Author Interview: Teresa Fowler
1. What inspired you to become a writer?
I've been writing since I was a teen... I just didn't know it. I've always had trouble sleeping and used to make up Dynasty style stories in my head while I stared up at the ceiling. They usually featured a heartthrob I was into at the time and were pretty chaste. When I joined the fan-club of one celeb, I discovered fan fiction was a thing and had a huge following. I tried writing a couple myself and got great feedback. The next step after that was submitting a story for a book of erotic fiction short stories. The first work I ever submitted made it into a print anthology. I am quite proud of that.
2. What's your favourite book of all time?
Hard to say just one book I love but I guess one I could mention is Cider With Rosie. The reason I remember it fondly is that I was laughing out loud at the amusing bits while my Lit teacher was reading it out in class.
3. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would say just do it. Don't prepare to do it...or think about doing it. Just do it. Get something down on paper or computer. The sense of achievement keeps you motivated. Don't be tempted to edit as you go because you will always think it needs to be tweaked or fine tuned. And once you submit something, just let it go emotionally. If you fret over a submission and begin to think you could have done a better job, take what you have learned and put it into something new.
I would warn against using what is known as Vanity Publishers. They will tell you that your book is awesome, and then charge you a fortune to publish it. They exploit people who are just desperate to see their words in print. If it matters that much to you, you can always self-publish. Don't fall for the hype.
4. What is the most frustrating thing about being an author?
The lack of feedback. People don't leave reviews very often and any feedback you get from publishers usually relates to whether your work is a good fit for them. You cannot trust the opinions of friends and family. They are generally trying to be supportive...and often just hugely impressed by the fact you can write.
5. What's your favourite movie?
Again, hard to pick just one. Barefoot in the Park, Constantine, Calamity Jane, Speed, Little Shop of Horrors are among my faves.
6. What's better, dogs or cats?
7. If money was no object, how would you spend your life?
I would buy a large mansion style house with lots of land, and adopt every animal that the welfare charities are struggling to find homes for. I would pay staff to take care of their specialised needs and give them a good quality of life for the rest of their lives if we could not find them homes. Hopefully this would include animals like dogs and cats, but also donkeys, goats, and a Shetland pony or two.
8. Do you draw from personal experiences when you write?
My book Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes is based totally on my personal experiences. Usually though, a story I've read or a film I've seen that left me wanting more has motivated me to write my own version.
9. What is more important? Strong characters or a strong storyline?
I guess I would say strong characters are more important. It's quite hard to remember a detailed story line but interesting or complex characters stay with us.
10. What advice would you give to first time writers when submitting their work to publishers or literary agents?
I would advise them to read the submission guidelines and FOLLOW them! Most agents and publishers are deluged by submissions and they are looking for a reason to sift some out. Don't give them a reason to do that to you.If you are rejected, don't take it personally.
Find out more about 'Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes' by clicking here.