It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.
I am honored to continue this series with Kentucky author Teri Polen
You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.
If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, please enjoy this interview with Teri Polen:
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Definitely original. I just write the stories narrated by the characters in my head. I never set out planning what to write – they completely determine the path.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start earlier! Study the craft, research, and get started writing.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
It’s actually a book series – the Repairman Jack novels by F. Paul Wilson. A friend introduced me to them years ago, and I was hooked after the first chapter. Hands down, Jack is one of the coolest and intelligent characters I’ve ever read. Suspense, thriller, action, and supernatural shaken and stirred into a gripping, riveting series. I can’t believe it hasn’t been made into a movie, but I’m afraid they’d get Jack’s character totally wrong and ruin it for me.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes. I feel like with most of them, a writer can learn about areas that need strengthening – especially if something is continually mentioned (pacing, not connecting with characters, etc.). With the bad ones, sometimes the book wasn’t for that reader, and I totally understand. The same has happened to me with books I’ve read. But you still have the trolls out there set on bashing a book any way they can, and that makes it unfair for everyone, the author and other readers alike. Those are the ones I skip over.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
I have a difficult time with last names for characters. They always tell me their first names, but I struggle with the last, so sometimes I’ll take a name from a movie or book character I’ve liked. In The Gemini Connection, the last name of a detective is taken from Harrison Ford’s character in Blade Runner, and a scientist’s last name is Quill, after Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m just nerdy that way.
Do you Google yourself?
I think I did only one time. Maybe I should try it again, but I’m almost afraid to see what comes up. ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ is still a valid rule, right? More of a guideline now?
What is your favorite childhood book?
I don’t have one in particular, but I’d have to say Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and the Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik.
If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I probably would have paid more attention in English classes when it came to sentence structure and diagramming – do they even still do that in school?
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Once I really get the gist of the story in my mind, from that first sentence in the first draft, about six months or so. I’ll spend three to four months letting the story develop, researching, world-building, and getting to know the characters.
About Teri Polen:
Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Visit her online at www.teripolen.com
Connect with Teri: