I'm Teri Bailey Black.
I live in Orange County, California but spend much of my time in imaginary places. An old Hollywood mansion. A snowy graveyard. The occasional murder scene.
I grew up near the beach in a large, happy family surrounded by books, art, and plenty of sunshine. Our house was filled with reading, writing, sewing, drawing, painting, hammering, planting, dreadful piano playing, healthy food, spiritual wisdom, and deep conversations late into the night. I loved it.
Three of my sisters went to art school, and I love art too, but my real obsession has always been books. At age nine, I won a school writing contest, and by the end of high school I'd filled a small filing cabinet with my stories.
Unfortunately, my free-spirited upbringing followed me to college, where I had a bad habit of only taking classes that sounded fun: creative writing, acting, history of costume. Needless to say, I never graduated.
Photo: That's me on my mom's lap. She reupholstered that thrift store sofa, made the picture on the wall by decoupaging magazine pictures, and sewed all our clothes -- until about age fourteen when we sewed our own.
I detoured from writing for a while when I married my wonderful husband, Mark, and had four children. My first child was born with severe disabilities, which brought unexpected challenges, but also unique blessings. Three more children joined the party and life became a whirlwind of babies and toddlers, walking to kindergarten, baking cookies, and sewing Halloween costumes. I also started a successful home business that kept me busy.
More recently, my house has been filled with teenagers and their hungry friends, who take over my dining table with gaming laptops and Dungeons & Dragons, raid the fridge, and borrow from my enormous pile of YA books. In other words, heaven.
In the midst of all that lovely chaos, I started writing again. I wandered aimlessly for a while trying to figure out what I wanted to write, then I found the right story and some amazing critique friends, put in the hours, attended writing conferences, endured my fair share of rejection, rewrote the entire book twice, and then - wow! - found success when literary agent Barbara Poelle emailed that she loved loved loved my story, followed by that magical phone call, followed by a two-book deal.
My first book, Girl at the Grave, came out in 2018 and won some nice awards, followed by Chasing Starlight in 2020.
Now, I'm busy writing the next book, of course. Life is good.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY