Genres: Non-fiction: Biography, History, Legal, Essays
Fiction: Novels: Upmarket (book club), Historical, Amish; Short stories
What kind of research goes into writing your books and how much time does it take?
I do a lot of research. Thanks to the internet, much of this, including extensive reading and interviews, can be done from my computer. I also travel to significant sites, both to understand the area (and how the surroundings influence the people) and to view primary documents and artifacts first-hand. It took 4 years to research my first book, and a year each for the next 2. I’m 3 years in on the current book, and not finished yet.
If you could offer one piece of writing advice to a novice author, what would it be?
To not listen to advice, and most especially to not spend time trying to find it. You have to find what works for you and DO it. Case in point: the common advice says not to edit while you write, but I can’t move forward until I’m happy with what I have. Editing as I go keeps me encouraged that I’ll have something presentable at the end. That works for me. You do what works for you.
What have been some of the biggest helps for developing your writing skills? Written resources, classes or conferences, fellow writers you’ve learned from or have mentored you, other?
Reading good writing, and writing. The first shows me how it should be done. The second is what actually develops skill. I can study how to do it all day long, but improvement comes with practice.
How often do you write, and do you have a strict routine and writing plan?
I try to write every day, though it’s often “playing scales” (i.e., writing that’s not for publication, but keeps me in practice). Since I’m also a working editor, my own writing happens around my clients’ projects, so no routine or plan, but I find that evenings are usually when I can get some words down.
Have you ever based characters on real people? Give us a couple of examples.
Since my published work to date is nonfiction, my character ARE real people—for example, Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books, and her family in my biography of her titled Little Lodges on the Prairie. I’m currently writing a historical novel, but no one in it is based on a real person (although there are many real incidents).
How do you find your ideas for a book?
I don’t have to—they find me every day! An intriguing building, a fun conversation, an unusual-looking item, news and current events, unique people, heroic acts—all of these and more provide fodder. The harder part is choosing which to write about. I tend to pick things I want to learn more about, so the research stays interesting.
Teresa Lynn is a writer and editor with a background in journalism. She has written for a range of publications on a variety of topics, and authored three books under her own name as well as ghostwriting works for others.
In 2014, Teresa established Tranquility Press, a hybrid publishing company near Austin, Texas. Today, she provides all types of writing, editorial, and publishing services. She is also administrator and board member of Story Circle Network, past president of Central Texas ACFW, past editor for Georgetown FOL, and editor for Story Circle Book Reviews.
In her free time, Teresa enjoys reading, traveling, and seeking out little-known history of interesting people and places. She lives in Georgetown, Texas with her husband, near their two grown daughters.