Darlene Foster's Blog

Guest Author: Teri Polen

Posted on: February 13, 2021

Today is National Internet Friends Day and I am lucky to have many wonderful internet friends! I am pleased to introduce one of them, Teri Polen, as a guest author. I love her answers to my questions, especially which fictional character she would want to spend a day with.

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  Subject A36 was voted one of the 50 Best Indie Books of 2020 at ReadFree.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

1.Tell us about yourself including something that may surprise us.
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Darlene! I’m a multi-genre
YA author—sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, a mom of two polar opposite sons,
a Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Walking Dead fan (I’m such a
nerd), and enslaved to Bond, my feline overlord. Considering my usual
entertainment preferences, most people would be surprised to know that
I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning. I’m not a Meredith
Grey fan—it’s Miranda Bailey and the medical cases that keep me tuning
in.

  1. How long have you been seriously writing?
    Around eight years I think? I started writing while waiting for my son at
    soccer practice—long hand because I didn’t have a laptop then—and
    stayed with it until I had a completed manuscript. And it was truly
    horrible. Once I understood I’d created a monstrosity, I read books on
    the craft of writing, took classes, and learned just how difficult it really is
    to write a book.
  2. Where do you get ideas for your stories?
    I’ve gotten ideas from dreams, billboards, asking lots of ‘what if’
    questions, and merging movie ideas, but the spark for my first book
    came from my cat. Weird, but true. We’d moved into a new house with
    no previous owners and Shadow, fur bristled while emitting deep
    throated growls, stared at something on the stairs no one else could see.
    It started me thinking about how a house could be haunted if it was
    never inhabited. I gave him credit in the acknowledgements!
  3. What is your writing process? Are you a planner or a panster?
    I lean more in the panster direction, but I’m constantly struggling to
    claw my way in the direction of the planning side. I tend to be a slow
    writer, and I think things would move along considerably faster if I had
    some sort of outline. I’ve gotten better, but I’m not there yet.
  4. Where and when do you do your best writing?
    I don’t have a designated writing space. I tend to move around the
    house with my laptop to whatever space inspires me that day.
    Afternoons seem to be my most productive time.
  5. What kind of research do you?
    For my second book, The Gemini Connection, I researched twin
    relationships and quantum physics. With my newest release, Subject
    A36, I spent a lot of time reading about genetics and DNA. I took great
    liberties in those areas with both books, but that’s why I write fiction.
  6. If you could spend a day with a fictional character, who would you
    choose and why?

    You nearly stumped me with this one, Darlene. It took me days to
    decide, but I tried to narrow it down by only considering fictional book
    characters. I’ve read plenty that fascinated me, but I might not survive
    the day (I’m a fan of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy novels—lots of dangerous
    stuff going on). I finally decided on Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter
    series. I adored his large, loving family, and I’d have a blast hanging out
    with them for the day. Harry and Hermione would visit, and I’d
    undoubtedly be the victim of Fred’s and George’s pranks. Maybe I’d even
    get my own wand for a day!
  7. Tell us about your next writing project. I’m currently working on the sequel to Subject A36, and I swear this
    book may be the death of me (see above planner vs. panster). 2020
    really slowed the writing pace for me, but I’m getting there.

Thanks so much, Teri. Always good to hear from a fellow panster. I have so much respect for planners but I just can’t seem to do it either. What fun it would be to spend a day with Ron Weasley! Great choice.

You can connect with Teri on her Social Media sites:

Website:  https://teripolen.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tpolen6/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teripolen/

Purchase Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Teri-Polen/e/B01MYOUA6V

Planet Tage is dying, and the best hope of saving it is gone.

Seventeen-year-old identical twins Evan and Simon share an extraordinary bond, a trait that’s both useful and invasive. They use their connection in their work at Scientific Innovations. Evan is a Mindbender, someone who enters the minds of scientists to spark ideas, join thoughts, and battle nightmares. Simon is a science prodigy and Tage’s best chance of survival.

Unfortunately, their unusual link often bleeds into their private lives. When Evan discovers his brother is keeping a secret from him, he lashes out and ignores requests to talk, and even pleas for help. By the time Evan tunes back in, he finds their connection severed and Simon missing.

