John Teressi 2017 Novel of Excellence Winner

"An Inspirational Fantasy! A story with a complex plot and sophisticated characters, written with deep layers of spirituality and powerful hints of philosophy." - Ruffina Osario

Hello! Please tell us a bit about yourself.


I am John Joseph Teressi, author of the inspirational, fantasy novel “Portals in Time:  The Quest for Un-Old-Age.” I am a native Californian who has always been fascinated by nature’s design, time and space, and the meaning and power of words, along with the underlying nature of reality. I have explored higher consciousness through the study of psychology and metaphysics.

What inspired you to become an author? And/or what inspired you to write your award-winning novel?


I began writing stories when I was ten years old. It seemed to be a natural part of my life. The underlying story of “Portals in Time,” came to me many years ago.


In my late twenties, I made many visitations into the depths of the forest with my camera to study the design and complexity of nature. One day while in the forest, I realized that I had become lost when the sun was setting. Suddenly, I experienced what I call, a “transformational moment suspended in time." I felt myself engulfed in the feeling of Love of a family I had always known. I felt as though I was held in a warm embrace.


Several minutes later, a glimmering light in the far distance through the darkness led me to safety. That spiritual awakening compelled me to learn more and to experience many Power Places in Europe and Mexico. These travels influenced various passages in my book, which is a metaphysical journey that goes beyond rigid limitations of worldly expectations. I wanted to describe another dimension beyond structures where spontaneity, intuition and sensitivity to other vibrational frequencies can be experienced. In this book, I was able to give nature its voice.


Can you tell us about your publishing journey? Why did you choose to traditionally or self-publish? Did you try and/or succeed in finding an agent?

I decided to publish with Verlaine Crawford, owner of High Castle Publishing, who did an excellent job of editing and consulting with me on the book. She had published two of her own books, “Ending the Battle Within” and inspirational poetry.


What was the inspiration for your characters? Were they based on people you know or acquaintances?


The members of the Gripp Exploration Team were composites of people I have observed and known. The unworldly characters were from my imagination and their personalities developed over time.


What is your day-to-day routine like as a writer?


I prefer to write in the afternoon, but sometimes the ideas awaken me early in the morning, and I begin writing. When I owned a business, I would write from midnight to three a.m. I find it is important to always have a notebook with you during the day and night so you can write down ideas when they come to you.


How do you stay motivated and inspired to write?


I think the most important motivator is your belief in the project. You need to feel your energy moving through the story and reflecting back to you. You have to experience the danger, the excitement, the intensity, and the aliveness of what is happening in order to express it.


Did you ever encounter any surprises throughout the publishing/writing process?


I was surprised how quickly I gained momentum when the characters were defined. Each character develops and displays their own personality. They seem to write actions, statements, and responses in their own words. They begin to reveal how they think and react to new situations.


What types of authors have influenced your work?


F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville and other classical writers as well as metaphysical authors, such as Richard Bach and Jane Roberts, author of the “Seth Material.” They have influenced my life.


What advice would you give to young writers?


Go and live! Experience and observe your environment. Travel and project yourself into other people and see how they think and feel. Become sympathetic to them and see how they observe the world. Learn to use all your senses, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, and take notes about the sensuous world you live in. Learn to meditate and relax and let your imagination fly free and allow your memories to flow through you. Play with words, savor the sounds, the rhythm and tone of the written word and enjoy the process of creation, thus pushing yourself to reach new heights of personal expression.