Terry Tyler is with us today on the ‘Lets Meet’ segment. Terry has four books out to date; Dream On, The Other Side, You Wish and Nobody’s Fault. She is currently working on her fifth novel. As an indie author, this is a huge accomplishment but to add to this, Terry has well over one hundred 4 and 5 star reviews.
Today she talks about why she chose indie publishing, the importance of social media, her love for the Kindle and lots lots more.
“Dream On has it all with aplomb, and is once more in Tyler’s effortlessly good style.”
5 star Amazon review for Dream On
“There’s a twist - just when you think you’ve got it, you realise there’s more than you thought.”
5 star Amazon review for The Other Side
“This is a fantastic story that touches your heart and soul, by an accomplished author who has exceeded all expectations entirely.”
5 star Amazon review for You Wish
“Beautifully written and well thought through. Believable and entertaining.”
5 star Amazon review for Nobody’s Fault
MW: What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
TT: I didn’t choose a genre - I just write what I want to write. I get that people need to categorize stuff though, so that you don’t download a sci-fi book when you’re looking for a Regency romance. Okay! Women’s contemporary fiction. There, that’s nice and broad, isn’t it?! My first three books have lots of plot twists and a bit of mystery. All my stories deal with human relationships in depth, and each tend to have theme; for instance, ‘You Wish’ is about whether our lives are influenced by the choices we make, or by destiny, or even magic. My new one, ‘Dream On’, is humorous, too. I say ‘women’s’ contemporary fiction, but plenty of men read and review them, as well. I’ve been described as a writer of ‘kitchen sink dramas’ a couple of times, which I quite like!
MW: Tell us about your path to becoming an author. Did you have any idea at the start what the process really entails?
TT: I’ve been writing novels for years; I realised when I wrote my first one (in 1993) that it would be a massive undertaking, yes.
MW: How long did it take for your first book to go from an idea to a published work?
TT: This isn’t really relevant because I wrote my first novels long before one could self-publish on Amazon. The first one I published on there, ‘You Wish’, took six months to write. It was only when I was half way through the second one, ‘Nobody’s Fault’ that someone suggested I try Amazon KDP.
MW: How many books have you published? Are they traditionally published, indie published, or a combination?
TT: I’m ‘indie’ published. I had a fair bit of interest from agents for ‘You Wish’ but ultimately no offer of representation – I didn’t bother to send the next three off! So becoming an ‘indie author’ (an expression I hate) was not a choice but a necessity. I have four books on Amazon. I shall start writing the fifth (a sequel to the fourth) soon.
MW: Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
TT: Just one. I tried doing two once, but it was hopeless – one always suffers. I get completely absorbed in a novel when I’m writing it, and I do virtually nothing else, so I don’t have much to give to a second project!
MW: What is the best comment/compliment you have received about your work?
TT: I can’t think of just one – one of the best was a professional editor saying that I was one of the few writers who are capable of editing their own work – just as well, as that is what I do! I also loved it when someone wrote in a review ‘why aren’t Terry Tyler’s books in print and in every book store in the land?’ That made my day! I’ve had so many wonderful reviews from lovely people who not only enjoy my books but are kind enough to tell the world about it – it’s hard to pick just one comment.
MW: How much time do you spend on Twitter each week? What about Facebook and other social media?
TT: Oh goodness, loads! I’m not writing at the moment so spend several hours a day tweeting about my own books and those of other authors – and socialising, too! I don’t do all those other things that you’re ‘supposed’ to do, like LinkedIn and Pinterest; I’ve never even looked at them. I’ve found Twitter to be the best way of reaching the reading public, but you have to use it the right way. I’m thinking of writing a blog post about it, as I’m often asked for advice by people who are just starting out, though I don’t blog very often (that’s something else you’re ‘supposed’ to do that I don’t!). I do try to go on Goodreads and Facebook every day, though the latter is more for social reasons than promotion. I do have an author page, though.
MW: Have you outsourced editing, cover design, formatting, web design, marketing, etc.?
TT: The formatting, proof reading and book covers are done by friends. As I’ve said, I edit my own work, and I do all my own marketing. I don’t have a website, though I’m thinking about it.
MW: Do you work with a writing group?
TT: No, I don’t see the necessity for them unless you’re just starting out, when I imagine they can be very helpful. I’m not a very group-orientated person, anyway. Having said that, the writing community on Twitter is a sort of super-supportive group, I suppose! (Special mention here for Susan Buchanan, The Gonzo Lecture, Clive S Johnson, Zoe Saadia, Alan McDermott, Andy Lucas – I could go on forever!)
MW: Do you create an outline before beginning a new book?
TT: Yes, I think about it and plan it very thoroughly. My 3rd novel, ‘The Other Side’, demanded a great deal of continuity (too complicated to explain!) – I think plans/outlines are vital. I hate lack of continuity – you know, when plot lines just tail off, or characters suddenly change personality half way through!
MW: Which authors, past or present, have greatly influenced your style, your voice?
TT: I’m often asked this. I don’t think any, really. However, I’ve thought about this quite a lot (as it’s a question usually asked in interviews) and I have come up with this, which will probably make you laugh. Early Jilly Cooper novels. They made me realise that you can write exactly what you want, that you don’t have to conform to any styles/subject matter that’s gone before.
MW: When you decided on your story, how did you set about researching?
TT: I write about what I know, mostly; my novels are very much ‘real life’, about ordinary people to whom everyone can relate. Sometimes I need to do a bit more research; for instance, when I was writing ‘Dream On’ I needed to know a bit more about what struggling rock bands did, in 2007/8, to promote themselves; so I asked a friend who was doing just that at the time, and he was most helpful! I have another friend who auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent, which was a piece of luck, as ‘Dream On’ also features a TV talent show – and my sister has worked for a satellite television station, so I had no problem there!
MW: Do your books have book trailers? How important as a marketing tool do you think they are?
TT: I’ve never had a book trailer and don’t know much about them, but I’ve looked at a couple and they’re marvellous. People say that they don’t really sell books. But then there are so many opinions about what does and doesn’t sell books, aren’t there!
MW: I love my kindle and believe it is a marvellous invention. However it doesn’t quite replace my love for the printed book; the smell, the feel of the pages, even better if it is an ear chewed second hand version! Do you have a preference for e-book formats or the traditional paper and hardback versions?
TT: I have to admit that I love paperbacks best! And you can read them in the bath! I would LOVE to see my books in paperback some day; it’s not an avenue I’ve explored properly yet. BUT – I love my Kindle too! Love how you never lose your place, and can flick onto another book when you’ve finished one, without getting out of bed – it’s so great to be able to store them all! Best of all, of course, is when you’re travelling – all your holiday books, in one tiny device you can keep in your handbag!
Thank you so much for inviting me to do this interview, Matilda – I’ve really enjoyed answering these questions, and I hope my viewpoints/answers have been of interest to your readers!
MW: Thank you for chatting with me today.
You can find Terry at:
Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon .com: www.amazon.com
Terry’s Facebook: www.facebook.com
Terry’s Goodreads: www.goodreads.com
Terry’s Twitter: @TerryTyler4
Terry’s Blog: terrytyler59.blogspot.co.uk