TERESA MUMMERT is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the White Trash Trilogy, The Note, Perfect Lie, Pretty Little Things, Safe Word, The Good Girls and Sweet Nothing (co-written with Jamie McGuire).
Teresa reveals what made her switch between indie and traditional publishing, plus some extra tidbits behind the Mummert mystic.
“Love is lawless.”
~Kaden Harken from The Death of Lila Jane (Release date: Dec. 28, 2015)
Maya Fleischmann/IndieReader (MF): Your bio says that you started writing as a way to cope with your husband’s deployment to Afghanistan. Was this also the genesis for the sort of dark, sensual and suspenseful, as well as the romantic mood of your different book series or had you thought about writing before this event?
Teresa Mummert (TM): I’ve always loved to write but mostly poetry and short stories. It wasn’t until his deployment that I realized how therapeutic it could be. I’ve always been fascinated by darker characters and figuring out what makes someone tick. It kept me busy and gave me an outlet for what I was feeling.
MF: What do you like most about your genre?
TM: I tend to crossover into a lot of different genres but most of my novels still fit under the blanket of New Adult. I think characters at that age are less naïve but willing to take risks which can make for some interesting story lines.
MF: You have been both indie and traditionally published. Which did you go with first and why?
TM: I have been very fortunate to get to experience traditional publishing as well as the freedom of being an indie. Both have their positive aspects. I’ve learned a lot from Gallery (Simon & Schuster) and was able to apply those lessons to my indie novels. I don’t think of one path as better than the other, just different. For my lifestyle, indie fits my schedule of being a mom first. I can take time off when I need to and switch projects on a whim.
MF: What prompted the switch?
TM: I love to write traditional romances, but my favorite story lines are about very dark and damaged characters. I like to be able to explore that side of humanity without worrying about what is too much or crossing a line.
MF: What do you think was the hardest part (if any) of switching from indie to traditional publishing (or vice versa)?
TM: Both involve a lot of hard work and dedication. The only real difference, to me, was setting up my own schedule versus consulting someone else when working with a publisher. I was extremely fortunate and had a great team who were as excited about my novels as I was, and it made the process very fun.
MF: What is the best?
TM: Getting to experience both sides of the coin really helps you understand the business better and I was able to apply a lot of what I learned from my publisher to my indie novels.
MF: What are the re-occurring themes in your books? Why?
TM: I love taking a flawed character and having them learn that they are not defined by their past and when push comes to shove, they are stronger than they realize.
MF: What is your opinion of book reviews – are they good or bad?
TM: Book reviews are great for readers to help them discover what they may or may not like about a book. My stories aren’t for everyone. I don’t like every book I’ve picked up and I understand that a personal experience may make some themes more difficult than others.
MF: How much do positive/negative critiques and reviews help/hinder your creative process?
TM: I think you can learn a lot from criticism. I was able to apply a lot of suggestions to my future work and grow because of things said in reviews. But you also have to take some advice with a grain of salt. You can’t please everyone and if you try to, you will burn yourself out and it will stifle your creativity.
MF: What are you reading now?
MF: What authors/books have influenced you and your writing?
TM: The list is absolutely endless. I love to read and every time I pick up a novel it becomes my new favorite story.
MF: What question would you want to ask readers of your books?
TM: Are there any of my characters you’d like to see more of? I know some readers are patiently waiting for more of Mr. Honor and Emma (Honor series). There are coming during this next year. I will have them added to the schedule soon.