Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Hi, Terry. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I grew up in Perry, Fla., a small town about 50 miles south of Tallahassee. My mother was a school teacher and my father had his own tile and carpet business. As a kid, one of my favorite tv shows was Perry Mason, and I thought Atticus Finch was a true hero. Not too surprising, then, that I eventually decided to pursue a career in the law—that and I had no real talent for anything else. I very much enjoyed my time as a lawyer, but I love my work as a judge. I’ve been doing this for nearly 30 years and it is something I look forward to every day.
Probably no surprise, either, that when I decided to take a stab at writing, it was a legal thriller. I credit Scott Turow with the inspiration to start. His Presumed Innocent was terrific, with an authenticity I found lacking in other novels. Could I do something like that? I didn’t know but I decided to give it a try.
When I am not working or writing, I like to stay active, playing tennis and basketball. I know what you’re thinking--this guy’s too old for basketball. Perhaps, but I will do it till I can’t do it anymore. Having been side-lined for a while with a broken foot, I have a glimpse of what that might look like. I’ll just have to make that adjustment. I guess more time for learning the guitar.
My wife, Fran, is my best friend. We have been together since college and we now share our house with our sweet dog, Pepper. Our daughter and son-in-law live close by, which allows us to spoil our only grandchild, Ian, as much as we want.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
What was once a challenge, a one-time project, has become a sustained effort to develop as a writer and to produce the best work I can. At some point I think I will try my hand at some creative non-fiction—probably after I retire from my day job.
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I have been involved in many civic organizations over the years as officer or board member, such as YMCA and Rotary, which have offered me many opportunities for community service, e.g., Habitat for Humanity builds, back-packing for Second Harvest and Kids Voting Project. A great deal of my volunteer time is spent in educational activities with students, lawyers and judges—probably the best use of the knowledge and skills I have learned along the way. Had I not gone into the law, I probably would have been a teacher. I have been heavily involved with judicial education for many years as faculty and administration. I am currently the dean of Florida’s College of Advanced Judicial Studies. I teach as an adjunct at FSU’s law school, make presentations at CLE courses and at local schools, and preside over moot court and mock trial competitions for high schools and law schools.
Would you like to find Terry?
Visit Terry's website for information about his books:
Fiction with a Southern Twist