by Teri Yorek
Date Published: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Dark Hollows
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Teri had beautiful hands. Something I always noticed. Not that she had manicures all the time or used a special lotion, she just had naturally beautiful hands. She also had beautiful handwriting. You could always tell if she wrote a particular note or actually signed the birthday card, because her handwriting was unique. At least it was to me. She got it from our mother who was, and is, meticulous about certain things, and her own handwriting was just one of many she took pride in. That wasn’t the only thing Teri got from our mother. She got our mother’s beauty, perfect skin, amazing energy, and keen eye for detail. She also got our mother’s solid common sense and, along with my other two sisters and my brother, brilliance. Well – maybe she got some of that from our dad as well. Sadly, I didn’t get any of it, the hands, the beauty, the common sense or the brilliance. And the handwriting? Some would say “Good grief, no”. But the one thing Teri and I did have in common was reading. Oh yes. A passion for both of us and Teri had hundreds and hundreds of romance paperbacks, all of which, she read. Every single one.
Unfortunately, at the young age of 23, Teri was diagnosed with cancer, and after battling it for three long years, the cancer took her life. A number of weeks after her death, when going through her things, the family discovered a file folder of notebooks and loose papers, all filled with her handwritten romance stories. Who knew? None were complete, but it was obvious we also shared one other thing. She, like me, had, at one point, dreams of becoming an author. But, along with so many of her dreams, she was never able to make it happen. So I gathered up that file and stored it away, vowing that someday I would make at least that denied dream come true. Then a few years ago I became a published author with, now, over twenty books under my author name.
I was finally ready.
Which was a good thing. I had a bout with breast cancer last year and my mom was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. It put things back into perspective for me. I wanted that book done. So here it is. Complete.
This book is a combination of all those beautifully handwritten notes, stories and out-lines, found in that old, and now very tattered, file folder. It is also a combination of our writing styles, something I think Teri would appreciate, respect, and, I dare to believe, like. I see her adding this paperback to her enormous collection and moving right on to the next dream, this one finally fulfilled.
And my mom? She may or may not read it. I hope she does. Otherwise, it will still have a special place on her book shelf that she designated a long time ago for this very book.
Thank you Eden Connors, Michelle Williams and the awesome Shannon West, all true heroes, for believing in me enough to pull this off and committing to publishing this book even before I finished it. Thank you to my family of crazy people who allowed me to take this file of Teri’s writings so many years ago and for believing that I could possibly make it what it is today, a little contribution to the paperback romance world. And thank you, Teri, for letting us find your treasure in the first place so I, along with so many awesome others, could complete this dream for you, for our family and, hopefully, for many happy readers who will now be able to see not only what your beautiful hands created but a tiny piece of your heart.
- Name / Pen name Teri Yorek
- Where are you from? Crosslake, Minnesota
- Tell us a little about yourself: (mini bio) Teri was studying business at Saint Cloud State but had an interest in law. I believe she would have gone on to take classes in law if she had lived. However, her brilliance in business helped me (her sister) and my husband run our factory. Even after she got sick, Teri insisted on coming to work. She also had a real love and passion for fashion and cars.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? None of Teri’s family knew she wanted to become a writer, not until we found her notebook after her death.
- What genre are your books? and what made you write in that genre? Romance. Teri had hundreds of paperback romance novels and she read every one of them. She would sometimes become lost in the grocery store books shelves or at a book store, trying to find something she had not already bought and read. She loved them. It is my belief that is the reason she wanted to write one.
- When did you write your first book and how old were you? We only found this one set of handwritten notes which I believe were written while she was in college.
- Where do you get your ideas for your books? Teri loved hockey and had several friends who were on the Saint Cloud college team, including one very special man. So of course Teri would write about Hockey. I am not sure if she would have written any others and if they, too, would have a Hockey theme, but I have a feeling they would have.
- How long does it typically take you to write a book? Since Teri only had a couple of chapters plus an unfinished outline, I am not sure.
- Do you have a favourite Character from your books? In “Every Breath” I know my favorite character is Melinda. She was so much fun for me to write since I based her off of one of my grandchildren who was that age at the time.
- What would you say is the hardest thing about writing? For me it has always been finishing. Starting a book, getting an idea, even the synopsis is easier than the actual finish.
- What would you say is the easiest thing about writing? Starting. For me it’s that opening sentence and of the nearly thirty books that I have written and published, that opening sentence has rarely changed from when I first started a book, to when I hit send to my publisher.
- Do you ever suffer from writers block? How do you overcome it? Again, me, yes. In fact, ever since I finished Teri’s book I have suffered a huge block. In the past I was finishing a story probably every three to four months. In the last year or so, I have been lucky to get this one plus one other under my other writer name done. Of course, my main publisher, right before that, closed their doors, so that didn’t help. Not to mention the fact that my mother is battling a deadly cancer. All play a large part in this block. As far as overcoming it? Not sure this time. Usually reading will do it for me.
- Have you done any collaborations with other writers? No. Other than this one, where I wrote from my sister’s ideas, I have not.
- Are you currently working on something right now? For me, yes. I have actually picked up and worked on four different manuscripts, trying to get one to catch on fire.
- Can you tell us a little about what it is about? I do write romance but my genre is very different from this book.
- What did you enjoy most about writing this book? I loved the characters in “Every Breath” and trying to glean from Teri’s notes the direction she wanted to go. Just knowing I was doing something I had always promised to do and that I was not only doing it for Teri but for my mom, was huge.
- What do you think of reviews? I have to admit, I am a love junkie. When I get a good review, it puts me on cloud ten. I do have “fans” which is great. My books have sold well, too, (in my opinion) so that is good. As much as I love to write, it is just as important to me that people like what I do. So when someone tells me they love my work, it means the absolute world to me. On the other hand, I have also had my share of reviews that tear me to shreds. Because I have allowed them to affect me far more than good reviews, I have tried hard to not read them anymore. Especially on Goodreads. Goodreads is a toxic place and I hear that from nearly every author I know. I know you are supposed to be able to learn from “bad reviews” but so often times now the reviews that are allowed to be out there are incredibly unprofessional. “Learning” from them is difficult to impossible. In fact, for a recent series of books I released in March, a couple of the horrific reviews, to me, were almost a personal attack. There was no “good” information to pull from them at all.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Just that I hope you give this one a try.
- Some facts:
- How do you relax? Teri loved to relax lying in the sun and reading.
- What is your favourite quote? Teri had a t-shirt with this saying on it: “I am not A bitch, I am THE bitch and it’s Miss Bitch to you!”
- What is your favourite film and why? I know she loved the 1991 movie “Robin Hood”. I think because it starred Kevin Costner and had him falling in love.
- Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Teri was a huge Elvis fan. I think she would say Elvis.
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