Welcome Teri Lyn. Your story After Everything is in VILLAINOUS VACATIONS, A Collection of Crime stories.
I know you are a very busy single mom of two boys and work full time in local
government when you are not writing. Is there anything else you do when you
The boys keep me busy from school and baseball to swimming and biking; and
everything else 5 and 10 year old boys get into – frogs, rocks and lots of dirt. We are
always doing things outdoors. We love spending time at the lake and going on fun day
trips to explore places we haven’t been to before. In my own quiet time, if I get some, I
love to listen to music, read and play around with my camera.
Do you remember the first story you ever read and what was it?
I remember my parents reading the Golden Book called Good Night Sleep Tight by
Mircea Vasiliu . It sits on my bookshelf still today, and I have read it to both my boys
numerous times. First book I remember reading myself is Charolette’s Web.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author of all time is Jeffrey Archer. I admire his character and plot
development. I would love to talk with him and just listen to what he has to say. He is
such a great story teller and that’s what sticks out in my mind when I think of him. I
read my first Archer book, Kane and Abel, when I was in high school and almost 30
years later I still remember the book, the story and how much I loved it.
More recently I have discovered a new favorite author in Zoe York. Her stories are
real and relatable. She is from Ontario and writes about local places I know which
makes me smile when I read them. Plus she is just a great writer. I had the opportunity
to meet her at a reader writer conference in Ottawa and meeting her just solidified my
love for her and her books.
What type of books do you read?
I have always been a picky reader and have tended to stick to authors I know or have
read before. I started out reading horror and thrillers like the early Stephen King and
usually stuck with those kinds of books or the top sellers at the bookstore. Not much
more. I promised myself this spring that I would try reading different genres of books.
My ereader has helped me overcome my bad habit of judging a book by its cover. I
have read more genres in the last year than ever before.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Fashionably Dead by Robyn Peterman and am on to book two of that
series – Hot Damned. She is another very talented author. What a great read; perfect
for a summer reading list.
When it comes to writing and even reading, what’s more important –
characters or plot?
I am big on character development because that is what leads my plot. I need to know
the characteristics and traits of the people in my books. It is who they are that helps
lead and guide the plot of my story. When I envision and develop their personality then
I can decide how they will act in and handle certain situations.
Where do you get your ideas for characters?
I am sure every writer will tell you the same answer – everywhere. I am a people
watcher; always have been. I took a great writer’s workshop about character
development with Rob Burnet, author of Stinking Rich. He really taught me to take
advantage of my people watching, so now I have a new dimension to my nosiness. I
imagine what these people are like beyond the setting I am watching them in. I have
quite a few ideas for story characters based on some of my everyday encounters.
Another source I use and love is the website Humans of New York (HNY). To be able to
read these brief snippets of people’s lives and personalities opens the door to so many
ideas I can use in my writing. Reading the people’s stories gives me an image of a
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you
begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
Sometimes I know exactly who I want in a character because I am basing the person
on someone I may know or possibly someone who I have encountered in everyday life.
Other times my characters develop as I write depending where my story takes them. I
am a planner by nature, so it is a constant battle of the planner and the pantser for me
Let’s talk a little about your story in Villainous Vacations, After Everything. It’s
your first published piece…
Yes it is. It’s really exciting and scary all at the same time. I haven’t let anyone read my
writing before and to have it put out there to the public was nerve racking. I am
getting great feedback though so that has helped.
Ally, Conner, Simon … are any of these characters based on people in your life
or from your people watching?
There is a lot of me in Ally; mostly the stubborn independence more than anything. But
she is an explorer, loves to beachcomb, and enjoys that independence she has. That is
very much me. The other characters aren’t really based on anyone particular. The
Island police chief came from a person I read about on HNY. As for the setting, the
Union Islands are from my bucket list of places I want to visit, so I thought they would
make a great setting. After researching the Islands for the book, I want to go there
even more now.
Are we going to see Ally and Conner again?
I have had a few people ask me that or tell me that they can’t wait to read more about
Ally and Conner. I honestly hadn’t thought about it.
Finally can you tell me a bit about your current projects?
Is it bad to admit that I am not really writing much right now; it’s summer. I love
summer and spend a lot of time reading books in the summer. It has always been a big
part of growing up. We’d go to the cottage for 2 months where we spent days reading,
relaxing and enjoying our time away from our busy city life. I have continued that
tradition in my own life. I don’t want to be inside or even be staring at a computer
screen this time of year.
I do have a few works in progress… a couple of contemporary romances. And I guess
now maybe another Ally and Conner story.
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