Elizabeth Chats With…Terri Nixon
This month I’m chatting with another Devon writer and founder member of West of England Authors. My guest is Plymouth-based Terri Nixon who is celebrating yet another publishing success this week.
Hello Terri and thanks for taking the time to chat to us, Let’s start with an old faithful question. What was your favourite subject at school and which would you prefer to avoid?
My favourite subject is a tie between English and Drama. But when we were studying Jude the Obscure it would have been Drama, hands down! The lesson I would have loved to have seen struck off the curriculum was maths. Hated it. (But still might have preferred it to studying Jude the Obscure…)
How would you finish the sentence “Not a lot of people know…”?
Not a lot of people know that I was co-founder and chair of a motorcycle club during the late 80s through to the early noughties. Yep, I was a bona fide biker chick!
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
It would be my freckles. I absolutely loathe them. Other people’s fade as they get older, why won’t mine?!
What’s your ideal menu and where would you like to eat it?
I’m not a big fan of spicy foods, so it’d probably be something pretty bland. I think I’d start with a nice rich tomato soup, then Lasagne, and to finish, my mum’s bread and butter pudding. I’d like to eat it in the Great Hall of Cotehele House, at Calstock. Just love that room. Chilly, but gorgeous!
If you were a car, what type would you be?
Probably a Ford Fiesta; specifically my friend Jane’s that I’ve been driving for three years. Unremarkable, blends into the background, but solid and reliable…and with a bit more oomph under the bonnet than you’d expect!
If you could meet one person from history, who would it be?
Lady Dorothie Feilding. When I was researching my WW1 series I read her diary and letters from the Front, and everything I thought I knew was turned on its head. Brilliant, brilliant, courageous and funny woman.
If you could take part in a TV programme, which would it be?
It would be one of the Historical Farm series, with Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn et al. I’m currently obsessed with the programmes (and the presenters!) and it would be the best kind of research possible – I’d like to do a First World War farm one since they haven’t done one of those yet.
Would you describe yourself as left-brained or right-brained?
I was surprised by the result of one of those Facebook quizzes analysing whether you’re left or right-brained. I’m apparently quite close: 60/40 intuitive to analytical.
You have been traditionally published and you have also self-published; how would you compare the two experiences?
Both are incredibly exciting and rewarding. Self-publishing teaches you such a lot about the entire process, and you can use what you learn when you (if you choose to) cross over to traditional publishing. Likewise, you can apply what you’ve learned from having a MS professionally edited, to editing your own work.
The importance of the overall control you have when self-publishing can’t be over-stated; you get to keep your title and your cover design – for good or ill; sometimes publishers really DO know best! – and the pricing is down to you as well. Again, this can work in your favour, but at the same time you rarely get a shot at price promos that Amazon sometimes set up, so when you’re selling at a low price, you’re getting a low royalty rate too. So both methods have good points and bad, but I would highly recommend even traditionally published authors put something out themselves, too, even if it’s a collection of shorts designed to promote and advertise their other work. It’s a real buzz, and immensely satisfying!
Thanks, Terri; it’s been good chatting to you and good luck with Maid of Oaklands Manor which is out in paperback next Thursday. I’m putting your links below for anyone who wants to find out more about you or your books.