PUYB Blog Tour: Interview with Alana Terry, author of 'The Beloved Daughter'



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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.
Visit her website at www.alanaterry.com or connect with her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aboynamedsilas.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I knew for a while that I wanted to write a novel that focused on religious persecution in North Korea. I researched quite a bit, read numerous statements from real defectors, and finally came up with the entire plot for The Beloved Daughter one day as I was trying to take a nap, of all things!

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part about writing The Beloved Daughter was how emotionally draining the research was. I learned about all kinds of horrific things that are happening today to real people. I feel like I’m a better, more compassionate, more aware individual than I was before, but the process was very difficult. I would advise authors researching difficult subjects to have a few people to vent to. When I felt overwhelmed by my researching, I had a good friend I could call and she would help me decompress.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I ended up self-publishing The Beloved Daughter. It was always my goal to donate a large percentage of my novel’s proceeds to a specific organization that helps victims of religious persecution. I finally decided that self-publishing would give me more financial freedom to make something like that a reality. Still, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to market it, but once The Beloved Daughter was named a winner in the Women of Faith writing contest, I took the plunge and published it myself.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The Beloved Daughter isn’t actually my first book, but it is my first novel. I think what surprised me was seeing which of my acquaintances actually bought a copy. There were some great, close (and rich) friends who could have easily purchased a book and didn’t, and other people who weren’t as close or weren’t as well-off who were scrambling to show their support by ordering a copy (or five!). I’ve decided to compartmentalize and not worry about which friends I sell to and which I don’t, but this was an interesting observation I made.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I think the thought process went something like, Thank the Lord I’m finally done with all those edits!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am under contract to publish at least three books in My Solar-Powered History series for kids. Book 1 in the series, What, No Sushi? was published in April, 2013, the same month that The Beloved Daughter came out. The next two books will come out over during the next year. There is no publication date as of now, but we’re already working on edits and illustrations for book two.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

First of all, there’s the financial aspect I already mentioned. A significant portion of book sales from my website go directly towards helping victims of religious persecution. I also hope that The Beloved Daughter raises awareness about what people in North Korea are suffering. In a broader sense, my goal is to stretch my readers until they have an even deeper empathy and compassion for the oppressed worldwide.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I want people – comfortable people like me who live day to day without significant hardships – to realize how deeply some people suffer. I try to do this without being preachy or condescending, which is one thing that probably sets The Beloved Daughter apart from other books that tackle similar subjects. That’s my hope, at least.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

You’re very welcome, and that you for helping me spread the word about The Beloved Daughter. If you’re interested in ordering The Beloved Daughter and having your purchase help Christians in countries like North Korea, please visit alanaterry.com for more information.
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