Author Profile: Terry Wise

Terry Wise, J.D. became widowed at 35 following her spouse’s death from Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and after surviving a near-fatal suicide attempt, she spent the next several years in treatment.  A former Boston trial attorney, Wise has since devoted her life to international public speaking and full-time writing.   She has traveled to all 50 states and hundreds of cities to appear as a keynote speaker, continuing education instructor and workshop presenter—speaking to both the general public and professionals on topics related to depression, grief, long-term caregiving, suicide prevention, and the process of recovery. To learn more, please visit

Q: Do you have any secret writing tips you would like to share?
A: It is crucial to write down your spontaneous thoughts, ideas, or words and phrases as soon as they come to mind. It is easy to assume you will remember them later, but if you are anything like me, most of the time you will forget the idea or exact wording. I always have paper and a pen or a voice recorder nearby. For example, I have a small digital recorder in the bureau next to my bed, in the center console of my car, in my laptop bag, and on my cell phone. I transcribe the recordings into an ever-growing document entitled, “Writing Ideas” which is a tremendous reference for future or current writings.

Q: Tell us a quirky, funny or unexpected story about you.
A: I am filled with contradictions. I am open-minded with passionate convictions, cautiously optimistic, a well-traveled home-body, and I am patient and impulsive. I love electronic gadgets and I am considered the “go to” person for family and friends with questions about features on various devices. However, I long for the days when we didn’t have cell phones or texting.

I keep a number of lists. I have a list of my Pet Peeves, such as phone menu systems and cards with glitter; a list of Statements to Question such as “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too”; and a list of Ideas to Make the World a Better Place, such as harnessing power from the machines in health clubs and outlawing Styrofoam.

Q: What books are on your nightstand right now?
A: Several books by Christopher HitchensDesert Queen by Janet Wallach and In the Heart of the Sea by Nathanial Philbrick.

Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: “Every time you help one person, you help all those who love and care about them.” -Terry Wise

Q: Who inspires you the most?
A: The people I meet when I give a speech or who write to me after they’ve read my book. I have the privilege of continuously meeting incredible people through the work that I do. Either they are people who have survived unspeakable tragedies or they are people who have devoted their lives to helping others. They are my heroes.

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