I made my debut in a Pontiac hospital and went home to live in Lake Orion, Michigan. I have been residing at my Clarkston residence for the past six years. My husband and I decided it was time to downsize and found this home to be what we were searching for.While growing up did you, in any way, have any embarrassing moments?
I have to chuckle at this question as my whole growing up experience is chock full of embarrassing moments. I guess you could say the motto of my childhood was “learning the hard way”. I don’t regret those moments in any way shape or form however, because they have helped me become the woman I am today. And one of those embarrassing moments is what further encouraged my dream of becoming an author. I entered a writing contest offered in a children’s magazine when I was just a kid. They asked for the entrants to write about their most embarrassing moment and mine won and was published in the magazine! That was exhilarating. But even more exciting than that was the check that arrived in the mail for my winning story. Learning I could earn money for something I truly loved to do just for fun was absolutely divine.Which of your childhood dreams was the first to die?
I would have to say the first childhood dream of mine to die was becoming an actress. I really only had two dreams as a little girl. The very first dream I had was becoming an author, and the other was becoming an actress. I loved my drama classes in high school as much as my writing and actually pursued acting in my higher education. But when it was time to become serious, do or die time, I opted to let that die. When I took an assessment on how devoted I was to becoming an actress, one of the questions was asking if I would shave my head completely bald for a role. Um, no! Apparently I was too vain for that, haha!What are some of the most profound "shower thoughts" you've had?
I think the most profound shower thoughts I’ve had are the many times I came up with an adventure of Little Jenna Jafferty or parts for other books I’d be writing. I sometimes also just envisioned what I wanted a cover of a book to entail. Other than thoughts, I sometimes sing while in there, and those instances are not quality worthy to share with the public. I guess you’ll just have to trust me on that one.What challenges did you face while publishing your book, Forgiven And Not Forgotten?
The most challenging aspect of writing Forgiven And Not Forgotten for publication was going back and revisiting some very dark experiences in my life. Dredging up memories of abuse, periods of hopelessness, assault, and deep grief and depression was very difficult and painful. I would have preferred to have left them in the past, buried in the deep recesses of my mind, but God led me to go back and relive them to not only contrast His light to the darkness but to bring healing to those areas as well. I can honestly say without hesitation, that it was well worth the journey.How did you begin writing the Little Jenna Jafferty series?
I slowly developed back problems that continued to get worse and worse until the pain was so devastating that I couldn’t stand for very long, let alone walk. Since I could do nothing but sit, I decided to make use of that down time and pick back up a childhood passion of writing. I would get lost in writing and hours would pass before I knew it. The wonderful thing about that was for all of those hours, I felt no pain. It was as if my brain was overriding the pain impulses as I thought and wrote. It was during this time that I decided to write the Little Jenna Jafferty stories.Have any of your nine grandchildren read your children's books?
All of my grandchildren have read the Little Jenna Jafferty books with the exception of three of them. One is only two years old, another is only five months old, and the third has a learning disability that prevents him from reading them. As a matter of fact, it was my granddaughter Sophia who encouraged me to seek out publication for the stories. She told me I should get them published after I shared them with her. I explained to her that it took a whole lot more than just writing stories for the publication of books. I explained that they would need to be accepted by a publisher and I just wasn’t sure they were good enough for that. She responded to me, “Just do it Nana! Any publisher who didn’t think they were good enough would be stupid! Kids would love these!” Because of her encouragement, I began to do research on manuscript formatting, query letters, etc. and all the do’s and don’ts about submitting manuscripts to publishers. After getting everything together, I took the plunge and started submitting my first manuscript. The rest is history, I like to say.Why did you decide to set your book, "Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty" in the 1960s?
I myself grew up in the 1960s and times were so much more simple, carefree and fun. We had hours of playtime outdoors, no electronic devices or DVDs to cause us to have our faces glued to screens. We used our imaginations. We explored nature and learned of it on our own and in person. We learned social skills early on, didn’t have play dates or a lot of structured time slots to stress about. Things have changed so much so I just wanted to encourage today’s children to do those things too as it seems a lot of them have become a lost art.How did you come up with the character of little Jenna?
When I first started writing, I was actually writing about my own childhood adventures but when I decided to pursue publication, I wanted to make the books fiction based on fact and knew I would have to change names. I then began thinking of a name for my main character, which of course was me. I wanted it to be something catchy. While I was soaking my sore back in the tub one evening, Little Jenna Jafferty just popped into my head and I went with it. I then came up with my sister and brother’s name keeping them beginning with the same letter as in real life.If you had a stray cat in your backyard with no collar but it seemed friendly, would you try to pet it or take it to a shelter?