He suffers a terrible case of survivor’s guilt. Moreover, he’s desperate. The fate of the world rests on Simon’s return, and Evan is willing to do anything to get him back—even working with his greatest rival, who also happens to be Simon’s boyfriend.

Evan finds allies among enemies and adversaries among friends. When nothing is as it seems and everything is depending on him, he must explore a dangerous aspect to his twin connection he never knew he had.

If he fails, he’ll lose both his brother and his world.

My 5-star review of The Gemini Connection
A great sci-fi/dystopian YA novel. I don’t often read this genre but the idea of twins intrigued me. I was not disappointed. There is plenty of action and some clever world-building, but the character development and the relationships between characters are the stars of this show. The tie between the twins, Evan and Simon, is amazing and the story is written from the POV of both of them. The secondary characters are also interesting and round out the story. Evan is devastated when Simon goes missing, but when he realizes Simon is alive, he will do anything to rescue him and bring him home, even work with his sworn enemy. How this plays out will keep you on the edge of your seat. The author has a vivid imagination and is capable of using it to create an awesome reading experience.

Teri’s other books:

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect health and unparalleled beauty, would you pay top dollar for it? Would you kill for it?

Residents of the Colony would. And do.

Only the Insurgents can stop them.

Seventeen-year-old Asher Solomon is a premier operative with the Insurgents. He and his team have rescued countless hostages, saving them from painful deaths in Colony labs as desirable genetic traits are stripped from their bodies.

He’s also suffered more losses than anyone should have to.

Then Asher gets intel that might give his people the upper hand. The Colony is searching for Subject A36. If the Insurgents determine the subject’s identity first, they might be able to turn the tide of the war.

Asher and his team embark on their riskiest mission ever, and the stakes have never been higher. But even if he survives the physical dangers, the devastating secrets he uncovers might destroy him.

Thanks for being an internet friend, Teri!

91 Responses to "Guest Author: Teri Polen"

I enjoyed your inteview with Teri, Darlene. I think her books will have great appeal to readers of her genre.

Thanks, Nora. Her writing is excellent and draws you into the story.

Thanks so much, Norah – and thanks for visiting!

My pleasure, Teri.

I enjoyed your interview with Teri, Darlene. This statement in particular intrigued me: “It started me thinking about how a house could be haunted if it was never inhabited.”

I liked how her cat gave her an idea for a story! Glad you enjoyed the interview.

When our cat reacted that way, it kind of freaked out my boys (they were much younger then), but anything supernatural or paranormal has always interested me, so it got the wheels turning, Liz. I was just reading in a book this morning about how cats are very sensitive to ghosts. Sends chills down your spine, doesn’t it?

I’d never heard that before about cats. Definitely chill-inducing.

Thank you for introducing us to Terri and for sharing her work here.
And Happy Internet Day to you, my friend!

Oops, Gremlins in my computer sent that comment too soon. That was supposed to read ‘Happy Internet Friend’s Day’. Of course, everyone knows that ‘Internet Day’ is on October 29! 😀 😀

Those gremlins visit my computer pretty often also, lol. Thanks for visiting!

Thanks, Teri is a great writer and a fun blogging friend too. Happy Internet Friend’s Day back at you!!

How lovely to find Teri Polen featured here, Darlene. I have read all three of her lovely novels [they are right up my street] and I am a fan of her Dark Moon Rising October blog festival too.

I love the Dark Moon Rising feature as well. I can see why you would enjoy her books.

I didn’t know you’d read all three, Robbie – thanks so much! I always look forward to hosting Bad Moon Rising in October. I have so much fun doing the interviews and featuring the authors – and buying more books, of course. Have a great weekend, Robbie!

Thanks again for featuring me today, Darlene – I had no idea it was National Internet Friends Day!

I know. Another blogging friend mentioned it!

Great interview with Teri, Darlene and I’ve enjoyed learning more about her, her writing and her books. Glad to find someone else who wasn’t able to write as much during lockdown.

Thanks, Mary. It was hard to get motivated during lockdown especially at the beginning. Many writers said the same thing.

