Tag Archives: Terri Ann Leidich

Author Interview | Terri Ann Leidich – Part 2

I was very grateful that Terri Ann Leidich participated in an Author Interview.  Part 1 of the interview included her take on the writing process sprinkled with a few random questions.  Check it out here.

Part 2 consists of questions specific to her book Family Inheritance, that is set to be released on October 1, 2014.  I recently completed the book and wrote a book review on it.

I’m always curious about an author’s process of writing a book because they speak of the same struggles that I’m going through with mine.  You know what I’m talking about…finding time, motivation, and inspiration.  It’s also great to hear about books I enjoyed reading and what it took to get them published.

So, here are a few questions and answers…

Q: What was your motivation for starting Family Inheritance 30 years ago and what motivated you to finish after all these years?

I was in my early 30s and in a very difficult time in my life, and writing has always been a stress release for me.  I was working on some poetry and Helene’s character came into my mind, so I started an outline and the other two sisters appeared in my imagination.  Over the months, I began talking with friends, acquaintances, people I would meet on airplanes, etc. about their lives or the lives of women they knew.  It’s amazing what people are willing to share if they feel you are interested and truly care.

I began to realize that behind the facades of “perfect lives”, a lot of trauma could be hiding, and many times the difficulties women would talk about had some connection to their childhood.  That’s when the title of Family Inheritance took hold in my mind.  It probably took about ten years to finish the basic story, but the publishing environment at that time was tough for new writers and we didn’t get to have a lot of say in our stories.

After many rejections, I had a tentative offer from a large publisher about 20 years ago, but they wanted to eliminate Alice from the story, and I wasn’t willing to do that.  So, I put the manuscript in a file drawer.  I realized a few years ago that if I wanted to bring Helene, Alice, and Suzanne into the lives of other women who might be helped by them, I needed to do something about it, because I’m not getting any younger.

Q: Did you develop your characters based on where and how you grew up?

Each character has a small piece of either my experience of the life or experience of someone I know.  The rest is fiction.  My family, like most families, had its own level of dysfunction but nowhere to the degree that Helene, Alice, and Suzanne experienced.  For instance, my father was an alcoholic and my mother’s life when she was married to hims was difficult, but not to the degree of Anna’s life.

Q: How many drafts went into this book before it got published?

So many that I lost count over the years.  As with any writer, the more I wrote, the more I learned, and the more I learned, the more changing and honing I did with the book.  My sister Kathy read one of the first drafts over 25 years ago and she recently read an advance copy of the book.  She gave me the greatest compliments, “You’ve done good, girl!”  If you have sisters, you know that’s sister talk for “I liked it.”

Q: In what ways is Family Inheritance being marketed?

Through reviews, giveaways, through the distributor working directly with wholesalers, working with bookstores, strong social media campaigns, press releases, book signings, book club appearances, etc.

Q: What part of the book was the most difficult to write and why?

Alice’s story was the hardest to write.  When I wrote the scene where she was talking with Thelma about wanting better for herself and Thelma said, “There ain’t no better for you and me…Just put up with what you gotta put with and get on with life…Your father hit your mother. My father hit my mother.  Al hits me.  Jake hits you.  What’s that tell you, Alice?  Who do yu know that’s got different?”

When the scene was written, I sat down and cried because I know for many women, abuse is and has been a strong part of their lives.  That breaks my heart to this day.

Q: What part of the book did you enjoy writing the most?

When the sisters started really connecting and helping each other take good, long looks at themselves.  Whey they did, they all came out better because of it.  I totally enjoyed writing those scenes.

Thank you again to Terri Ann Leidich for being a part of an author interview.

Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter

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Author Interview | Terri Ann Leidich – Part 1

After reading Family Inheritance, I wanted to know a bit more about the author, Terri Ann Leidich.  Thankfully through Net Galley, we can express interest in connecting with the authors of the books we review.  Terri contacted me and agreed to be a part of an “Author Interview”.  She is my first official interview! Yay!

This is Part of 1 of the interview which consists of questions on the process of writing a book and a few other book related ones.  Part 2 will be published later and will be specific to her book Family Inheritance, which I recently wrote a review on.  You can check it out here.

So, here we go…

Q: What genre do you like to write in?  What draws you to this genre?

I like Contemporary Women’s Fiction because the stories feel real and could be happening to women just like us. Many times, no matter who is reading the book, there is some aspect of one of the characters in the book to whom we can strongly relate.  And, that can be life changing.

Q: How much research goes into your books?

A lot! That’s why it took 30 years to bring Family Inheritance to the marketplace.  Most of my research is done by talking to people about their lives, their experiences, their feelings.

Q: How do you structure your day for writing?  Is there a special time of the day you write?

Because I still have a “day job”, my writing life doesn’t have the structure I would like it to have.  Most of my writing is done on the weekends.

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?

Once the “creation” is done and it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of editing, honing, and bringing the story to the place where a publisher will accept it.  That’s hard work!

