What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Terri-Louise Spencer. I was 7 August 1992 in the lovely seaside town of Cleethorpes and though I’ve moved around quite a bit since then, that is where I live.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I always wanted to be writer but common sense told me that it was unlikely to ever happen. So when I was younger I decided to focus on a more realistic career and worked hard, thinking I’d turn into a doctor.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
When I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of eleven, writing became a way to cope. It was a form of therapy. However, the first time I considered myself a writer was when I started writing my novel.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Though it feels like forever, it took about two years – mostly due to the fact that it took me that long to finish the novel.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Unfortunately no; believe me, I would live to, but I can’t. With my epilepsy, I am unable to work and attend university and write.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My book is called Blood Prophecy: The Fated Three http://apostrophebooks.com/books/blood-prophecy. In twenty words or less it would be: A story of magic, love, vampires and betrayal about three powerful women who will fulfil an ancient prophecy.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
In October, I entered and won the Fiction Fast-Track competition with Apostrophe Books. My e-book is published with them.
Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
I have a ‘Tiger’s eye’ crystal. I love crystals; there are hundreds of them in my house. They always bring me luck. Crystals and chocolate – though chocolate tastes better.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Blood Prophecy: The Fated , due to my illness, took nearly two years. However, on average, it usually only takes me a few months. Once I get the idea, I plan, map and then write away.
Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Blood Prophecy: The Fated Three is actually three books in one. While Blood Angel (book one) was enjoyable, Blood Past (book two) was the easiest. The characters were already established and by that time my illness was getting better. Book three (Blood Sight) was the hardest, mostly because the protagonist was too human. It was quite difficult to write; but I love a challenge.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I love the fantasy romance genre but you never know. Teen comedy is extremely popular at the moment and it is just so much fun to write.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have so many ideas; most of them are completely insane. There are plans for a new book, several plans, but Blood Prophecy is not currently part of any series.
What genre would you place your books into?
Genre is such a horrible word; it can mean different things to different people. However, in general, I would say that my novel is a paranormal romance.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I am a huge fan of the paranormal. Ghosts, witches, vampires, werewolves, fairies; you name it, I love it. It’s such a varied genre.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Though it was the most difficult to write, Blood Sight (book three) is my favourite. It is the big finale and all the characters learn something from their experiences.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Lalinn, the protagonist from book three is my favourite character because she is the most realistic, the most human. In general, people don’t really change; we like to think that they do, but they don’t. Lalinn is the epitome of this. Though she learns from her mistakes, her fundamental character doesn’t change.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Purely for the power that I gave her, I would be Kayla. She has the power of geokinesis – the ability to control the element of earth. How cool is that?
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I have been writing for a very long time. Even in primary school, I have memories of doodling little stories and poems after finishing my schoolwork. My epilepsy is what inspired me write; I wanted to turn a bad thing into a good opportunity.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, from random words said in conversation to lyrics in songs. Past experiences also; the phrase ‘write what you know’ provides a lot of material. People, especially relatives can sometimes be good inspiration too.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Before I start writing, I go through my songs on the computer, selecting tracks which help create the right mood. For example, if I’m writing a particularly romantic sequence, I’ll pick slow and mushy music. Then, I’ll pick up my laptop and ipod, travel downstairs grab a bunch of sweets, plenty of fluids, perch myself in the front room by a nice cosy fire and type until my fingers seize up.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I let my toughest critic read the: my mother. Then, if it passes the ‘mummy’ test, I may even brave the big outdoors and pass on an extract to my tutors at the University Centre.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Review copies are sent to reviewers that request them from Apostrophe Books.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes. I like to know what people think.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I haven’t had a really bad one yet; fingers crossed that I won’t get one. The best one I’ve seen gave my book a 5 star rating and made my book sound like a classic! It really made me smile.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
As long as their view was justified, I would never ask them to change it.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
After I knew I would be writing about magic and vampires, the title simply fell into place. The awesome cover was created by the genius designers at Apostrophe Books.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I chose the titles of the three books (Angel, Past and Sight) and then chose the overall title after that.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
For Blood Prophecy: The Fated Three, the three female protagonists were based on goddesses/spirits from around the world. Several of the male protagonists were named after their abilities and one or two of them were just given names that I really, really liked. Place names were picked/inspired from street signs and random stuff like that.