I sure wasn’t, Mary. I felt like I just wasn’t in the right headspace to write, and now my characters are screaming at me to finish their story!

What amazes me is the wide variety of Teri’s books, as they sound so different! I’ve read ‘Subject A36’ and found a wow factor in it. Wishing her great success. Thank you for sharing some interesting facts about your writing Teri.

Thanks, Balroop. Teri is very versatile and has a vivid imagination.

Thanks so much for reading A36, Balroop – I’m thrilled you enjoyed it! I’m working on the sequel slowly but surely.

Thanks for sharing Teri’s writing with us Darlene….great interview. Her inspiration from a scared cat caught my eye having had a number of “interesting” experiences in old homes while I was growing up. I love how something like that gets the writing juices flowing!!

Our imagination can really be inspired by those interesting experiences! Glad you enjoyed meeting Teri.

Oooohhh – I’d love to hear about those experiences, Kirt. Old homes always have stories to tell.

Yes they do!! The most vivid experience was at my Grandmother’s house in Keokuk, Iowa. It was an old craftsman above the Mississippi River in the extreme southern part of Iowa. I was a teenager at the time so this goes back into the early 70’s. In our family of 6 (3 boys, 1 girl), us guys were spending the night in the living room (my grandmother was in the hospital) and my sister and my girlfriend and my older brothers girlfriend were in the guest room. As the night went on all three of us (on different sofas) kept getting woken up by someone touching us. We blamed each other, but ultimately it happened enough that we stayed awake and saw no one around when we still felt ourselves getting touched. We ended up on the floor in the master bedroom with our parents. As we all started falling asleep finally, one of the bedroom walls suddenly appeared to be burning and a confederate soldier walked out of the wall….then nothing. Talk about bizarre and scary! My folks didn’t see it, but us guys did….go figure.

Nice to get to know Teri a little better. Thank you

Always great to learn more about other writers. Thanks for dropping by.

Thanks for stopping by, Drew – so glad you’re back!

It feels so good to be back. Thank you

A great interview, Teri and Darlene!!!

Thanks so much, Rebbeca.

Subject A36 sounds so good! I won’t even ask how you came up with such characters. Marvel–me too, watched most of them!

It’s one you would love!

I honestly can’t remember how this one came about in my head, Jacqui, but I love these characters. Always nice to hear from another Marvel fan!

Hi Darlene and so nice to see you over here, Teri! I enjoyed reading about your writing process. I think taking classes and learning more about how to write a book would also be helpful to me – my attempts have been a little aimless. Congratulations on your success!

Thanks for stopping by. Taking classes, even online have really helped me. The thing about writing is you are always learning.

Thanks, Barbara! Before studying the craft, I had no idea how complicated it is to actually write a book. There’s so much to learn, and it’s really an ongoing process. After three books (almost four!) I’m still learning. I’m taking more classes at the end of this month.

That’s great, Teri. Are they virtual classes?

They are virtual. No in person writing retreat this year, so the authors converted to online workshops – and they’ve been wonderful!

I think that would work for me 🙂

I enjoyed reading this interview, Darlene. I felt in love with Ron Weasley from the start of Harry Potter also. I liked his personality. I’m the same with no designated area for writing. I move mu computer several times a day to different rooms. Thank you for sharing with us, Teri!

I agree, Ron Weasley and his family are a great part of the Harry Potter stories.

Glad to hear I’m not the only mobile writer, Miriam, lol. I’m at the dining room table today. Another Weasley fan! I just loved how Molly Weasley “mothered” Harry and how their family embraced him. Thanks for visiting!

I’ve been at the dining table all day today, Teri. My office is not as bright and I don’t feel like being in it on a cloudy and windy day. I’m usually not a witchcraft movie fan, but I watched it as a kid movie and grew with those lovely kids. Weasley family is a model. Great to visit you, Teri!

A fun interview, Darlene. I’m a big fan of Teri’s books and blog. She writes wonderful stories and I love her characters. The twins in Gemini Connection have a special place in my heart. And I can relate to being a slow writer, Teri. Being a planner does seem to help. But don’t over plan! Let the story surprise you! Happy Writing to you both!