Funny you should ask! That is exactly how I rescued my kitty Lacey. After a terrible thunderstorm had rolled through one evening, my husband thought he heard a large branch crack and fall in the backyard during the storm. After the storm had passed, he went to the back door to see if there was indeed a branch down. When he opened the back door and stepped out, he spotted glowing eyes up on a bench of the back deck. He then heard a meow. When he looked closer, he saw the kitty in the dark and in the yard around the deck, he saw three more sets of glowing eyes that belonged to what he thinks was a possum, a raccoon, and the other, he wasn’t sure about. The kitty ran up to him and started rubbing on his legs. He then stepped back inside and called for me. He told me to look out the large back window and when I did, the poor scrawny kitty dashed over to the window, put her feet up on the house, looked right at me and began meowing. That was it. It was all over. Poor thing had no collar and was skeletal. It was obvious someone had dumped her a while ago. But, she’s mine now and I’m so glad she chose us to rescue her.Which is your favorite travel memory with your husband?
If I had to choose just one, I would have to say it was when we traveled to Mexico and took a trip out to the ocean to snorkel. We rode on something similar to a jet ski, but it was more like a snowmobile in size and how you rode it. Anyway, we followed our guide out to some coral reefs and went snorkeling. It was amazing to see all of the aquatic life and was a marvelous experience. Well, except when I got stung by a jelly fish embryo, but that’s a story for another time.Your thoughts on conventional vs. self-publishing? What route did you choose and why?
I believe both are legitimate ways of publishing and which route an author chooses to go is based on the individual’s personal preferences. As for me, I chose the conventional route because quite frankly, I am technologically challenged, haha! I don’t do well with technology and could just mess everything up in a blink of an eye. I also don’t want to bit-piece different aspects that go into getting a book published to different individuals or companies, so I like to leave those parts to the all-in-one traditional publisher professionals.When you’re alone do you like to dance? Do you sometimes let your rescue pup and kitten join in?
I absolutely love to dance! Back in the 1990s, I did creative interpretive dance to contemporary Christian music in our church. I choreographed the dances and mimes myself. At times I involved my husband in them and at other times, my children too. And yes, I like to dance alone since my preferred method of dancing is what I refer to as free form interpretive. It’s when I just let my body, my whole body, move to the beat of the music. I need a large open space for that because it includes twirls, spins, and leaps and requires a lot of floor room. My rescue pup Lexi loves when I dance because she thinks it playtime. She will join in until she realizes I’m not going to chase her after she chases me around. As for Lacey, my rescue kitten, she doesn’t like to join in. She will run away to a high spot and just watch the show.What are your plans for the future as a writer? Are you working on anything new?
I fully intend to continue writing throughout the future. I positively love it. When I couldn’t walk, that door was opened and although back surgery fixed me, the door is still open and I have no intentions of closing it. I have just finished the manuscript for the third book in my Little Jenna Jafferty Series this past week and plan on writing more. I think there will be between five and seven books total in the series. What is exciting for me is that the first two Little Jenna Jafferty books are getting a makeover and are going to be republished with Higher Ground Books and Media, the publisher of my latest book, Forgiven and Not Forgotten. HGBM will be rereleasing them this year along with the third book. All of the subsequent books will be with them as well. And I am in the very beginning stages of a new faith based book I’ll be writing this year also.How has your experience of being associated with AllAuthor been?
Oh my goodness! My experience with AllAuthor has been marvelous. The available author tools are phenomenal and have been instrumental in my promotion and sales success. I get compliments on the ad mockups quite often. And then there is the cover contest which I thoroughly enjoyed. Not only was it a lot of fun, but making it into the final round, the top 24, was an experience I’ll never forget. I was involved in other promotional endeavors with other companies but have found AllAuthor to be superior and top notch. I am so impressed with every aspect of it that I have recommended it to some of my author friends. AllAuthor definitely gets my seal of approval!
A woman, wife, mother of three, and Nana of nine grandchildren, Terra Kern absolutely loves writing. During childhood, she only had two dreams growing up - becoming an actress and becoming an author. She entered a writing contest offered in a children’s magazine when she was just a kid. She loves to dance. Her books are empowering, inspiring, and encouraging in all the right ways.