Clara54 Talks With Author Terri Spahr Nelson


Thanks so much Terri for bringing my readers up to date on your latest, Reflections from Women Book Series. Before we start, can you give us a brief bio of Terri S. Nelson?

Terri Spahr Nelson is the editor of the Reflections from Women series and author of several publications. She also developed the “Women’s Collaborative Empowerment Model” for writing and publishing—the foundation of the Reflections from Women series. The books are published by Sugati Publications where a percentage of the profits go to agencies serving women and girls. Terri is also a national consultant, speaker, published author and psychotherapist. She has provided numerous trainings and retreats for women and for helping professionals. Additionally, she has been interviewed by national and international media including: CNN, NPR, 60 Minutes, BBC, Al Jazeera, Asia Times, Newsweek, The Village Voice, and others. Terri also maintains a private psychotherapy practice and provides consultations and trainings for national and international programs. In addition to her professional contributions, Terri has been married for 31 years, has an adult son, and has been a community activist and volunteer for peace, justice and healthcare issues. For information about the “Reflections from Women” series, go to or Sugati Publications at

2.  I was so happy to have my essay selected for inclusion in Reflections from Women on Life’s Turning Points, your first book in the Reflection Series and to review your second book, The Moment I Knew, for my readers at Clara54.  Can you tell us how your Book Tour for these books unfolded?

Thank you, Clara. We were thrilled to include your essay in our first book.  Your story about your journey of renewal and starting over touched so many women.  I knew that it would be a welcome addition since you  left our readers with a sense of hope about starting over after a challenging course of events.  Your essay spoke volumes about the power of persistence and believing in yourself.

Our book tours in 2010 and 2011 took on two different forms.  We had a traditional tour of visiting sites from coast-to-coast (literally, Washington DC to Washington state!)  We focused our attention on independent book stores and women’s groups.  Many of our visits also involved writing workshops and discussions with emerging authors in our audiences.  Most importantly, I was able to meet and share the stage with several of the authors in our books.  It was wonderful to finally meet some of the authors.  I only wish I was able to stop in every city where our authors’ live.

The second part of our book tour (with book two) was a virtual book tour.  We spent one month sharing our book, the essays and our authors on blogs across the US and some international sites as well.  It was a great experience to meet other bloggers and to provide guest blogs on their sites about topics in our book.  For example, one of our authors who wrote an essay about parenting in our book shared some tips on another blog for their readers.  It was a great collaborative and sharing process.

3. Are you currently accepting stories for your 3rd book in The Reflection Series?

Yes, we are accepting short essays for the next book which is about women and politics.  Our next book is called 51%:  Women and the Future of Politics.  We want to hear from women about what they want, need and expect from our government.  We also want to hear about any recommendations for change that women have about politics or politicians.  This book is all about women’s voices, women’s perspectives, and the differences between men and women when it comes to politics.  We are hoping to appeal to a diverse group of women from across the country so that a range of women’s opinions will be included in the book.

There are three ways to be a part of this next book by May 31, 2012.

  1.  Submit a brief essay for consideration.  Go to our website for details after 4.10.12 at
  2. Complete our national survey and give your feedback/comments which may be used in the book:  In English:

In Spanish:

  1. Answer our question of the week and like our Face book page in which your comments may be selected for inclusion in the book or to receive a gift copy of the book. Look for us on Facebook at

4. Explain about the selection process, the book’s title and art selection as well.

As the Editor and coordinator of this project, as with all of our books, it is important to ensure that a diversity of women and their experiences are represented.   That’s part of what makes our books so unique.  We don’t just focus on one perspective or the predominate view.   We want to hear from all women (and in this next book, we want to hear from men too!) We also value feedback from our authors and encourage a collaborative process.  In our Reflections from Women books, the authors were involved and selected the title, the cover photo and the charity recipients from our book profits.  Our authors are so much more than just writers.  They are the heart and soul of our books.

5. Define for us, if you will, your formula for success?

There’s a great quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson about success.  It speaks to me about the true meaning of success—beyond dollars or name recognition.   While it is certainly validating to know that others like your work, what more clearly defines success to me is whether my  work has made a difference—either in the lives of the authors, the readers or, maybe, somehow, in our world. I am hoping our next book will have that kind of impact—perhaps it might affect some change or maybe it will get people talking about the potential of women in the future of politics and our government.

6. Are there other creative pursuits you’d like to share outside of your Reflections from Women Series?

Life is good and busy for me now with the Reflections series, the upcoming book and my consulting work (not to mention the other pursuits outside of work!)  I cannot imagine doing anything other than what I am doing now—except for maybe more time to focus on my own writing.  For now, I love hearing from others and working on a collaborative piece of work.  Our books are like a great chorus—all of the amazing voices come together for quite a show in the end.  I can hardly wait to see the book!

7. How can women interested in contributing their stories find you?

As our business card says:  women and—we’re on the web, on Facebook, on twitter, and on the move.  Join us and be a part of the movement for change!  You can find us at:  or on Facebook by searching 51% women and politics, or at the publisher:  The Reflections website (which includes a list of all of our authors) is:  I hope to hear from your readers.  Tell me that Clara sent you!

Email me at

Thank you for inviting me to be on your blog Clara and for sharing the information about our new book with your readers.  If they are not interested in submitting an essay, I hope they will check out our Face book page and answer our question of the week.  This week’s question is:  “What is one change you would like to see occur in politics or the way our government is run?”  I’m looking forward to your response! 

–Terri Spahr Nelson

What an inspiring interview. Terri is an awesome author and woman activist. I hope you all feel inspired by her message and read the book:)



2 thoughts on “Clara54 Talks With Author Terri Spahr Nelson”

  1. Dear Clara and Terri,
    many thanks for your very interesting information here above concerning reflections from women.
    My answer to your week’s question is that I would wish that politicians’ work would really make a difference!
    Have a good day and best regards


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