Terry Tyler-The House of York – Interview


How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

I wanted to write a contemporary drama using the story of the Wars of the Roses; the characters fascinate me.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

At the moment I just write contemporary fiction, but am going to write a post-apocalyptic book soon, then a historical drama, both of which have been on my ‘to-be-written’ list for a while.  I think I started off with contemporary drama because I find it easiest to write what I know.  It’s also a lack of confidence.  I find the idea of writing out of my ‘comfort zone’ to be quite daunting.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My mother.

How long have you been writing?

Since childhood, but I first wrote a novel 22 years ago.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Mostly novels, but I do a lot of blogging, too.  Just articles about anything that comes into my head.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

So much.  It keeps the language and the imagination alive.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

I don’t have any spiritual practice or other path, aside from a general awareness of the potential for good and evil in all human beings.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

To write something that people would enjoy reading.  If someone finishes one of my books and thinks, ‘I really enjoyed that’, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

My research is mostly a solitary practice.  Aside from the odd fact, the only person who assisted me with The House of York was a delightful lady called Jane Thatcher who is one of my readers; I met her on Twitter. She used to be a policewoman and very kindly read through the passages within the novel that concern police procedures, and advised me which bits I’d got wrong, and why!

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

A few books about the Wars of the Roses, I can’t remember which ones now.  Various sites with information about legal procedures.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

The realistic characters and conversational tone, I think – according to what readers say in reviews.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Publishing it and being nervous about whether or not people would like it!  Aside from that, writing the bits that involve crime, as I have not written anything like that before.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I always love the second and third draft the most, when I’ve got the basic thing written and I can play about with it to make it flow better.

Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers?  Define some of those.

One of my male characters has some rather unusual sexual preferences, but it’s not explicit!  I’ve also written about a compulsive gambler; that’s not a world that many people know that much about, unless they are in it.  I do, because I used to live with a man with this affliction.

Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?  If so, discuss them.

Mentally abused wives, I suppose.  Though maybe they’re not underrepresented, these days.

Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?  If so, explain.

I can’t say, because it’s only been out for a few weeks, and the feedback has been very good so far.  A couple of people have liked it less than my last two (I was a bit braver about subject matter this time), but that’s preference rather than misconception.

What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?

Some people (men, mostly) think that I write romance.  I don’t; I write about all sorts of tangled relationships.  Romance itself is only a small part of any of my books.

What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?

Maybe that they’ll be able to identify with at least one character in every novel 🙂

What inspires you?

I don’t know, to be honest.  So many things.  I don’t know where my ideas come from, they just happen.

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?

Via many a twisted and accidental path!  And the internet.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Susan Howatch gave me the idea of re-writing history in the modern day, and of writing books from multiple first person points of view.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I didn’t ‘learn to write’, as such.  Writing a novel was just a natural progression from the stories I used to write when I was younger.  I’ve never been on a writing course of any sort.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I write when I can, and choose it over other activities whenever other responsibilities allow me the time.  If you mean do I go out to work, no, I don’t have a day job.

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

I’ve used experience from some of my previous jobs in my books: secretarial and admin work, psychiatric nursing assistant, bar and kitchen work, civil servant, shop owner, delicatessen manager.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

I don’t think it’s necessary to do so to read the books, they’re just contemporary fiction.  If people are interested in the historical background that inspired the last three, they can read about the Tudors and the Plantagenets, in particular the Wars of the Roses, Henry VIII, and the early life of Elizabeth I.

How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?

I prefer to read ebooks as they are easier to hold, cheaper and more convenient.  Some ‘indie’ books are streets ahead of the conventionally published in quality, but traditionally publishers go for what sells, which isn’t necessarily the work of the greatest literary merit; these days, entertainment is ‘dumbing down’ across the board.  On the other hand, one hell of a lot of seriously bad stuff gets self-published on Amazon.  Alas, the desire to ‘be a writer’ does not always bring along with it the ability.

What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

To answer this would be to assume knowledge and foresight I don’t have, I’m afraid.

What process did you go through to get your book published?

My books are self-published.  I have a proofreader, test readers and a cover artist, and someone formats them for me.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

Very hard question to answer about yourself.  I got a review for The House of York yesterday, that I suppose might answer your question; it said this: “Very few authors could carry off multiple first person viewpoints, but Terry Tyler not only carries it off, she makes it into an art form”

How do you find or make time to write?

By making it a priority over most other activities.

Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.

A combination.  When a basic story arrives in my head (occasionally via a dream!), I will mull it around in my head for a while, to see if it will make a novel.  They don’t all make the grade!  Working out the intricacies of the plot always takes some thinking about; I am very keen on feasibility, so logic plays a big part here.

What are some ways in which you promote your work?  Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?

Mostly Twitter and blogs.  They take a huge amount of hours out of any writing time.

What is your role in the writing community?

I don’t have a writing community as such, apart from the online writers I know.  I don’t belong to any writing groups because I am not a group sort of person.  I’d like to think I give as much as I receive within the online writing community.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Historical, edgy contemporary fiction, post apocalyptic thrillers/dramas.

What projects are you working on at the present?

A novella, for publication in February if it goes well.

What do your plans for future projects include?

The sequel to The House of York, which is already started.  Please see the answer to question two!

the house of york

If you want to find out more about Terry follow her:




Many thanks, Madi, for inviting me onto your blog, and I do hope my answers have been on interest to your readers.



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