Alana Terry is a homeschooling mother of three. “The Beloved Daughter” is her debut Christian novel and won second place in the Women of Faith writing contest. Alana is also the author of “A Boy Named Silas,” the story of her son’s complicated medical history and “What, No Sushi?” a children’s chapter book about the Japanese-American internment.
I have three published books so far. My memoir of raising a special-needs child was self-published last year. This spring, Do Life Right published book one in a new kids series I’ve written, and I self-published The Beloved Daughter.
Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
For my memoir, I was writing mostly for people I knew, family and friends. It just made a lot more sense to self-publish than wait around and try to find a traditional publisher for something that was so small-scale.
Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?
My kids book, What, No Sushi? is a time travel/historical fiction account of a Japanese-American internment camp. I signed a contract with Do Life Right last fall. The book was released about six months later.
Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I celebrate each book in a different way, but I’ll let you know that ice cream is usually involved.
Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I usually start with my friends and family. I let them know when I have a new book out, and then I go out and try to get more publicity.
Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I think I’ve become more of a perfectionist. Before I was published, I would write something that was pretty good and figure that if an editor ever got their hands on it they could make it better. Now that I’m published – and especially in the pieces I’ve self-published – I realize that it’s up to me to make sure it’s as perfect as possible before I send it to a freelance editor.
Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
I’m surprised at which books are successful and which books sometimes aren’t. I was once naïve enough to think that the better books always got the highest sales. Yes, you can laugh at me now, but I truly did think that was true once upon a time.
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
I love the entire creative experience, from starting with a blank document and ending with a paperback book. And now that my books are being distributed, it’s also neat connecting with readers and fans.
Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
Study up. Just because “anybody” can self-publish doesn’t mean you can type up a first draft, send it to kindle, and make a killing. Don’t be lazy, and don’t give up.