and Choosing Charity trilogy, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. Choosing Charity is available in most LDS bookstores or as an eBook on Amazon, plus, you can enter to win a giveaway for all three books by leaving a comment on this blog and the other blogs in the tour (more comments=more chances to win). You can see the blog tour’s full schedule on The Book Bug.

This post is a fun one for me, because Terri is a friend (not that the other authors I interview aren’t friends, but I’ve actually sat down and talked with Terri more than twice because we’re in the same writer’s group). I haven’t read Choosing Charity yet, but I’ve read some of her other stuff and it’s good! She has six children, drives a really cool car, and can find humor is just about any situation.

Here’s the back-cover copy for Choosing Charity:

When Kit learns that her biological mother wants to meet her, it seems her perfect life is about to come tumbling down. With a new job, a husband she adores, and friends all around her, can Kit possibly be expected to risk everything for a woman who left her in a dumpster to die? 

Of course, love comes in many forms. Now Kit’s about to learn that when faith and hope aren’t enough, charity can make things right.

And now, here’s my interview with Terri:

List five movies you LOVE:

Gone With the Wind

Benny & Joon

The Avengers

Finding Forrester

The Count of Monte Cristo

I love the characterization in all of these. It sucks me into the story.

What is your favorite book?

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

Item(s) you’re willing to splurge on:

Premium chocolate

Diet Coke

Cars (I drive a Camaro and my husband drives a Jaguar)

What household chore do you have the hardest time keeping up with?

Changing the sheets. A woman recently recounted a humbling experience when she was on bed rest for a pregnancy and had to accept service from others. She said, “I had to let someone else change my sheets that hadn’t been changed in two months!” I thought, “Two months? My sheets are on the same schedule as the battery in my smoke detectors—twice a year, when I change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time.”

Do you have any hidden talents?

I have many hidden talents. Unfortunately they are hidden so well, I haven’t seen a trace of them.

Best writing advice you’ve ever received?

The pointy end of the pencil goes towards the paper.

Writing advice you’d give to others?

Don’t keep talking about writing, write.

Pick a character from one of your books and tell us about him or her:

Maven is the “fairy godmother” in my current manuscript—although the politically-correct term is “mentor” now. The recession has affected everyone and Maven’s day job is as a lunch lady at high school. She earns extra money from house-sitting and skip-trace (bounty hunting) work.

Maven cracks me up. Especially when she’s chugging Diet Coke from a 2-liter bottle.

What type of readers would like your book?

Readers with impeccable taste—or no taste—I get confused.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

I love it when the character comes alive and feels like a real person. Once my husband came home from work and I announced, “Guess what? Ben and Janet got engaged today!” He looked at me blankly and asked, “Who?” I reminded him that Janet was Kit’s (the protagonist in my work-in-progress) best friend. He wasn’t nearly as excited about their engagement as I was.

What process do you go through as you get a book ready for submission?

I edit a lot as I write the first draft. I used to think my first draft was practically submission-ready. Thankfully, I’ve learned to be a little more patient and re-read/edit more. My husband is always my first test reader and often reads chapters as I finish them. My oldest daughter and a few other people are my beta-readers of the finished manuscript. I revise based on their comments and trends I see in their feedback.

After those edits, I read the manuscript aloud to catch things I missed earlier, such as awkward-sounding phrases. I set it aside for a couple of weeks and start on something else before I read and edit it a final time.

I recently joined a critique group and am trying submitting the chapters as I write them. It’s the first time I’ve shared my “unpolished” work with fellow writers and it’s a little scary sometimes.

Yep, that critique group can be kind of scary. I’m actually nervous to post this blog because I’m really sure Terri could find ways to improve most of the sentences I’ve written!

You can learn more about Terri on her website. And don’t forget to comment on this and the other blogs on the tour for your chance to win all three books.