Novelist Uses New Book to Highlight PTSD

Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. At eleven years old, she wrote a poem about the Vietnam War. Her mom sent the poem to the local newspaper and it got published. She says, “From that moment on I knew I wanted to be a writer. Everything in my life was geared toward writing after that.” She got involved in a writer’s group that was publishing in the romance industry. Terri decided to give that a try since she enjoyed writing about relationships. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five. When she began writing for the secular market she was a Christian and planned to write clean love stories. Over time, she began to add things to make the books sell better. “I began adding the things that other writers were including in their books. I began adding more sex and profanity in the books and it began to take a toll on my spiritual life,” shares Terri. In 1994, Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. She felt deeply convicted and got down on her knees and asked God to forgive her. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots while challenging her readers. She hopes to remind them that they’re not alone, and that their trials have a purpose.

Terri says God has a way of putting her through things when she is writing a book. She may not go through the exact same trial as she writes about in her book, but she uses the emotions and pours that energy into her characters.

In her latest book, If I’m Found, Casey Cox is still on the run fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts her most relentless pursuer–is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist that he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily. As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and just may result in her capture–and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail. If I’m Found, is the sequel to the USA Today bestseller, If I Run. There will be a total of three books in the series.

In her book, Terri reveals that Dylan, an Army veteran, who was exposed to an IED during battle struggles with PTSD. She also shows how Casey struggles with PTSD because at the age of twelve Casey discovered her father dead. As Dylan is chasing Casey to find out if she is guilty of murder he realizes that they have something in common: PTSD.

According to the PTSD Foundation of America, symptoms of PTSD can include:
•    Flashbacks/Traumatic Event Mood Swings
•    Panic Attacks - undefined dread or fear
•    Night Terrors/Nightmares
•    Insomnia or Fragmented Sleep
•    Difficulty Working with Others
•    Difficulty Raising Children
•    Marital Problems – unable to maintain healthy relationships
•    Memory Loss/Difficulty Concentrating
•    Hyper vigilance - constant feeling of being "on guard"
•    Depression/Anxiety
•    Substance Abuse
•    Sleepwalking/Sleep fighting
•    Fixated on Suicidal Thoughts
More information about PTSD can be found at the PTSD Foundation of America: http://ptsdusa.org

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


New York Times and USA Today best selling author, If I’m Found (Zondervan 2017)

Sold seven million copies worldwide

Winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award

BA, English, Northeast Louisiana University


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