Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. She is the author of Hereafter (Afterlife #1) and Thereafter (Afterlife #2). Visit her on the web at www.terribruce.net.
When did you realize you wanted to write?
I’ve always written, ever since I was a child, but I never thought about doing it professionally until 2001. I came home from a bad day at work with a story idea running in my head. I sat down at the computer and started typing and didn’t stop. Pretty soon I had the solid beginnings of a novel and decided maybe I should do something with it. However, after four years, I hadn’t made a lot of progress towards completing the novel, so I decided to join a local writers’ group to help keep me motivated and accountable. It worked and I was able to finally finish that novel in 2009, though it still remains unpublished. I started work on another novel, Hereafter, and was able to sell that to a publisher in 2012.
What will your next book be out and what can you tell us about it?
I’m hoping that book #3 of the Afterlife Series, Whereafter, will be out later this year (late summer/early fall) but 2015 is conspiring against me. Our home suffered major damage this winter and writing has taken a back seat to dealing with the large scale renovation we unexpectedly have to undertake.
I’m really excited for Whereafter—there’s a lot of big, pivotal stuff that happens in this book. We finally get to see the full out afterlife/”Great Beyond” and I’ve pulled in some of my favorite mythology in constructing it. Plus—the return of Jonah, who is now a PoV character. At long last, fans of the series get to hear Jonah’s side of the story—and there are a lot of surprises there, too.
I also have a short story, The Lady and the Unicorn, appearing in the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series "Live Free or Dragons" anthology, being released Fall of 2016 by Plaidswede Publishing, which I’m really excited to be a part of.
Are there any special challenges to being a New England Author?
LOL – see above re: New England winters. J
Please tell us about Broad Universe?
Broad Universe is a non-profit professional association dedicated to supporting and promoting women authors of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. It’s an international association, with members (both male and female) all over the world. You’ll find us in the vendor room of most SF and Fantasy conventions—we usually have a table where our members can sell their books and people can learn more about the mission of BU. Our website is www.broaduniverse.org.
Do you ever go back and read your own books?
Oh good grief, no! I’m hypercritical of myself—I don’t even like to look at old photos of myself, let alone read my books. All I see are the flaws or the ways it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Plus, who has time? My TBR pile could crush a medium-sized child. Why read my own books (I know what those say!) when there are so many other fabulous books in the world that I haven’t read yet.
For fans who would like to meet you or get a signed copy of one of your books, where will they have the next opportunity?
I will be appearing at a couple of craft fairs and library appearances in New England throughout the summer, I will be at Readercon in Burlington, MA in July, and I will be at World Fantasy Con in NY in November. Fans can stay up to date on my upcoming appearances via my Facebook Page and my website (www.terribruce.net).
Just one word of advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t wait for inspiration, don’t wait to be in the mood—push yourself through the “meh” feelings and writers’ block and just put words on the page.
Whose work do you most enjoy reading?
I’m an eclectic reader—I love Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Shakespeare, Pratchett, Gaiman… I think Terry Pratchett is the one modern author whose books I pick up no matter what. I don’t read the blurb first or anything. It’s just “Oooh, new Terry Pratchett! Must have!” I’m so sad he’s no longer with us. He was a great writer.
Do you have a favorite Pratchett book?
Going Postal is my absolute favorite Terry Pratchett book, but one of my favorite quotes of all time, and which I use in my day job (I work in human services), comes from Night Watch:
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
“Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
“But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
“This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
Have you seen any of the Pratchett made to TV movies? I think there are three.
Yes, I’ve seen all three (The Color of Magic, Hogfather, and Going Postal).
What frightens you most about the future?
Nothing. Every period of my life has been better than the one before, even when bad things are happening (like being temporarily displaced for months while renovating our entire house due to winter storm damage). In the grand scheme of things, when I feel bad about the state of the world and find myself thinking everything is going to hell in a hand basket, I get some historical perspective. Political muckraking (the “yellow journalism” era), corruption (the “gilded age”), oppression (“McCarthyism”)—they’ve all been just as bad if not worse in the past. As a society, I think we’re moving forward and things are not worse now than they have ever been at any previous point. When I look at that, I think, “Hey, we’re doing pretty good. Progress is slow, but we’re getting there.”