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Interview with Terrie Todd

Terrie Todd writes WWII historical fiction and entertains readers with a delightful blog. Her posts cover a wide range of subjects from memories of past events to thoughts on daily life and inspirational messages to feed the soul.

What childhood experiences influenced you to become a writer?
When I was in second grade, a story I wrote was selected to represent our class in the school-wide “magazine” the eighth graders were putting together. When the magazine released, I was mortified to discover they’d left off the last sentence of my magical story—the one where the reader discovers it was only a dream! (This may actually explain why I was rather late to the starting gate as an author, since I was 57 when my first book released.)

You write WWII historical fiction. What about this period in history inspires you?
Honestly, when I first set out to see if I could write a novel, I picked historical because I knew it was important to get your characters into trouble as soon as possible and I figured it was easier to get into trouble back then, with no cell phones or internet … and more stringent social rules for young women. I picked that era thinking I could tap into my mother’s memories (which I have) and once I got into it, I became quite hooked.

What do you enjoy most about the writing process?
Lots of writers don’t enjoy this part, but I love receiving my marked-up manuscript back from my editor and digging into edits. I find it intensely satisfying to have that professional help and know my book is going to end up so much better. I always learn a lot in the process.

How do you incorporate your faith into your writing?
Because my faith is such a natural part of my own daily life, I can’t imagine not making it part of my characters’ lives too. Whether they start out as believers or not, they always grow in their faith journeys, and I deeply hope my readers do as well. Although I incorporate prayer, scripture, and lyrics from old hymns, I’m always pleased when readers tell me they appreciate how the faith aspect doesn’t feel forced but natural to the story’s flow.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser who wishes she were more of a plotter. I try.

What does your writing routine look like?
Ideally or actually? Since retiring from my regular job in 2019, I’ve tried to be at my writing desk by 8:30 and stay there until 12:30, Monday through Friday. I find if I can focus on my current novel-in-progress three days a week and use the other two days for columns, marketing, and all the other sundry things that come up, it works well. Sticking to that has been tough, though. I’m often doing writing-related things (like this, for example) in the evenings.

What was the most thrilling moment in your writing career?
The day I got the phone call from my agent saying we had a contract offer on my first novel, I sobbed for joy. (I had already decided that would be the year I’d give up if nothing happened.) Since then, I’ve tried to live by the philosophy, “I want to see what happens if I don’t give up.”

What activities (hobbies, etc) do you enjoy when you are not writing?
Although the pandemic has paused it, I’m a long-time member of a community theater group and have been involved in nearly every aspect of a production, including scriptwriting, acting, directing, and more.

Share a fun fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I’ve never had a cavity.

Patti Shene Gonzales hosts Step Into the Light, a weekly interview style blog talk radio show, where she promotes those who share God’s love through writing and other ministry outlets. She hosts writers, published and unpublished, on her two blogs, The Over 50 Writer and Patti’s Porch on her website at Patti is published in two anthologies and local publications and has three western novels in progress. When not writing or reading, she is doing volunteer work or keeping in touch with family and friends via technology that has become so popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patti lives on the Colorado plains with her devoted feline companion, Duncan.

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