Meet author Terri Gillespie
Award-winning author and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption to nurture women’s souls that include a women’s devotional, Making Eye Contact with God, The Hair Mavens Trilogy: award-winning She Does Good Hair, CUT IT OUT!, Really Bad Hair Day, and her newest release, the award-winning, Sweet Rivalry. Recently she launched Author for Authors YouTube channel with three series to promote other authors, thanks to hubby’s brilliant video editing.
Tell us about your newest book.
Sweet Rivalry begins as an ordinary morning for Sarah Sweeting—watching her favorite baking show, Cupcake Rivalry while getting ready for work at her Granny’s small-town bakery. All that changes when Sarah spots a contestant who looks like her, sounds like her, moves like her. Was this her twin sister? The twin her mother ran away with twenty years ago? Were hers and Granny’s prayers finally being answered? When Granny confirms the shocking discovery, she suffers a heart attack. On the west coast, Raven Souwers’ morning began at a frenzied pace—incessant ringing phones and a Beverly Hills’ bakery full of customers. All because everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the Cupcake Rivalry contestants—Raven and her best friend, Will Durning. But a phone call from an excited woman claiming to be Raven’s long-lost sister—a sister Raven has no memory of—informs Raven that a grandmother she never knew was in the hospital. The call changes the course of Raven’s life and brings up the pain she thought she’d overcome.
How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
Long lost twins find each other through their love of baking, but will the past and not-so-sweet rivalries separate them again?
What genre do you focus on?
Women’s contemporary. I love “real-time” life in my novels. My goal is for readers to know the characters so well they wished they were friends. Or at least want to invite them to lunch. Or a cupcake.
Why do you write?
Okay. This is difficult to share. For most of my childhood, I struggled with reading and reading comprehension. It was the 1950s and 60s, so resources and information weren’t readily available. Of course, I just thought I was, well, stupid. Other kids could read and talked about all these great books. I loved the feel and smell of books. I loved going to the library. When the bookmobile pulled into the school parking lot, it was magical. I’d stand in line, my heart beating like a hummingbird, waiting to step inside and have a librarian help me find a book I would enjoy. I checked-out the maximum amount every time. And never finished a single one of them. Imagine loving books, but struggling to read them, much less finish them. My best friend was my grandmother. She was a storyteller. Great stories about her father the town doctor. Her miraculous birth. It didn’t matter how many times she told the tales—I couldn’t get enough. In hindsight, she must have sensed my struggles. One visit she had set up a rickety metal secretary’s table and placed her ancient Royal typewriter on top. Typing paper and a ballpoint pen stacked neatly next to the great beast, she pointed to the chair and said write. I typed stories. Illustrated them. Then bound them with tape. But when I read Jane Eyre, I heard my voice. Charlotte Bronte’s tragic, moody, angsty deliciousness. Yet, with a strong redemptive theme. I wanted to write for women today who felt they had no worth. Stories of characters who finally learn their value is in our Heavenly Father because of His Son. Always hoping these books would open new doors of opportunity for other women. My tag is Nurturing Women Through Stories of Hope. My grandmother did that for me. Charlotte Bronte, and many others over the years—they nurtured me with stories, so that I could return the favor.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?
Raven. Actually, Rachel Raven. Raven’s mother, Lizzy chose it because of her love of Edgar Allen Poe. Telling you anymore gives away too much of the story.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
I’m up early for my quiet time and daily writing “tithe”—my Daily Word devotions blog. Next social media, ACFW, Author for Authors vlogging, and congregational business. Then [happy sigh] writing. If I’m on deadline, personal hygiene tends to be ignored. I have an amazing husband who will still kiss my greasy head before he asks what’s for dinner.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
Marketing and promotion. I love promoting others, but me? Meeting readers face-to-face or speaking? That, I enjoy. Interaction with readers is so much more interesting than talking about me.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
The moment when I know I have connected with the heart of God about the story because what comes out of my imagination couldn’t possibly be just me. Yes, when that tiny speck of creativity from the Creator of the Universe lodges in the imagination … Wow.
What’s one unusual fact about you?
I’m related by marriage to three famous people: Frederick the Great of Prussia; Vincent Price; and Rush Limbaugh.
How have you changed or grown as a writer?
I buried hubris recently. Hopefully, it will stay dead this time.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
My first book was a weekly women’s devotional, Making Eye Contact with God. It came out in 2008, and I’m still blessed with royalties. Someone in Dubai bought fifty copies last year.
The Hair Mavens trilogy—Modern day Ruth and Naomi stories set in a hair salon. Book one: She Does Good Hair. Book two: CUT IT OUT! Book three: Really Bad Hair Day.
What are you working on now?
Due to peer pressure from one author in particular—you know who you are—I’m attempting to write a cozy mystery. Plotting begins. Stay tuned!
Link to book: https://authorterrigillespie.com/terri-gillespie-books/sweet-rivalry/
Social media links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Terri-Gillespie/e/B002BMCBL6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1633377339&sr=1-2
BookBub Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/terri-gillespie-03735cb1-12a1-470f-8caa-467d4113919d
YouTube Channel (Terri Gillespie, Author for Authors): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2iMKu7zt6wB4vmPKqsM7EA
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Thanks for the opportunity to share my heart and books, Susan! God bless!