Thanks so much, Diana. Those twins certainly do get to you. There is nothing wrong with being a slow writer and I love how the story surprises me sometimes.

Those twins may be my favorite characters, Diana – I still miss them. I’ve discovered I can’t plan everything – the characters throw surprises at me all the time. Sure makes it interesting!

I just loved that brotherly bond, Teri. Happy Writing. I’m waiting…. Ha ha.

I really enjoyed the interview Darlene and thanks for the introduction to Teri. I loved the idea of her career as a writer beginning at the sidelines of a soccer game. Inspiration for writing can come from anywhere, Congrats to the cat for sparking creativity.

Thanks, Sue. It is amazing where ideas come from.

That’s why I love hearing writers talk about where their story ideas originated, Sue. Who knew my cat would inspire my first book to be published? He got credit in the acknowledgements!

Nice to learn more about Teri here, Darlene. Thanks for the interview!

Thanks for dropping by, Audrey!

[…] the delightful children’s series, Amanda Travels, interviewed me on her blog Saturday. Click HERE to read. After visiting Canada last year, I read Amanda in Alberta and enjoyed learning more about […]

Fabulous interview, ladies. Teri, I didn’t know that’s how you started writing. I love that. And look how far you’ve come!

That certainly was a good use of soccer mom time! And now Teri has almost 4 books out there! Glad you enjoyed the interview, Staci.

And it was long hand, Staci. So many pages to put into my desktop computer later. What a relief when I bought the laptop!

Great interview.
I have a fascination with quantum physics, genetics and DNA. I love reading about it!

Then you will love Teris book. Thanks for visiting.

Those topics have always fascinated me, Jina. Show me a book with genetic engineering and I’m all over it.

That was a fun interview! And I so get trying to claw your way into being a planner, Teri. I’m the same way. 2020 was a hard writing year for me as well, but so far 2021 has been much better.

Darlene, thanks for interviewing Teri and sharing here!

Thanks, Mae. Glad you enjoyed it. I think you either are born a planner it you aren’t. The funny thing is, I love planning everything else in my life. I just can’t plan my books!

LOL! I’m pretty much the exact same way, Darlene!

I’m learning, Mae – but I still leave leeway for the characters to change their minds about things. And a couple of them have over the last week.

Darlene, a fabulous interview with Teri and blimey, her research is challenging – quantum physics and DNA! I love that the cat got a mention in the credits – just as it should be! 😀

The research would be fascinating! That is one amazing cat and deserves recognition. Pleasef you enjoyed the interview.

He would have been insulted if he didn’t get the credit, Annika, lol. Only fair. I have to admit I fell down several rabbit holes with that research. Some fascinating – and scary – stuff out there.

Hi Terri! Nice to meet you! ❤

You as well, Carol Anne!

I don’t know how I missed this on Saturday. I’m glad I caught up. Super interview, Darlene. Always good to see Teri being interviewed.

You were probably busy buying your dear wife a Valentine’s Day gift! I agree, Teri is a cool member of our blogging community.

No we don’t do Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure why. Thanks, Darlene.

With the weather in TX, you were probably huddled under a blanket, John, lol. Thanks for visiting!

That could have been true, Teri.

Enjoyed the interview, Darlene and Teri. I’m reading Subject A 36 now and am blown away!

Teri is a great writer! Glad you are enjoying the book.

Fun fun fun interview. I agree about the best Grey’s Anatomy character. Bailey makes me laugh and I love her kick ass attitude and her oh so handsome and hot husband. 😌 I am not a fan of Horror because it horrifies me but I love the world of Harry Potter and how fun it would be to be part of Ron Weasley‘s family. I have a suspicion that Teri’s family life isn’t too different. And I also enjoyed Teri’s words about writing and the frustrations of it but also the great rewards. Great job Darlene and many congrats to Teri for all of your imaginative books

Thanks, Pam. So pleased you enjoyed the interview. It was fun to interview Teri!

Hi Darlene! This is a great spotlight on Teri. I liked learning how she first got into writing 8 years ago and where she gets ideas from. Wishing both of you ladies all the best!

Wonderful interview with Teri, Darlene! Sharing…

Thanks so much, Bette!

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