Sold six million copies worldwide, 30 Christian titles – most of them suspense novels, 32 romance novels for HarperCollins, Silhouette & Harlequin
BA, English, Northeast Louisiana University
Terri Blackstock: A Real Life Intervention
A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
Terri began writing romance novels in 1982. She struggled briefly over whether to write books that dealt openly with sex. Terri managed to rationalize her decision when her work became popular. She told herself that God was making it all happen.
In 1994, Terri’s husband came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior and became the spiritual leader that she had yearned for all her life. His example rekindled her passion for Christ. She began to see her work as an obstacle between Christ and herself and a stumbling block for others.
Terri’s spiritual awakening drew her into the Christian market. As she was praying about her transition, she went on a cruise and noticed that almost everyone on the boat (including her) had a John Grisham novel. It occurred to her that some of Grisham’s readers were Christians, and that if she wrote a fast-paced thriller with an added element—a strong Christian message—she might just find her niche. Christian publishers were just getting interested in the suspense genre, so she quickly sold a four-book series to Zondervan.
Since that time, she’s written over 30 Christian titles, most of them suspense novels. She weaves her faith into her books, offering hope instead of despair. The prevailing theme of her novels is that the crisis is sometimes the blessing, and that all of life is a test. She hopes to remind her readers that they are not alone and that their trails have a purpose. Her new suspense novel, Intervention, is personally connected with her characters because they are based on her recent experiences in dealing with her oldest daughter’s (Michelle) addiction to prescription drugs.
BATTLING HER DAUGHTER’S ADDICTIONS
Six years ago, Terri discovered that Michelle was sick, but had no idea why and neither did the doctors. They made countless trips to doctor after doctor for Michelle’s physical symptoms which included vomiting and extreme digestive distress. Terri did not realize that her daughter was taking up to 65 pain pills a day.
One day she got a frantic phone call that she needed to leave Mississippi and get to Nashville immediately to help with an intervention for Michelle. It was a matter of life and death. Terri drove to Tennessee in a state of disbelief that this crisis was happening to her family; they had raised their daughter right.
Michelle entered rehab as an outpatient, but it didn’t last. Over the next five years, she was in and out of various rehabs, leaving some and kicked out of others; each time she became addicted to some new drug, from anxiety meds to cocaine to heroin. Terri finally took the advice of a friend, “Don’t deprive your child of a face-to-face encounter with God by rescuing her from her pain.”
Her daughter that she loved dearly was lying, stealing, and doing whatever it took to get another hit, another fix. Michelle eventually hit bottom and has now been clean and sober for a year, slowly rebuilding her life. Michelle is very supportive of Terri’s latest book. She encouraged her mom to promote the book and talk about the personal experiences that her family has endured as a result of her addiction. Michelle tells her mom that Intervention is the “best she has ever written.”
HOPE FOR FAMILIES OF ADDICTS
Terri wants to help other families of addicts to recognize the signs and symptoms of prescription drug addiction and give guidance on what to do when your loved one is addicted. She hopes that what she and her family have learned through the years can now help others.
Recognizing Signs of Addiction
- Not bathing or changing clothes or brushing teeth; doesn’t care how he/she looks
- Changes in sleep habits—either up for days at a time, or sleeping much more than usual
- You find pills, needles, and spoons that they explain by saying they belong to their friends
- Sudden weight loss
- Packages coming, and they won’t show you the contents. They may be ordering prescription pills online.
Choosing a Rehab for Your Loved One
- Many of the expensive rehabs have doctors/psychiatrists on staff who keep their patients doped up the whole time they’re there. When they get out, they’re no better equipped to deal with their addictions than they were before. Sometimes they even have to be detoxed from new medications after they’re released.
- Free rehabs (or those with a small fee) are the best, because they’re not motivated by money, so they don’t have doctors on staff. They don’t medicate the residents, so addicts have a real chance to recover.
- Rehabs that are supported by churches or Christian groups are the ones that are often run by people who love God and feel that this is their ministry.
- Never choose a rehab that mixes men and women. People often fall in love while they’re in treatment, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
For more tips, visit Terri's website.
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