Monday, December 26, 2016

Interview with debut YA thriller author Teri Polen

My holiday guest is YA horror/thriller author Teri Polen. She’s chatting with me about Sarah.  

During her virtual book tour, Teri will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Teri Polen loves horror, sci-fi, and fantasy books and movies.  She fangirls over The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  

Welcome, Teri. Please share a little bit about your current release.

Sarah is my debut novel and is a YA horror/thriller with some humor tossed in the mix.

What inspired you to write this book?
Oddly enough, the idea for Sarah was sparked by my cat, Shadow. We’d moved into a new house that had no previous owners and Shadow would sit at the foot of the stairs leading to the bonus room, fur bristled up, body tense, and hiss or growl at something we could never see. It got the wheels spinning about how houses could be haunted when no one had ever lived in them. We never did find out what freaked out Shadow and we’re still living in the house. If it’s haunted, the ghosts keep to themselves.

Excerpt from Sarah:
Squeezing my eyes tightly shut, I dug deep for the courage to turn and see if someone – or something - was sitting at the end of the bed. Because I was warm-natured, the comforter from my knees down had been kicked to the side and I remembered the cardinal rule of childhood – never leave body parts out from under the covers because everyone knew the monsters under the bed considered that fair game. I was wishing I’d carried this rule into my early adult years, when I felt a feather-light touch on my left calf.

Icy tendrils rushed from my calf to my scalp, the soft touch much cooler than the room temperature. The parts of my body still beneath the comforter were covered with goosebumps, but not from the frigid touch of whatever waited for me. It was time to take action.

Squaring my jaw and taking a deep breath, I rolled slowly away from the wall, brushing strands of hair away my face.

And there she was, bright moonlight streaming through her partially transparent body.

There was no doubt in my mind who she was. I’d seen her picture in my year book, the online newspaper, and her face glaring into the camera lens on the video. The silvery, shimmering ghost of Sarah Butler was sitting at the foot of my bed, her ebony eyes boring into me.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My work in progress is a YA sci-fi/fantasy. It involves twin brothers, portals, and dreams – that’s really all I can say about it right now. I’ve had to put it on hiatus due to the release and promotion of Sarah and I’m really excited about getting back to those characters.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve seen varying opinions on when someone should consider themselves a writer, but the one I go with is when you begin writing – it doesn’t have to be a book, it could be journaling, poetry, blogging, etc. You’re a writer when you write.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’d love to write full-time and maybe someday I will, but I’m fortunate that I only work part time. After several years in the healthcare industry as an employment manager/recruiter, my first son came along and I began working as a part time medical transcriptionist at home, which has been a tremendous benefit for our family. When I finish my transcription hours and between everything else going on, I’m usually able to find a couple of hours to write. I also have a blog where I review books from indie authors, NetGalley, Edelweiss, and Penguin First To Read.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it’s really interesting, but I usually have Spotify or Pandora playing and start off with a Diet Coke. It seems to get the blood flow going to the brain. Chocolate may be involved occasionally. I’ve also taken permanent possession of my son’s flannel shirt – for some reason I’m more productive when I wear it. Whatever works, right?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Gosh – that’s hard to remember. I know I wanted to be a veterinarian at one point, but then realized not all my patients would survive and thought that would be too depressing. I also wanted to be a waitress – don’t remember why – but that one came true. Aren’t all moms waitresses in a way? I thought about being a librarian, but figured I’d probably be fired because all I’d do is read.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I know horror isn’t at the top of the list for many readers, but Sarah also contains some humor (reviewers have confirmed this) and I’ve had friends who normally don’t read horror tell me they enjoyed it. So if horror isn’t your thing, don’t let that keep you from giving it a try. Thanks so much, Lisa, for having me on your blog today and helping to promote Sarah!


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Teri Polen said...

Thanks for letting me drop by and promote Sarah, Lisa! I'll be traveling today, so I'll be checking in when I can - have to do my share of the driving, but when I'm not driving I'm one of the lucky people who doesn't get sick when I read in the car.

Bridgett Wilbur said...

I love the excerpt and I would love to read your book.

John Howell said...

Another super interview. I like the diet coke idea. I can see that working. I too listen to music while I write.

Marcy Meyer said...

Enjoyed the post. Sounds good. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

Audrey Stewart said...

I was glad to know that you review books, also. I really am looking forward to reading this.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post - I enjoyed reading both the excerpt and interview! :)
Thanks for sharing.

Teri Polen said...

Thanks for stopping by Lisa - good luck!

Teri Polen said...

Thanks, Bridgett - hope you enjoy it!

Teri Polen said...

The caffeine seems to help and the music gives me ideas sometimes - like it playing in the background.

Teri Polen said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Marcy - thanks for dropping by!

Teri Polen said...

It's like Christmas for me when I get to read a fav author's new book before it's released. Right now I'm reading 3 indie author books and loving them.

Teri Polen said...

Thanks, Victoria - I've had fun with the interviews on the tour!

Bernie Wallace said...

Congrats on the book tour. This looks like a fun read. Thanks for sharing. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Teri Polen said...

Thanks, Joseph - I had a lot of fun writing it! Glad you dropped in.

Anonymous said...

Teri, I remember wanting to be a veterinarian as a kid too, but also thought the same thing...I wouldn't be able to handle it if I lost any patients!

Congrats on the continuing blog tour. The interviews have been fun, and I'm looking forward diving into your book very soon!

Teri Polen said...

Yep - I'd be in a state of constant depression. Think you'll like Eby - the cat.