Author Spotlight no.134 – Terra Hangen

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and thirty-fourth, is of non-fiction author and interviewee Terra Hangen.

Terra Hangen lives with her husband in California and enjoys gardening and writing while her cat helps by taking a nap. She is co-author of two books “Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms” 2012 and “Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts” 2008.

Her articles are published in magazines including Victorian Homes, Lutheran Digest, Family Digest, Dog Fancy, Hobby Farms, Back Home, Elks Magazine, Mature Living, etc. She often writes about gardening, growing vegetables, favorite recipes and wrote about how Karelian Bear Dogs save Grizzly Bears for Dog Fancy Magazine.
Terra invites you to visit her blog and say hi at and connect with her on Facebook.

And now from the author herself:

I find it very exciting to hold in my hands the first copy I receive of the books I write. Each of my books has exquisite full color art work on each page and is hardcover so the excitement to actually see the book is palpable. Of course my words were already familiar to me, but the art really enhances the text.

If you have the opportunity to co-author a book, do consider doing that. My two collaborations thus far have yielded two books, and my co-authors have become dear friends of mine. We cheer each other on in solo projects too. Also, we have complementary skills in writing and in marketing so I don’t have to do all these tasks on my lonesome.

My first article “Coffee for the Birds” combined my love of nature and selecting coffee beans to help in conservation, and I was paid $100. That made me think wow, this writing life is easy and fun. Ha ha! Little did I know how much patience and perseverance are required in the business side of writing, as we wait and wait some more to hear from editors, agents and publishers.

There is bound to be a lot of rejections in your email inbox. Even J. K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers. My advice is that when an article or book proposal is rejected, see if it needs improving and then send it out again. Just tell yourself it has not arrived on the right desk yet.

I recommend being published by traditional publishers. It is wonderful to be paid an advance and to have the publisher provide the artwork, cover art, much publicity and get the books in online and brick and mortar book stores. I do as much as I can to promote my books to augment the publisher’s efforts, and much of my PR centers on social media, where I enjoy blogging, Facebook and Twitter.

I feel the joy of being published, I treasure friendly comments on my blog, and I even get paid to write. Sometimes writing is so much fun, I get up and do the “happy dance” around the house as I celebrate good writing news.

My most recent book is being bought by “seasoned” moms to give to new moms, often at baby showers. A recent review of “Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts” on Amazon says “Packed with great tips, sweet humor, lots of wisdom, and a punch of faith, this book makes a wonderful gift for every mom, no matter what stage of motherhood she may be in.” The book is selling on Amazon for $11.00, which I think is a bargain considering all the art work in it.

Another reviewer wrote “A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts is a must have for mothers-to-be, those who are in the thick of it, and us grandmas. Not only is this well written book filled with practical advice, wisdom, and honest confessions but the cover and the unique interior design are a piece of art–each page is visually stimulating.”

Writing is an occupation that can be lonely, since much of our work is done alone, and that is why I treasure my co-authors and all the other writers and readers I meet out here in social media. Thank you Morgen for turning your author spotlight to shine on me here.

You’re very welcome. I’ve bought a lower watt bulb since our interview. 🙂

You can find more about Terra and her writing via… her blog She also has recipes at and her books are available on and


The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with historical author Barbara Peacock – the five hundred and forty-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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