The Short Answer?
No, really, I am.
Yeah, it’s a bit confusing, but I promise to explain all. So, grab a cup of tea, settle into a comfy chair, and I’ll tell you the story:
On April 21st, 1965, my father decided that naming his newly born, baby girl, “Teri Sue”, after the race horse he was betting on at the track, might impress God enough to let him win. But as luck would have it, God frowned, and Dad lost, but I still became “Teri S. Wood”
I did a lot of work under that name. And I am extremely proud of all of it. I had particular fun turning my last name into the character “Wood” for my comic strip, “The Cartoonist” which ran in the back of AMAZING HEROES magazine from 1989 thru 1992. I poked fun at everybody in the industry, from Neil Gaiman on down. And my characters, Silver and Wood, had this little back and forth with another AH contributor, Dave Strom/STROM’S INDEX, which had me chuckling every, single month. And later, of course, “Teri S. Wood” was the name I had when I launched WANDERING STAR in 1993.
I glossed over the reasons why, at the time. But now that I am reclaiming my birth name of Teri S. Wood, as my author name, it's important that I be clear.
I am writing this, so that no fan of mine will ever fall victim to either my mother, or my brother. As a fangirl myself, I know how easy it is to want to be friends with anyone connected to those I admire. But in my case, it is not safe.
To Be Brief, I grew up in an insanely, abusive family. I tried to leave multiple times between ages 18 to 30. But each time I did, my father and mother threatened me, implied they'd hurt anyone who tried to help me, and/or promised to kill the family pets. And for the record, my brother is cut from the same cloth.
It was several years after my father finally died, that I finally got
free. And it was not easy. My mother and her boyfriend did
everything in their power to prevent it. That was June of
1995. And I have not spoken to my mother, nor my brother, since.
Much later, in 2008, and after much thought, I changed my name to “Teresa Susan Challender” to further distance myself from my birth family. It was both a joyous and freeing event, and a sadness, because I was also distancing myself from everything I created as Teri S. Wood.
And, that is how I became “Two People” -- Resa (Teresa) Challender and Teri S. Wood.
And to anyone reading this, who is growing up with The Crazy People, I've learned this: Yes, there is Life After The Family. You can go on. As Jared Padalecki says, "Always Keep Fighting."
One last comment: I do not remember 1985. I have various small snippets of something very bad, related, possibly, to San Diego. To this day, I have nightmares about it at least once a week. And it is my deepest hope that someone, someday, will tell me where I went.
DOVER PUBLICATIONS is releasing a collected edition, a great, big, omnibus of my entire WANDERING STAR series this summer of 2016, and I am re-claiming my birth name as my author name
And I am happy as heck to do so, because I miss my “Wood” signature. And all the fun I used to have with it. And, as I said, I am very proud of my creative history, and never want to lose it. And since this is a biography page, I should probably make a list:
At this point, I’d like to also give a shout out to my two fan pages, still online, after all these years. I can’t hardly believe it. I kinda think I need to do more work just for them alone:
John Northey's - Teri Sue Wood Fan Page and FIAWOL’s TeriWoodFans on Yahoo Groups.
And, lastly, but not the least, you can be find me online on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, DEVIANTART, TUMBLR (somewhat defunct), and My BLOG. Feel free to drop by and say, “hello”. (Note November 2020: I am taking a break from social media, but can still message me via my Facebook Account or my email. I am staying close to my art these days.)
And if you made it this far, you rock. I luvs ya! Many huggles!
I think that’s everything. For now, anyway...
Contact: terisuewood at yahoo dot com