Finding Out What Makes Terry Tyler Tick
All alliteration aside, I wanted to find out what the mindset of author Terry Tyler was after reading her book Dream On. That novel was what some would call ‘Rock Fiction’ and as most know, I have a special affinity for books of this genre (Ms. Tyler’s title makes number 3 that I have read in the last 8 months). To those of you that have not read a novel in this genre I urge you to pick one up. Moving along, Terry Tyler was kind enough to answer a few questions for me so that I could pass them along to my readers. Let’s get started shall we?
How many books have you published?
I have four on Amazon at the moment, and, cross fingers, will publish the fifth, ‘Full Circle’ within a couple of months; it’s the sequel to the fourth, ‘Dream On’, but can be read as a stand alone, too. It’s at the being-test-read-then-final-edit stage at the moment – but the cover hasn’t even been thought about yet!
Which book of yours do you have the most emotional connection to?
I think probably ‘Nobody’s Fault’ – much of the story of the main character, Adrienne, is written in the first person, the only time I’ve done this in a novel so far. Writing Adrienne in this way just felt right, so I suppose she must be the character in whom I see most of myself! However, all my novels touch on subjects of which I’ve had experience, so this is a very difficult question to answer. For instance, in ‘Dream On’ (which is actually the most light-hearted and humorous of the four) I’ve written about Alzheimer’s Disease; my mother has it. A couple of people have said that I manage to write about quite ‘heavy’ subjects in a light-hearted way without trivialising them, though, which is good!
Who is Terry Tyler, the woman?
Wow, that’s a question and a half, isn’t it?! Where do I start? I’m in my early 50s, happily married and childless by choice. I’m from southern England but now live in the north, as I married a Geordie (for non UK people, that’s someone who lives in a certain part of the north east of England!) My life has been interesting and varied, for which I am thankful, as it’s given me so much material for novels, ha ha! I’ve done all the going out a lot, dashing from one romantic affair to another, from job to job – I now feel more settled than I ever have in my life before, which is wonderful.
I think it would be good if Amazon had some sort of section for books that are of a certain quality, perhaps judged by amount and quality of, and average reviews, as I’ve heard a fair few people say that a lot of the books they download are badly formatted, badly edited, badly written, have spelling mistakes, ghastly continuity errors – you name it! This can tar all ‘indie’ books with the same brush. Writer Tahlia Newland has begun this with her site Awesome Indies – to be featured, a book must have four or five stars from their own approved reviewers, or publishing professionals. Tahlia says on the site that she started it because she was fed up with buying books with several five star reviews, only to discover that they were so badly written that she couldn’t read them. This is a huge subject, and one that won’t be easily resolved, as if someone wants to give five stars to a book ridden with cliches, wooden dialogue and clumsy sentences, you can’t stop them. I think the onus is on us writers to improve peoples’ perception of ‘indie’ publishing by making sure our books are written, edited and proofread to a professional standard.
If those closest to you had to use 10 words to describe you, what words would they use?
I’m tempted to say, you’d better ask them! I don’t know. Hang on, I’ll go and ask my husband… okay!! He said: Lovely (!), neglectful (that’s when I’m always saying, yes, I’ll come and watch that film with you, but can you give me 3 hours?), practical, funny, clever, unconventional, barmy – and the 8th, 9th and 10th were ‘good at ironing’ !!
I am a few chapters into ‘Dream On’ (yes, I have a special affinity for books that are about wanna-be rockstars for obvious reasons) but what genre do you think most describes this book?
That’s a hard one! Is ‘contemporary fiction’ chickening out?? I made up the genre of ‘bloke lit’ to describe it, actually! Okay – contemporary fiction/bloke lit/romance/humour/rock fiction/chick lit. Um… that’s as close as I can get!
Who is your reader? Who will your stories most resonate with?
Oh, nice one, interesting question. Mostly, women from about 25 – 55 who’ve been through quite a lot of stuff in their lives too, I suppose. However, lots of younger women really identify with, for instance, Petra pestering a bloke on Facebook who clearly isn’t interested in her, in ‘You Wish’. I’ve had excellent reviews from women over 60 – and quite a few from men, too, who think that my books are going to be chick lit (is that because I am blonde, one wonders??) but find that they’re actually more down to earth, and that the male characters are very, very real – particularly in ‘Dream On’ – I think half my reviews for that are from men!
I am never very far away from a Bill Bryson book – his humour is right up my street and there’s so much interesting stuff in them too, about all the places he’s visited. I love P J O’Rourke’s journalism, and have all his books. I’m hugely interested in history, and I adore what John Boyne does – works of fiction based on a true event (I don’t know what the genre is called). For instance, in his story of Mutiny on the Bounty, the main character is a fictional cabin boy. I also like autobiographical accounts of ghastly events/periods in history – lately I’ve read all Harry Leslie Smith’s books about growing up in poverty stricken 1930s northern England, and living in post-war Berlin – and another about a chap who survived the Polish ghettos of the 2nd world war, and the concentration and death camps. I like quite gritty contemporary fiction – my favourite authors for this sort of thing are Douglas Kennedy, Deborah Moggach and Kate Atkinson. I like Emily Barr, when I fancy something a bit lighter, and Dorothy Parker. Oh, and I adored all the Game of Thrones books, though I don’t usually ‘do’ fantasy. Look, how long have you got?!
What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just finished Viking horror/thriller ‘Northman’ by JD Hughes, and last night I started ‘Second Chances’ by Maria Savva, which will be followed by ‘The Highlander’ by the authority on all things Aztec, Zoe Saadia. I have my reading list pinned up on my wall!
Some people will only read the so-called mainstream or traditionally published authors. What would you say to these readers to get them to try an indie published book?
Give them a go, but be selective. Look on the ‘also bought’ bits on Amazon of traditionally published authors – these can show you newer as yet unpublished authors of a similar genre. My book ‘The Other Side’ appears on a few of ‘also boughts’ of Emily Barr’s books, I am delighted and proud to note, though I don’t know that I would make so bold as to compare my work to hers! Generally, if you come across an ‘indie’ book that interests you, read the reviews, and read between the lines of those reviews. Try a sample. You never know, you might discover someone new!