About Teri Barnett:
I discovered romance novels when I was thirteen, while standing in line at the grocery store with my mom. I was an avid reader, so she didn’t question my latest acquisition, completely unaware this book would become my gateway drug to the ‘bodice rippers’ of the 70’s. I was obsessed and read everything from the likes of Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers I could get my hands on.
Fast forward to the 90’s when a dear writer friend encouraged me to write my own stories. I crafted that first traditional historical romance (which will stay hidden in the dark recesses of my hard drive because oh-so-bad) and discovered a new obsession. I wrote every chance I got and eventually, over time, crafted three more novels while raising two sons and working full time, all of which went on to be published. My historical time travel, Through the Mists of Time, even made it to the bestseller list on Amazon.
My work has spanned the genre of historical/paranormal romances and will take you from Victorian England to Pompeii, from Parallel Universes to the Old West, and onto pre-Arthurian Great Britain. Magic, time travel, and the long reach of gods and goddesses figure prominently in these novels.
Recently, though, I’ve shifted focus from historical to contemporary stories with a new cozy mystery series, Hart & Steele Mysteries. Romance is Murder, the first in this series, was just released in November. However, this doesn't mean I’m leaving the paranormal world behind. Watch for touches of psychics, ghosties, and other things that go bump in the night to make appearances in these new works.
What inspires you to write?
Other writers, artists, and creative types. Creative expression in general always inspires me. I've loved words and storytelling since I was young. The way an author can draw you into their world with just a few choice descriptions is similar to how a painter expresses their world on canvas. For me, they're interlinked and inspiring.
Tell us about your writing process.
I've always been that writer who does a one paragraph synopsis which basically states the beginning, middle, and end of a story. And that's it. Everything else would come together based on those touchstones. When writing historical fiction, I would often use real life events to move the story along and fill in the gaps.
I've discovered, however, that contemporary writing is a bit of a different beast so I find myself outlining more. I created a spreadsheet with the headings 'Chapter, Subplot1, Subplot2, Character/Emotion/Motivation (for each of the characters in the chapter).' This has worked pretty well. I've also just started using a new 'corkboard' app on my iPad to outline on the go.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
It's always been a writing truth for me that, at some point in a story, the characters take over. And, I have to tell you, that's really when the magic happens. I've gone down paths and storylines I never would have if a particular character hadn't demanded it. I believe stories are much richer when we let our 'imaginaries' run free.
What advice would you give other writers?
Everyone says it, but the truth is if you want to be a writer, you have to actually write. Write now, don't wait until the kids are grown or you've retired or whatever reason you're letting stand in the way. Go create your characters and craft your stories. Time doesn't wait and you shouldn't either.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I've gone both routes, actually, traditional and self-publishing. What I've discovered along the way is that while my self-help books did reasonably well under my own label, fiction didn't. I came to understand that the former was such a tight niche market, it was easier to garner an audience. The latter, being fiction, was a much broader market which actually made promoting the titles more difficult (I know, it seems counterintuitive, but this was my experience). So, I sought out traditional publishing for my novels and it's been a great partnership.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
With most of the larger houses being owned by only a few conglomerates, I think the smaller publishers will continue to prevail as standard bearers in an increasingly tight market. I don't see print ever going away, even though that's been the doom and gloom message for years. There's still nothing like holding an actual book in your hand. Beyond that? Maybe more interactive books.
What genres do you write?: Mystery, Historical Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.