Saturday, 15 February 2014

A warm welcome to the lovely Terry Tyler

***Welcome to my blog, Terry - thank you for letting me interview you***

When I joined Twitter, you were one of the first authors I came across and I loved the way you came across. Straight-talking, friendly, and approachable. Your blogs portray the same image. So, what are you really like?

The lovely Terry Tyler...
Hi, Vanessa – first of all, many thanks for inviting me to your blog!

Now…what am I really like??!  A very hard question, because you never see yourself as others see you.  I suspect I might be a little too ‘tell it like it is’ at times, but I find sociological/behavioural change and trends endlessly interesting, so I’m constantly observing things I want to say a load of stuff about!  I’m learning a bit more diplomacy, though.  

As for friendly and approachable?  I’m probably more sociable online than in real life; I used to always be out and about and knew loads of people, but these days I prefer my own company or just that of my husband, much of the time.  Which is lucky; writing necessitates that mostly it’s just me and my laptop!

I have read “You Wish” and I thought it was so clever - this was my review. What do you think? Is it fair?

Product Details5 stars: YOU WISH via Amazon

“I downloaded this book months ago for free, and have only just got round to reading it since I collect a lot of free eBooks via Twitter!

When I started reading it I had no idea where it was going and (to be honest) did not think it was my kind of read at all... BUT... Was I wrong?!

As soon as the story unravelled, I became completely engrossed and hooked, reading it at every chance (which during the summer holidays with the kids is hard going).

The premise of the story is that the main character, Ruth, owns a magic "wishing stone" that makes bad things happen... I will not say more because I do not want to give a spoiler!

As we find out more about Ruth, her past, and the people she has befriended I could visualise all the characters so clearly that I began to feel their pain, and at times even gasped out loud (in my head screaming... "No Way...").

I have never read a book like this... It talks about drugs, relationships, the ache of teenage years and disappointments. All discussed with so much ease that it made the issues normal (as they should be). I have never understood the need to smoke and do drugs, but this book helped me understand why some people choose to go down that road and how easily it can happen.

I highly recommend this book for those wishing to go down memory lane and relive 80's moments (I did love Dynasty!). Saying this, it is definitely a book for adults by the content and use of language.

I could easily see this book as a film... It is extremely clever and original! Can't believe I got it for free... I hope this review helped :)”

It’s a wonderful review, thank you so much – again, I’m too close to the book to be able to view it objectively, but it seems to sum it up, and a lot of people have said how unusual it is – I suppose it is, really!  I’ve long been fascinated by the extent to which we shape our own lives, little realising that everything single thing we do affects the path we travel down.  This is a subject reflected in my book The Other Side, too – which follows a similar plot to ‘Sliding Doors’, and shows how one woman’s life could have turned out so many different ways.  Ah – just realised that I’ve gone ‘off topic’ – I’ll shut up!

I have to ask this… Are your books a reflection of your ‘real’ life? If so, your life has been much more “interesting” than mine!

Some bits are, yes; not always things that have happened to me, though.  I’ve lived in lots of different situations, had loads of jobs, many different social circles; I’m sure my life has not been more interesting than yours, though I’m guessing by the inverted commas you’ve put around “interesting” that you actually mean “varied and a little bit too colourful at times”!!  If this is the case, it’s got everything to do with not having children, I think.  When you have fewer responsibilities, more opportunities appear, though this isn’t always necessarily a good thing.

What or who inspires you to write?

Oh, it’s usually just a case of me thinking ‘I’d like to write a novel about such-and-such’, and then I play around with it in my head for a while until it starts to require notes!  Some things are ideas that brew for a while (like ‘The Other Side’ and ‘You Wish’); other times from a single event; the idea for ‘Dream On’ came from a conversation in a pub.

Which character you have created to date is your favourite, and why?

That’s a hard one!  I loved writing about Sarah in ‘You Wish’ – I tend to like writing about the ‘baddies’ more than the ‘goodies’!!   But as for the ones I like, I think my favourite character is in ‘Dream On’ and ‘Full Circle’ – Dave, my head-in-the-clouds wannabe rock star.  I am very fond of him!  

I often enjoy writing the supporting cast as much – people like ludicrous ‘artiste’ Glynis in ‘Dream On’ and ghastly author Harriet in ‘Full Circle’ – you can sometimes have more fun with secondaries as you don’t have to evolve a whole character. 

Do you get a kick out of reader feedback? How do you deal with reviews that are critical?

Oh, yes!  There is no better compliment than your work having made enough impression on someone for them to want to review it.

I have some regular readers who contact me on Twitter to say that they’ve just enjoyed such and such a book of mine, and, honestly, it’s just THE best thing!  I know I’d write even if no-one read them (I have a few unpublished novels which have only been read by my sister and a couple of friends), but I love to think of a person I don’t know, sitting down with their Kindle, miles and miles away, reading the words I wrote in my sitting room about the characters I made up while I was lying in the bath, or something - I have reviews from as far away as Alaska, Las Vegas and Australia! I still find it a bit hard to get my head round, actually.

As for criticism – I take it on board.  I can usually see their point.  Thankfully, there hasn’t been much, but you’re never going to appeal to anyone, and those who’ve reviewed critically have as much right to express their opinion as anyone else. 

Do you think social media is important? If so, how do you prioritise your time?

