Terri M. Bolds was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended public schools that specialized in foreign language. As a young child, she would write stories and make paper books about an imaginary life or people that she knew. While in graduate school she developed a seizure disorder and thought she would never finish school, let alone write again.
To date, Terri is a Licensed Professional Counselor for Mental Health, CEO and Founder of Bold Visions Consulting, LLC, and the author of three self-published books and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She has worked in various areas of the mental health field and recently began doing consulting work with schools. She has sold over 1000 books and her books can also be purchased in the Smith & Hannon book store inside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Terri’s motto is Self-Empowerment, ‘OWN IT’.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Anytime I get to share my testimony and give God glory is always a thrill, so thank you for the interview. I am not sure that I look at my journey in the aspect of when I knew I wanted to be a writer. Writing is just what I did even in my youth. Birthday or thank you notes, letters to family or friends and then I would write paper books and staple them together. I was a shy kid and writing was a form of expression that I could tolerate and control. I also developed a love for words once I understood they had power.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
As a master’s prepared, licensed mental health therapist, my daily focus is the improvement and maintenance of one’s mental health. If I had to describe my style as a therapist, it would be cognitively behaviorally based. I want to know the WHY. Once you know the why you can then better manage behaviors and changing outcomes. My books are all mental health based in some aspect. One day soon perhaps I will throw in a twist to my collection. But all of four of my currently published books focus on self-esteem, forgiveness, psychology, and empowerment. My books are available on Amazon, Kindle, Smith and Hannon Bookstore and Joseph-Beth Bookstore in Cincinnati, Ohio. www.boldvisionsconsulting.com is all things Bold Visions Consulting, LLC and there one can learn about my mission, services and locate all my books and merchandise.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on something outside of my comfort zone and at the same time fulfilling my dream. I can’t share many details, but it will be the most impactful work I have ever done.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
You know I have researched ways to get my work more noticed. Money has been spent giving books away as marketing tactics and to no avail. I had to refocus. What is it that I am trying to achieve with my work? Monetary gain, sure, I am a full-time entrepreneur but that isn’t my motivation. I would have to say the look on kids’ faces when they realize I am the author of the book they are learning from. The face of kids when they see me at an event and realize I am the author. So, I would like to think that my presence gives kids hope and gets their wheels turning and that is what I consider a significant achievement.
Where do I see myself in the next five years, hmmm? I’m not sure. I can share some of my goals. One is to travel with my books and have them in as many schools as possible in my home state and otherwise. I also want to have a novel completed for middle school aged children. I would also like to be in demand, booked and busy and comfortable. Being one that devotes their lives to the area of mental health it is not an easy life. People want free mental health information. They want you to volunteer to talk about suicide and bullying for free. What I do isn’t popular, and I have accepted that. In five years, I hope to be at place in my journey where I have learned the ropes and am fully sustained by my business.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Being self-published, I may not have had to deal with rejection from publishing companies, but rejection still follows me. It’s different being self-published because you’re the one marketing and selling your work. I’m not a seller. I’m horrible at selling myself, but I don’t stop. My passion surpasses all forms of rejection.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I have been asked about my writing methods so many times and the answer remain the same; I just write. I still write on notebook paper; I do utilize outlines and I don’t have a writing schedule. I only write when I am inspired. I can start something today and not pick it up for a few days, weeks, or months. I also will write wherever I am. I write notes in my phone. I can be in church, mid-conversation, working out, it doesn’t matter. If something comes to me, I have to jot it down.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
As I have had more life experience, a lot of my previous expectations or ideas have been altered. I personally don’t believe it’s never too late to try. Now, depending on the goal of your desires, it may not lead to the hoped finish line, but if we have breath, it’s never too late to try in my opinion.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
It always shocks people to know that I am not a recreational reader LOL. I read out of necessity. School diminished my desire to just read. That is because I have always been a person that turns from things that I’m forced to do. That’s why I only write when I’m inspired. Writing on a timeline or because I’m being told is pressure and it ruins the thrill or interest. I don’t know that I have a favorite author, but my favorite poem is Mother to Son by Langston Hughes-it’s the story of my life.
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
If I never hear the word pandemic again it would be too soon. When the world shut down, I lost my contract, and I was two months from getting married. I struggled so much emotionally and mentally during the pandemic. I didn’t have much creativity or desire to write or do anything. I felt hopeless a lot due to the fact that my contract work is for in person teaching. I was void of interest, passion, or willingness to do anything for quite some time.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
I only know the self-publishing world. I was introduced to writing by uncle and he has always been a self-published author and I have followed in his footsteps. Just from hearsay, traditional publishing has intimidated me simply because there is someone telling you if your hard work is good or not. Perhaps one day I will explore traditional publishing but right now, I’ll stick with what I know.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Writing is everything to me. Even at my age I feel that I am most true to myself and others on paper. Simply voicing my thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming and writing gets the job done. Writing is the key to my heart and soul. It is what gives me hope and strength. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy during my first year of graduate school, I almost dropped out. My mind wasn’t functioning the way it should have been. The medication affected my cognitive ability. So, for me to have triumphed that experience to becoming a multi-published author, I would say writing is my testimony of God’s grace over my life.