Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'The Beloved Daughter' Alana Terry

Alana Terry was a winner in the Women of Faith writing contest for The Beloved Daughter, her debut inspirational novel. Alana has also written My Solar-Powered History series for kids and A Boy Named Silas, the true story of her son’s complication medical history. Alana is a homeschooling mother of three who loves to write, hates to cook, and enjoys reading a good book almost as much as she enjoys writing one. You can find out more about Alana at, or at her amazon author page.

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Writing just ended up in my genes. I remember dictating stories to my dad to type onto our old Atari computer even before I knew how to read. There was a point when I was planning to become a doctor, but my writing scores on the MCAT were significantly higher than my science scores and my mom threw up her hands (literally) and said, “Well, she’s an author.” Turns out she was right.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

It’s an exciting life, and now that there’s Twitter and social media outlets, it’s not even a lonely life. If I have any peeves about the writing lifestyle, it’s that I don’t get as much exercise and my shoulders feel all hunched over by the end of the day! I guess that’s a small price to pay to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I self-published The Beloved Daughter. The perks are that I was in complete creative control of every aspect of my book. Of course, that’s also a lot more time consuming. I proofed my manuscript so many times that I’m not sure I’ll ever actually sit and read it again cover to cover now that it’s in print! The biggest downside of self-publishing as I see it is that marketing is more challenging, and I sometimes feel like I have to defend myself to others that yes, I am a real author. On the other hand, I also can commit as much of the proceeds as I want to support charity and relief work without having to convince a publisher to go along with my grand ideas. (By the way, if you’d like a copy of The Beloved Daughter and also want the proceeds to help Christians in North Korea and other restricted countries, please check out to order directly from my website!)

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

When I was in my big push to get The Beloved Daughter laid out and ready to publish, my son asked me, “Mom, why are you spending so much time on the computer all of a sudden?” Up until then I had been a recreational writer who dabbled at night while the kids were in bed. My husband has been really supportive, but I think he’s also glad I’m at least out of the editing/publishing phase.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

Well I can't speak for my pets, but I can tell you that my toddler has gotten very used to asking for milk, and then waiting a long, long time.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Thankfully I’m self-employed, so I didn’t have to worry about my boss calling, although I did find it hard to focus on my homeschool business when I was knee-deep in the editing process. I answer the phone for my husband – always. Otherwise, people got used to talking to my voice mail.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Being able to give a free copy of my book to a pretty famous celebrity at my first book signing. That was cool.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I like Facebook because that’s how I keep up with my friends. I joined Twitter right before publishing The Beloved Daughter, and although I recognize its usefulness and have met some really amazing people, I wish I didn’t have to keep up with it all the time.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

The Beloved Daughter is more about encouraging and inspiring and less about making my family filthy rich. At least, that’s what I tell myself! So, in a week when there are fewer book sales than others, I think of the people who have read my book and have said their lives were actually changed by my story. Then I realize that I’ve already met my goals in publishing The Beloved Daughter, even if it takes another day or two for sales to pick up.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

How much I love my husband! He supported me so much while I wrote The Beloved Daughter and put up with all my mood swings during the process. I think he’s got to be the most patient, loving man in the world, and I’m so lucky he’s mine. (Is that mushy enough for you already, or should I go on?)

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I love the entire creative process, really. It’s pretty amazing to start with a blank Word document and months or years later to hold a novel in your hand with your name on the front. Even more than that are the encouraging stories I get from my readers about how they really were changed or inspired by my book. And yes, that makes it all worth it. Even the hunched-over shoulders.

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