I just love thrillers, don't you? Jerome Teel has written a fast-paced political thriller - The Divine Appointment. Meet Jerome Teel.
My first novel, The Election, had more of myself in it than The Divine Appointment. The lawyer and his family in The Election resembled my own family. There really isn’t a character in The Divine Appointment that has me in him or her. I guess the closest one would be Porter McIntosh, the president’s chief of staff. He really is a get-it-done type of guy.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I went parasailing last week. Most people wouldn’t find that quirky but it was pretty adventurous for me.
It would be for me, too. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Some would say that I still haven’t made that discovery. Seriously, I had some friends and family read the initial drafts of The Election and I received very positive comments. That encouragement told me that I at least had the possibility of becoming a writer. I guess when I signed my first publishing contract was really the moment I realized that I had become a writer.
That first contract is a sweet moment. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like reading suspense novels from writers like Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and John Grisham. I also enjoy reading biographies written by David McCullough.
I'm a fan of Clancy and Grisham, too. What other books have you written, whether published or not?
The two books I have published, The Election and The Divine Appointment are the only books I have written.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
This is a tough question because I really feel like I never slow down. My wife and I (more her than me) run like crazy with kids’ activities. I think between April 15 and July 31 we had about 100 baseball games between our two boys, not to mention all the activities in which our daughter was involved. Combine that with a full-time law practice, community responsibilities (I’m the current board president of the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse) and church responsibilities, and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. As a family we go to the coast at least once a year for a week where I get away from the office and everything else. And my wife and I try to take a 3 or 4 day trip by ourselves about once a year.
You are busy. How do you choose your characters’ names?
The names come from many different sources. Newspaper articles, other books, etc. I make a list of first names and then make a list of last names. Then as I need a character I try to match a first name with a last name that would fit the character.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Certainly being published ranks near the top but there isn’t one that I would say I’m most proud. I’m as proud of the success of our law firm that we started from scratch over 12 years ago and what we have been able to accomplish there.
Everyone needs more than one thing in their lives that they're proud of. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
This is a tough one and I’ve never thought about it. I guess a lion because it was the first thing that came to mind when I read this question. I like to think that I’m a good leader, not afraid of new challenges and determined to be successful.
All very good qualities. What is your favorite food?
Snow crab legs and I also love she-crab soup (particularly from Charlie’s Crab on Hilton Head Island!).
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Most first time writers face the roadblock of being published. It took me three years of beating on the doors to finally break through and sign my first publishing contract. It took perseverance, determination and a never-give-up attitude.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Begin thinking about marketing opportunities and building a platform even before you find a publisher. First time authors will get little if any marketing support and you need to be building a marketing plan while you are writing your manuscript. Your submission to a potential publisher (or agent) will need to contain a comprehensive marketing plan.
The Divine Appointment is a political thriller that revolves around the battle over the senate confirmation of a newly appointed Supreme Court justice. It is fast paced and plot driven. It also contains a redemptive thread where some of the characters are faced with spiritual decisions.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Jerome, for letting us get acquainted with you and your work.
Now, Readers, be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book.