Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm so glad to be part of the Avalon group, both here at the blog and as an author. And since I'm the first author to write for our newly formed blog, I thought I'd share a little about how I came to publish my first book with Avalon.

Dreams give us hope, it's said, a purpose to strive to be more than we are. From the time I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my class assignments as stories. In high school, I wrote a chapter every night for my ongoing saga - "D is for Dilemma." My friends couldn't wait for my next pages and I was hooked.

My dream to be a writer was nurtured and encouraged first by my parents and teachers and later by my husband. I sold a few articles with teaching tips, wrote short stories for children's markets. I really wanted to write the big stories, though, and developed characters and created plots in the evenings after I finished lesson plans and grading papers. I joined writing groups, listened to published authors when they came to our town, and kept motivational quotes on my wall. I submitted manuscripts and worked toward that magical day when I would be a published author.

AVALON BOOKS was my first book publisher. I can still remember the phone call - even though I can't remember anything that was said! I was downstairs in our family room with my mom. She was holding our new son and our toddler was chattering to her. The phone rang and the next thing I knew, I was telling my mom that the editor wanted to buy my story!! A contract would be coming in the mail in the next few days.

Holding that first book in my hand, even now, years later, can make me smile. If I end up behind a Toyota Avalon vehicle or drive by a business here in town with the same name, I get a little happy hum. I've published more books over the years and just received my latest book in the mail. Something about Avalon gets me every time, though, because that's when my writing dream was first realized.

Any dreams you're willing to share? Any you've reached?

Tessa McDermid
(Tessa's Avalon books are published under the name Terry Zahniser McDermid)


Elisabeth Rose said...

Hi Terry. That first sale is so exciting and one I'll never forget. Bit like a first kiss!
It sees all your dreams come true in that moment.

LaVerne St. George said...

D is for...Dreams! I'm so intrigued by your first writing project, Terry. Do you remember any of the dilemmas that were giving you pause way back when? My first book-length work was science fiction and very straightforward: "Michael Visits the Planets". I'm sure some smart marketing team could have come up with a better title, but the crayon illustrations were good. LOL!

Jocelyn Saint James said...

Is there anything more wonderful than a dream that becomes reality? We're twice blessed... first to just have the dream and then to watch it come to life. Lovely thoughts, Terry.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Whoever coined the phrase that "Dreams do come true," would be pleased to read your article, Terry. And like you--everytime I see the name "Avalon" I perk up and sit a little taller.

Beate Boeker said...

Your post made me smile and dream . . . Thank you for sharing it!

Christine Bush said...

So cool to hear your story, Terry. Those defining moments when a dream comes true are what memories are all about. Thanks for sharing yours.

A really neat thing happened the other day. My granddaughter, Mary (7 and already an avid reader), came to me, with a little spiral notebook in one hand (and a Little Mermaid pencil in the other) and informed me that she was writing a book. And she is. It's about a girl, her friend, and her horse. About 3 words per line, and six lines per page of course....this book will have a HIGH page count.

My heart actually flutters to see a new dream begin. That's one of the best things about love and connection, we also take joy in each other's dreams. I like that.

suegibsonfiction said...

Recalling my own "Call" from Avalon motivates me to soldier on with my current WIP. Thanks!

Tessa McDermid said...

Thanks for all the comments and what fun to hear about other dreams! And, yes, LaVerne, I remember the dilemmas because I still have the book! I was writing in that big, loopy handwriting and kept the pages in a folder with brads. Lot of teenage angst, couples getting together and breaking up . . . I should have realized then that I was destined to write about love and relationships! Took me some time to get there but now that's my life and I love it!

Carol Hutchens said...

Great topic, Tessa!
I guess it isn't surprising that many of us share parts of your dream. Thanks for the memories.

Carol Hutchens

Nadia Shworan said...

Bless the people who nurture dreams. They have no idea how important a role they play.

Sandy Cody said...

Thanks for sharing your dream, Tessa. I was nodding and smiling the whole time I read it. It made me recall the day I got "the call" from Avalon; it was the fulfillment of one of my favorite dreams. As Nadia commented: "Bless the people who nurture dreams."

Jane Myers Perrine said...

What a wonderful post! It brings back great memories. Thanks for sharing.