The Writer’s Handful with Terry H. Watkins

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Mondays + Writers = Finally something to look forward to!

Today we hear from Terry H. Watkins, whose brand new and affecting novel, Darling Girl, will celebrate its book birthday this week. Kirkus Reviews had lots of good things to say about this coming of age story, including this: “a powerful drama that impressively manages to both haunt and inspire.”
Terry has lots of things to do this week, including entertaining her new kittens. And still, she has time for a little book conversation.
Welcome, Terry!
Did you write today? If yes, what? If no, why not?
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Yes, I’m working on an outline for my next book. I took a research trip to Ireland in April and I’m still sorting through all that material and figuring out how to use it.
What’s the first thing (story, poem, song, etc.) you remember writing, and how old were you when you wrote it?
I started a historical novel set in colonial America when I was thirteen. I abandoned it after about three chapters. The next thing I wrote was forty years later when I wrote some poetry while teaching pattern poetry to 8th grader. I started writing my novel Darling Girl when teaching writing the personal essay to those same 8th graders.
What are you reading right now?
I’m obsessed with John Connolly’s Charlie Parker detective series right now. His themes: sins of the fathers, the nature of evil, Is morality absolute or situational and the way he mingles the spiritual/supernatural with the mundane really interest me. I’ve just started reading There, There by Tommy Orange, a look at contemporary Native American life.
terry writers handful 1What’s the most important advice you ever received? (Writerly or otherwise.)
Don’t worry about what other people think about you because mostly they don’t. I was very self conscious for much of my life. I’m glad I finally started following it.

If your writing were an animal, what animal would it be? Because…

My writing would be a snake because it sheds its skin. My second book will be unlike my first book in so many ways or at least I hope it will. I hope that my readers will be comfortable with that.
animal planet
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Terry H. Watkins has worked in banking, computers, for a nonprofit educating girls about STEM opportunities, and in education teaching middle-schoolers everything from American History to Comic Books to Philosophy to Writing, until she retired and began writing shortly thereafter. When not writing or traveling, she reads and putters in the garden. She shares a home with her husband —Mr. Wonderful – three cats, and a great deal of clutter.

 

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