Heart felt with author Teri Terry

Liz Nicholls


Teri, whose psychological thriller The Patient will be published by Bookouture on 13th February, tells us about her local life & loves

Teri is no stranger to writing, having previously published 14 young adult novels. She was inspired to write The Patient after following the tragic news of the parents of a young boy who went to court to stop his life support being withdrawn.

This and other previous cases got her thinking about what life and death mean, both medically and legally, and how it might differ from how most lay people would view this…

“When I was a law student I was fascinated at the difference between ethics and a lay person’s gut reaction of what is right or wrong,” she says. “An action could be considered ethical even if many would consider it wrong; conversely, it could be unethical even if most might think it was right.”

Teri, who has worked as a scientist, a lawyer and an optician; managed her own business, worked for a charity and in schools and libraries, has been writing full-time for a dozen years, mostly thrillers for teens, starting with the Slated trilogy. She was born in France, going to school in Canada, and living in Australia before settling in south Bucks which has been home for almost 20 years and where she lives now with her husband and six-year-old cockapoo Scooby. “Bucks is very much home,” adds Teri. “We got engaged at the top of Coombe Hill… Then I slipped over in the mud. Scooby is much loved and full of life and mischief. Having her made such a huge difference to our lives during lockdown. Tommy the trainer is one of her very favourite people, now located at Pegasus Unique Pets in Whitchurch [pegasuspets.store].

“I love that we have easy access to canal and countryside walks here, but are still being able to get to London in under an hour: the best of both worlds! I love Black Goo in Tring and Thame is a favourite haunt. Also, The Bell in Aston Clinton and Rumseys in Wendover for getting together with other writers, eating chocolatey treats and having a good natter. I’m also very pleased there is a new independent bookshop in Tring, Our Bookshop.”

The Patient is a psychological thriller about a heart transplant recipient who becomes obsessed with her donor. You can order or pre-order before that date on Amazon.

Hungerford heroine: historical novelist Iris Lloyd

Round & About


Iris Lloyd explains more about her “now or never” approach to writing, having written her first novel at the age of 70 and just published her latest.

My Lady Marian, my eighth novel, has just been published. It tells the story of Marian who arrives at the court of Henry VIII at the age of 15 and later becomes lady-in-waiting to Katharine of Aragon then Anne Boleyn.

I have been writing all my life – stories, poems, pantomimes, as village correspondent for the Newbury Weekly News – but had never tackled a novel. When I reached the age of 70, I thought: “Now or never!”

At that time, I lived in Beedon, north of Newbury, and was helping to excavate a site on the downs that had been active all through the Roman occupation. Our “finds” included a thousand bronze and two gold coins, Samian pottery, jewellery, a Medusa medallion and a rare fish brooch (a sign of Christian activity), as well as the skeletons of a dog, one adult and more than 50 babies.

Inspired by this site, my first five novels tell the story of Bron, who was born and brought up there, who travels to Rome in pursuit of her young Roman officer lover, then returns home to a new village being built where Beedon now stands.

My sixth novel, Flash Black, takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I. There followed Hunterswick Green, a contemporary novel set in a new housing complex that is advertised as perfect but hides a secret.

  Signed copies of all my books are available through my website www.irislloyd.co.uk or by emailing [email protected] by adding £2, postage to the price, or they can be obtained through bookshops.

Big society: Surrey novelist

Round & About


Shamley Green pilot-turned-author Heather Lanfermeijer explains more about how her experiences of motherhood led her to write her debut novel The Society Game.

My daughter suffered the onset of the “terrible twos” before she was one. Although, perhaps a better way of putting it is: I suffered my daughter’s terrible twos earlier than I expected.

To remedy this my mother suggested I take up knitting, my friends suggested I take up drinking. I don’t have the patience for knitting and I’m too vain to drink the amount of calorific wine needed to drown out tantrums. Instead I vented my frustration on paper on the odd occasion when my beloved was quiet.

Writing down my bugbears about exploding dirty nappies, supermarket screaming and continual sterilising of baby bottles was cathartic and helped me face another day and another tantrum. These baby annoyances merged into writing about other daily grievances; dog walkers’ inability to pick up their dog’s mess, the bollards my car keeps backing into (I swear they weren’t there when I got in the car). From there, my frustrations morphed into things that really irritate me about aspects of our society and thus began my book.

I used to live in an area along the A3 full of million-pound mock-Georgian houses with new supercars on display in the driveways. To my jealous eye, the women who lived here enjoyed blissful, carefree days with only the odd First World problem to bother them, such as: “the cleaner has dusted my pictures and left them wonky and I now have to straighten them before I go out!” (genuine conversation!). Over the years, I noticed a pattern emerging: between the ages of 30 and 40 these beautiful ladies seemed to me to spend their days in coffee shops with their baby (always) asleep in the pram. From 40 to 50 there were no children only coffee but they looked strangely younger than their previous 30-something self. By 50, the Botox and fillers left these women with a mannequin face I could no longer relate to. And sadly, coffee is replaced with Prosecco from wine bars as they fight to find husband number two (or three).

Possibly a cruel summation but it occurred to me that our society favours a beautiful façade over a happy marriage. So, the social defect explored in Olivia, is about our generation’s obsession with how we look as we are led to believe success is not just about keeping up with the Joneses but now keeping up with the Kardashians.

Olivia is based around true stories collected over the years from friends’ tales, stranger tales and pub tales. The book is moulded into one story based on my perception of our society. For those intrigued then maybe check out my website www.thesocietygame.com. I write a weekly blog including excerpts from this and future books where I invite debate as I assume some may disagree with my view but that’s OK; art is just another person’s perspective on life and Olivia is my art.

  The Society Game, by H. Lanfermeijer, is out now.