Terry Tyler is the author of nineteen books available from Amazon in Kindle format only, the latest being ‘Hope’, a dystopian / psychological drama set in the UK, a decade into the future. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.
Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and sociological / cultural / anthropological stuff, generally. She loves South Park and all clever observational humour, Netflix binges, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.
GJ: Nineteen books! How do you find the time?
TT: They’ve been written over a period of nine years, so it’s not that amazing a feat! Aside from that, it’s just what I do. Writing takes precedence over most other aspects of my life (especially housework).
GJ: What fascinates you about the post-apocalyptic genre?
TT: I could go on about this for possibly longer than you want me to. In all post apocalyptic fiction, whether on the page or the screen, what I find so compelling is how the people react. Some flounder, and do not last long. Others discover strength they never knew they had, or qualities of leadership―and resourcefulness. Then there are those who take advantage of the breakdown of society, and whose darker sides emerge. Some feel invigorated by the new freedom, others are terrified by it, and wait to be ‘saved’, or directed. It’s not static, either; previously hidden character traits might develop and grow, as time goes on.
It’s about people becoming who they really are, unleashed from the confines of law and social convention.
Aside from the characters, how I feel about the rest of it was summed up by Jessie Anderson in Season 5 of The Walking Dead: ‘…and a lot of things disappeared. But a lot of bullshit went with it… we all lost things, but we got something back’.
GJ: What do you find the most rewarding part of being an independently published author?
TT: I wrote a fair few novels before Kindle, so I really appreciate being able to get what I do in front of readers, with relative ease.
GJ: What do you consider to be the most difficult aspect of being an indie?
TT: Getting my books discovered by all those readers. It’s a constant part of the ‘job’, though it’s become easier over the past two or three years. If it hadn’t, by now, I’d need to take a look at either my methods or the books themselves. But once they start selling, Amazon algorithms work their own magic to a certain extent, and put your work in front of more eyes.
GJ: Can you tell me about your journey to publishing your first novel?
TT: I had an idea, and wrote it over a period of about six months. After many redrafts, I started sending it in sections of a few chapters to about fifteen friends, to see what they thought. Around twelve liked it; roughly eight of those loved it and pressed me for more (and I hoped they weren’t just being nice!). When I felt happy with it, I sent a sample to an established UK literary agent. They liked what they’d read, and asked to read the whole thing. I was most excited by this, as you can imagine! When they came back to me, though, they said that they would need me to change it from three alternating POVs to just one POV, in order to sell it to a publisher. I didn’t want to do this, as I thought it would make it a different book, so I didn’t.
A few months later, my sister sent me an article about John Locke, who was one of the first Kindle bestsellers. We found out how to go about publishing via KDP, and You Wish arrived on Amazon on November 5th, 2011.
GJ: How much contact do you have with your readers and what’s the most surprising thing a reader has done for you?
TT: There are some readers who have become online friends, and who I chat to on a regular basis, mostly via Twitter. If I see a particularly pleasing review on Amazon, Goodreads or BookBub I will say thank you. I know everyone says you shouldn’t comment on reviews, but now and again one will put such a smile on my face that I want to show my appreciation; years ago, I was sent a nice message on Facebook by Emily Barr, thanking me for my review of one of her books, and I thought it was really nice of her to take the trouble, so I vowed to do the same. Obviously I always thank book bloggers, who are writers’ good fairies!
I can’t think of anything surprising that a reader has done, but it’s lovely to get photos of my books on their Kindles, or be asked to appear on their blogs, or when I discover that they’ve recommended one of my books to a friend. This means everything – that someone liked your book enough to do this.
GJ: If you weren’t an author what would you be doing with all that spare time?
TT: I think I’d probably be a book blogger, or just a more prolific blogger, generally; I can’t imagine not writing in some way. I guess the house might look a bit tidier and cleaner, too. It’s hard to say; I don’t know what ideas might have popped into my head if it wasn’t filled with plots for novels.
GJ: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
TT: I don’t really have a typical one, because there are always other commitments, but if the whole day is free for writing, I sit down first thing and ‘do’ Twitter, blog stuff and emails, then open the document, crack on, and stop when I am too tired to work on it as well as I need to. I sometimes have a short nap in the early afternoon, then carry on.
GJ: What do you find is the most successfully method of getting new readers?
TT: BookBub, definitely. It’s marvellous; the site boasts something like ten million subscribers. I’ve had two books accepted for their Featured Deals (ie, a limited time free promotion; you can also submit a discounted price). Each time, I’ve had an insane amount of downloads; the one that has just finished, for The Devil You Know, got me around 43K. This gives massive visibility across Amazon, so thousands of people then see your books, who hadn’t before. This means great after-sales, too, and sales for other books. BookBub is expensive, and they only accept about 10% of submissions, but it is so worth it. Even if they reject your book, though, you can submit it again the next month, or try another one.
The other ‘methods’ (though I don’t only think of them as a way to sell books) are Twitter, used properly and not just as free advertising, and building relationships with book bloggers.
GJ: What can we expect from you in 2019 & 2020?
TT: I’ve just published Hope, mentioned in my bio! I’m also 40K words into the first draft of my next book, Blackthorn, a post apocalyptic novel set in my fictional city of the same name, which featured in the last book of the Project Renova series. It is not part of the series, though, and is a stand-alone. I have some ideas for a sequel to Hope, and another contemporary, more ‘real life’ type thriller, but I am never sure which book I am going to write next until I get near the end of the current one.
Many thanks, Gareth, for inviting me to your blog, and I hope this has been of interest to your readers 🙂
GJ: Thank you Terry for taking the time to answer my questions so we can get a glimpse into your writer’s life! You can keep in touch with Terry via the links below and check out her work via her Amazon Author Page.
If you like nightmarish settings, reluctant heroes, and action-packed adventures, then you’ll love my spine-chilling novel. Tap the link to read the book today!