Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Warm Welcome to Terri Gillespie

Is there a story behind your book She Does Good Hair? 
[Laughs] There’s always a story behind our stories, isn’t there? I’ve moved a lot and have therefore had many hairdressers over the years. I also sold advertising and specialized in ads for salons. Hair salons are an interesting culture and each has their own mood.
One of my hairdressers was young woman who had recently purchased a rundown salon with beauticians doing “granny” hair. She thought she could come in and change everything overnight, but alas, that was not the case. Little by little the salon changed, but mostly she did.

What started you on your writing journey?
Goodness, I began writing stories as soon as I could read. My grandmother was a storyteller. We spent many an afternoon swinging on the front porch, sucking on lemon drops (from my grandfather’s lemon drop jar), as she shared exciting stories about her father, the town’s doctor. She seemed to sense that I was a writer. While my brothers and cousins played outside, she set up an old Royal typewriter and paper so I could type up my adventure stories.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Harriet, no question. I loved her journey. She’s outspoken to a fault, but she has a clear understanding of what she feels is right and wrong. There’s an old saying, “She’s been rode hard and put up wet.” That’s Harriet. She’s had a difficult past and reacts based on those hurts—I could identify with that.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Now that’s an interesting question. My first thought was rock—loud and energetic. But really—and I don’t know that you could call this a style of music—I think I’m more the “Hooked on Classics” kind of gal. A combination of classical with rock.

What is your strangest habit?
When I am super stressed out and have problems sleeping I watch disaster movies. I have no idea why, but I feel better and more relaxed. Maybe I find comfort in watching people with bigger problems than me.

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Life. Being able to see the humor in the most mundane is something my husband and I do regularly. Knowing someone so deeply can afford us the greatest opportunities for laughter—those inside jokes. I love that. The Lord and I have had a few of those moments, too. I think I make Him laugh a lot.

What is your favorite season of the year? 
Fall. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved Autumn and felt it was a time of renewal and fresh beginnings—which didn’t make a bit of sense since it is when trees shed their leaves and we had to go back to school. About twenty years ago we began exploring the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. It turned out the Biblical holidays in the Fall were about that—a call to fresh beginnings.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Ah. This gets to the nitty-gritty of my passion—unity. Specifically, the unity Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) prayed for in John 17—between Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Him. He prayed that we would be one so the world would know who He was.
One of the most beautiful examples of this type of unity was Ruth and Naomi. Ruth was a Gentile—from a pagan culture—who left behind everything she knew and followed Ruth back to Bethlehem. What is profound to me is that God used these two women as examples of what it takes to truly be united—love, sacrifice, faith. I think God would also include humor.
She Does Good Hair (and the future Hair Mavens’ stories) is a modern day Ruth and Naomi story set in a hair salon. Shira, Harriet, Beulah and Kathy couldn’t be more incompatible. That in-fighting wasn’t conducive to harmony or productivity. However, when this begins to change something miraculous occurs . . . Which, of course, you’ll have to read to discover what that is.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.   
 My usual go-tos I’m putting aside for this interview. Hubby and I attend a Messianic synagogue—a congregation of both Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Jesus. The home group Bible study we attend is currently studying Ephesians. We’ve spent several sessions on the last half of chapter two which speaks of the “one new man” and what that all means, especially as Messianic Jews. But it’s in chapter 3 that I received a deeper revelation of the impact of unity can have.
“This favor was given to me [Paul], the very least of His [saints], to proclaim to the Gentiles the endless riches of the Messiah and to bring to light the plan of the mystery—which for ages was hidden in God, who created all things. The purpose is that through Messiah’s community the multi-faceted wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, which is in keeping with the eternal purpose that He carried out in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:8-11, Tree of Life Version, emphasis mine)
Did you catch that? Unity moves the heavenlies. Powerful stuff, don’t you think?

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
A small publishing house is interested in a children’s story I wrote. But mostly I’m working on book two of the Hair Mavens. Entitled, CUT IT OUT!, the mavens begin living out their new relationship and—for two of the mavens—their new faith. By the way, CUT IT OUT is an actual organization that trains hairdressers how to spot domestic violence. So, you get an idea where this next book will lead.
Stay tuned for its release date.