Are character names and place names decided after there creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
For paranormal stories, I believe that names are extremely important. They should be a symbol of who you are. Even in every day society, people are ruled by what their names are; why should a fictional world be any different? A character’s name will always be part of the creation process.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Planning is the most important aspect when writing a novel (aside from actually writing it). Imagine getting half way through writing your book and realising that this shy woman has just yelled at five different people? It wouldn’t make sense and it would ruin the story.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
Characters, places, plots; everything is carefully planned before the process is started. Though I have a detailed plan before writing, if the story gets to a certain pint and there is a spark within the story begging to be told, if it fits within the time frame, I will tell it.
How do you market/promote your books?
Goodreads, Twitter, blogs, Facebook and interviews. Most of the marketing is done online.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
A book which intrigues, enthralls, entertains; basically a novel that can provide escapism.
Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
One of my tutors called it the ‘writer’s tool of procrastination’, but yes, I have had writer’s block before and it is awful. There is only one way to get rid of it to be honest and that is to write something.
What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
To relax, I read Harry Potter books while listening to classical music. When the weather’s warm enough, I like taking nice long walks along the beach.
Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
There are always elements of my characters that are based on people I know. Whether it be personality trait or dress sense, there will be something somewhere that is inspired by someone I have met or known for a long time.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I would like to think that people would read my book and realise the importance of trust and family.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
There are plenty of authors whose books I love to read: J.R Ward, Kerrelyn Sparks, Louise Allen… I suppose they influenced me in some ways.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Ebooks are brilliant; I have a kindle so having hundreds of books at my fingertips is fabulous. However, there is a certain feeling to a hardback/paperback book; I think it’s the texture. Being able to feel the pages as you turn them, take in the smell of dusty pages… It’s a shame they’re a bit bulky to carry round all the time.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I have two. The first one has to be Jane Austen – her quintessential romances are adorable and I have always enjoyed her writing. The second is J.K Rowling. My generation has been raised with the Harry Potter series and I am an ardent fan. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I spent a lot of time in hospital; it was there I devoured the books. In fact, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the first book I read that was over 400 pages.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think certain books transfer well to films; it’s all in the script and directing. My favourites by far are the Harry Potter films and Breaking Dawn Part 2. The worst transfer to film, in my opinion, has to be the first in the Twilight Saga: Twilight. The vampires looked like overgrown frozen smurf’s. It made me cringe!
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am reading several books at the moment: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (hardback), The Hobbit (ebook) and Emma (ebook). They all very enjoyable, though The Hobbit is taking a long time!
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I think there will always be a place for printed books; despite what some people think of them, they are quite useful.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
Young children are encouraged to grow up too quickly; they haven’t had the opportunity to learn the necessary skills and reading is certainly one of them; creative writing is yet another aspect of this.
Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I was always writing and I never stopped reading; I loved books when I was younger. My dad used to read to me when I was a toddler. In fact he used to get told off for reading me murder mysteries.
Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I loved the Far Away Tree storied by Enid Blyton.
Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Yes, I have the Beatrix Potter series and Winnie the Pooh books. They are my treasured books.
Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I am a romantic at heart. Any kind of romance, be it historical, paranormal, fantasy will put a smile on my face. The mushier the better.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I challenge anyone to get me to read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Laura Spinella, author of Beautiful Disaster. Fabulous; her prose is so fluent, the characters amazing! She is one to watch.
Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
No. If I thought about changing anything, it wouldn’t be the same story.
What do you think about book trailers?
They can be incredibly useful; the ones I have seen are fantastic.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write, write and then write some more. Never give up and always have fun. There is no point in writing something that you hate.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I abbreviate my name to TL Spencer. I would never use a pen name; it would just confuse people.
If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
J.K Rowling, Nicholas Sparks and Louise Allen.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details?
Your Twitter details?
Follow me @terrilspencer and @apostrophebooks
And any other information you wish to supply?
Goodreads Author page (TL Spencer) should soon be available and www.goodreads.com/apostrophebooks