Teryl Cartwright

Born in Texas and raised in Pennsylvania, Teryl might be considered a true Yankee rebel.  She has been blessed in her life with a wonderful husband, two kids and way too many pets.  Her goal is to be published in as many different writing markets as possible. She has published two Regency romances, Courting Constance and A Sensible Match.  To date she has also co-authored over forty books of curriculum for Group Publishing, published three plays through Contemporary Drama Service and has credits from three newspapers, two blogs and one magazine.

Book(s) By Teryl Cartwright


Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?


I am the proud mother of two teenagers and I enjoy reading almost any kind of book out there.  I was fortunate enough to be married for sixteen years before my husband died of cancer. Courting Constance is a fun way to remember him since I’ve included some “courting ideas” I actually tried out on my husband after we were married (luckily he had a great sense of humor!).  I love to challenge myself which is why each year I enter the “National Novel in a Month” contest.  This is 30 day online competition to write a 50,000 word novel. The exciting part is that both of my published romances are from that contest.  Of course, after writing frantically for a month, the hard part of adding another 20,000 words and editing it all awaits, but unless you write the first draft, you can’t get to the next step.  I believe everyone can write a novel and persistence can get you published.  My current day job is working at a church and I enjoy having this chance to write curriculum and drama so that I am also working on my writing in many different and interesting ways.


Describe your book ‘Courting Constance’ in 30 words or less. 


Courting Constance is my “how to win a guy in ten days” romantic comedy.  Imagine “Murphy’s Law” meets Regency dating rules with extra love required for that “happily ever after.”


What was the hardest part of writing your book?


The hardest part was allowing some characters to crossover from the first book without this one becoming a sequel.  When a main character becomes the supporting cast it’s hard to make sure the voice stays the same and the focus is firmly on the new heroine.  Research was actually fun for this book since there is a lot out there and I had some help from some very gracious people, but I really needed to step it up since the fans of Regency romance are not only knowledgeable but expect (rightly so) you to be even more so.


What books have had the greatest influence on you?


Georgette Heyer’s books like The Talisman RingBlack Sheep and Lady of Quality had a great deal of influence on my desire to write romance.  Some look down on romance writers as if we do “fluff” or aren’t “legitimate,” but I think Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen stand as examples of the higher forms of literature that we contemporary romance writers can aspire to and work to achieve.


Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?


I like to try nontraditional marketing.  My book trailers are very different—one is even a cartoon from xtranormal.  I’ve also sent books as gifts to people who probably will never post a review or help make them “bestsellers.”  (Although I do admit sending a copy to Oprah and one to Walmart.) I’ve given books to churches and other places far away so that I can say my book is in almost all fifty states and has been read overseas..  I have tried blog tours with other authors (some coming to my site) and I’ve even gave gifts to everyone who entered some of my website contests before just to be kind (how do you pick just one?)  I’ve helped encourage other writers at my book talks and workshops so I hope that even if I don’t make it big, I do at least make a difference.


How do you spend your time when you are not writing?


I spent this summer doing college visits for one child and getting the other ready to go back.  I took some online classes (one was writing) and I designed an online Bible study for my church.  Besides writing I take care of several pets (isn’t funny how the kids’ pets become YOUR responsibility) and I watch some sci-fi and reality TV to keep creative and think outside the box. 


What are you working on next?


I’ve started a Scottish romance that is set a little earlier than the Regency romances called The Tartan Thief.  I had so wanted to keep the time period the same in this new romance so that I could even bring a character into the Scottish world from the other romances set in England, but I haven’t found enough research about Scotland in that era to do so comfortably.  I am also editing and adding to one of my other novel in a month creations of mine so that I am not too focused on one project.  That’s one of the best ways I’ve found so far to avoid writer’s block!

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