Sunday, June 14, 2015

H. Schussman interviews Teryl Cartwright


Heidi:
First, Teryl, tell us a little about yourself?

Teryl:
I am that writer who loves to sneak humor and jokes inside some fun, yet serious stories. I live in PA (Pennsylvania to the rest of the country) and have two kids, three pets, and a serious need for many, many, many more bookshelves.

Heidi:
What genre do you write?

Teryl:
I write inspirational romance, drama, westerns, fantasy, and mysteries. I usually start with a question or concept to base a book upon and then think of the ending before starting to write the beginning of the book. That way I know where I am going and why as I explore the story that unfolds. For instance, in my first inspirational romance I wondered if you could "make yourself love someone" and in the next one I wrote to discover whether you could "make" someone love you.

Heidi:
When did you start writing?

Teryl:
I started in third grade when I wrote about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I stated, "I want to be a writer, farmer, fireman, banker, and circus girl. I know it is a lot, but I can do it." I'm still working on the other jobs!

Heidi:
What are you working on now?

Teryl:
Right now I just finished work on a screenplay and today I started some freelance copywriting for an educational publisher. The screenplay was for a contest sponsored by Meryl Streep for women over forty (which shares another fact about me). In a few weeks, I hope to start writing humor after I finish an online course that I wrote and currently facilitate.

Heidi:
Who is your favorite character in your stories?

Teryl:
My favorite character right now is Constance, the heroine in my second Regency romance. She didn't give up on love despite her mishaps and the many misunderstandings of her reluctant suitor--I enjoy her optimism and spunk.

Another favorite character is actually real. One of the sneaky additions to my first novel, A Sensible Match, was the bay mare that Abby rode and which just happened to be based on my own horse Esprit. (The other characters, I promise, are fictional, including the "church ladies" who get a bit nosy at times.)

Heidi:
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?

Teryl:
I see myself "reading too much into things" that Abby (the heroine in A Sensible Match) did. Yet I hope that sometimes people can see the wise, calm personality that I wrote into sidekicks like Robert (in Courting Constance) and Roundy (a character in my western, Prodigal).

Heidi:
Where do you write? Describe your work-space?

Teryl:
My work space consists of the laptop I use while sitting on the living room couch. I have a huge window that lets in a lot of light with a view of a wide street and a tree with a nesting robin nearby.

Heidi:
Who are your all-time favorite authors?

Teryl:
Georgette Heyer and Louis Lamour are my favorite storytellers because you can re-read their books and get something new each time.

Heidi:
What advice do you have for a writer aspiring to be published?

Teryl:
Write in many genres, you don't have to specialize unless you want to do so. Build readers in more than one place and see if they will crossover. I have learned to be flexible and to have different avenues to create a "name" and income. When you learn the multiple formats and mindsets of writing styles, you can bring that into your storytelling. For example, in writing books you share many details about the setting and delve into the thoughts of your characters. In plays, you share much less and in screenwriting you rely on subtext, letting the director and actors read into what your characters feel and why without telling or showing too much. Going back to fiction where you can share so much makes my writing deeper because I'm more aware of how much unimportant text can be cut. I want every word to work and count for me.

Heidi:
Would you like to acknowledge someone for their help/assistance/faith in you/etc?

Teryl:
I'd like to thank God for giving me unexpected opportunities--after all, my first magazine clip came from a rejected article by that same magazine and A Sensible Match was initially going to be rejected as well. It needed to be completely rewritten to include the male viewpoint (Edwin) and yet Dawn Carrington gave me that chance to resubmit my first book to Vinspire--and it was accepted. I'd like to thank you, Heidi, as well. Not too many "coming soon" authors would invite so many of her fellow authors to share space on her blog, most wait until after their books are released. Your effort to reach out to help us was very generous and kind of you. I'm looking forward to learning more about your new book, El Tiburon, too!

Heidi:
Thank you Teryl. I do the interviews for selfish reasons though. I wanted to learn more about other authors and what makes them tick, and I wanted to get my Blog up and running. So for me it is a win-win! El Tiburon will be released on December 30, 2015. My wild-and-crazy book release party will be January 16, 2016.

Heidi:
How can your fans learn more about you and connect with you?
Teryl:
Here's a few ways;






4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading. Heidi does a great job!

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  2. Teryl, I was intrigued by your advice to write in many genres. Also enjoyed your story about how rejection turned into acceptance. God IS good! Thanks for an interesting interview, Teryl and Heidi.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Judith. I think the connection between writing in many genres and rejections that become approvals is that we can't limit ourselves or God to possibilities or the outcomes.

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