Name Terry Tyler.
Age Not as young as I used to be!
Where are you from?
East Anglia, England.
A little about your self, ie your education Family life etc
I live quietly and happily with my 3rd husband and have no children. My education was pretty run of the mill; I regret being too wayward to go to university, though.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news
My newest book, The House of York, was published on October 20th. It’s a complex family drama. I’m very pleased that it’s already got 7 lovely reviews, at the time of writing, all very positive – I was particularly nervous about this one.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I first wrote a novel in 1993; I don’t know why, I just thought I’d see if I could!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It’s not something I think about, really, Fiona. I just write, have done for the last 22 years off and on; I don’t think of myself as ‘an’ anything. I’ve only ever described myself as ‘a writer’ a very few times.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A general creative frustration, I think.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I imagine so, everyone does, or should have. It’s not something that you can manufacture, though, I don’t think; it evolves of its own accord. Or not, as the case may be.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’ll answer this about The House of York. I wanted it to sound like a dramatic family saga, and it’s also a nod to the Wars of the Roses, the events of which inspired the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No, not particularly.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
All of it, I hope! Though maybe it’s a little more colourful than real life, which is not often eventful enough to write about.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I put a lot of my own experiences in my novels, though they may be reactions, dialogue or incidental situations, rather than the actual plot.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life? A mentor?
I’ve never had a mentor (I’m a solitary writer, don’t go in for writers’ or critique groups), but I think Susan Howatch has influenced me the most. I loved how she wrote a story from many points of view, one person handing the baton to the next for each section. Also the way some of her stories are based on periods of history; I am sure they were part of the inspiration for Kings and Queens, which is a modern day retelling of the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I review books for Rosie Amber’s review blog, so my current reading matter is often a book I am reviewing for her. I am between books at the moment, but the next one I shall review is Red by Nicole Collet, an erotic romance. Erotica and romance are not preferred genres of mine but it doesn’t hurt to step outside one’s ‘comfort zone’ once in a while. If I had not done, I wouldn’t have discovered that I love zombie apocalypse series – that’s not a joke, I really do 🙂
Fiona: Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest?
Oh, yes! I’ll list a few of my absolute favourites: Mark Barry, Robert Leigh, John Privilege, Carol Hedges, April Taylor, Dylan Morgan. Carol would shoot me for describing her as a ‘new’ author, but I’m talking about her Victorian murder mysteries, a recent development from her children’s and YA books – they’re spectacularly good. I could list more, but those are the ones who spring to mind as having written more than one book that’s bowled me over.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m about to start writing the sequel for The House of York. The sequel will be called Elodie. It’s the name of one of the characters. After that, I will get on with a book I started before I decided to write Elodie; it’s a post apocalyptic drama. Slightly off-genre for me, but still very much character orientated and relationship based. After that, I will finally get back to the book I started the research for a few months ago – a family drama set in the 14th Century. I wish I had all the time in the world to write, two heads and two pairs of hands so I could get it all down as fast as I want – I don’t understand this ‘writers block’ thing at all!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The people who read my books. Without them, I wouldn’t know if I was delusional about having any talent, I wouldn’t experience those wonderful moments that make my day, when someone tells me they stayed up reading my book because they couldn’t put it down, or similar. Also, all my fellow writer and blogger friends I’ve met online – it’s like having particularly nice work colleagues!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I haven’t thought about it; at a fair few years over 50 I don’t really ponder over careers anymore.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, because I only published it two weeks ago. Ask me again in six months. Oh yes – I mentioned a character who’ll be big in the sequel: Lacey. I wish I’d called her something else, as one of the other main characters is called Lisa. Lacey and Lisa. Too similar. Alas, she arrived in my head with her name already attached, as some do. I’ll have to make sure they don’t meet too often.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No, I’ve been creative in many ways since childhood.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
With pleasure; here’s the start of Chapter One. Fiona ~ meet Lisa 🙂
“Did she say ‘me and my boy, we come as a package’?”
That was what my future mother-in-law said, complete with exaggerated version of my Northampton accent, when she discovered that her precious eldest son was about to tie the knot with a widowed, single mum.
She laughed after she’d made this dig to make me look over-sensitive if I didn’t take it in good humour, though she obviously thought he couldn’t have made a worse choice if he’d gone backstage on Blind Date and made a random selection from the contestants.
We’d met only a fortnight before; I know, I know, it sounds insane, but we both knew we’d found ‘the one’, and I was only twenty-three, young enough to believe that love would overcome all problems.
I met him on Friday the twenty-first of April, 1993, along the Northampton Road in the village of Grafton Regis where Tommy and I had lived with my parents for the past two years, since my John died. I was waiting for Debs to pick me up for the weekly man hunt (her idea, not mine), when a bright red Ferrari F40 pulled up outside this gorgeous old cottage with a ‘for sale’ sign in the garden. No, I’m not into cars; I recognised the Ferrari F40 only because John used to drool over pictures of it in his magazines.
I was more interested in the man climbing out of the driving seat. Especially when he looked at me and said, in a dead posh voice, “Oh—do you come with the house?”
You’re usually dressed in your scruffs with three-day-old hair when you bump into gorgeous men, aren’t you? Fate must have been in a good mood that day. My hair had spent half an hour soaking up conditioner while I did my nails, my make-up had turned out just right, and I wore black leggings, high-heeled black boots, and a fawn silk shirt nipped in by a tan belt slung low on my waist.
The shirt was a man’s one from a sale at Burton’s, and rest of it cost less than twenty pounds in total from Northampton market, but it worked. Style on a budget was a talent I’d learned at my mother’s knee.
Nowadays my underwear alone costs more than that whole outfit, but I was young and pretty and Elias York liked what he saw.
So did I.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Having published 11 books, one of the main worries is repeating characters and situations I’ve written before.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I couldn’t possibly name just one. I’ve talked about Susan Howatch, above, and the newer writers I love, and I’m also a big fan of Elizabeth Jane Howard, Douglas Kennedy, Phillipa Gregory, John Boyne, and… and… and…! All I can say is that they’ve all written books I would or have read over and over.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, my domestic situation means I can’t, so I set them in places I know, or fictitious towns and villages.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A friend who is a graphic artist.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I don’t find writing hard, although it doesn’t always go as I would want it to, but that’s not hard. The most difficult part comes afterwards: trying to promote it in an already deluged market.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
How to make the next one better, I hope; it’s a learning process that never ends.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Listen to Zadie Smith:
“You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle.’ All that matters is what you leave on the page.”
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. Over and over and over.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Probably a Ladybird book when I was about four.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at clever observational humour, mostly. I rarely cry these days, thank goodness, cross fingers and touch wood.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Anne Boleyn. She fascinates me.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’ve never thought about it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I read and review books a lot, and play the odd computer game and watch stuff for relaxation.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Following, Hannibal, Breaking Bad, The Wire, South Park, The Walking Dead, Vikings, Game of Thrones, to name but a few. Films: murders, thrillers, gangsters.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Fish, vegetables, ice cream / purple, peach, turquoise / hard rock, bluesy jazz, 1920s/30s blues singers, occasional opera/classical.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Be an actress, if I had the talent. Or a historian. Or an MI5 agent. Loads of stuff. I’d like at least three lives, really.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, I have two. One is for all sorts of stuff, here:
and this one is for book reviews:
Amazon Authors page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Fiona!