Teri Harman is an author and book geek. Her books include BLOOD MOON, and the upcoming BLACK MOON, STORM MOON and A PAINTED LIFE. She also writes a book column for ksl.com, and contributes regular book segments to Studio 5, Utah’s #1 lifestyle show.
Join in the magic and chaos at teriharman.com
When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
It may sound a little cliché, but always. I was born a writer and storyteller, like many of us are. The first story I remember writing (and still have) was when I was four years old. I dictated it to my mom, who typed it on her electric typewriter. It was a rousing tale about a cow.
Where did the inspiration for (title of book here) come from?
Funny enough, a Halloween party. Every year I throw a witch-themed party for the women in my family. In 2010, I found a killer location: The Fairfield Schoolhouse at Camp Floyd State Park, Utah. It’s one hundred years old and has great atmosphere. With this great location, I needed the party to match, so I started doing some casual research into witches to get ideas for décor, games, food, etc. I stumbled on an off-shot of Wicca – Natural Magic – and was fascinated. I kept reading and finally my husband suggested I write a book.
What made you choose to write a novel?
My love of reading. I’m addicted to books and stories in all forms. Writing a novel came naturally (though not easily.)
What is the main message or theme that you hope readers of this book come away from it with?
At its heart it’s a story about a couple learning to work together, to face hard things and still love one another.
Who is your favorite author?
It’s so hard to choose! From my childhood, Roald Dahl. More recently, Kate Morton.
Do you have a writing routine? A special pen, a certain type of music, time limits?
Yes, as much as a mother of three young kids can, I have a routine. I write in some way every day. I write at my desk in our bedroom so I have a little privacy but can still hear and see what’s going on with the kids. I write on a MacBook Air with a large monitor attached. I keep notebooks: one general writing notebook for ideas, words, characters names, etc. and also a notebook for each book. It’s the only way I can keep track of all the details.
Do you enjoy edits/rewrites, or not?
Yes and no. I love having a rough draft down, but sometimes the revising is the hardest part. I’m more of a discovery writer, though I do a bit of outlining. That kind of writing involves a lot of going back and forth, changing things, or even cutting things.
Please tell us a little bit about your journey to publication:
A long, hard road. I started my pursuit of authorhood almost seven years ago; it took six to see my book on a bookstore shelf. It took five years to get an agent. I’ve been rejected over a hundred times, possibly more, by agents and publishers. But each rejection is a learning opportunity. BLOOD MOON was the second novel I wrote – the first wasn’t good enough. This is a seriously tough business. Even once you’re published it’s hard. But it’s also so rewarding, which is why I keep at it.
What is the hardest part of being a writer?
Worrying about being successful. As I said, this is a HARD business. It’s always a struggle and sometimes that can be overwhelming. So it’s essential to keep perspective and hope.
Are there any common themes that you feel are particularly important to write about?
No. That’s a joy of books – there’s something for everyone, on any subject, any theme. Write about what is important to you because it’s also important to other people.
When you're not writing, what are your other hobbies/passions?
Reading – lots of reading. Also, cooking, hanging with my family, hiking, traveling, and watching too much TV on Netflix.
Are you working on any new projects?
Yes! All I will say is it involves typewriters magically typing love letters.
Quick Fire round:
Coke or Pepsi? Dr. Pepper
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Rainy winter days or blazing hot summer days? Rainy winter days, please.
Hard Copy or e-book? ALWAYS the real thing.
Favorite book? The list would be way too long. But two: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl and “The Thorn Birds” by Collen McCullough
Last book you read? “Dependent” by Brenda Corey Dunne – heartbreaking, raw, triumphant
What's a quote that inspires you? ‘Talent is cheap. What really matters is discipline.’ – Andre Dubus
What's your favorite comfort food? Homemade brownie with cold milk