Monday, 9 February 2015

Monday Moments with Teresa Cutler-Broyles!

Monday Moments continue with another guest addition to my series of interviews. Today, Teresa Cutler-Broyles has dropped in from New Mexico, U.S.A., to answer my questions. 

Welcome to my blog, Teresa. Please tell us something about where you’re from and where you live now.

I live in the same town where I was born, though I’ve spent just under half my life living in other places. Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. They call it the Land of Enchantment, and it really is.

I almost went to Santa Fe, not too far from you, my brother-in-law having a holiday home there for a few years. But sadly my teaching job got in the way and our holidays didn't coincide with theirs. 

The map at left is for people like me who need to be reminded of where New Mexico is. My US states geography is generally quite good but I admit to needing a prompt for some of them.

But back to you, Teresa -When did you first become involved in writing and what were your first writing projects?
When I was eight years old I wrote a story about my sister being eaten by a witch on Halloween. This landed me a shrink’s office – only once, but my parents wanted to be sure I didn’t *actually* want my sister to be somebody’s lunch – which really was all about playing with toys. I’ve still got the original document. My first writing projects as such were later, at about age 12. They were horror stories about scary houses in the woods, and I fancied that they were quite Poe-like. 

Poe can be quite scary, indeed, though many fairy tales also have scary houses in the woods. Did anyone in your past influence you, or encourage you to become a writer?
My mom. A number of my writing professors. Friends. 

I know that writing for magazines has been successful for you for some time. At what point did you decide to venture forth from writing for magazines?
The problem with making goals and reaching them is that then there’s the question ‘now what?’ I had always wanted to write for magazines; then I did it, and it was time to do the next thing. 

Teresa jumping bareback aged 13
You’ve published the novel One Eyed Jack with Crooked Cat Publishing. How did you decide on the characters, plots and title?
I owned a one-eyed horse for a while in my 30s. The whole beginning of the book came directly from my own experiences with desperately wanting a horse when I was young combined with actually participating in the eye-ectomy of a horse on a ranch where I worked. The rest of the story is a mish-mash of all kinds of my own experiences owning horses for almost 30 years, combined with fictional places and people. The name was actually the name of a different horse I had much later, and I liked that the phrase had a recognition factor, as well as honouring my own Jack.

What about the choice of location. Was that important to the story of One Eyed Jack?
The location was entirely fictional, though Book Two (when I finally am able to finish it) takes place in an actual location that readers will be able to find on a map, and visit if they want to. And they can ride horses there, too.
Are there other YA novels in the pipeline?
One Eyed Jack is the first in a three-book series. 

Having published articles and a novel  - which writing gives you most satisfaction?
They’re both satisfying in different ways. Magazine articles have larger audiences – at least for my books. J But the excitement of writing that last sentence in a book is bigger. Books are giant projects that take a long time, so the feeling of having accomplished something is pretty great.

I agree with the giant projects comment since my novels have all been longish ones. The problem I find, with wrtiting full-length novels is that life tends to get in the way a lot and holds up progress. I can imagine that happens to you, too, because I've read that you run Writing Workshops. Can you tell the readers something about these, please?
Terea, Assisi, Italy
Yes, thanks for asking about these. I run Writing Workshops in Italy! They’re actually Cultural Writing Tours, and they combine writing workshops with authors of fiction and nonfiction, with cooking classes, photography lessons, a sail on a lake, and visits to gardens and castles and museums. Essentially they are immersive experiences in Italian life, and we visit towns and sites that most tourists never see. All while writing and learning about writing. Any level of writer can go, from beginner with just an idea, to accomplished, published author. ( I also run Hero’s Journey Tours in Italy for anyone, writer or not, who wants to explore his or her path in life. (

What are your professional/ writing goals for 2015?
To finalize the edits on my historical novel, Dante’s Garden, and get that published. To finish the next historical novel, Fiona at the Globe. To finish Book One of a series of murder mystery/spy novels. And to do at least two Tours to Italy with amazing clients.

That sounds like a good sound plan for 2015. 
Please tell us four fun things about you that wouldn’t appear in any of your author bios.
Four fun things…
1) I ran away from home when I was 16 years old, and my parents never knew. In fact, I bought a car, took my dog and a friend and her dog, and we all ran away. Drove all the way to Los Angeles, California (from Phoenix, AZ – about 8 hours drive). Ended up at the beach for a day and a night. Got cold and scared and hungry (did I mention we forgot to bring food, and had no money?) so came home the next day, sold the car, and never told a soul.
2) My mom is my hero.
3) I like to hang out in Italian gardens and write
4) I once lost $80 to street hustlers in New York City.

Is there anything else would you like to tell my readers about your writing career?
Writing careers are often frustrating. Taking an idea from origin to finished product is a long process, and requires both luck and perseverance. I can’t imagine a better life.

Teresa Cutler-Broyles is a writer of both fiction and creative non-fiction, with publications in magazines on subjects ranging from Parenting to Conspiracies to Travel to History to Horses. She has been writing professionally since 1992, and for 28 years before that as a warm-up. Her Young Adult novel One Eyed Jack is available through Crooked Cat Press or on (, and her Historical Novel Dante’s Garden will (fingers crossed) be released sometime in 2015. Links to a few online publications can be found at (

Currently she teaches Film Analysis and Peace Studies classes at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and runs Cultural Writing Tours in Italy (; the next Tour is October of 2015.

She lives with her husband and two goofy dogs, all of whom stare at her blankly when she tries to explain her latest projects. She can be reached at

Thank you for coming to visit today, Teresa. My very best wishes for all of those writing plans in 2015. We'll be looking out for the next book in your series! 



  1. From horses to peace studies and writing. Fascinating lady. I went from green and peaces issues, to horses and writing. Been to Albuquerque - great place - and even set things in wider area - but missed out on Italy. Good luck with One-eyed Jack, which I have to check out - don't tend to read YA but horses............

    1. Hi Roland. I love Gypsy Vanner horses but I'd not ride them!

    2. Hi Roland and Nancy. This is Teresa coming back to say hi. I didn't realize there'd been a comment / reply to this interview we did two years ago.
      Hi Roland! Looks like we crossed paths. :-)
      One Eyed Jack is still out there, and Dante's Garden is now published. I hope your writing is going well - and Nancy's too.


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