Atmore native, Therkelsen, signs multi-book deal

Published 9:11 am Monday, April 18, 2011

One of Atmore’s own, Jean Webb Therkelsen, is making a name for herself after her signing with Kensington Publishing to write three books.

Therkelsen, who lives in Wetumpka, is a native of Atmore, the daughter of the Late Judge Douglas S. Webb, circuit court judge of Escambia County for 22 years; and of Jean Webb, who taught English at Ernest Ward High School for more than 40 years.

Therkelsen said she was born in Atmore, grew up in Canoe and attended school at Ernest Ward High School, graduating in 1974. She then graduated from the University of Alabama and earned her law degree. She now works in the Alabama Attorney-General’s office in criminal appeals.

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“I was always writing while I was growing up,” Therkelson said. “I wrote a lot of poetry, but when my daughter was a toddler, I turned from poetry to noels. I never attended any writing classes, but I did love to read. I joined a writer’s group and my first book was a fantasy romance novel. I got over a 100 rejections when I tried to get it published.”

Therkelson said it is very hard to break through into the publishing field and she was very discouraged about her writing.

“You have to understand that the publishing companies receive hundreds of books from aspiring writers,” she said.

Finally someone suggested that she write a paranormal romance because of the popularity of vampires, ghosts and paranormal.

“I felt like it would be a dark and moody book, but as I wrote, it seemed as if it had a lot of laughter in it and if I can make someone laugh, I’m happy.”

She completed the book, “Demon Hunting in Dixie” and sent it to publishers, but once again she got nothing but rejections. She said she finally got a break when she saw an editor on television talking about all the dark and moody material she had seen, but nothing funny. She made contact with the editor and within a short time, she had made a deal to write three novels.

“I have been writing for 16 years, “Therkelsen said. “It has been a big surprise for me and I have really been blessed. I pray over every page I write. You might not think so considering my subject matter, but I have. The characters were all just made up and they are what I made them, and apparently they have a lot of humor. This is finally what I hoped for, dreamed of and wanted. I am trying to balance working, writing, working at home and raising two daughters, one in the ninth grade and one at college. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.”

Therkelsen’s three novels are being written under the pen name of Lexi George and the content is nothing if not interesting. The first book will be released on April 26, 2011, in bookstores, and is her debut paranormal romance, ‘Demon Hunting in Dixie.’ The second book is actually a novella, part of a Halloween anthology called ‘So, I married a Demon Slayer,’ which will be released in August.

Publisher’s Weekly has given the ‘Demon Hunting in Dixie’ a four star rating and other reviews describe the book as hilariously funny. It is about a girl who lives in the small southern town of Hannah, who suddenly becomes involved in some extremely odd situations. Her dog begins to talk to her and some of her fellow small-towns people turn out to be more than human. Along comes demon-hunter, and a dream of a man, Brand, and the situation gets even funnier. It seems as if this novel is setting up for more novels to follow. Reviewers said that George is a natural storyteller who offers a genuinely funny new voice in paranormal romance.

Jean Webb Therkelsen