Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teresa Pollard {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Teresa...

Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia.

How to connect with Teresa...

Amazon Author Page:
Purchase Tokens of Promise and Not Guilty

Author Interview | Teresa Pollard

You and Writing 

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

...For most of my life I’ve been a stay-at-home wife and a Mom (and now grandma). I worked to put my husband through college, and off and on at mostly retail jobs, but hated the time away from my family those types of jobs required. Believe it or not, I started writing in 1979 on a dare. I’ve always been a reader. I’ve read everything from War & Peace to comic books since I was a small child. My friend had given me a grocery bag full of Harlequin romances, but I quickly grew bored with them and complained to her that every single one of them had exactly the same plot. “I could write a better novel than these,” I said. “I dare you,” she replied. 

...So I wrote my first novel and sent it to Moody Press, I think because that was where Grace Livingston Hill (the only romance writer I did like at the time) was published. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to submit at the time and sent the entire manuscript. I hadn’t even kept a copy. After eight months of nail biting, I finally got a nice letter from them saying my manuscript had come up before their review board, and it was a split decision, but since I was an unknown author, they didn’t feel they could take a chance. I didn’t write another word for three years. 

...Then in 1982, my friend Candi Pullen and I wrote Not Guilty, which was published by HopeSprings Books in 2013 (only thirty one years later) . When no publishers even expressed any interest in our inquiry letters about it, in 1984 I went back to college really with the thought I was going to learn how to get my novels published. It was there I wrote Tokens of Promise. I really think Hollins taught me a lot about writing, but nothing at all about how to get my work published. In the next thirty years I wrote ten more novels and put them up on my bedroom shelf, never even attempting to send them out. 

...Then in 2012, I was sitting in church one day holding a copy of Not Guilty on my lap to share with a another friend, when Betty Lumpkin came up to ask if I’d heard about the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. I started to tell her I just couldn’t afford it, but at that moment a girl from Liberty University came on stage and sang a contemporary song called, “Not Guilty.” God was speaking directly to me. I went to the conference. The result was that not only were Not Guilty and Tokens of Promise published in 2013, but I have just signed contracts for Not Ashamed, a sequel to Not Guilty, and Woman of Light, another biblical novel about Deborah from the book of Judges. 

Your Writing 

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?

...I’m currently in edit mode for both Not Ashamed and Woman of Light. The characters for Not Ashamed are some of the same ones from Not Guilty, only eighteen years later. The premise for the novel is that the baby born at the end of Not Guilty comes home from Africa to confront the man who raped her mother and fathered her. Before she can do that, however, she is caught up in a murder mystery. Will she be able to overcome her judgmental attitude, or will her unforgiving spirit endanger her own life? I hope the take-away is that forgiveness is vital, not for the other person’s sake, but for our own.

Do you have a favorite character from your books?

...The theme of Woman of Light is praise. My favorite character is Barak. That surprised even me. I knew he would be a heroic character, but when he sees a miracle of God, he’s simply breaks out into song. I almost felt for a moment like I was writing a Broadway musical, the idea seemed so ridiculous, but it was so perfect for the circumstances, there was no other way he could react but to praise his God. The take-away is the power of praise in every situation.    


Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...My stories are pretty diverse. Some are contemporary, some Biblical. God gave me the plot to Not Guilty whole cloth. Tokens of Promise jumped off the pages of Genesis at me. Characters tend to be composites. A person may look like one person I know, have the personality of a second, the background of two or three others, etc. 

  When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...My overall intention is simply to glorify Christ. I do want to inspire and encourage as well as provoke theological insight, but mainly I just want to speak forth His truth in love. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing? 

...My best advice is hang in there. Don’t give up. In God’s timing, He will show you the next step. A good step to consider though is to go to your nearest Christian Writer’s Conference as soon as possible. Don’t wait thirty years like I did. I’d never heard of such a thing. In college, they even said the key was networking, but no one ever told me how. This is how!


Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...No. Not because I don’t love music, but because I do. When I listen to music, I tend to focus on the music, not on anything else. That’s why I can’t even play the radio when I drive.

What is your favorite season and why?
...I love the colors of the fall. It’s God’s majesty and artistry displayed for all to see.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I’m a mystery nut! I just think it’s a great way to tell a story.


Thank you so much for sharing with us Teresa! What an encouraging story of learning how to "hang in there" when things don't go quite as you'd planned. I'm glad you did and were able to be published! I also love how your favorite character is one you hadn't expected. Sometimes those pesky characters come to life in ways we never would have expected. Again, thank you for taking time out to chat with us today.

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