Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Teri Lee, Author of Troubled Spirits, Talks "Finding Inspiration" on the Blog Today! #Giveaway


Today's Honored Guest is Teri Lee, Author of Troubled Spirits.  Teri will be discussing "Finding Inspiration."

Are you a runner? Illustrator? Gardener? Jewelry maker? Or are you a writer, like me? Whatever it is, finding something to inspire you is essential to success. Your inspiration can come from anywhere. For the runner it may be passing the woman in the pink shirt. The illustrator may spot a tree, which looks like a fish. The gardener may find inspiration in jewelry and the jeweler in the garden

As a writer, my inspiration sometimes it comes from the familiar. My first story was inspired by my childhood adventures. But Troubled Spirits was inspired by something unfamiliar—ghost hunting.

A group of my ER co-workers were planning an excursion into one of the older hospital buildings and they invited me to join them. My brain formulated the word no, but what I heard my mouth saying was yes. And in that moment, a seed was planted. The seed which would grow into Troubled Spirits. What if a group of teenagers decided to try their hand at ghost hunting? But what if the ghost didn’t want to be hunted?

Although the hospital shot down any possibility of a ghostly excursion into any of their buildings, our little group huddled together in an empty ER room with a spirit box. Not only was that an experience I’ll never forget, it was the inspiration for the scene in the school cafeteria when Logan’s spirit box….

I decided to set Troubled Spirits in a haunted school instead of a hospital. And then another ‘what if?’ popped into my head. What if there was an actual haunted school in Maine? I scoured the internet and discovered there was one Maine school rumored to be haunted:

“According to legend back in the 1950's 5 young high school boys were murdered mysteriously at the school. No one knows who did it. Ever since late at night when you’re walking the track behind the school you'll see glimpses of lights going on and off and hear strange noises if your near the school even feel like you’re being watched. There is also 2 graveyards near the school which also have many hauntings. Like the old man in the graveyard path whom is dark tall you speak to him and he just stares at you then vanishes into thin air.”  Source: http://www.theshadowlands.net

I went back to the internet in search of details, but all I found was this same paragraph on various websites. So I decided to take action. Along with a friend, I jumped into my car and made the two hour trip to investigate in person. We visited the “haunted” school. We visited the library. I searched through books about the town history. Finally, I spoke with the librarian. Yes, he’d heard of the rumors, but assured me they were just that—rumors. But I wasn’t done with my investigation. We visited every cemetery we could find, searching for the gravestones of teenaged boys who died in the 50’s. There were none. Not one!

Although I was disappointed that I hadn’t proven the rumor to be true, I’d gathered up bunches of inspiration along the way. I now had a model (adapted slightly) for not only the Caldwell School, but also the library. Because the town which inspired Shady Cove is a coastal town, many of the older gravestones belonged to captains. And these gravestones were the inspiration for the short story found within the pages of Troubled Spirits titled The Captain.

What I learned while writing Troubled Spirits is that inspiration can come from any place. Sometimes it comes when you’re not looking and sometimes you need to go looking for it. So be ready. The inspiration for your success might be right in front of you, or waiting for you around the next corner. I’d love to hear about what inspires you!



Book Details:

Troubled Spirits
Teri Lee

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Date of Publication: August 21, 2014

ISBN: 1612964028
ASIN: B00NJ523TE

Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 64,000

About Troubled Spirits:

Annie Waters hates birthdays. At least she hates her birthdays. Because every year her mother told the story of her grandmother's ghostly appearance in the delivery room. But the worst birthday was her sixteenth--the day she killed her dad.

Forced to move to Shady Cove, Maine, Annie is drawn deep into the world of the supernatural by her new friend, Harmony. Now, tormented by an angry spirit, Annie has only nine days to unravel the secrets of the Caldwell School or join the spirit world herself.