Q: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

What works for me is stepping away, taking a nice warm bath, going to Starbucks and sipping on a chai – something that will get me away from “creating the story” and giving my creative self or what I call “the space beyond the mind” an opportunity to let the story flow.  Writer’s block for me is often a time where I’m trying to fit my story or idea into a predetermined outline when in actuality, the story wants to be able to flow in another direction.

Q: What writers inspire you? 

One of my favorite authors is Jodi Picoult because she tells stories that are so real and sometimes so raw that by reading them, you come out changed.  My Sister’s Keeper is one of my all-time favorites.  At the end of the book, I just sobbed.  I really think the film makers did the movie a disservice when they changed the ending.  True, it was a tough ending, but it was so poignant.

Q: Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

 I intend to keep writing and/or pulling out manuscripts from my jammed file drawer and working on them.  How many books I will have written and published in five years, I’m not sure.  I’d rather craft a book and have a story unfold than be on a deadline where I have to “put out something” by a certain date.  I’ve been delighted to read that reviewers are interested in my writing and look forward to more books.  What a nice feeling to take into my writing.

Q: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Gone with the Wind.  That is such a masterpiece!  The characters are so real, and they stay with you forever.  I still have moments when I think about Scarlett and how she would say something to the effect of, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”  Sometimes, that’s good advice.

Q:  If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would that be?

Write because you love to write.  Only a small percentage of authors become rich and famous.  If that happens to you, fabulous, but if it doesn’t, make sure that you can say you thoroughly enjoyed the process.

Thank you to Terri Ann Leidich for taking the time to answer my questions.

Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Book Review | Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich

Book Review | Family Inheritance

Family Inheritance follows the lives of three sisters; Helene, Alice, and Suzanne.  Their childhood was filled with anger, sadness, and poverty, contributing to the obstacles currently in front of them.  They tucked the memories of their abusive alcoholic father and their cowardly mother away, until it was almost too late for them to face it.

When their mother slips into a coma, they find that they have to battle their inner demons and confront the past that haunts them.  By confronting the past, they are able to change things in the present and make their lives better.

The sisters’ relationships grow and they find that having family can be a blessing, not a burden.  They realize that keeping their feelings and family history hidden has hurt those they love and made them unhappy.

This book is about letting go of the past and looking towards a better brighter future.  It’s about forgiving, but not necessarily forgetting.  It’s about owning up to your mistakes and learning from them.  Most importantly, it’s about strength, perseverance, and courage.

***

I really enjoyed this book and was reading it every chance I had. In my opinion, that’s how I know it’s a good book.

Coming from a childhood that was less than ideal, I know that you can be affected by it, but you either learn from it or end up hiding from it.  The three sisters were all hiding from their past and they kept that part of them a secret from everyone.  They kept things from each other and pushed each other away over the years.

Helene, Alice, and Suzanne had obstacles that seemed too hard for them to face.  Helene had a lot of trouble in her marriage and her son was starting down a destructive path.  One all too familiar to Helene.

Alice was in an abusive relationship that hurt her and her two children.  She was struggling for the courage to fight for her children and to keep them safe.

Suzanne was an alcoholic trying to forget what her father had done to her as a child.  Her alcoholism landed her in a big mess and instead of cleaning it up, she ran from it.

All three of them had major insecurities about themselves which kept them from facing their fears and working through their obstacles.  They slowly realized that they were similar or were in similar circumstances as their father and mother.

I think the author did a great job telling each of their stories and the struggles they were going through.  The transitions between them made it easy to read.   She started each character at a low point then as the weeks and months passed you notice that Helene, Alice, and Suzanne are slowly putting their lives back together, with a few bumps along the way.  This high and low cycle continues throughout the book until the end when everything seems right.

The book was primarily about the three sisters, but included the perspective of their mother.  I really don’t think the mother’s perspective was necessary and I think she could have started off in a coma.  I also think that Alice’s climax could have been better.  I feel that with the situation she was in should have had a much more dramatic ending between her and her husband.

Overall, I think the book was good and I would recommend it as a must read.

Favorite Quotes

Her childhood was a part of helping her get to this point in life.  Things were what they were, and if she couldn’t change it, she needed to learn to live with it in a positive way.

It’s today or never.  I’ll either confront my past today, or it will devour me.

Overall Rating

Based on my review would you read this book?

Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Publishing Company: BQB Publishing

Release Date: October 1, 2014

Rating Information

Upcoming Book Review | Family Inheritance

I discovered at site called Net Galley thanks to one of my followers, Paris Baker.  The site is for publishers to market books and for “professional readers” to read and review them.  A reader will request books and the publisher will either approve or decline the request.

I was fortunate to be approved for Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich.  It was the first book I read from Net Galley and couldn’t put it down. Review coming soon.

This book is set to be released on October 1, 2014.

Thank you BQB Publishing for allowing me to read an advance copy.

Check out Terri Ann Leidich’s website for more information about this book and others she has written.

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