Sweet Venom Guest Post: Tera Lynn Child’s Character Inspiration

Award winning American author Tera Lynn Childs has an interesting method to beating writer’s block which could inspire many budding writers. As part of the creative process for writing her novels, Tera Lynn Childs collects images from various magazines and websites in order to create collages which help develop her ideas, characters, and specific elements of the novel.

Tera used this creative method when writing her new novel, Sweet Venom, the first in a trilogy following the lives of three beautiful but unusual sisters, Grace, Gretchen and Greer. The sisters are descendants of Medusa separated at birth and must reunite and embrace their fates in a paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight. Despite being triplets, Grace, Gretchen and Greer were all raised in different circumstances and are all distinctly unique. Tera’s visual process of creating collages specifically for each character effectively adds depth to each character’s personality.

“I’m such a visual person that the process really cements the character in my mind” Tera Lynn Childs

The collages visually reveal an insight into the differences in the sister’s personalities.

Grace is smart and from a loving family, but not much of one to stand up for herself. Quite the opposite, her sister Gretchen is a butt-kicking female who is full of attitude and has been keeping herself cut off from everyone but her guardian for a long time. Gretchen is therefore able to teach Grace a thing or two about defending herself, however the two realise they’re not as different from each other as they first thought when they meet their sister Greer. Leading the lifestyle of the wealthy and cultural elite, one wonders how Greer will fit into their monster fighting world.

Tera started making collages after a writing workshop about creating collages to represent a whole book, however she found it more thought provoking to instead develop collages for specific elements in her writing, such as the characters.

“Usually I make my collages after I’ve started the book, gotten a chapter or two in, and then I get stuck. It’s that time when the book goes from being the perfect dream in my head to the flawed words on my screen. So I’ll stop writing, stock up on magazines, and make collages for each
of the main and secondary characters in my books. I speed through the magazines, pulling out people and places and objects that remind of me of each character, and then glue them to paper.” Tera Lynn Childs

Check out Tera’s guide to collages on YouTube

Sweet Venom is the first in the Medusa Girls Series by Tera Lynn Childs and publishes today from Templar. Please call back on Monday when my review will go live. 


  • Zoe Crook

    Collages are such a great idea, I’ll have to do that next time I get writer’s block. I love the Fins series so I can’t wait to read Sweet Venom! I will look forward to your review, Raimy 🙂

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