As I said the last time I interviewed you (it was a year ago already!)… When I joined Twitter, you were one of the first authors I came across and I loved the way you came across. Straight-talking, friendly, and approachable. Your blogs portray the same image. And over the last year, nothing has changed! You are one of the nicest authors I have met online!
So, when I saw your book was up for grabs via Rosie’s Book Review Team I was in there in a flash!
You kindly let me have a copy of Kings & Queens and Last Child. I read both back-to-back! Here are my reviews…
KINGS AND QUEENS by Terry Tyler
For anyone who has watched series like Dallas, Dynasty, The Colbys or Falcon Crest (yes, I admit it - I have) this brought back so many memories! My grandmother was obsessed and I remember coming home from school and watching Falcon Crest with her, or when I was sick watching Dynasty. Dallas was much discussed at school! Yes, I am going back approx 30 years!
There was something about characters like Joan Collins, who nearly slept with her son and seduced anyone in sight that made for addictive viewing! As well as the alcoholics and drug addicts! (The rich have it SO tough)
So back to the book. Kings and Queens is all about this & more!
Romance, adultery, suspense, a lot of death and heartache, "fit" men and women, and also (which was nice to see) normal boring characters that fit in nicely to the massacre that is the old-fashioned Lanchester mentality!
Lanchester's Empire is a male dominated family business which relies on the family "male" heir to provide continuity.
Things do not go well from the start though. The first born, Alex, dies in a rock-climbing accident and the second son, Harry, takes the reins of the business at the age of 18!
The saga that continues as his love-life goes on the biggest roller-coaster EVER is extreme.
Personally, I found many of the scenarios to be unbelievable but this is the beauty of fiction! Perfect escapism into a world where many are crooks, adulterers and ruthless murderers!
I highly recommend this if any of what I have rambled on about makes you think, "This is for me!" I must add that having read several of Terry Tyler's books before her style is definitely makes for addictive reading, even though at times some of the character changes left me slightly disorientated.”
Rated: 4 Stars
“I have to admit that having read Kings and Queens I was immediately drawn to read the sequel. This is the great thing about reading a book after the next one has already been written. I have on many occasions waited for the next book in a series to be sorely disappointed.
This was not the case here, and I have I say I actually enjoyed Last Child even more than reading Kings and Queens.
There are a few reasons for this. Historically, Henry VIII has always been an interesting historical characters because of his many wives. Personally, I found History boring at school and never connected. What did I care that someone had so many? Seems like a bit of an idiot to me! So, when you read historical fiction written in a contemporary setting it brings everything to life. It makes you think, "Wow! Now I get it!" This is what Kings and Queens did - it made the illogical make sense.
But, in Last Child you see the consequences of someone so promiscuous and irrational via his offspring. The good and the bad. From the pampered male heir who wants to get everything his way (to dire consequences), to the deranged unwanted daughter who feels neglected and abandoned because her father rejected her via her mother, to the younger more exuberant child who had oodles of character and does not care what is expected of her, she just gets on with it.
The way in which we get to eavesdrop on their thoughts and actions again explains historical facts in a way that allows for compassion. I mean, seriously, I would never had thought a man who has an affair with a woman half his age would be rational. Yet, in this story it sound plausible (not for me personally, but I got how it happened).
So many details and actions that have so much relevance to society today. Again, it is like watching a TV soap - everyday events are embellished with tragic consequences.
However, in the end Terry has left us with some inner peace. Everything does not always go to plan, but you can make the most of a bad situation. She has also left an opening for another book - I practically screamed at the book at the end! More twists to come I think...
Anyway, if you have not read this author's books before you really should. She has a way of drawing you in, of getting you involved, of sympathising with characters you thought you hate, and feeling annoyed at characters you thought would be great. I love that. I want to be sent on a roller coaster ride when I read a book and this was definitely up, down, sideways and over!
One thing I will say is that the Lanchester family actually made me think of the Kennedy's not the British Monarchs. I guess it's really sad when a family seems to be so jinxed. Even the best of people have no guarantees in life. I guess we all have to live life to the maximum and make every day count, regardless of what the social niceties dictate.”
Rated: 4 Stars
So, what did you think of my rambles?
It's always interesting to see what people think of your books, Vanessa, as you know. Everyone reads them so differently. I will say, though, that Henry VIII did not take six wives because he was an idiot (though, indeed, that may be up for discussion!), but because it was important for him to produce a male heir, and marriage in those days was as much a political move, to form allegiances with other countries/noble houses, as to do with love.
I am in awe of you for the way in which you manage to keep the books coming. What or who inspires you to continue writing? My own muse goes for very long walks at the moment!
It's not always easy. What keeps me doing it is simply that I feel a bit empty if I'm not currently working on a book. I have had one on the go constantly for the last five and a half years; I at least plan out the next while the current one is being made ready for publication. My 'to be written' list is always about four books long!
Which characters did you like and hate the most in these books?
My favourite characters in Kings and Queens are Hannah (everyone's favourite!), Annette and Kate, and I couldn't stand Jenny Seymour! In Last Child I loved Erin, Jim and Raine; the only one I really disliked was Phil Castillo.
How did you go about doing the research for these books?
I was already pretty well versed in that period of history, but I also read David Starkey's book about the six wives, and also The Watchers by Stephen Alford, and The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory, and watched quite a few documentaries.
What is the most important thing you have learnt, as an author, over the last year?
Over the last year? Hmm.... reading improves your writing, if you take note about why your favourite books work so well. I also learnt, when writing my second novella, that writing one of these is not just a matter of writing a shorter story, it's a different process. I've read novellas that should have been novels; the story has to suit the novella size. I think I did a better job with my second than my first.
What advice would you give to new authors starting out now?
- Make sure your book is as good and as professionally presented as it possibly can be; the market is saturated and competition is enormous.
- Write from the heart, not what you think sounds good.
- Do thorough research and make sure you have genuine, personal recommendations before spending money on advertising, marketing services, proofeading, critiques, editing, etc.
- Don't make the mistake of thinking that signing with a small, independent publisher means you have 'made it'; this is not the same as being traditionally published and you may find that you sell less books and make less money than you would if self-published. Any publishing house that charges you for any aspect of the publishing process is a vanity publisher, and should not be touched with a barge pole.
- Make friends with lots of nice book bloggers!
Does it differ from advice you would have given when you started?
Not a great deal, no. Promotion is a whole different ball game, though; what worked 4 years ago would have little or no effect now.
Thanks, Vanessa, I hope this has been of some interest to you and your readers :)
Where we can find out about you and buy your books?
Book Review Blog