I’m delighted to welcome Terry Tyler to my blog this month. As the author and publisher of over 15 books, I was thrilled when Terry accepted my invitation to answer some of my questions for my ‘Book Of The Month’ feature. Welcome, Terry…
Greetings, Hugh and Hugh’s readers, and thank you for inviting me to your blog!
What’s the name of the book?
I’ve chosen to answer these questions about Tipping Point, which is Book 1 of the series I’m currently writing.
What inspired you to write it?
I love books, films and TV series about post-apocalyptic scenarios, and had itched to write my own for ages. I decided on a pandemic but wanted it to be about more than just a mysterious illness and the subsequent collapse of society. For some time, I’ve been interested in how the public’s opinions are manipulated by the press, and aware that nothing we do online is private. Then I got to thinking about how all this personal information we so willingly give up on social media might be used…
How long did it take you to write it?
An average length novel (85-100K words) takes me around six months: three months for the first draft, three months for the re-drafts. Before that, there’s the month I spend churning it around in my head before putting fingers to keys, and the two months of proofreading, test reading and polishing afterwards.
Tell us a little about the story and the characters.
A deadly virus is discovered in Africa, and a vaccination programme is introduced in the UK. Soon, there is an outbreak in a small Norfolk seaside town, which is put into military-enforced quarantine. Tipping Point centres around thirty-something Vicky and her teenage daughter, Lottie, and how they cope when the 21st century collapses around them—they are on their own, as Vicky’s boyfriend, Dex, is many miles away at the time of the outbreak. Dex is part of an underground group called Unicorn; they believe that the virus has sinister origins and that the vaccination programme is linked to a new social media site, Private Life.
Who do you think the book will appeal to?
Anyone with a similar interest in post-apocalyptic scenarios, survival in adverse circumstances or the dark side of social media, as well as readers who like character-based drama/thrillers that don’t follow predictable plot lines. My books are very much character-driven, but I think an unusual and well-paced plot is equally important.
Do you have any plans for a follow-up book?
I’ve already written it/them! Lindisfarne, the second book in the trilogy, was published last autumn and the third, UK2, is currently being proofread. Last November I brought out a collection of stand-alone short stories, Patient Zero; this gives a deeper look at some minor/secondary characters from the novels and provides backstories for some who play a larger part in UK2.
Where can people buy the book?
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories and all sorts of other rubbish off and on since I was a child. I first wrote a novel in 1993, then several more during the 1990s, after which I hardly wrote anything for about ten years. I started back with a vengeance in 2010.
Where do your ideas for your stories come from?
My weird head, I suppose! All sorts of places; it’s often just one thought that marinades in my brain for a while before turning into a story.
When and where (and how often) do you write?
Always at my desk in my living room, and as often as I can! By the time I’ve finished a novel I have eye-strain and headaches and need a break.
What do you think the future hold for you and your books, or what plans do have for future books?
The future is an open book (pun intended); who knows? Although the promised trilogy is now complete, I will write other books in the series. I’m planning a novel taking place in the future, about the characters’ descendants, and a couple of related novellas. Then … a few years ago I wrote three contemporary dramas based on historical events. For instance, Kings and Queens is the modern-day version of the story of the six wives of Henry VIII. I want to write one based on Henry II and his four sons. I’d love to write proper historical fiction but am scared that I won’t be able to do it well enough. One day, perhaps!
What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to write and publish a book?
I am not qualified to give advice about submitting books for publication, or marketing because I don’t do a great deal of the latter (I just rely on Twitter, book blogs and existing readers), and I self-publish by choice (i.e., I don’t submit to publishers). Okay, three pieces… hmm! Here goes:
- Write only because you want to write, not because you like the idea of being a writer (there’s a difference), or think you’re going to make lots of money and be wary of spending out hundreds on marketing courses. Seek out the opinions of those who have already paid up; don’t assume website blurb gives the full, true picture.
- Do your research before signing a publishing contract. There are thousands of independent publishers about, and many of the smaller ones do not have the expertise or funds to produce your book professionally. Do not be fooled by flashy websites; take a look at other books published by them. If they’re sloppily edited or proofread, run a mile. Don’t let your longing to ‘be a published author’ blind you to a bad deal. I wrote a full article about this on Rosie Amber’s book blog. Click here to read it.
- See bad reviews as something you can learn from. If several contain similar criticisms, it could be that you’re being shown a weak area in your writing. ALL writers get a few one or two-star reviews; he who doesn’t have any is probably only read by his friends and family.
It’s been an honour and a pleasure to appear on your blog, Hugh, and I do hope your readers have enjoyed this feature.
Thank you for joining us today, Terry. Knowing just how busy your writing schedule is, it was lovely talking to you.
If you have any questions or comments for Terry, please leave them in the comments, and she will come back to you.
Connect with Terry
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