Back Cover

She Does Good Hair
Shira Goldstein's life takes a drastic turn when she goes from styling the wealthy and famous at a premiere salon in Manhattan, to humiliated and unemployed in one day. Just when she thinks things couldn’t get worse, her Aunt Edna passes away. 

Her aunt leaves Shira her run-down salon, The Hair Mavens, but an unwelcome surprise accompanies the inheritance. According to her aunt’s dreamy lawyer, Jesse Fox, the salon comes with three beauticians—the mavens—Harriet Foster, Beulah Montgomery and Kathy Smith.

Harriet isn’t interested in any newfangled changes and wants to make sure she comes out on top—whatever it takes.
Beulah was Aunt Edna’s prayer partner and wants to support Shira, but knows the three mavens are about to be fired. Besides what would a star in the salon field want with a behind-the-times beautician?
Kathy, afraid of her own shadow, bears a secret Edna took with her to the grave.

Only God could bring four such unlikely women together to make a difference in each of their lives—if they don’t kill each other first.

To purchase her book

About Terri
Terri Gillespie is a wife, mother, grandmother, and critically acclaimed author and speaker. Her writing credits include: creator and head writer for the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America’s (MJAA) Restoration of Israel Minute, heard on 25 stations in 11 states and Canada; has contributed to several books, magazines, and newspapers. Her first book was, Making Eye Contact with God—A Women’s Devotional, She Does Good Hair, Book One of The Hair Mavens Series is her first novel.
Terri managed domestic operations and development for the MJAA for 13 years before resigning to focus more of her time on writing. This past year she was also privileged to work on the newest Bible translation, the Tree of Life Version as a copy editor.
Terri lives outside Philadelphia with her husband of 40 years. They have one adult daughter, who lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

To connect with Terri:
 Terri invites you to visit her website and blog at, tweet her @TerriGMavens or say “hello” on her author page on Facebook

Terri Gillespie is giving away a copy of She Does Good Hair.  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 yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Cathy Gohlke said...

I LOVED "She Does Good Hair," and appreciate your interview of Terri Gillespie. In our crazy, mixed-up world we're so desperately in need of unity in Jesus. Thank you, Terri, for carrying that banner. God's blessings on your writing and blogging, Sandra, and on your writing and ministry, Terri!

Carrie Turansky said...

Thanks for this inspiring interview with Terri Gillespie! I've read She Does Good Hair, and I truly enjoyed the story. Her characters and setting come to life, and the lessons the women learn in life and faith really touched my heart. I'm looking forward to reading Cut It Out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesome comments, Cathy and Carrie! BTW, two of my favorite authors!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like it will be fun to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cindi A said...

Interesting interview. I, too, love the fall season. :)

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Terri's book.


Patricia Bradley said...

This sounds like my kind of book! Can't wait to read it. pat at ptbradley dot com

Terri Gillespie said...

Linda, Cindi and Patricia, thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging comments!

Anonymous said...

What a fun interview! I read the ecopy of "She Does Good Hair" and loved it! It would be absolutely delightful to have a hard copy as well! Thank you for the giveaway! :)
sylvesternator AT yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this giveaway Terri and Bard Door Books. I enjoy learning more about the authors and their books. Sounds like another winner, Terri. Now if I could just find one "she does good hair" - maybe I could get my hair done. Joyce Guard

Angela Holland said...

This Sounds like a good book - thank you for the chance to win

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Terri Gillespie said...

Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog, Laura, Joyce and Angela.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview. Would love to just sit back and chat with her! Loved her fun way of writing!


KayM said...

It's good to meet a new-to-me author. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Terri Gillespie said...

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know me and the "mavens", Mandn and KayM!

Adrienne Trevino said...

Can't wait to read this book... your amazing Terri

Terri Gillespie said...

Aw, Adrienne, so are you! Thanks for stopping by!

Merry said...

She Does Good Hair sounds like a fun read!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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