It wasn’t until high school that Terri Giuliano Long realized she wanted to be a writer.
“I always envisioned myself as a graphic artist or a painter,” she recalls. “As a child, I would spend hours alone in my bedroom, sprawled on the floor, drawing outfits for my paper dolls, making up stories, and acting in my own improvisational plays.”
After taking an advanced writing course her sophomore year, Terri discovered her passion for storytelling through the written word, and at 16, she landed her first job as a reporter for The Billerica Minuteman, a daily newspaper produced in her hometown of Billerica, Mass. “At first, I covered sports and other high school news, but after a few months, I was given my own column” she says. “Even though I earned about a dollar a week, I knew then that the only job I’d ever want would be as a writer.”
After graduation, Terri worked as a reporter for the Chelmsford Independent and began freelancing for a variety of other publications, including the Minuteman Chronicle, for which she was a columnist. After serving as editor-in-chief of a fitness magazine, she worked in a variety of jobs: writing copy for marketing, advertising, and public relations; editing technical articles for trade journals; and website consulting.
In 1995, Terri, who had received an AB in philosophy from Boston College, enrolled in Emerson College’s MFA program to refocus her career and concentrate on literary fiction. At this time, she also began teaching creative and non-fiction writing at Boston College.
In 1998, Terri started to write her first novel, In Leah’s Wake, as part of her graduate thesis. Drawing inspiration from her experiences at the Chelmsford Independent, she completed the first draft within three months. She recalls, “As a young newspaper reporter, I had written a series of feature articles about families with drug and alcohol-addicted teens. The moms talked candidly about their children, their heartbreaking struggles. Those stories stayed with me.”
Terri, the mother of four daughters, says her primary inspiration comes from observing human nature. She also has an abiding interest in existential philosophy. “Watching and listening to people, hearing their stories – this inspires me,” she says.
In 2006, In Leah’s Wake was under contract with an independent publisher. However, shortly before the release, the company folded. After sending it to a handful of agents and not receiving an offer, Terri put it aside and focused on other projects, including teaching. By 2010, she began writing her second novel, a psychological thriller based in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Hoping to establish a platform for her new book, Terri self-published In Leah’s Wake in April, 2011. By August, it ranked sixth on the Barnes & Noble Nook Top 100 list and to-date has sold over 130,000 copies.
She launched a newly edited book club edition of In Leah’s Wake in February 2012.
In her spare time, Terri enjoys walking, traveling, and meeting interesting people. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook and she loves fine wine and good food. “In an alternate reality, I could have been very happy as an international food writer,” she says.