Not only important but vital for a self-published writer, most of the time.  Prioritising my time – it depends.  If I’m totally absorbed writing a novel I will just have a quick go on Twitter for about 15 minutes a couple of times a day, answering messages, retweeting and putting my own book tweets out.  In that short time between novels I catch up more, do more retweets on Twitter, read more blog posts, do interviews like these, look up people who’ve followed me, that sort of thing.  I used Facebook mostly for non-book interaction, though I do have a fairly active author page.  Some days when I have a lot of blog posts to do (either for my own blogs, or guest ones for other people), I will have a whole day dedicated to getting them all done. 

What is the most important thing you have learnt, as an author, since you published your first book?

That’s a hard one.  Stacks of things.  I always knew it was going to take over my life, so that’s not something I’ve learned.  Hmm!  I think possibly to write as a reader, first and foremost – by which I mean being aware of what the reader needs to keep turning the pages.  It’s subconscious, by which I mean that I don’t think, right, I’d better inject a little bit of suspense here, and leave a cliff-hanger there – I think pacing a novel correctly is something that comes automatically, with time, as you write more and more.  In one review for ‘Dream On’, a book blogger said that what she liked about it was that there was absolutely nothing, not one single sentence, that wasn’t vital to the plot – so I suppose I’ve got better at editing, too, which is, again, what writing as a reader is about.

Do you think books are timeless, or do you think some fads disappear?

Yep, this vampire was
a popular one...
Timeless, mostly.  Contemporary novels of any period are still good to read if they’re written well in the first place.  Obviously there are fads, yes; in the 1980s it was the rags to riches epic, or the family saga, and in the 90s the emergence of chick lit.  In recent years we’ve seen lad lit, vampires etc, erotica - good examples of these are still just as enjoyable to read now as when they were published.  The ones that don’t stand up to time tend to be the bandwagon passengers.

What is the best book you have read and why did you enjoy it?

What, the best book ever?  That’s too hard!

I can name a few favourites – ‘Cashelmara’ by Susan Howatch, ‘Something In Disguise’ by Elizabeth Jane Howard, ‘The Beach’ by Alex Garner, ‘Chances’ by Jackie Collins, ‘A Handful of Dust’ by Evelyn Waugh, ‘All The Days of My Life’ by Hilary Bailey, the first 2 Game of Thrones books, ‘The Absolutist’ by John Boyne, ‘The Job’ by Douglas Kennedy, ‘The House At Old Vine’ by Norah Lofts – okay, okay, I’ll stop!

As for why - I dunno!  Why does anyone like any book?

Product Details
I suppose one could analyse it, but I’m not a literary critic so I don’t suppose it would be very interesting to read – “well, y’know, it was really interesting and the characters were, y’know, really true to life, like.”   I mean, I could say that I love ‘A Handful of Dust’ because I love reading about the aristocracy of the 1930s, or because of the curious and poignant ending, but the actual reason why that book sticks in my mind as one of my favourites is because it resonated with something in my brain.  

The same goes for pieces of music or art you like, doesn’t it?  It’s a bit like asking someone why they love someone; you can list their sterling qualities but that doesn’t tell you why they love them.

Did you ever try to find an agent? Do you think their role has been dulled of late?

As for their role in the publishing world today, I can’t say because I don’t know enough about the current state of the traditional publishing industry to comment.  

As for my experience: in the last 20 years, I have made about 15 submissions, and have five times got past the initial step – ie, having the sample approved and being asked for the full manuscript.  

One of these was ‘You Wish’, though I haven’t submitted any of the other books I have on Amazon.  Trying again may be one of my projects this year. 

Where we can find out about you and buy your books?

Amazon UK page:


Writers’ blog on UK Arts Directory:

Facebook page:


Many thanks for your interest, V!  There’s no need to see me out, you stay in the warm….!

I will, especially in this weather
Vanessa :) xx


  1. What a great interview, Vanessa!! i'm a big TT fan too, and like you, it took me by surprise as I don't tend to read books about relationships either, but I read Dream On and Full Circle and loved them I've also read Nine Lives and I have What it Takes on my Kindle ready for when I have more time (like your Hybrid). Terry is a very accomplished writer because she makes it seem so effortless, but as we know, it's more difficult to make things read easily than almost anything! Thanks for these lovely insights Terry and Vanessa! A really lovely read!

  2. ahhhhhh, thank you, Val! I always cringe when I read things back - especially where I've repeated myself ('by which I mean' in two sentences running in one question, ha ha!), but as long as I didn't come over like a complete DORK, that's okay!!!! xx

  3. Terry, you could never be a dork - like EVER! Thanks again for letting me grill you (ha ha)...

    And thanks for reading and commenting, Val - we will be seeing you on this blog soon too, I hope :)

  4. I will be honoured! And yes, Terry, you couldn't be a dork if you tried! You're fun, feisty and flippin' fabulous :-)

  5. Great interview Vanessa. Terry has given me no end of help as I've started out on this self publishing road with my first novel. I love her books - and still have more to read and I will get to them all Terry I promise! Its great to find out a little more about her and she comes across as lovely as always!!

  6. Thanks so much, Georgia - we all try to help each other out. Let me know when you release your novel & I'll take a look :)

  7. Interesting to read that Terry liked, " The House At Old Vine" by Norah Lofts. This was one of my favourites too. In fact I enjoyed all Norah Lofts' books and now i am enjoying working through Terry's books.