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Blog by Tess – My Author’s Journey Revealed

My Author’s Journey

For many of you my author’s journey is a mystery. It dawned on me that I am writing to people who may have never heard of me other than through by blogs and perhaps through my books. So, it is time I properly introduce myself.

My Birth and Early Childhood

I was born in Pontiac, Michigan, but grew up in what is known today as Rochester Hills, MI.  My love for reading books began when I was in the fourth grade.

My Education

My education includes two years at Oakland Community College (Auburn Hills, MI), a B.R.E. degree from Midwestern Baptist College (Pontiac, MI), and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Louisiana Baptist University (Shreveport, LA).

I worked in the secretarial field for several years until 2004.

Then a Major Turn in My Author’s Journey

In 2008 my husband and I moved to Port Charlotte, FL to take care of my mom 24/7. She had Alzheimer’s. We were her caregivers until she died in 2013. That is a story in itself that I may someday share. But it was shortly afterward that a major event took place in my life.

More on the other side of this break.

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Now back to the article.

The Start of My Author’s Journey

While my birth, childhood, and education all contributed to where I am now, I want to focus on the author’s journey itself.

In 2014 my husband and I founded T&R Independent Books, of which I am the President, and he is the Vice-President. At the time, he was the only one writing books, plus he knew a great deal about websites, editing, and publishing.

But in 2014 he didn’t know a secret I had. This secret was a desire to become an author myself. When I told him, he was surprised but he also immediately supported my desire. Later that same month he had a heart attack which put both our writing careers on temporary hold.

Another Delay to My Author’s Journey

I started writing my first fiction book in 2017 but had to put it on hold when I was told in 2018 that I had cancer.  I received chemo and radiation treatments, which left me weak. Once the cancer was in remission and I gained my strength back, I started working on my book again.

In 2019, my cancer came back.  Again, I survived the chemo and radiation, gained my strength back, and continued writing my book. I was bound and determined that nothing would keep me from getting that first book published.   

My Author’s Journey Gets Started

I finished writing the book (Haney Place Secrets), and published it in 2020. It was my first attempt, and we were both proud of it. But it didn’t catch on due to several factors, including the pandemic. So, I turned my attention toward nonfiction, but I didn’t forget fiction.

Then we had a brilliant idea!

A Change of Title

My husband liked my novel and wasn’t ready to give up on it. He suggested earlier this year (2022) that I take the mystery and turn it into a murder mystery. The idea sparked my imagination and with a few pointers from him the change took place.

I pulled Haney Place Secrets off the market and rewrote it with a new Title “Keys to Murder” which I published in June. I also wrote and published my first devotional book in June (“Chatting with Tess – Walking with God”). It has been a busy year.

I am now an Author!

With two books written I can now make that statement. Plus, I am currently working on Devotional Book number 2, which I hope to publish by the end of August this year. I also have two other books I’m working on.

Influences on My Author’s Journey

From the age of 13 and on, I’ve been involved in various church ministries. They include but are not limited to singing in the choir, special music, bus ministry, Sunday school, janitorial work, working in the kitchen, and being a prayer warrior. And I love reading God’s Word.

I also enjoy music, reading books, cooking, and spending time with my husband. I’ve also traveled to 46 out of the 50 states, plus traveled to Canada many times.

All of this contributes to my author’s journey. Hopefully, you now know a little more about me.

Have a wonderful week.


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Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.