Read an Excerpt:

As they turned onto the school road, Harmony finally spoke.
“I think the ghost knew your grandmother. And…” Excitement crept into her voice, “He sensed your grandmother’s presence when we went into the Caldwell School. He might even think you are your grandmother!”
Harmony looked out the window. They were almost to the school. “I don’t think he can tell the difference. Which means, he thinks you’re Annie Mae Brown. And that scares him!”
Something came over Annie—a force so powerful that she couldn’t resist called her from the Caldwell School. She cranked the wheel, whipping the car into the school lot, then slammed on the brakes, skidding to a stop in front of the old school. She jumped out of the car and ran toward the building.
“Annie, what are you doing?” Harmony yelled.
Annie stopped. She didn’t know why she was doing it, but she knew she had to. “I am Annie Mae Brown!” she screamed.
“And I’m going to make sure the whole world knows your secret!”
The ground trembled. And with a deafening boom, the school windows shattered. Shards of glass flew toward her.
Behind her, Harmony screamed.
And suddenly Drew was there, knocking her to the ground, shielding her with his body as glass pelted the ground around her.
The storm of glass stopped and Annie looked up into Drew’s eyes. “Are you okay?” he asked, getting to his feet.
Annie pushed herself up into a sitting position. “I think so.”
“Stay here,” Drew said, then dashed into the old school building.
“Annie…” Harmony’s voice was weak.
Annie scrambled to her feet. Harmony was standing in front of the car, a piece of glass sticking out of her chest. Annie ran.
Her feet moved, but Harmony seemed to be getting farther away. And then she watched in horror as Harmony looked down at the glass.
“Don’t!” Annie screamed—too late. Harmony reached up.
Her fingers wrapped around the glass and she pulled. She looked down at the glass in her hand as if wondering where it had come from. A dark red blotch spread across her bright green hoodie. The evil-looking shard slipped from her hand and shattered on the pavement. Harmony dropped to her knees. Her eyes met Annie’s for a brief second before she toppled forward.
Annie reached her friend in time to catch her and lower her to the ground. “Somebody, help me,” she screamed. In the distance she heard voices. “Help!” she yelled again.
Her fingers felt thick as she worked the zipper down and pulled Harmony’s sweatshirt open. Blood flowed from a deep gash just below Harmony’s left shoulder. Annie yanked her own sweatshirt off and pressed it against the wound. Harmony’s face was white. Her eyes were closed. “Talk to me,” Annie cried.
Harmony’s eyelids fluttered open. “You okay?” Her voice was barely a whisper.
Annie nodded. Tears streamed down her face.
“I saw…” Harmony’s voice faded and her eyes closed.
“Open your eyes!” Annie sobbed. “Please open your eyes.”
Harmony didn’t move. The blood soaked through Annie’s sweatshirt.
“Please don’t die,” Annie whispered. She pressed harder on the wound. She could feel the ghost behind her. She looked back at the old school building, expecting to see the swirling dark shadow. Empty windows stared back at her.
She needed to get help, but she couldn’t let up on the pressure. Harmony would die!
Where was Drew? Why wasn’t he helping her?
“Drew! Anybody! Help! Please help,” she screamed.
A door slammed across the street. Footsteps pounded on the pavement, growing closer. She looked back at Harmony.
“Someone’s coming. Hang on.”

The bleeding seemed to have slowed and Annie leaned closer to her friend. “See, it’s slowing down. You’re going to be okay.” And then an awful thought crept into her mind. The worst thought ever. What if the bleeding had slowed because Harmony’s heart had stopped beating? What if Harmony was-she couldn’t think the word.

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Meet the Author:



Teri Lee is the author of Troubled Spirits, a YA paranormal novel. Growing up in Maine, Teri spent hours exploring in the woods with her friends dreaming up places like ‘Land of the Lost’, ‘Trouble Hill’, and ‘Paradise’. If she wasn’t in the woods, you’d find her lost in a book. And today not much has changed. She’s still dreaming up imaginary places, getting lost in a book, and sometimes lost in the woods. When she’s not writing you’ll find her saving lives and rescuing splinters in the ER.

Find Teri Online:

Blog: www.Terileeliving.com

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/terilee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.TeriLee

Website: http://www.teri-lee-author.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23116240-troubled-spirits

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriLee_author

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1 comment:

Teri Lee said...

Thanks so much for hosting me!!!