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Interview with Tiffany Nicole Terry

She is a corporate communications manager by day, a novelist by night, and a mother to daughters and dogs every moment in between. A bit of a bohemian nomad, she has lived in every time zone in the continental United States but prefers to live where she can see mountains on the horizon. 

She is passionate about equality, diversity, and inclusion and believes the world can be a kinder and more sustainable place. Her books contain positive empowerment messaging for girls, especially those raised through trauma, neglect, and abuse.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I am an extroverted introvert, meaning I can turn it on if I have to, but I absolutely hate it. I surround myself with people like my new husband, who talks more than I do so that I don’t have to. I do love people, but I can’t do small talk well and end up getting into deep conversations.

Q.2 When should we expect your next book? What will it be about?
I am working on an urban fantasy book right now (out next year) about a young woman who loses her best friend to a mysterious, magical cause, and then she vows to find the killer. 

While she is unraveling this mystery, she begins to uncover magic she didn’t know that she had, along with a dark subculture, a battle between witches, and puts her own magic to use in morally gray ways.

Q.3 What made you write the Sister Worlds series?
I fell in love with a toxic person and obsessively started writing our love story in a fantasy book. Then I realized that I hated him and killed him off in my first draft. After I married him and then divorced him in real life, I realized that my story was never about him at all. 

It’s about girls finding their place in a world ruled by men, machines, and monsters. I needed the Sister Worlds series to help me heal from this relationship and generational patterns of abuse. Then I realized there may be others who need characters and a story like this.

Q.4 What actually goes on when the author and illustrator meet?
I wrote three children’s books years ago, but I’m not marketing those yet. I’m trying to focus on marketing my YA fantasy trilogy. I found my illustrator for my books on Fivver, and it was a great relationship. She clearly understood my vision and executed a perfect copy.

Q.5 What do you love most about writing stories for young adults?
My current focus is writing books for young women and pre-teen girls. I have also had good feedback from women in their 20s, and 30’s who connected deeply to being raised by an emotionally unavailable father figure. I think we take a lot of responsibility for the toxic families we live in, and I hope my writing helps girls/women grow beyond those feelings.

Q.6 Why do you think it is essential for children to develop a love for reading?
I think reading focuses kids’ minds, taking them into new worlds like gaming, but puts them into the emotions of characters, unlike gaming. They don’t control the outcome and learn to empathize. Emotional intelligence and empathy are really important skills; if you can call them that, I think generations of children are losing by gaming instead of reading.

Q.7 What’s your writing schedule while you’re working?
I work a full day, starting before my kids wake up. I might try to get in a few things on my lunch break, but I get my first chance to write when I get off work. Kids and family take over the evenings, and then if I’m not too exhausted, I may work a bit more before bed. It’s a hectic schedule, for sure.

Q.8 Many writers describe themselves as “character” or “plot” writers. Which are you? What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing?
I try to be both. I’m thinking about how my character is growing while I’m thinking about plots to throw at her. For me, finding time to focus and write is the most challenging part.

Q.9 Which children’s book most inspired you as a child?
This is tough to answer. I enjoyed reading; just not sure there are any that inspired me.

Q.10 How do you select the name of your characters?
Sometimes they just come to me. Sometimes I combine names, or I’ll pick up and ‘steal’ people’s names that I meet in the real world. I’ve used a tactic a professor gave me, where I’ll take an actual name like Philip and then remove or replace a letter, making this one Hilip.

Q.11 Do you have any advice for aspiring children’s and YA book authors?
I feel like I still need advice more than I can give it. The advice I received years ago that sticks with me, even if I don’t always follow it, is to practice my craft daily.

Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
There are days when you are on; somedays it takes a glass of wine to unwind first, or maybe a power nap on the hammock. It’s not writer’s block to me; it’s just a call to recharge.

Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
The good news is that I don’t have any bad ones yet, but the bad news is that I have so very few reviews at all. I need reviews. I need readers and followers. I’m still working on finding my tribe. I was really shy and anxious about putting myself out there.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I love whiteboards, and I talk to myself out loud and very dramatically while plotting.

Q.15 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
Friends, family, and coworkers have always been supportive. Not sure I ever told anybody else.

Q.16 How will you describe your life before and after getting published?
Magic. After I finally published, accomplishing a dream, every other dream just started falling into place for me. I got a dream job, a relocation package, built a house, and then met the love of my life.

Q.17 What three things should readers expect from your books?
Positivity, happy endings, and tons of encouragement.

Q.18 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
3 young adult books and 3 children’s books. Picking a favorite is a tough one, but The Princess King is probably the most straightforward little girl power book, breaking traditions with a super cute ending. It’s the first one that I published, so that’s probably my favorite.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite series when I was a kid was The Night World by LJ Smith. I’m excited to start my next witchy series, reconnecting with my original genre love.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
The journey has been fun up until the marketing, advertising, and social media stuff, haha.

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