INTERVIEW | Breathe for Me by Terri Whitmire @writers_tablet

terri-whitmireTell us about yourself.

What a joy it has been sharing my stories with the world. From a very young age, I loved to write stories. I never knew this was indeed a gift from God until I hesitantly wrote my first novel. It was wildly successful. My own mother read the book and could not believe I had written it. I call myself an inspirational author, but I really consider my novels life lessons. We are here to learn from our experience and grow into who God has called us to be. The characters in my books show how to overcome these obstacles and how to trust God in every situation, no matter how difficult.

I currently reside in Marietta, Georgia with my wonderful husband of 23 years. We have three beautiful children that continue to surprise and inspire me every day. My children were my audience as I created fanciful adventures, and recited them at bed time. They challenge me and can really push the limits sometimes, but they are so much further along than I was at their age.

I began my career as a Software Engineer and technical writer for MCI Telecommunication in Pentagon City, Virginia. In 1997, I became certified in children’s literature. In 2011, my first inspirational novel, Breathe for Me was published, receiving numerous endorsements and accolades. The sequel, My Next Breath was released in 2013. In December of 2012, my short story, The Crooked Path was published in the distinguished Trillium Literary Journal. That same year, Walking in His Shadow was released in November of 2012. My first non-fiction book, Excuse You: Hiccups, Setbacks, and Other Interruptions, was released in 2014.

Some of my credentials include a writing certification from The Institute of Children’s Literature, and a B.S. in Computer Science. In addition to being an author, professional writer, and writing coach, I have been working with children for over five years, teaching writing as an after-school club, in several schools in and outside of Georgia. I am a yearly participant in Cobb EMC, Gas South Literacy week, where authors share their books and writing workshops with local schools. I also served as a panelist at the 2015 Write2Ignite Children Writer’s Conference. It was truly an honor to be a featured author at the 2015 National Book Club Conference. I am truly thankful for all the wonderful people God has placed in my life as a result of my embracing this gift. I encourage everyone to find out what they are good at and go for it.

How do you find time to connect with God?

My goal is to spend every morning with God. Sometimes it happens by way of a nice 30 minute walk outside, other times it’s a quick morning greeting before rushing the kids out the door. I don’t think prayer should be measured in minutes but measured by how much your heart communes with God throughout the day.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

I was mesmerized by a book called “The Poison Wood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver. I felt as though I were transported to the African Congo alongside this white missionary family. The plot was smart and beautiful.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I took the route of self publishing after realizing that I did not have the high profile name or platform that traditional publishers desire. One publisher told me, “I love the story, but I just don’t know what to do with it.” I thought I knew what he meant, but looking back now I’m not sure. I decided to self publish. Doing so, really taught me the ends and out of the business. I tell my clients, “I made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to.”

breathe-for-meTell us about your current book?

My current book is a re-release. I am celebrating the 5 year anniversary of “Breathe for Me” with a brand new cover and a bonus chapter. I felt this was such a momentous occasion. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d still be writing as a career. There were several times when I seriously complicated going back to my corporate job, but something (or someone) kept pulling me back. I am so happy I still get to live out my dreams of writing and helping other writers.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Unfortunately, I’ve seen first hand how lives can be destroyed due to drugs and alcohol. The children are the silent victims and they grow up to sometimes repeat the cycle. But there are those who vow to make a better life for themselves and they should be celebrated.

What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?

I want the readers to know that God never promised us a perfect life. We have to make do with what we have and lean on Him for the rest.

What’s next for you?

I like to stay busy so I always have something on the horizon. The Spanish version of “Breathe for Me” ( “Respirar por mí”) will be released in January 2017. I have a children’s book coming out entitled, “Morris Say, I’m Not Afraid.” My business Writer’s Tablet continues to grow. We offer professional writing, website development, and programs for aspiring authors. My after-school program, Fun Creative Writing, is expanding. We are always looking for new schools in which to bring our engaging lessons.

Please tell us where we can connect with you online.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Author M. A. Malcolm at 7:33 pm

    It’s always great reading your interviews, Terri. God is using you to reach and bless so many different types of people: your family, your readers, other writers, your clients, your students… I could go on and on! Keep doing what you’re doing and allowing the Lord to lead you.