Monday, July 11, 2011

A Chat With Author and Publicist Terry Callister


Terry Callister was born, raised and educated in Kent, England before moving to London when he was eighteen. He has done a variety of jobs from clearing tables in a restaurant to senior business manager in an offshore financial services company and a lot in between. He lived on the Isle of Man with his two sons for twelve years before settling in the beautiful mountains north of Malaga in southern Spain with his wife and three dogs.

Thank you so much for giving me a chance to talk about your work! I’m very excited to have a chance to spread the word about your new blog. Can you first tell me a little bit about how you began your writing career?
I wrote my first novel when I was 20, nearly forty years ago. It was called When? And was about race riots in Finsbury Park, an area of North London, England. I got the idea following race riots in Los Angeles. It was a great story, very poorly written but actually proved to be quite prophetic. I gave up writing then until about 20 years ago and began “The Catalytic Programme” a thriller set in the world of international finance with a bit of a cold war theme. I stopped writing half way through until my wife, Sandra, found the manuscript in the back of a cupboard and encouraged me to get it finished. Six months later it was completed. I then spent two years trying every known literary agent and publisher I could find, all to no avail, then I found out about Createspace and the rest is history.

Where do you get your inspiration to write?
Ideas for stories are always popping into my head, usually from things I see on the news or TV and sometimes Sandra sparks an idea. I get enthusiastic for a while then reality dawns that probably nobody would be interested in what I am considering.

Me: Haha, I say the same thing, except I call them my ‘voices’.

What are the titles of your books and where can we find them?
The Catalytic Programme is available as a paperback on Amazon and Createspace and an eBook version on Smashwords and Kindle.

My second book is completely different A Lucky Break is a time travelling romantic comedy and is available from Smashwords and Amazon Kindle. I intend to get a paperback version through Createspace sometime soon.
What genres do you prefer to write?

I read a lot of thrillers so I think I naturally gravitated in that direction for my first novel, The Catalytic Programme. A Lucky Break came about because I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of somebody from the past coming forward to our time. In the book Esmeralda a 20 something from 1647 (The time of King Charles 1 in England) comes forward from the past and her innocence and wonder really shine through, she grasps everything that the twenty first century has to offer. I think it is inspiring.

Me: You are very well-rounded, Terry!
Do you and your wife work on a writing schedule together?

I encouraged Sandra to start writing after I found a couple of pages of an idea she had for a novel that she had written from years before. The result is The Moorcroft trilogy. The three books cover three different periods in the life of Moorcroft, a sprawling Lancashire, England, mansion and its resident ghost Charlotte Worthington. The stories detail her interaction with the various residents and her search for love and companionship. All three are available on Smashwords and a print edition of the first one Moorcroft - The Possession will be out any day now. I know I am biased but I didn’t realise what a talent my wife has.
We both write when we have the urge, I use a desktop and Sandra a lap top.

On your website, you have lists of books by indie authors. Can you tell us why you started that site?

Everybody says an author needs a website, so a couple of years ago I started one for my work, I realised that one author with a website is a difficult proposition to get high up and noticed in the search engines. So I thought, why not work on a more appropriate title for a new website and put other authors work on there. With Search Engine Optimisation (S.E.O) two things are guaranteed to boost your position on Google, Yahoo etc. A realistic repetition of your key search words, and regular addition of relevant material, so what can be better than adding new books and novels to every day.

Me: That’s very clever. Good thinking.

How does the site work?
Authors can approach me to put their Self-Published books on the site and I’m quite happy to do so, be it printed or an eBook. Sometimes I trawl Goodreads and Createspace for new books to add to the site. Otherwise I use the Smashwords affiliate link to select the very latest in Self-Published books. I am very surprised at how few authors have approached me for FREE ADVERTISING. Perhaps they think there is a catch, you can tell them different Collette.

How can other authors link to your site?
Just send me an email to with the book’s title, genre and the cover image, I will do the rest.

The new blog looks great! Can you tell us what you plan to post there?
I’ll post anything and everything to do with Self-Published writing and writers along with the latest news and gossip. Probably I’ll also, occasionally, put a few personal opinions in as well from world news items.

Mark Coker of recently sent out an email with the startling number of works they are publishing. So far this year, they have published over 58,000 books. Do you have any suggestions to make a writer’s individual novels stand out?

Yes, let me put your book on unlike most listing sites as more books get added so your entry gets lower and lower down the page or pages with little chance of getting seen by the book buying public. On my website your book gets listed onto the bottom page and when that fills up, 10 entries for speed of viewing, that moves up to become page number 1, the original page 1 becomes page 2 and so on. That way everybody’s book gets a chance of being seen on page 1 or 2.
Me: So it constantly refreshes. Again, very clever.

What has worked for you and Sandra in getting the word out about your work?
Being persistent with all our efforts, using social media, you must just keep trying.

Do you believe that the book publishing industry is necessary to become a well-known and respected author?
In the past that would have been the case, but now things are changing. I believe a good author will get to the front no matter what media their book is viewed in.

There has been a lot of discussion about Borders filing for bankruptcy. Do you see more authors going the self-published route to take control of their work?

Absolutely, barely a day goes past when you don’t hear about an established author going the eBook route. If you go in that direction do you need an agent and lose 15% or so? You have total control. The next year or so will be very interesting and should define what is going to happen in the publishing industry.

Quite simply to sell loads of Self-Published books and novels for as many authors as possible. They have put in the effort to write and publish their work, so deserve the reward that selling their books will achieve.

Will you continue to maintain both sites?
I will yes, the blog site is simply a support and advertising medium for the website.

Are there any gems of wisdom that you would like to add for our readers and friends?
When you have finished you book, edit, edit edit. You have a responsibility to every other Self-Published author to make your work as good as it possibly can be. If yours is the first Self-Published book somebody buys, and it is poorly edited with lots of typos, misspelling and poor grammar it could put that person off for life from buying more Self-Published books. Here is a tip for editing, read the book from back to front paragraph by paragraph. That way you don’t get involved in the story and can concentrate solely on looking for errors.

Me: I completely agree! That’s a very good point. There are so many good books out there, and so many new authors with excellent work. I can’t believe how many great books I’ve found at low prices on the sites we’ve mentioned. I will post links below. If you love to read, check them out!

Terry, thank you so much for this opportunity to help you spread the word. You have a fantastic site, and it’s a great idea for all new faces to take advantage of. Thank you for all of your hard work, and I hope it continues to grow and prosper along with your writing!

For More Information:
To have your book added to Terry’s website, please email Terry at:

More About Terry and Where to Find Him:!/terrycallister


And More About Sandra Callister:



Patti Roberts said...

Good interview Collette. Patti :)

Terry Callister said...

Hello Collette

Thank you for carrying out the interview with me. You have done a great job and your blog looks fantastic as does your website. We are all helping ourselves by interacting with each other and passing on the word to others. Keep up the good work.

All the best - Terry

Collette said...

Thank you both! I hope we can continue to help each other promote all of our hard work. Every day is a learning experience, isn't it?

echo said...

This was interesting and well written. Thanks for linking it from Author Central, not I'm a follower.

Dixie D. M. Goode

Collette said...

Hi Dixie,

Every little bit helps, right? It is my pleasure to help. Checking your link out now too :D

eriktiger said...

This is a great idea! Terry's idea must be very popular because I tried to sign up but his email inbox is apparently full and couldn't be delivered!!

Collette said...

Erik, keep me posted on that and I will do the same. I heard from another author and am trying to reach him myself. I will Tweet you as soon as I reach him, okay?