At Write! Canada, author Margaret Terry will be among panelists discussing “Roadblocks, Detours, and Acts of God.”
You co-ordinate a large book club in Canada (over 100 members). What is your favourite book club pick?
That’s a hard question because we’ve read so many wonderful books. Hmmmm…The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill is up there. And so is The Help by Katharine Stockett. But I’d have to say my personal favorite is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I have a heart for stories about miracles and stories with narrators who are brave children, and Leif’s book is that and more.
One of your favourite hobbies is cooking. How is writing an article or book similar to preparing a meal?
Hah! I’m not the best person to ask that question to because I never follow a recipe–all I know is that I love food and I love sharing it! Over the years, I’ve read hundreds (maybe thousands) of recipes and yet I end up going by my instincts regarding what works.
I use all my senses. I want it to look good on the plate, so I make sure I don’t have mashed potatoes beside a piece of white fish. I want the tastes to complement each other, so I don’t sprinkle cayenne pepper on lemon squares. And there’s nothing better than filling the house with the scent of beef tips simmering in red wine.
Preparing food feeds a creative need, makes me happy and allows me to share something I love. I guess that’s the similarity with writing.
You have counselled parents of children struggling with drug addiction as well as individuals going through divorce. How has your faith in God played a role in helping these people?
I think all of us play a part in God’s story. It’s a part we play by living our lives. My part included a divorce and a son who was addicted to crack. I couldn’t have survived the fear of losing my son or the pain of being left by my spouse without believing that God was there by my side–in the ER after an overdose, and in the long, lonely nights after the separation.
That’s how I help others who are in the middle of that pain and fear. I remember those days and I believe in healing for them. I tell them what they feel is normal and assure them they won’t feel that way forever. I can tell them that because another part God has given me in His story is to share my own healing.
Attend writer’s conferences like Write! Canada and be bold! Talk to the speakers, ask questions, network with other writers, take notes and soak in the creativity that is all around you. Read everything you can about the best ways to get your work noticed. Read what you love. Write what you love.
Margaret's website http://margaretterry.com
Margaret Terry was interviewed by Linda Jonasson of the Write! Canada PR team.