As an added feature to my blog, I am going to invite authors and others in the literary field to answer five questions. I will post the results on the last Friday of each month.
I am very proud to be kicking off Literary Mary Chats with Terri Reid.
Terri Reid lives in the same area of the United States as her Mary O’Reilly character, Northwest Illinois. She lives on five acres of rolling land in a 100 year-old farmhouse, with her husband, children, dogs, cats and several dozen chickens (well, they live in the barn.) She has seven children and nineteen grandchildren, and LOVES her big family.
Her background is in marketing and public relations, but she has always enjoyed telling stories. For a while, she worked as a freelance journalist for the local paper and wrote the Halloween feature for many years, collecting as many local ghost stories as she could. She gave her collection of local ghost stories to the local historical society to use as a fundraiser, which are now in their third printing.
Literary Mary Chats
Terri, you are a prolific author! You have written quite the variety of publications including stand alone novels, novellas, short stories, and series, in such genres as Supernatural, Paranormal Mystery, Folklore, and YA Romance. The three biggest obstacles for writers are usually: Ideas, Time, and Fear. Your resume would state otherwise.
- What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to writing? First, thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions. They are great questions! I actually think my obstacles are a combination of the three you mentioned. Fear – I don’t know if all writers experience this same phenomenon, but I call it the “fifth-grade girl” that lives inside my head and tells me that I really can’t write and the only reason I’m getting good reviews is because people are being nice. I always have to push past the doubt and start writing. And several times, in the midst of writing, I hear her little voice chime in. (She’s really annoying!) Time – Not only are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my own website distractions; I also have seven children (who I adore) and nineteen grandchildren, a retired husband, several very demanding pets and I’m very active in my church. There are times when I have to hand my phone to my husband and restrict my online time, so I can get a book done. Ideas – it’s probably not what you think, I have too many ideas and not enough time to write all the stories. I think I’ve disciplined myself now to only think of one story-line at a time and not get distracted. But it’s really hard not to be led away by all those sparkling new storylines.
You first published ebooks only. Digital publishing is extremely cost effective with little investment and no overhead, but you don’t get to be a best-selling author for free.
- What was the best money you spent in support of your career? My first thought was my chair – I bought a really nice office chair and I’ve been sitting in it for about nine hours today. 😊 But then I realized that the best money I’ve spent is hiring my assistant, Sarah. She works full-time for me. She handles my Twitter account, she proofreads all my stories, she brainstorms with me, she yells at me when I’m getting distracted with Facebook and she makes me laugh when I really need to laugh. She calls me, her eyes brimming with tears, to tell me that the last chapter I wrote was brilliant. She is the person who can shut down the fifth-grade girl immediately. Everyone needs a Sarah.
Some authors commemorate their first publication by framing the check, putting the book on display, or getting a tattoo.
- How did you acknowledge the accomplishment and what’s been your biggest splurge since become a best-selling author? My biggest splurge was my Honda Pilot. I’d been driving my Camry for a long, long, long, long time – it had about 220,000 miles on it. And I knew I needed a newer car. So, I found a used Honda Pilot – but I splurged and got the Touring model. It had leather seats with (drum roll please) heaters in them. Oh, I will never have a car without heated seats ever again. I LOVE my Pilot, it handles so well in all kinds of weather and I feel safe when I drive it. So, that was my biggest splurge – heated, leather seats.
I am proud to be a part of your Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mysteries Kindle World. I’ve published two novellas to date, Kinder Garden and Baker’s Dozen, with a third in the works. Your fans have been very supportive and as a new author, I really appreciate that. I can’t imagine what went through your head when Kindle Worlds approached you.
- Was it hard to consider allowing other authors into the very established and successful world of your creation, Mary O’Reilly? My first thought, always, when the folks at Amazon contact me is – “Really? You’re contacting me? Are you sure you’ve reached the right email?” Then I thought about my readers (I totally love my readers, LM note: we are called Reiders!) and about how much they love the Mary characters. And I was thinking at the time that I was going to end Mary at 20. (But now I don’t think they are going to let me. 😊 ) So, I thought that Kindle Worlds would give them another outlet to read about their favorite characters. And, I also felt that I was really blessed when I started as an indie author. I published my first book at the right time and things have just fallen into place for me. I KNOW that newer authors are having a harder time getting established, and I know that my readers are generous and loyal people. So, if I could open the door a little to another author, give them an opportunity to highlight their talents, I would love to do that too. Kindle Worlds gave me an opportunity to do that – not that I have anything to do with an author’s success, they are going to be judged by their writing skills. But I can offer them a platform, so their skills are noticed.
- What’s up next for you? Well, from the feedback I’ve been getting from my readers the “for now” isn’t going to last as long as I thought. So, I still have to figure out how I want Mary’s series to evolve and I’m still working that one out. Currently, I’m writing the second book in the Eochaidh series – which is a fantasy book and I’m falling in love with it all over again. After that, I’ll be writing a short story in the Mary series – I’m not quite sure what it’s going to be about yet. Then, I have a whole list of things I want to accomplish, and I’ll just have to see how far I get this year. I have book three of the Blackwood Files and book three of The Order of Brigid’s Cross to complete. I also want to do a follow up to Death’s Refrain and feature Sally with her own adventure. And, through Auld Lang Syne, I just introduced Clarissa and Maggie as college students with an adventure of their own. Finally, if that wasn’t enough – I have an idea for a new series that I’ve been researching based in Wisconsin. But, I’m not ready to share too many details yet. So, I think this will keep me busy and off the streets in 2018, and probably 2019.
THANK YOU, Terri, for participating in the very first Literary Mary Chats.
Readers, I encourage you to click on any of the live links included in the article above for more information on Terri or her work.
I hope you enjoyed this interview.