Huge congratulations on winning your Chill Award! You must be so happy that your work has been recognised in this way. Now, before we carry on, would you please introduce yourself to my readers, just in case they don’t know you already …
Thank you so much! I’m absolutely thrilled to bits to be part of this celebration, and very honoured. Well, I’m a hybrid author, and I write both Historical Sagas and Mythic Fiction under my real name. The Historicals are published by Little, Brown and HarperCollins, and the Mythic Fiction (The Lynher Mill Chronicles) is self-published.
So, your book has been awarded with a Chill with a Book Readers’ Award, what inspired you to write this story?
I grew up on the very edge of Bodmin Moor in the 1970s and 80s, and spent most of my free time out with friends, on the moor, by the river, in the woods… the reason I mention the era, is so your readers will understand that there was no electronic distraction at that time, and no mobile phones to summon us home. So when we were out there playing, or walking, we were really aware of our surroundings and stayed out until dark most nights. I had the luxury of total immersion in the landscape, and when I was alone I would spend hours wondering about the folklore, and old stories – and the endless possibilities for adventure. I wanted to twist it all together with a contemporary theme, to make it more accessible to readers outside the fantasy/folklore genre. I’ve lately realised that this mixture is a similar flavour to Enid Blyton’s much-loved Faraway Tree series – different characters and story, but that meshing of the mundane with the fantastical that lies at the heart of it.
What does the award mean to you?
Any award is absolutely magical, but because it’s for indie-published work, this one has a very special edge. Much as I love my historical books, this series has been the labour of my heart from the outset; I have poured everything into it, and to see it recognised as something people want to read has been the biggest joy. So, winning this award means a ridiculous level of happiness!
What other titles have you published? Tell us a little about them …
I have one complete series: The Oaklands Manor trilogy, which follows the stories of three girls, whose lives are intertwined in varying ways, but who each have a starkly unique story to tell. One, a scullery maid who meets and becomes entangled with a very dangerous man; the second, the aristocratic daughter of the house who sets up an independent ambulance station at the Western Front; and the third, a young novice of hers, who has an terrible experience in Flanders, and re-locates to Dartmoor to try and pull her life back together.
I have also recently released the first in a new series, set in the early 1900s on the west coast of Cornwall, in a fictitious mining and fishing community. The second and third books are also under contract to Little, Brown, with book 2 releasing on December 7th this year.
Are you working on a new book? Tell me about that …
My current project is actually a prequel to the one that has won this amazing Chill With a Book award. I have taken a thread from the story that had its roots in the English Civil War, and am expanding it to give it its own story, exploring some of the same characters much earlier on in their existence. It’s been wonderful to immerse myself in this world again!
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
Sleeping! Well, no, actually I do have a full-time job, and they frown on me sleeping there… When they catch me! I work in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, on the student reception. I love the job, I just get twitchy when I don’t have the time I need to write – particularly when I have a deadline approaching.
Which three authors have most influenced your journey to becoming an author?
This is a hard one – I have several favourites I’ve returned to over the years, but as for actually influencing me… I’d say probably Stephen King, Enid Blyton (very early Mythic Fiction, as I mentioned before) and Terry Pratchett.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
The genre of the award-winning book was something I didn’t actually plan, but once I let my imagination run riot on the moors it sort of took over! I didn’t even know it had a ‘label’ until long after I’d written the first book.
Which other genre would you choose if you had to change?
I do have a trunk novel, which is an action thriller set in Scotland – contemporary – so I’d quite like to re-visit that someday; I think it has potential. Maybe under another name, though.
Quick fire questions …
Twitter or Facebook? Both, but mostly Facebook.
Tea or coffee? Coffee.
Marmite – yes or no? YES!
Marvel or DC? Pass on both.
Early riser or sleep in? Early riser.
Pj’s or ‘normal’ clothes when writing? ‘Normal,’ but baggy.
Planner or pantster? Planner of big picture, but pantser within that.
Book or kindle? Both.
Pineapple on pizza – yes or no? Bleugh!
And finally, … What is your favourite book of all time?
The Stand, by Stephen King. A once-a-year re-read!
Thank you for joining me today and many congratulations again on your Chill with A Book Award!
You can find out more about Terri and her upcoming titles here:
Here’s the blurb …
Lynher Mill Publishing (16 Jan. 2014)
A curse uttered in the extremity of terror and death can reverberate for centuries. When the means to bring that curse to fruition are suddenly within reach, the innocents must look to their past to protect their future … and their past wants no part of it.
Richard Lucas has been plagued by vivid and disturbing dreams since the death of his wife eleven years ago, and, desperate to get his life back on track, he is persuaded by his best friend Dean to take a sabbatical. But when he arrives in Dean’s home village of Lynher Mill he discovers that, not only is Dean not who he seems, but that he himself is bound more tightly to the Cornish moorlands than he could have imagined. And far more deeply than he would ever want to be.
As the events that began to shape his life over three thousand years ago continue their steady, unstoppable march towards a terrifying conclusion, Richard discovers the truth about his connection to the moor, and eventually has to do battle with his own history just to survive. Those who love him struggle with conflicting loyalties and come to realise that, if the land itself is to endure, they must make some devastating decisions.
About the author …
Terri was born in the historic maritime city of Plymouth, England in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those. Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press with her short story The Truth Inside the Lie. Her first novel, Maid of Oaklands Manor, was published by Piatkus Entice (little, brown Book Group) in July 2013. Terri now lives in Plymouth again with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.