Author Wendy Terrien popped in to the office for a chat today! Wendy’s story in TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time is The Fate Stone, in which a girl wakes up in an asylum and must survive, and escape.
What do you never leave home without, and why?
Honestly, I never leave without my cell phone, even if I’m just heading out to walk the dogs. I like to track my route, plus it seems like it’s smart to have it with me in case something happens where we might need assistance. We live in rattlesnake country, so there’s that to contend with. I’d be upset with myself if something happened to one of the dogs (we have three), rattlesnake or otherwise, and I couldn’t get help fast.
What is your fav secret indulgence?
I don’t have any indulgences that are secret. Nor do I have one favorite indulgence–there are many! On a hot, lazy summer day, I have happily consumed a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Thank goodness I don’t do that very often, but it’s a delightful indulgence on occasion. I also love pain au chocolate from a local French bakery. And massages, though I’m convinced those should be more of a regular maintenance program than an indulgence. I could go on, but it’s probably best to leave it there.
What is your favorite way to celebrate finishing a novel?
Sheesh—more with the “favorites” thing. I don’t think I have one favorite of anything. Must be the Libra in me. In the case of finishing a novel, the celebration starts with a little happy dance. Usually I’m by myself—except for the dogs, and they’re more than happy to bounce around with me. After that it depends on my mood or what else is happening in my life. My husband and I love trying new restaurants, so we might go out to a new place. Or we may stay in and make dinner, and enjoy a special bottle of wine. But we definitely do something to mark and celebrate the moment. Writing a novel is no easy thing, and each milestone is worth celebrating.
What got you started with writing? What drives you to keep writing?
There wasn’t any particular moment that got me started—it’s just always been something I enjoyed doing, even as a child. I did let go of my personal creative writing for many years because I needed to have a “real job” with a salary and benefits. But I did pursue jobs where I used my writing in things like marketing and business reports.
Well into my career, I met with a career coach and she reignited the creative writing spark. As I dove back into creative writing, I believed I was a good writer. But the more I learned, the more I figured out I had a lot to learn. It was humbling, but all the studies and research and exploring I did lit up my brain in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time.
It’s that feeling that keeps me writing. I love the creativity, I love the new things I learn through research I do for my stories, and I love the characters that appear out of space and time, and drive the story more than I do. It’s magical.
Are you more of a half-full or half-empty kind of person? How does that influence the development of your characters—plots—endings?
Half-full! Always! And that does influence my stories. It doesn’t mean I must end my stories with bluebirds and butterflies, but there has to be hope for the future. In real life I believe there is always hope, so I would never deny that for my characters.
Do you ever see yourself switching genres?
Sure—why not? I love mysteries, I love thrillers, and I have ideas for a humorous novel floating around in my head. There’s no reason to stick with one genre if you’re inclined to try something different. Let that creativity flag fly where it may.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
You can do this. It’s easy to get caught up in the tough stuff that comes with doing anything creative—the critiquing, the discovery of what you don’t know, the challenge to find the time and energy to forge ahead. But keep going—you can do this.
And also, find your writing tribe and stay connected with them. Without my fellow writers, I doubt I’d have progressed as far as I have. In fact, I know I wouldn’t have. I might be dabbling with writing, but it’s unlikely I would be as committed to it as l am today. The energy and inspiration I get from my writing friends is almost mystical.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
Okay, now I feel like I’m being interviewed for one of those “real jobs” I mentioned earlier.
One thing I’ve learned and know for certain is that we know nothing for certain. I can’t even begin to say where I see myself in five or 10 years. Life just likes to mix things up, so trying to predict such “where do you see yourself” is a bit of folly, in my humble opinion. I will say I hope for great health and happiness for my friends, my family, and me. I hope the world gets its act together and people stop hurting each other. And I hope my stories reach the people who most enjoy them, and add a bit of fun to their day. And I hope everyone reading this finds great love and joy in their lives today, through the next five years, 10 years, and beyond. (Remember, glass half-full . . . )
Thanks for reading! You can find out more about Wendy’s writing and connect with her here.