Friday, November 18, 2011
NYT and USA Today Best-Selling Author Terri DuLong
Terri DuLong wasn't raised in literary circles, never obtained a degree in English or literature. Instead, she married young and had three children, only to later divorce, and later still, find love and remarry. To support herself and her children, Terri went to college and eventually became a registered nurse. She didn't write books, she read them, and, as many of us do, wondered what being a writer might be like.
While a critical care RN, Terri's wonder turned curiosity, and she took a creative writing course. When her husband's job transferred the family to Florida, Terri worked part-time and began writing more. She attended writing workshops and conferences, all the while working to improve her craft. Somewhere in this process, curiosity turned passion. Passion within writers fills pages with their stories. It doesn't matter whether those stories are ever published. You see, publication is a reward for a writer's dedication to their skill and craft, being published is not the fuel that feeds the passion.
Be it "Spinning Forward," "Casting About," or Terri's latest, "Sunrise on Cedar Key," readers are sure to enjoy the homespun stories of women linked by a love of knitting and their indomitable spirits.
Ms. DuLong's Web Site
Q) What inspired knitting as the backdrop for your tales?
A) I had to come up with a job for Sydney, my main character in Spinning Forward. Jobs here on Cedar Key aren’t that plentiful. I wanted her work to be realistic for the island and since I’m an avid knitter, having her open a yarn shop seemed appropriate.
Q) Your writing style reminds me of the old storytellers perched atop a barrel in a dry goods store, spinning their tales of quirky characters, though most of the issues your characters must deal with are very contemporary, and very serious. To what do you credit your unique voice?
A) First of all, thank you for such a nice compliment. I’m not quite sure how to answer this, except to say that I write about issues that touch me emotionally. Issues that other women have possibly encountered, such as self-identity, becoming a step-Mom, mother/daughter relationships, etc. I write from my heart with the hope that a good story will evolve.
A) That would be my parents. My mother inspired my love for reading. She was an avid reader and a great story teller. I was an only child and she always made sure I had plenty of books to keep me company. My dad was a lover of words and taught me the use of a dictionary and how powerful the written word could be. They always encouraged me, supported me and instilled the fact that if I worked hard, I could achieve my goals.
Q) I've heard pistachio cake plays a role in your family Christmases. How did that tradition come about?
A) Back in the sixties, it became a popular recipe and it was my mother who decided that since the cake and frosting were green, it would be nice to have it on Christmas Eve. She made it every year until I took over the tradition and now my daughter makes it every holiday for her family.
Q) Certainly, being an NYT and USA Today Best-Selling author is exciting and a dream fulfilled. However, your adopted hometown of Cedar Key makes sure they have your books on the library's shelves. How did that feel the first time you heard that news?
A) It made me feel grateful. Cedar Key is a very special place but it’s the people that make our community what it is. Since I’m a born and raised Yankee, to be told by the locals that I’ve captured the essence of Cedar Key in my novels is the highest compliment I could receive. I may not be southern, but I’m certainly in my element in this quaint fishing village.
A) I want to deeply thank my readers, and I hope they know how much I appreciate their support with Facebook comments, wonderful emails, and word of mouth recommendations for the Cedar Key Series. I’ve always believed that an author pens the words, but it’s the readers that keep a published author fulfilling her passion.
Thank you very much for inviting me to do this Q&A.