Name: Terri Clark
Debut Group: Class of 2k8
Debut novel: SLEEPLESS
PJH: Okay, so it’s been 4 years since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
TC: Since the Class of 2k8 I’ve continued to work part-time as a teen librarian while raising two teens of my own. My son will be a senior next year, my daughter a freshman. It’s hard to believe how much they’ve grown and changed since I first sold. The Call came while I was in my daughter’s orthodontist and now she’s brace free. Since SLEEPLESS I’ve sold two non-fiction titles to Smart Pop books. FLIRTIN’ WITH THE MONSTER is an anthology that examines the work of Ellen Hopkins and THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE discusses the HUNGER GAMES trilogy. And, finally, my second full length fiction novel, HOLLYWEIRD, came out May 8.
HOLLYWEIRD is a paranormal romcom about two teens who win a trip to L.A. to meet their favorite TV star only to learn he’s the son of Satan and the only one who can save them is a fallen angel who is working undercover as the actor’s personal assistant.
Now I’m working on another romcom and a ghost thriller.
HOLLYWEIRD by Terri Clark (Flux, May 8, 2012)
PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?
TC: Straight out it’s the camaraderie. It’s like being part of the Mickey Mouse club that Justin Timberlake, Christine Aguilera and Britney Spears belonged to. We got to share a thrilling time in our life, when our dreams are just being realized, with a group of people going through the same thing at the same time. The publishing world is an unpredictable roller coaster. We saw each other through uplifting moments and unexpected disappointments.
In addition to being supportive of each other, we had the benefit of tapping into the collective talent of the group. Each person brought a different set of experiences and skills to the table which strengthened the class as a whole and each individual.
PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?
TC: I wish I had known that selling that first book wasn’t going to magically make my whole career suddenly take off. Even after that first sale it’s still a lot of hard work and things may not be exactly as you’ve long imagined them to be. But that’s okay because you have what it takes to keep realizing your dream. Just be flexible and keep that same determination and drive.
PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.
TC: I want to successfully get my kids through school and off to college. And I want to get to a place where I can leave the library (much as I love working with my teens) and write full-time. Ideally I’d love to be contracted to write 2-3 books a year and I really, really want to do a series. I’ve loved series my whole life and I want to write one that will make teens feel like they might die if the next book doesn’t hurry up and come out already. Oh, and I want to land my favored agent, she knows who she is, and stick with her the rest of my career!
SLEEPLESS by Terri Clark (Harper, September 2008)
PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!
TC: Five reasons to read HOLLYWEIRD:
1. Too much of teen fiction has been dark. I’ll make you laugh!
2. I put a twist on the 7 Deadly Sins you’ve never seen before.
3. My hero is hot. He’d have to be, he’s modeled after Jensen Ackles from SUPERNATURAL. In fact, the whole book is a love letter to SUPERNATURAL.(PJH: I love SUPERNATURAL!)
4. I “out” certain Hollywood celebrities as the real supernatural creatures they are. Don’t you want to know what Lindsay Lohan really is?
5. You’ll wish you could get your hands on the special cell phone I created for the book.
And a bonus
6. The book has an awesome playlist which you can find on my website – www.terriclarkbooks.com
PJH: Thank you so much for being here, Terri! It is so great to catch up with you!
Bio: Terri Clark feels blessed to demonstrate her passion for young adult fiction as both a teen librarian and author in Colorado. Since she was a little girl she’s been fascinated with the paranormal, so it’s little wonder she's a real life ghost huntress and her stories dabble in the dark and different. Her newest book, HOLLYWEIRD, was released May 8, 2012 with Flux Books and you can currently read her in the HUNGER GAMES related anthology THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE from Pop Smart books. You can visit Terri online at www.TerriClarkBooks.com and at www.facebook.com/terriclarkbooks.
Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!