Weather Forecast


A romance with writing

What started out as a day like any other for Teri Oliver soon became the beginning of something big.

The Woodbury resident was sitting around one day listening to Matt Nathanson's song "Illusions."

"It kind of tells a story and I immediately had two characters pop into my head," she said.

Those characters eventually became the basis for her first book, "The Leading Man," which was released last month in e-book format.

"It was kind of cool," she said. "That is how it kind of started and it went from there.

"I have so many stories in my notebook, but this for some reason grabbed a hold of me- I just kept going with it."

Oliver published "The Leading Man" through Smashwords, an e-book self-publishing platform.

The romance novel is about Gabby Kappa, a divorcee from Minnesota who goes away to New York one weekend where she meets her teen celebrity crush Ben McNaughton.

Surprisingly, Ben is a down to earth guy, with some Minnesota roots.

Gabby and Ben immediately become close friends and a spark of attraction slowly develops between the two.

However, Gabby and Ben both have their own reasons not to pursue the relationship.

"They both have an attraction to each other, but they just have things that hold them back," Oliver said. "They both have something that they can't move forward with."

Oliver said the central theme of "The Leading Man" is for readers to find their inner fighter.

"If we can forgive ourselves for mistakes we've made in the past, we will find that we are worth more than we give ourselves credit for," she said. "Be proud of the person you've become and maintain a positive self-worth."

Oliver said she was drawn to the romance genre because of some of the popular novels on the market today, such as E.L. James' "50 Shades Trilogy," Nicholas Sparks novels and Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" series.

"It's about just being a woman," she said, "and not taking things so seriously."

A lifelong writer

Oliver said writing has come natural to her ever since she was a child.

"I've always been a writer ever since I was a little kid with notebooks full of ideas," she said.

Oliver said she sees writing as an escape.

"It gives me the opportunity to just space out of reality," she said. "It gives me time to think and just be creative within my own mind. It's a nice little outlet for me because I just get lost in words."

Oliver said she has already started work on her next book, a children's novel, and intends to keep writing.

"I do have some other ideas cooking in my head right now," she said. "I'll write whatever I feel comfortable with."

Teri Oliver's debut novel, "The Leading Man," can be found on, Barnes & Noble's website, Diesel eBooks and iTunes. More information Oliver's website is:

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976