Terrick H Morris
Please welcome Terrick to the world of Indie Authors. It is a pleasure to know more about you and your writing. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Name’s Terrick Heckstall. Born and raised in a very rural town named Colerain, North Carolina (no, you haven’t heard of it J). I moved to Greensboro, North Carolina in 2002 for undergrad at UNCG, where I received a BSW and an MSW. I’ve resided in Greensboro for the past thirteen years, and live with my wife of six years, Candace. I have a background in social work, mental health, and therapy, but I’ve always wanted to write.
What brought you to the world of writing?
I was inspired to write at a very young age, four or five. I grew up on fairy tales, tall tales, and fables. All of those were full of fantastical beings. I couldn’t get enough of those stories. They instilled in me a love of creating worlds and situations within me that has yet to wane. I think the seeds were planted at that time, but the moment that I knew I just had to be a writer was in the fourth grade. We had to create nine to ten page “books,” bound with yarn and construction paper, and read them to the other fourth grade class. I loved the feeling of reading to other people, and having other people hear and read my work. From that moment on, I was bitten by the bug.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
My first book is called The 11th Percent, which I published on Halloween of 2014. It is Book One in my series ‘The 11th Percent,’ which will eventually be seven books. I still love it; I go back and read the chapters every now and then. I’m still fascinated that I had such material in me, because for a long time, I didn’t think I could do it. I had a couple of abandoned novels that (in my mind at that point) attested to that fact. But I no longer think that way. I once had ‘proof’ that I couldn’t do it, but now I have proof that I CAN do it. The proof is in the form of Book One, The 11th Percent, as well as Book Two, Item and Time.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfill your reader’s needs?
Paranormal Fiction. I would even go as far as to say Paranormal Mystery. And even though it’s based in North Carolina, I don’t rigidly consider it ‘Southern.’ Anybody can love paranormal, and anybody can love mystery. I don’t consider it Southern paranormal. Not really. It would probably be more accurate to say that it’s paranormal suspense, told from the perspective of a Southern writer. As far as fulfilling my reader’s needs—I would like to think so! They get high praise from the people that read them, so I’d like to think that I’m on the right track!
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
I would like to feature both of the books in my series at this time! Book One, The 11th Percent, introduces Jonah Rowe. He is just a normal guy; an everyman. Doesn’t have an Olympian physique, doesn’t have eidetic knowledge of everything under the sun—just an everyday guy. His life is turned inside out when he learns that he is an Eleventh Percenter, someone who has access to the “Eleventh Percent” of their brain, which allows them to interact with and influence the spirit world. He learns new things about himself, as well as how the ability isn’t always used for good. The second book, Item and Time, has Jonah, who has grown somewhat accustomed to life as an Eleventh Percenter, come across a very strange woman who warns him that she is in grave danger that involves “time.” She goes on to tell him that since she is in danger, he is in danger as well. Not only must he decipher what that means, but he also must discover the danger itself.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
My first drafts usually take a couple of months. They are by far the easiest part for me (laughs).
Do you plot or not, if so why?
I don’t do in depth plot lines; my mind just doesn’t work that way. What I do is sit down and create bullet points of everything I want to cover, and then expand the bullets as I write. I don’t do a great deal of planning beyond the bullet points because they give me room to expand and experiment with my story. Rigid outlining and plotting tend to stifle my ideas. I did 2500 words a day, not rising until that was met. I write the entire book freehand, and then type it as is. Then I do the revisions. This is the process that works best for me.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?
I love 3rd person. Not a knock to 1st person, but it’s not really my thing. In my opinion, you learn more characters when the story is done from the 3rd person perspective. It’s just fun for me to do my stories in that manner.
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
It’s funny. When I tried to edit as I went, I nearly drove myself crazy. It was a nightmare, and almost made the writing feel like one long chore. And yet, it nags me when I see errors. So on occasion, I’ll change something while in the process, but I try not to make too many changes. When my draft is done, I leave for a bit; one week minimum, two weeks maximum. Then I come back with a significantly fresher perspective, and do the edits.
I can totally agree with you there Terrick 🙂
What type of people/readers do you market your books too?
Eighteen plus, who love paranormal stories with elements of mystery and suspense. Both appear in my books quite frequently.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher?
I self-publish. I shopped The 11th Percent to agents and publishers, but they all shot it down. The main consensus—and I heard this about fifty, sixty times—was that my concept didn’t fit their lists. That complaint became a broken record for me, and it was pretty discouraging and demoralizing. But then I read something from an indie author that entirely changed my perspective. She said, “When your work is judged based on marketability instead of artistic merit, you need to re-evaluate the avenue in which you’re trying to showcase your work.” It changed everything for me, and I made the decision to become indie that day.
Nice one Terrick. After all why should publishing houses tell us what we should be reading. Personally I prefer to pick what I want, not what they want to offer. Go INDIES
How do you promote your writing?
Any and every way that I can! Through Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, independent bookstores, touting other authors, sharing information, giving away free copies in exchange for honest reviews… you name it!
Where can we buy your books?
They are available on Amazon, in ebook and softcover form!
Who are your favourite authors?
Beverly Cleary, Lynn Reid Banks, Tamora Pierce, Sharon Shinn, JK Rowling, Meg Cabot, James Patterson, Elizabeth Wyke, Nat Russo, Alan J. Garner, Matthew Arkin, Cynthia Witherspoon, Patti Roberts
Links The 11th Percent (Book 1)
KINDLE US: http://amzn.to/1tE41Kk
KINDLE UK: http://amzn.to/1wKdsa8
KINDLE AU: http://bit.ly/1nU54VG
KINDLE CA: http://amzn.to/1yKu9mY
Item and Time (Book 2)
Kindle US: http://amzn.to/1Jbm3dO
Kindle UK: http://amzn.to/1FkeVHl
Kindle AU: http://bit.ly/1PS5g53
Kindle FR: http://amzn.to/1LQbhZK
Do you have any more information you’d like to share with us?
Just advice that I like to give to aspiring writers, or people who may want to, but aren’t quite sure: Always remember why you love writing. Know it, have it in your heart, and keep it close. It will help you when people try to discourage you by remarking on how ‘tough’ the business is. It will reassure when you come across people that aren’t fond of your work (and you won’t please everyone. It’s simply not going to happen). Never, never lose the excitement that you have for creating. And lastly, just write. Write all the time. Write, and keep writing, until your story is finished. And when you have written all you possibly can, write some more.
It sounds like you have had an incredible journey so far Terrick. Thank you for sharing it with you and best wishes to you in the future with your writing.