Thursday, August 18, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Author Terri Long

N.L. Who are you and why should readers read the rest of this interview?

T.L. I’m a wife and mom. I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my family. They make me laugh – and they bring tremendous joy and teach me so much! I also love to walk, hike, climb. For an amateur, I can hold my own in the kitchen. Everyone in our family loves to travel. My bio says that in another life I might have been an international food writer – that really is true.

Professionally, I lecture at Boston College, where I’ve taught creative and nonfiction writing for 15 years. I’ve also written copy for marketing, advertising and public relations, edited technical articles for trade journals, and edited a small trade magazine. In Leah’s Wake is my first novel. These days, other than teaching, or doing occasional marketing or editing work, I spend my time writing. I’m currently at work on a second novel.

Fun facts: I’m addicted to chocolate and shoes, and I have absolutely no sense of direction.

Readers should finish the interview because you’re an awesome blogger & writer and they should trust your instincts. J

N.L. Tell us a little about the work you are here promoting.

In Leah’s Wake is a story of a family in collapse. Sixteen-year-old Leah, a star soccer player, has led a perfect life. When she meets a hot, older guy, a former roadie in a rock band, she begins to spread her wings. Drinking, ignoring curfew, dabbling in drugs—all this feels like freedom to her; her parents, naturally terrified, thinking they’re losing their daughter, pull the reigns tighter. This is unfamiliar territory for the whole family. Unfortunately, they get it all wrong, pushing when they ought to be pulling, and communication breaks down. Soon, there’s no turning back. Twelve-year-old Justine caught between the parents she loves, and the big sister she adores, finds herself in the fight of her life, trying desperately to pull her family together.

In Leah’s Wake received the Coffee Time Reviewer Recommend Award and is the 2011 Book Bundlz Book Club Pick.

N.L. As a writer, do you have plans for world domination, or do you have a day job as well?

Other than teaching, occasional marketing or editing work, I spend nearly all my time writing. I’m currently at work on a second novel. World domination might be a tad strong, but, hey, why not shoot for the sky? What writer doesn’t want to dominate the world? J

N.L.  Tell us a little bit about your self-publishing venture.

In Leah’s Wake is my first novel. I published it myself in October 2010. I also belong to the Indie Book Collective, a group of indie authors working to promote other indie authors. We write and package our books professionally and are working to eliminate the indie stigma!

N.L.  How do you handle bad reviews?

First, I give myself a few minutes to be sad and depressed and to mope. While I’m holding the pity party for myself, I read the reviewer’s other reviews to see if I can determine a reason he or she didn’t go gaga over my book. Sometimes it’s simply not a good fit – In Leah’s Wake is literary fiction; I can’t expect readers who prefer romance or sci-fi novels to fall in love with it.

It doesn’t take me long to snap back to reality. The truth: readers have different tastes. We all do. Quite a few reviewers have said specifically that they loved the ending of In Leah’s Wake, they never saw it coming, and so on. One reviewer said something to the effect of, if Terri could learn how to end a book she might have a future. What do I make of that? Nada. I chalk it up to taste and move on. There is no right or wrong in reader-response reviews. They just are. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’d give it 6 stars, if it were possible, yet 3 percent of Goodreads readers – about 3900 people – gave it 1. Readers have diverse interests and taste. That’s great for us. It means we don’t all have to fit a mold or write the same book.

N.L. Are you nervous yet and do you prefer white or wheat bread.

Sure, I’m always nervous. I read every review with trepidation. I worry that today will be the day the book tanks. Or I’ve lost my touch and can’t write anymore. Most days, I manage to keep the monsters at bay. I put one foot in front of the other – as Dory says in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming.” Honestly, I feel blessed to have connected with so many terrific, supportive writers. And readers have been warm and generous - truly wonderful - to me.
I prefer wheat bread, but I wouldn’t mind a slice of white now and again to settle my stomach.

N.L. Do you blog? If so, don't you wish you were as cool a blogger as I?

