Never Give Up

The last few months have been a whirlwind. Even though I’ve been writing fiction all my life and dreaming of maybe, just maybe, someday after I’d finished raising kids and come to the end of my teaching career, I might try to get a novel published. Well, when it happened, I was, needless to say, overjoyed and in a bit of a fog of disbelief (still am). But now I find myself in my own brave new world. I had no clue what would happen after my agent sold my book to a publisher. All I know is that people are busy up there in NYC working on my book.

To say that I am grateful to them (and my agent) beyond measure would be an understatement. I’ve lived a life of family, work, friends, and my writing bubble. To think that other people care about my book and are working to bring it to life still amazes me.

There have been challenges, like getting myself out there on social media. Before becoming an author, I had a personal Facebook page. My sister in California finally convincing me that it would be the best way to see pictures of my nieces. And that’s true. I’ve enjoyed the family snaps (friends too.) But I rarely posted anything, always dithering about do people really want to see my knock-out roses or pictures of my birthday dinner?

But now that I have a book coming out, I can’t hide, and I’m doing my best to post on my author FB page, Instagram and Twitter. But, in all honesty, I have no clue what I’m doing or how those platforms really work. So, let me say here to anyone I might have ignored, slighted, or downright insulted on social media, I am so sorry. It wasn’t intentional. I just don’t know what the hell I’m doing. (But I promise to work at it.)

Social media aside, this phase in the journey to becoming an author is wonderful, if busy. We’re lining up events for after the launch where I can meet people and talk to them in person, which I love! As a former English teacher, there’s nothing I like better than talking to people about books.

And this brings me back to the journey, for it is a long and amazing journey even, I suspect, for those “overnight sensations” we’ve all heard about. (But I really doubt too many of them actually exist.)

For anyone who is writing with hopes of seeing their work in print, it is never too late.

I’ve been writing stories for more than fifty years. I’ve got boxes in my office, in my attic, and in my basement of short stories, poems and novels, some finished, some in various stages of completion. My debut novel is being published in December 2022, and I’m eligible for a senior citizen discount most places.

My point is, if you’re a writer, there is no time limit like there is for some things in this life. I’d love to compete in figure skating in the Olympics, but that ship sailed decades ago, not to mention I can’t ice skate. But for writers, we can keep at our craft until our fingers collapse on our keyboards.

If you want to be inspired, not just as a writer, but as a human being, check out Jim Valvano’s speech at the 1993 ESPY awards. (I’m a sports fan. Jim Valvano coached the NC State men’s basketball team from 1980 to1990.) Beloved by many in the college basketball world, he became beloved by everyone else in his biggest battle, cancer. Coach Valvano lost that fight, but his words of inspiration live on in his iconic speech, and the motto that came from it:

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

If a dying man can say that about something as formidable as cancer, we writers have nothing to fear from a rejection letter or two or a hundred. Keep writing. Keep dreaming. It’s never too late.


  1. Nancy Latty on January 7, 2023 at 11:49 pm

    I liked your book All the Dark Places. I hope that you will continue the series with Rita Myers. I enjoyed her personality and perhaps her relationship with Joe. Start writing again so I can look forward to the next book.

    • Terri Parlato on January 10, 2023 at 3:05 pm

      Thank you so much, Nancy! I’m working on it!

  2. Susan Connolly on January 15, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    I feel like Nancy. I just finished All the Dark Places and loved it. Your characters leapt off the page and settled in my dreams. I’d love to see a follow up also.

    • Terri Parlato on January 17, 2023 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Susan!

  3. Carole Parlato Muir on February 4, 2023 at 7:56 am

    Your book was such a great read! I am looking forward to your next novel!

    • Terri Parlato on February 6, 2023 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you so much, Carole! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Based on your middle name, you might be one of my husband’s many cousins!

  4. Paula Lenz on February 12, 2023 at 2:16 am

    I absolutely loved your book, All the Dark Places! The characters were great and I would love to see another book with Detective Rita Myers. Looking forward to your next book!

    • Terri Parlato on February 13, 2023 at 3:08 pm

      Thank you so much, Paula! Stay tuned!

  5. Ed Mosser on March 1, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Excellent book!

    What a story (both the book and your’s). Glad you kept at it. Hopefully you are working (or finished) your second Rita book.

    Ed Mosser

    • Terri Parlato on March 3, 2023 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks so much, Ed! I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I’m currently working on the next Rita Myers story. Stay tuned for updates. And thanks again for your support!

  6. Beverly Combs on March 8, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    I’m enjoying this book very much….tried to locate the next one before I finish it…more Rita please!!

    • Terri Parlato on March 9, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks so much, Beverly! I’m glad you’re enjoying Rita. She’ll be back. Stay tuned for information on a release date for the next book.

  7. SandiTZ on March 2, 2024 at 4:42 pm

    Loved All the Dark Places! Just read it and finished in just a day! Wondering if you have any book club questions or materials as this book is not one but two of my book clubs March pick! I’m the moderator for both and would love your ideas for the club discussion if you have any! Thanks!

Leave a Comment