Interview with Bestselling Author, Terri Blackstock

1. What inspired you to write?
I just have a vivid imagination, and have been making up stories since I was a little girl. When I was around twelve I got a poem published in my local newspaper, and that was it. I knew from then on that I wanted to be a published writer and make a living doing that.
2. What is the first thing you do when you start a new writing project?
I usually outline a plot and write a synopsis, so I can make sure I’ve through it through. I focus on the character arcs and how they’ll grow throughout the book. And I pray a lot!
3. Do you have any unpublished novels?

I have one novel that never sold, and I’m very thankful that it wasn’t so easy to self-publish back then. If I’d put that book out when it was clearly not ready, it would still be out there. It might have hurt my future career because publishers would have been able to read that, and they would have thought I was a bad writer (which I was then). That book will never sell, and that’s the way it should be.
4. What do you usually find yourself coming back to in your novels?
Probably the theme of the crisis being the blessing, or there being a purpose for the suffering and trials in our lives. I often write about themes that are going on in my own life, ways that God is dealing with me. I always assume that God gave me these challenges so that I could pass my lessons on to my readers.
5. What is your perfect writing day?

A perfect writing day would be a day when I’m undisturbed and in total silence for about six hours straight, in the zone, where everything is coming easily.

6. What is your reaction and answer when people say that fiction is useless and there is nothing to learn from it?
I tell them to take it up with Jesus. He used fiction to teach all the time. Instead of preaching a sermon about God’s forgiving nature, He said, “There was once a man who had two sons …” And he told the parable of the Prodigal Son. He might as well have been saying, “Once upon a time …” People were able to step into the skin of those characters, and they never forgot that lesson. That’s what I want to do, and I know without a doubt that God gave me the gift of storytelling, and He has called me to use it to point readers to Him and His ways.
7. What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to read, I work on occasional crossword puzzle, and I love to watch home decorating shows.
8. Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many–both in the secular and Christian markets–that I don’t want to name them for fear of leaving someone out. So many of them are my friends.
9. You wrote in the secular market before you started writing in the Christian market. In which market have you been the most successful?
I’ve definitely been more successful in the Christian market, though I never dreamed in my wildest imagination that this was possible. But it’s clear proof that this verse is true: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
10. What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love escaping into another world every day, and working out the problems in my life through watching characters work them out. Writing is very therapeutic.
11. What have you learned about yourself and God throughout your
writing career?
The more I learn, the more I realize how much I have to learn. God is complex and multi-faceted, and just when I think I’ve figured Him out, He shows me how wrong I am. But it’s the journey that’s important. I am a character created by God, and He’s writing my story just as I’m writing that of my characters.
12. What is your favorite food?
Potatoes of almost any kind.
13. How long does it take you to write a novel?
I take nine months to write one, usually. That’s a pretty comfortable schedule for me.
14. Do you have any writing projects in the works at the moment?
Yes, I’m in the editing stages of my book Downfall, which will come out in March 2012. (It’s the third book in my Intervention Series.) I’m at the very earliest stages of plotting out my next series.

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