Elizabeth Chats With…Terri Nixon

Memory can be a fickle friend at times. I plan these interviews several months ahead of time and earlier this year, I was chatting to this month’s guest at a writerly get-together in Exeter. ‘Would you like to be interviewed?’ I asked. ‘I’d love to,’ she replied. And neither of us remembered she’s already been a guest on here – back in March 2016! But we figured that if we didn’t remember what was in the original interview, neither would you, dear readers. So once again, I am chatting with fellow Devon author and member of West of England Authors, Terri Nixon (and she’s answering a totally different set of questions this time around)…

Hello Terri. Considering what I’ve just said in the introduction, I think it’s ironic that we start with this question: what is your earliest memory — and how old were you at the time?

Oddly I can remember a flash-portion of my first birthday. I can recall sitting in a certain room in the house where I was born, and have described furnishings and room arrangements to family, who’ve confirmed the time would have been right. And yet I can’t remember to put the bins out on a Wednesday…

If you had to escape from a fire, what three things would you take with you?

Assuming we can take family as a given, I’d go with: the quilt my Mum took two years to hand-stitch for me (SO gorgeous, see picture.); the Waterstones show card from my first book signing for Penhaligon’s Attic; annnnnd…ooh, the map that was hand-drawn for my fantasy book series, by my friend James.

Where is your favourite place on earth — and why?

This is tough because it depends an awful lot on who’s with me. I love the Highlands of Scotland, and driving through Glencoe – and New York was mind-expanding. But I think I would actually say that at the moment it’s end of the breakwater at Porthleven in Cornwall, particularly when the tide’s coming in. You can feel it. Actually feel it, in your bones. I want to be there now!

How do you relax?

I’d like to say “walk by the sea,” but that’s just how I’d LIKE to relax. In reality I’m more likely to be half-watching re-runs of Friends or Parks and Recreation, and playing Bejeweled on my phone!

What would be in your ‘Room 101’?

Drivers who treat slip roads like T junctions! Arrggh!! The times I’ve nearly driven into the back of someone because I’ve been watching the traffic, and the idiot in front of me has stopped without warning and for no reason!

There is a saying: to make the punishment fit the crime. Which character from fiction would you like to punish — and how?

This is probably controversial, but I would like to give the teen version of Heathcliff a clip around the ear and tell him to behave like a man…maybe then at least some of the people in his life would be spared their immense misery!

Show us a picture or a photo that best represents you, and tell us why. 

This works for me on many levels: firstly I work at a bureau very similar to that one, albeit a tad messier; secondly I write Historical fiction, so the setting is a pretty good representation of my mindset while I’m doing it; and lastly, I work full-time so I quite often feel the need to wilt gracefully on my arm and weep, instead of trying to finish my Work In Progress!

What would you have printed on the front of your T-shirt?

I’d have something like: “If I’m staring at you blankly, it’s because you’ve really annoyed me and I’m figuring out how you die in chapter two…”

What’s coming up next?

I have the second book in the Penhaligon Saga coming out in early December with Piatkus, and book 3 is complete and should be out sometime next year. They are Penhaligon’s Pride, and Penhaligon’s Gift. I’m also working on my self-published series set on Bodmin Moor, and I’m gradually introducing a pen name (Polly Duncan) for some contemporary romcom/action-adventure stories I’d like to revive. Busy times, but always exciting!

Thanks for dropping by, Terri. It’s been good chatting to you (again!). Readers, if you would like to read more about Terri’s writing and her books, you can find her via her website or her blog; on Facebook or on Twitter; or on her Amazon Author Page.

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