My blog, The Art & Craft of Writing Creatively, focuses on writing, writing tips and inspiration. There’s also a terrific new column on book clubs by Emyln Chand. Occasionally, I write about social issues. Readers can also find information about In Leah’s Wake and my current writing projects. I hope to enrich and entertain. While it’s focused on writing, readers will find varied content.

I definitely wish I were as cool a blogger as you!
I wish I were as cool as you in general!!

N.L. I appreciate the fact that you humor me. What is your favorite creature, monster, or fantasy based thing you write about?

The monsters inside our heads. My characters are decent people who mess up – their own demons are usually their worst enemies.

N.L.  Are you planning to give something away (if not, good luck getting anyone to read this thing) and if so, what are your demands for winning ?

Sure – I’ll give a signed copy of In Leah’s Wake and a bookmark to any 5 readers you choose,

N.L. On August 17, In Leah’s Wake will be the featured book in the Indie Book Collective’s Bestseller for a Day promotion! That day and for a few days afterward, readers can buy the book at the discount price of only 99 cents! There’s also a lot of fun, interactive features on my site, if readers would like to stop by.

N.L. Any advice for aspiring authors?

It’s hard, but believe in yourself. Trust your instincts. To deal with the rejection, boot your computer day after day when it seems as if no one cares, as if the stars are misaligned – to self-publish in a world that privileges the traditionally published – you’ve got to believe in yourself.
Writing is a lonely profession. Most of the time, we’re alone with our work. The loneliness can wear on you, and cause you to question yourself.  Cherish your friendships. Your supportive writer friends can encourage and sustain you.

Above all, hold onto your dreams. Don’t ever give up!

N.L. Tick off a few indie authors you look up to.

Amber Scott, Carolyn McCray and Rachel Thompson - founders of the Indie Book Collective. They’re strong, determined women, industry pioneers. They fought the initial insecurities we all struggle with, worked hard to escape the indie stigma and made their extraordinary books a phenomenal success. Yet, as successful as they’ve been, they go out of their way – personally and through the Collective – to share knowledge and help other writers. I deeply respect them as mentors. Soon, indies will stand as equals with NYC authors - and it will be because of their efforts.
I also have tremendous respect for my publicist, Novel Publicity founder Emlyn Chand. Emlyn is insightful, creative and a brilliant forward thinker. She’ll release her first YA novel, Farsighted, this fall. Farsighted is an amazing book! I have no doubt that it will be tremendously successful!

N.L. Are you, or are you not a douche bag? Heh, you don't have to answer that. That's just for my enjoyment.

No. I am not a douche bag. No, no, no.
OK, fine. Yes, I’m a douche bag. Sometimes. But only to my husband. J

N.L. The fact that you actually answered that one fills my heart with joy.
Alright, where can readers find you on the web?




Book Bundlz:

Thank you so very much, Natasha, for giving me this opportunity to reach out, connect with your readers. And thank you – all of you - for your interest in my book. Time is precious. With the millions of rich, entertaining, beautiful books to choose among, I feel honored that you’d spend this time with me, reading about mine.


Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows better than anything else can. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and as a writing instructor at Boston College. She blogs about writing and the writing life at Or connect with her on Facebook:  Or Twitter: @tglong

Recipient of the CTRR, Reviewer Recommend Award

The Tyler family had the perfect life - until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore.

While her parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah's younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

Will this family survive? What happens when love just isn't enough?

Jodi Picoult fans will love this beautifully written and absorbing novel.

Amazon Kindle: Click Here

Barnes &Noble;  Nook: Click Here

Amazon UK: Click Here

Giveaway Time!
1. You are not required to be a follower of this blog, but it is appreciated ;)
2. Leave a comment that includes your E-MAIL ADDY after the following excerpt. Please answer the following question:

 Do you enjoy literary fiction? Why or why not?

