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Interview with Teri Woods, author of Alibi II: Nard’s Revenge

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Tell us about Alibi II: Nard’s Revenge.
Alibi II is the sequel to Alibi I. In Alibi I we venture into the 
life of Daisy Mae Fothergill, a young, naïve, stripper, who is asked to give 
an alibi in exchange for $2,000. She takes the money, but doesn’t come 
through in court. In Alibi II, we pick right back up in the court room, but
 this time we venture into the life of Bernard Guess aka Nard, who is
 sentenced to prison and wants revenge against Daisy for not offering the 
testimony she was paid to give. And for the most part, even in Alibi II, the
 bottom line is the first chapter of Alibi I and that night in question,
 where the murders first took place. And what I love most about this sequel
 is that it gives you the full circle of a man’s life and the full scheme of
 my characters’ lives. This book is a classic spin-off to the murders that occur in the 
first chapter of book one.

Sounds like we should read Alibi I first.
I would definitely advise reading Alibi I first just to be informed of the
 past, present and possible future lives of these characters.

If you can answer this question without ruining the end of Alibi II, can you tell us if there’ll be an Alibi III?
I wrote the book with the intention of extending the series, but I
 haven’t decided if I will.

If anyone out there is new to Teri Woods, which book would you recommend that they start with and why?
I always tell people to start with the first book, “True to the Game”.
But I love them all.

Almost every article on you says that your books are able to reach readers that other authors cannot reach. Who are these readers, and what is it in your books that strikes a chord with them?
I think it’s amazing and remarkable!  I feel blessed that my stories resonate in the hearts of many.  Readers often develop a strong connection with each piece.  People stop me all the time to shake my hand and pat my back commenting on the colorful characters, relatability and penetrating raw truth of my stories. They share their encouragement and tell me not to stop writing.  Some say that I am gifted and others tell me I am
 a legend.

Do you feel the burden of often being regarded as the voice of a certain group of people? Or do you have to put that out of your mind and concentrate on just writing the best stories you can?
My uncle is Georgie Woods. If you Google Dick Clark and Georgie
 Woods and view the video of Dick Clark, he says that my uncle was a
 “voice for the people.” And it delights me to be looked at in a similar manner. 
  Being a voice can never be a burden.  It is an honor and it certainly doesn’t 
burden me.

You are said to write “Urban Fiction”. What are your thoughts on the term?  Does it ghettoize African-American authors?
Well, that’s really tricky. On one side of the coin, I don’t think 
that using the term “urban fiction” is the issue. I believe that “urban” has to do with anything
 moving, centralized, city life, the sphere of it all, and I think “urban” is
 cool and so are my books – very cool, smooth, exactly what’s needed to define and mirror the urban experience.  I sincerely feel each individual author’s work 
speaks for itself.  On the other side of the coin, I think in certain communities, “urban 
fiction” has acquired a bad reputation that isolates me as an author.

Your books have sometimes faced the same criticisms that hip-hop has faced: liberal use of the n-word and, possibly, corrupting young black people. What is your reaction to this?
I don’t believe that a book can corrupt a person any more than television, 
movies or video games.  I do believe that parental guidance is necessary for
 my books.  There are young girls and young guys who read my books, and since teenagers are
 still developing people, they should have proper guidance. However, since I 
lived in the inner city of West Philadelphia, I actually had my daughter
 read “True to the Game” when she was 13. I thought it would help her understand what
 to do and what not to do, using the characters in the book to
 teach lessons and their experiences as examples of what you don’t want to happen to you. What I believe my books have done, is create a genre, create a 
market, create readers, create a niche for independent publishing, create a blueprint, but most of all, my books create dreams that came true for me and a
 lot of others. Some people frown on other people’s dreams. That’s all
 I have to say about that.

Talking about dreams coming true, you are famous for having sold over 300,000 books independently. How did you do it, and why did you decide to give that up and sign with a traditional publisher?
At the time that I accepted the major publishing deal, I had already sold over a million
 books independently. Part of me really believed that I had achieved all I could at that level and that it was time for bigger and better endeavors. I was circulating
 over 200,000 books a year in 2005 and 2006, which is a lot of work independently.  
I gave birth to two sons back to back: one in 2004 and one in 2005 while I was living in NJ and working day and night with offices in the Empire State Building. The 
traffic alone in and out of the city motivated me to want to make my life easier and 
simpler and I felt like it was time to let the books go and fly and that the 
levels of distribution would be massive. So, while I became an author for a
 major publisher, I continued to run Teri Woods Publishing.

Do you have a website where readers can keep up with all things Teri Woods? Do you use social media?
Sure, it’s www.teriwoodspublishing.com.  And yes, I’m successfully maneuvering the social media realm. Feel free to LIKE my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/authorteriwoods and FOLLOW my Twitter feed at @teriwoods1.  I think it’s absolutely the wave of the future to
 connect with people and have people connect with you.

What’s next?
I am engaged in many exciting ventures, as usual. I’ve been working on my
 autobiography that derives from my inner city roots and traveling a remarkable 
journey into the world of self-publishing and being an entrepreneur.   I only expect the best with the release of my life’s chronicle.

It’s also been an interesting task to work on my line of children’s books with my two sons, Lucas and Brandon. It dawned on me that if I could inspire numerous adults
 to not only read books but also write and independently publish their work, then
 perhaps I could motivate young people in the same manner.  Many schools are
 closing, especially in the inner cities, and encouraging the young members of our communities is
 an endeavor that is dear to me as an individual.

I’ve also been working 
on the sequel to one of my books, Angel. Hearing about the anticipation of
 this new book, I’m really looking forward to releasing “Angel Part II” this year.

Lastly, the launch of the Teri Woods Publishing E-Book 
Line is set in motion and I’m very excited about the possibilities of being able
 to reach a new audience that can easily download my titles instead of searching through bookstore shelves. I think that what’s next, is going to be great!

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