A Day in the Life Presents . . . Poet & Editor, Teri Santitoro

Terrie Leigh Relf: What types – and forms  – of writing do you do? Since you’re also an editor, what is your niche?

Teri Santitoro: I am the editor of the minimalist genre poetry magazine, Scifaikuest, which publishes sf/h/f poetry, both ONLINE and in PRINT. Most of my creative energy is focused on the magazine; however, I do attempt to write a few scifaiku now and then, as well as short stories (“Is There Anybody Out There?” and “Rivalry,” both short stories published in Alban Lake Publishing’s short story anthology: Only the Lonely) and have co-authored a sf novel, The Saint and the Demon, with Ron Sparks.

Terrie Leigh Relf: What is your area(s) of subject matter expertise? How did you discover this niche? What intrigues you about it?

Teri Santitoro: I think I’m pretty good at discovering and recognizing talent. Especially poetic talent. I found my niche at Sam’s Dot Publishing when I was asked to co-edit the poetry anthology, Random Planets (Sam’s Dot Publishing, June 2003).

Terrie Leigh Relf: How do you balance your creative and work time?

Teri Santitoro: I usually work my day job M-F, but spend my Wednesday nights with Scifaikuest. I find that this schedule helps keep me focused.

Terrie Leigh Relf: What tips do you have for other writers and/or editors?

Teri Santitoro: Read authors whose work encourages you to reach beyond what you consider your own limits. Never stop trying to improve your craft.

Terrie Leigh Relf: What are your thoughts on the creative process in general and your creative process in particular?

Teri Santitoro: When it’s happening, you’ve got to go with it! Let it consume you, take you where you didn’t even intend to go.

Terrie Leigh Relf: Where do your ideas come from?

Teri Santitoro: I have no idea. Sometimes they pop into my head; sometimes they come about accidentally. I have had stories that seemed to write themselves, or that felt as though (at least to me!) they always existed, as if I only discovered them, rather than created them.

Terrie Leigh Relf: Where have you been published? Upcoming publications? Awards and other accolades?

Teri Santitoro: Star Leaper (ezine), Pegasus Dreaming, Cyber-Thoughts, iscifistory (newsletter), Dreams of Dark Futures, Creator’s Club,The Martian Wave, Sex and the Single Alien, Between Kisses (newsletter), Random Planets, Scifaikuest, Aoife’s Kiss, Freaky Frights, The Outposts of Beyond (anthology), Enter the Realm (anthology), Enter the Realm (website), Mythic Delirium, The Saint and the Demon (with Ron Sparks), and Only the Lonely (short story anthology).

Terrie Leigh Relf: What are you working on now?

Teri Santitoro: A vampire story set in the Old West.

Terrie Leigh Relf: What challenges have you faced as a writer and/or with a particular project?

Teri Santitoro: Two challenges:

Writer’s Block. It’s REAL. I went almost TEN YEARS without writing hardly a thing. I felt so drained by my day job, that I liked to just collapse when I got home. That inhibits writing and creativity.

Also, Marketing. I live in a very rural area where there aren’t a lot of places to hold book signings, readings etc, and the people of this area just aren’t “into” the sf/h/f genre, so there isn’t much interest in my type of writing.

Terrie Leigh Relf: Are you plotter and planner or a discovery writer?

Teri Santitoro: BOTH. I have worked with other authors, along a guideline or outline, as well as solitary writing where I let a story take over as I discovered it.

Terrie Leigh Relf: Are you currently a writing mentor? If so, what are your thoughts on mentoring?

Teri Santitoro: Not exactly sure what you mean by that but, as an editor, I am sometimes faced with poets whose ideas are great, but their form is incorrect, and I have guided them along in improving the knowledge of their form, as well as their execution of that form. This delights me. I was given a chance by both James B. Baker, founder of ProMart Publishing, and Tyree Campbell, founder of Alban Lake Publishing, and the magazine I edit is a direct descendent of their publishing companies. Jim’s main goal was to discover and publish new talent, and I take that idea to heart in my own capacity as editor of Scifaikuest.

Terrie Leigh Relf: If you’re a fiction writer, who are your favorite characters?

Teri Santitoro: My favorite character is probably Crewman Crick (Rivalry, reprinted in Only the Lonely anthology by Alban Lake Publishing, January 2018), a sexless, genetically engineered human who has to survive in the world of gendered people. What I loved most about this character, was exploring the labels and assumptions that we, in a gendered world, thrust upon ourselves and others.

Terrie Leigh Relf: Are you currently, or have you ever, been in a writing group?  Your thoughts?

Teri Santitoro: I did participate in online poetry groups, writing scifaiku and exploring similar genre minimalist forms, on diamondbullet.com. I had a wonderful time learning the nuances of writing scifaiku (a very new form of poetry at that time), and met a lot of very kind, wonderful people. There were no flame wars, and any criticism was done in a constructive and gentle way. I had the same experience with another writing group, Word Wizards. I don’t participate in either of them anymore, due to time constraints, but I wouldn’t trade my experiences there for the world.

Terrie Leigh Relf:  Your thoughts on having an agent?

Teri Santitoro: Wouldn’t that be loverly!?

Terrie Leigh Relf: Your thoughts on self-publishing?

Teri Santitoro: I’d rather not have to pay to have my work published, but if it works for someone else, why not?

Terrie Leigh Relf: Anything else you’d like to add that I haven’t asked? For example, what would you like to see more of in your specific genre? In the publishing field? Where do you see yourself in the next year? Next five years? etc.

Teri Santitoro: I have completed an historical novel that I’d like to get published, a sf trilogy that I can tweak, and I want to finish my vampire/old west story, and get that published as well.

I’m hoping to retire from my day job soon, which should give me more time to edit, write, and dream. And write some more. . .     


Facebook:  theresa santitoro

Bio: Teri Santitoro lives in NEPA, is over 60 and has never been on a plane. Really.





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