Tenerra is the author of "Disconnected," which is the story of a woman who is forced to choose between the life she has cultivated for herself and the life she believes she deserves. Are the benefits that come with each decision worth the cost?
1. Tell us about your background and journey. I am from, and still reside in, Baltimore, Maryland. I have served in public education for the past 19 years, currently as an assistant principal. I am married with three children, two of whom still live at home. I've been writing since college, mainly poems and short stories. I was always a voracious reader with a vivid imagination. My mom kept a steady flow of books in my hands, encouraging my love of reading throughout my childhood. My grandmother, whom I dedicated the book to, was always encouraging me to try new things and take risks, which stayed with me throughout my life. About 8 years ago I was reading over one of my short stories and decided to expand that short story into a novel. I'd toyed around with it, off and on, until last year, when I finally decided to get serious about editing and revising the draft. I was finally happy with the final product in August of this year and decided to self-publish, releasing on my late grandmother's birthday as a tribute to the love and encouragement she always showed me when I was a child. 2. When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
I think I've always been a writer, but I decided to get serious and actually invest time and resources in my writing about eight years ago.
3. Do you write for a living or do you have another career?
Yes, I have another career, I am an elementary school assistant principal.
4. Who is your favorite author and why?
Alice Walker. Her writing has so many layers, her characters are always vivid, three-dimensional, and the stories are sad and beautiful at the same time.
5. What inspires you?
The strength of the women responsible for raising me. The sacrifices they made for us, to ensure we all had a better life. I feel like if I'm not pushing myself to be my absolute best, then their sacrifice was in vain, and I never want that. 6. What does your typical day look like as an author?
It's usually me writing down random notes on post-its or in my journal throughout the day, then me posting to my social media platforms in the evening, then writing or working on projects once the house has gone to bed for the night.
7. What is the name of your book? What is it about? What inspired you to write it?
The name of the book is "Disconnected." It's about a young woman with a life most people only dream of, yet she still feels unfulfilled. Things come to a head when she receives news of an untimely death, coupled with her reconnecting with an old friend on a social media platform. These incidents force her to reexamine her priorities and make decisions that might change the course of her life.
8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future aspiring writers?
Have a solid marketing plan. Creatives really have no problem with writing, it's everything else that we tend to have issues with. So if your anything like me (and unfortunately I am just figuring this out), you need a plan for everything: How are you going to release your book? What social media platforms are you going to use and how often are you posting? How are you collecting reviews? Marketing is tedious work, but it can make or break your launch.