Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Terri Elders. I'm from Los Angeles, but have lived all over the world. I retired here to Stevens County in 2004. I've been involved with Colville Branch AAUW, Colville Horizons, was a VISTA with Rural Resources and am a public member of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission. I started to write true stories, frequently called creative non-fiction or narrative essays, for anthologies about five years ago, and have had over 60 published, with many more on the way. I keep the books between my "A" and "Z" bookends on top my entertainment center. Soon I'll be running out of room and have to find another place to display them.
I have a couple of books coming out this month with some of my stories. Winter has a story called "Tombstone Territory," and Life Lessons from Moms has "Tea for Two.â€ť Iâ€™ll be signing copies of these books and some Chicken Soup for the Soul books to the Libraries of Stevens County Foundation Book Fair Fundraiser at the Chewelah Country Club on May 12!
Apart from writing, what do you do?
Read, travel, take care of two dogs and three cats, watch British comedies and mysteries on Netflix, and go to plays, museums and libraries. I also belong to two book groups, and am active with a number of organizations. I'm also the co-creator of three new anthologies for the new Not Your Mother's Book anthology series. My titles are On Travel, Sharing Secrets and The First Time. Submission guidelines for these stories can be found online here: http://publishingsyndicate.com/publishing_syndicate/submissions/nymb_sub...
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everyday incidents, reflecting on my childhood and my relationships. I also look for call outs for submissions. Often just seeing a title of a proposed anthology will bring a story to mind.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
I've never tried to emulate another writer. Because I started writing so young, I think I've always had my own voice. It gets stronger and probably more persistent as I age. If I were to write fiction, I might take a tip or two from F. Scott Fitzgerald, though, when it comes to constructing a story. He never wastes a word. I think The Great Gatsby is the most marvelously assembled novel ever, perfectly designed.
*Read the full interview in the 5-2-2012 edition of the S-E!