Friday, January 10, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Teresa Pollard

I'm happy to welcome Teresa today to our blog site. Your book has an interest premise. Tell us:
Is there a story behind your book Not Guilty?  
Yes, and it’s a pretty amazing story, but not the one you’d expect. I was sitting in church one Sunday evening listening to a sermon on an entirely different subject, when all of a sudden this entire plot came to me. I rushed home to try to get it down on paper, and wrote frantically for about three days. I had about eighty handwritten pages. I knew it wasn’t a completed novel yet, but when I showed them to my friend Candi, she gave me about twenty pages of suggestions for additions. I didn’t get the least bit angry, but told her if she had that much to say, she had to help me do it right. So we spent a year writing. Then we began to show it to people we knew. The first person I showed my copy to said, “Teresa, you don’t know this, but you have just written my story.” I was shocked. She told me the story of her attack and pregnancy, but she said the gossip and rumors in our church had hurt her as much as the original attack. She always sat a few rows behind me in church, but I didn’t really know her at all.  I think somehow the Holy Spirit had let me feel her pain that night.

The odd thing is that I’ve since had two other women, and Candi has had one, who told us almost the same thing. We’ve learned that there are about 32,000 rape pregnancies a year and of these roughly half opt to keep their babies. But the gossip and rumors of Christians can cause unnecessary pain to these women.  I think that’s why God gave me this story.   .  

What started you on your writing journey?   
I’ve always been a voracious reader.  In 1979, my friend Linda Anderson gave me a grocery bag of Harlequin Romances.   After reading several dozen of them, I gave them back and said, “Every one of these has exactly the same plot: poor girl meets rich man, they instantly fall in love but misunderstanding piles on misunderstanding until they fall into each other’s arms and kiss on page 230. I could write a better novel than these.” So she dared me to try. I wrote my first novel in 1979 and have been writing since. Not Guilty was written in 1982, but published in 2013.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?  
I guess I’m not a typical writer.  I always say it has to be a spiritual gift because I’m a writer who hates to write.  So I’m easily distracted.  I don’t write every day.  I don’t journal.  I don’t write notes.  I write when I’m so heavy with a story that I can’t not write it down.  Until I do, I feel like I’ll explode.  I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it’s true.  

What kind of books do you enjoy reading? (Book recommendations very welcome!)
As I said before, I’ll admit that I’m not actually that discriminating about what I will read as long as it’s clean. But I think I love mystery and suspense the best, again with the caveat, as long as it doesn’t spill over into horror and gore.  My favorite authors are Terry Blackstock, Dee Henderson, Bodie and Brock Thoene, Jim Rubart, and Frank Peretti.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
I’d have to say Southern gospel.  I used to sing in churches and at the local Rescue Mission on a regular basis. I love the Gaither’s music and most often one of their songs would be my choice to share.   

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?  
If you asked my children that, they would probably say that about everything I do is quirky.  I’ve been a clown in parades, and children’s events for school and church. I’ve climbed a rock wall on a cruise ship.  I eat my hot dogs with pickles and sauerkraut, and I’m a bubble bath and Diet Pepsi addict, so I guess it depends on your definition of quirky.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
This is a very good question for me.  For years I never smiled much.  I had crooked teeth as a child, and I never wanted to open my mouth.  Several years ago, I prayed for the Lord to teach me to smile.  I never dreamed He would teach me to smile through my tears.  When my husband left, and my daughter died, the last thing I wanted to do was smile or laugh, but I found that it was the only way to get through the heartache.  Now I’m told I laugh and smile all the time.  My Grandson CJ is the one who makes me laugh the most.  He is always up to something.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood? 
I spent most summers on the Rappahannock River with my godparents Mama Lil and Daddy Harry Holmes when I was growing up.  We went fishing and crabbing and swam every day.  I loved to swim, and I was pretty good at it, so it was the one time I felt accepted by those my age.  Those times were pretty idyllic to me.  

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?   
Basically everything I write has a spiritual theme.  I want all my writing to glorify God and draw people to Him.  But I want to tackle the subjects that other Christian writers shy away from.  The real issues that people face every day, and that can lead them to God or to destruction have to be addressed in a godly fashion.  By closing their eyes to these issues, Christians are losing our generation to Satan.  We need to reclaim God’s dominion over all areas of our lives, not just the ones some Christians deem worthy of discussion.  

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
There are so many, but Psalm 32:7 is one of my favorites.  It says, “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”  I’ve claimed this verse since I was a small child.    

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have two books out already. Tokens of Promise came out in June, 2013. It’s an imagination of the love story of Tamar and Judah based on Genesis 38. My next one due out is called Not Ashamed, and it’s a sequel to Not Guilty. Charity Wright grows up and comes home from Africa to confront her biological father, but before she can, she is caught up in a murder mystery. Can she let go of her anger and prejudice, or will they blind her to the truth and cause her to fall prey to a killer?    

To buy the book, go here:


About Teresa:
Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age.  She has a Masters Degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years.  Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia.

Connect with Teresa here:

Teresa is giving away a copy of  Not Guilty. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on tomorrow's post)

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Jackie McNutt said...

Teresa, Your comments on the number of rape case pregnancies is staggering . It is not a pretty statement when we as Christians express our disapproval in such hurtful ungodly ways. Thank you for writing of these situations.

Rose Milligan said...

I think I write the same way sometimes. Story ideas pop into my head, and I have to get it down on paper that moment. Thanks for having the giveaway.


PriviesAndPrims said...

Hoping to win this one. It sounds real interesting and I'd like to know what happens!

Doreen Brannan
priviesandprims at yahoo dot com

Teresa Pollard said...

Hi, Jackie, Rose & Doreen,
Yes, Jackie, the numbers are staggering, but the good news is that half the mothers choose life. The bad news is that half don't; many because they've been persuaded that they have no other choice. But we serve a mighty God, and He can work even in the worst of circumstances. That's what Not Guilty is all about. Hope you will all enjoy reading it, and I look forward to sending the winner a free copy. God bless. Teresa

Deb R. said...

Thank you for sharing bits of your life with us so transparently. Please enter my name to win a copy of your book. cjajsjmommy (at) gmail (dot) com

sm said...

I would love to read this book! Our oldest son was an unwanted pregnancy and we adopted him and are so privileged to have him in our family. Nice to see how God turns things around for His glory. Sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Teresa Pollard said...

Thank youu Deb, Sharon, & Linda,
for your interest in Not Guilty. God bless you. Hope you will all enjoy reading it.

Also a special thank you to the Barn Door Book Loft for having me here this week to tell you about my work. I pray God's blessings on each of you.

Anonymous said...

Hello Teresa. Sounds like you write on some good topics. It would be a hard decision to decide what to do if pregnant from a rapist. I couldn't do an abortion tho. Adoption would always be a choice. But, also can't see giving up a child of mine either. Would really need help from GOD in making the decision. I would love to win your book. Thanks for a chance. And, thanks to Barn Door Book Loft also for having you as a guest author. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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