So great to be invited back on the popular podcast, Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books with Zibby Owens! This was a particularly fun one, as Zibby’s two kids (and Emmie & Friends fans) took charge of the interview. They asked great questions and were a total blast. I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s the synapsis:
Terri discusses the book’s unique format, which explores two “what-if” scenarios from the perspectives of characters Sarah and Leo, involving a school dance and a love triangle. She shares how she blends personal experiences with imagination and explains her writing process, which involves drafting in a Word document, indicating artwork in red type, and then adding sketches and final artwork. Zibby’s children, who are fans of the series, ask Terri about character names, book titles, and potential future books. Terri shares personal details, like her Turkish heritage, and then reveals the possibility of her series being adapted into a movie or TV show.
This summer, I was interviewed for the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, which takes a scholarly, in-depth (and really fun) approach to comics. I really loved talking shop with them, and here’s the result.
Print copy comes out next year. Same issue as Raina Telgemeier, so be sure to check out both articles!
Introducing the eighth (omg, eighth) book in the New York Times best-selling Emmie & Friends series, ALWAYS ANTHONY, which will be out in stores on May 7, 2024! The book is told from the alternating POVs of popular Anthony and timid Leah as they grapple with a bullying incident at school. This is a story about unexpected friendship and everyday bravery.
This book is a departure for me and one I’m so proud of. I hope it helps provide awareness of the awful realities and complexities of bullying while — yes — making readers smile and even laugh along the way.
Anthony is TPFW (Too Popular For Words), loves science, hates writing.
Leah is a super-shy nerd who’s finally making friends of her own.
What could they have in common?
A lot more than they thought, as it turns out!
But then one day they witness Anthony’s teammates bullying a sixth grader. What happens next could cement their new friendship—or blow it up forever.
For ages 8-12.
To pre-order ALWAYS ANTHONY, click here.
P.S. To everyone who has mailed (and emailed) me main character suggestions, THANK YOU! I have taken them to heart. There will definitely be more books starring more of your favorite characters!!
I’m so excited to be participating in the all new JewCE (Jewish Comics Experience) convention in NYC on November 12, 2023 at the Center for Jewish History. This event celebrates Jewish comics of all types and features a big exhibit.
I’m also thrilled to be nominated for Artist Honoree of the Year — woo! The line-up of guests and nominees is pretty spectacular, so I’m very excited to schmooze among them as well as participate in a kids’ panel (below).
For details and registration, click here. Hope you can make it!
Writing SURPRISINGLY SARAH was not-so-surprisingly refreshing. I had really wanted to break away from the formula I use for this series. I’d only done it once; in BECOMING BRIANNA, there is just one main character (as opposed to my traditional two), and instead of the chapters switching between the characters’ POVs, the timeline switches between past and present.
In SARAH, I also broke the mold — this time by manipulating the plotline. I created a “what if” situation. That is, I present two different responses to an event and the reader sees how each one unfolds. More details here.
It wasn’t easy to pull off. I had to make sure the story wouldn’t be confusing — especially since those two scenarios happen to one character (Sarah) but are presented by two different characters (Sarah and her best friend, Leo). Yikes!
I also made up brand new characters, Leo and Ben. Creating new kids from scratch is always a challenge…although a fun one. Luckily their personalities came together well. In fact, I absolutely fell in love with Leo — what a quirky, funny, loyal kid! I kinda liken his relationship with his best friend Sarah to that of Duckie and Andie from “Pretty in Pink” (kids, ask your parents…or your grandparents).
I really had to pay attention and make sure I was attributing the right details to the correct plotline. I went over everything with a fine tooth comb, as did my editors. Can’t be too careful. Add in all the art, and double that fine tooth combing!
But how I loved writing this. First, because I got to really delve into sweet Sarah’s life, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And second, because I grew to enjoy her evolving relationship with Leo. A wonderful by-product of writing is watching your characters’ personalities emerge before your eyes — sometimes with little effort. Such was the case with both Sarah and Leo. I remember when creating TRULY TYLER, I had such a tough time writing from a boy’s POV at first. Once I got over that stumbling block and everything clicked, it felt so natural to write for Tyler, which in turn, paved the way for Leo. I’ll always be grateful to Tyler for that.
In a nutshell, writing SARAH was challenging AND creatively freeing. In other words, everything an author wants. For the most part, it’s been this way with the entire series, which is one of the reasons I continue to write these books. That, and incredible reader response, which is ALWAYS rewarding.
I hope you choose to pick up a copy of SURPRISINGLY SARAH. Better yet, I hope you love reading it as much as I loved writing it. To order SARAH, click here.
As always, happy reading!
SO thrilled to be on this insanely fun and insightful podcast hosted by the hugely popular author, Marissa Meyer (one of my daughters is a big fan, so we’re very familiar with her books).
I hope you’ll take a listen to my episode on The Happy Writer Podcast — we had such a great time. And be sure to catch her other guests. I’ve listened to many authors’ episodes and learned a lot (and had fun doing it).