In the dream, Zoe is rowing a canoe, in the middle of the ocean. The canoe bobs in the waves. A swell washes over her, tipping the boat, and Zoe is treading water. She tries to swim, the current too strong. The tide carries her downstream, through a narrow passageway, to a saltwater river. A party boat passes, so close she can almost reach out and touch it. People in Twenties-style clothing—mustachioed men in crisp white suits, women in short frilly dresses—are crowded on the deck, several men leaning precariously over the rail. The women laugh, sipping martinis. A band, playing on the upper deck, launches into a song, people singing, dancing. Zoe cries out, but no one hears. Suddenly, she spots Leah, floating toward her. Zoe kicks her feet, harder, harder, propelling her body forward. Leah reaches, grabbing her neck. No, Leah. We’ll both drown. Take my hand, baby. My hand.
He’s dead, Momma. He’s dead. Leah tugs Zoe’s hand.
“What?” Zoe says, somewhere between waking and sleep. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
Leah shrieks, her face blotchy, contorted. Zoe pushes to her elbows, her tongue cotton, her ears full of liquid.
A haze has fallen over the house. She searches for the clock.
The room blurs. Zoe thinks she might vomit. Leah tugs harder, trying to pull Zoe—Where? Reaching backward, using the arm of the sofa for leverage, Zoe drags herself up. Rubs her eyes, her skull expanding, her mind numb.
“Mommy, listen,” Leah cries. “You’re not listening, Mommy.”
Zoe floats toward the stairs, Leah zooming ahead. Her joints ache, the soles of her feet burning as she presses, one foot then the other, to the hardwood floor, sheer will propelling her forward. She wishes she could go back to sleep. She could sleep forever, she thinks.
Sleep forever.
“Mommy,” Leah calls, from the top of the stairs. “Hurry.”
“I’m coming, Leah. I am.”
Zoe holds onto the banister, the stairs moaning under her weight. Leah has drawn stick figures with black magic marker on the walls inside the stairwell. Her temples throb, blood draining from her head to her chest. Mommy. Come, Momma. Hurry.
What has she done? My God, Zoe thinks. What have I done?
“I did it, Mommy,” Leah cries. “I killed him.”
For one horrific moment, the world goes still. Then Zoe is shaking her daughter— “Who, Leah? Who did you kill?”—terrified of the answer.
Suddenly, the baby wails. Zoe blinks, catching her breath.
“I wanted to make him pretty, Mommy. I hadda hold him,” she sobs. “I holded him nice. I did. I tied the ribbon and he stopped breaving.”
She sees the hamster now, in Leah’s open palm, a pale blue ribbon cinching its waist.
Holding Leah’s free hand, Zoe guides her daughter back to the bedroom, removes a shoebox from Leah’s closet, lays the hamster to rest. Taking Leah by the hand, she goes to Justine. After she changes the baby’s diaper, the three of them will take the hamster outside, bury him in the backyard. They’ll say a prayer, sing a song. Afterward, Zoe will read the Genesis story, from Leah’s Bible For Children. She will take her daughter into her arms, tell her she mustn’t blame herself. All creatures die. Death is part of God’s plan. Don’t be afraid, baby, she’ll say. Dying doesn’t hurt. Death, she thinks, afflicts only the living. When Leah looks up, Zoe will read in her daughter’s eyes the faint stirring of comprehension. And she’ll hold her tightly, comforting, protecting her child, while she still can.

This giveaway will last until August 27th. Good Luck! 


Terri Giuliano Long said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Natasha! It's an honor to be here. You asked great questions. I had a lot of fun with them!

Marjie Pride said...

I have Given you an AWARD.. come get it!

Nova Sparks said...

That was fun! I'm so entering this!

I LOVE literary fiction because sometimes real life SUCKS and I really appreciate reading about things that go on in another authors head. Also, fiction is just an alternate reality and sometimes it can help someone deal with things that may be happening in their actual reality.

Literary fiction is really a powerful thing :-)

Natasha Larry said...

I'm so glad you had fun doing it, Terri. I had a lot of fun reading your answers!

LoL, Nova. Great answer, I heart you so!

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview !

Following you !

To me, literary fiction uncovers a truth or brings the reader (via the main character) to an understanding about life.I love it because there's a beginning, a progression and an ending; and the buildup and resolution all happen internally.

Walter Knight said...

Good interview. I see your stats / sales on Amazon Kindle are great. Good job.

Raising a family is hard work. It strikes me as very stressful to write about it. I relived all sorts of memories just reading this interview.