Sweet Turtleberry, author & publisher

Sweet Turtleberry is a writer of realistic fairy tales. She was born and raised in Baltimore, with a few stops in the mix. Turtleberry is a graduate of Towson University and the University of Baltimore, where she received a Master’s Degree in Publication’s Design and Creative Writing. Turtleberry is currently doing what she loves… writing.

She was kind enough to pause in her writing to answer a few questions for us about her motivations, her books, and her writing routine.

JR: When I first thought of asking you for an interview, I assumed you were an indie author. I had no idea you were so prolific! I counted twelve books, is that right? And you run a publishing house, Turtleberry Press? I’d love to hear more about both of those, and how they overlap in your life.

ST: I am more indie author than publisher. I personally have seven fiction books with one on the way this month. Three of those had to be split in half due to length  (I got all wordy). I have also helped my aunt publish a book. We are trying to get her second one out this month as well. I have an out-of-print poetry series (four chapbooks) and a photography book I did with a friend.

Writing is my therapy. I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t creating characters and worlds in my head.

With Turtleberry Press I am really trying to promote creativity. I want people to create art, books, and music. I started out wanting a publishing company but now I want to encourage others to self-publish or go down the path best for them to get their work out into the world.

The publishing came from my unwillingness to query. I learned how to self-publish in my graduate program and haven’t looked back.


JR: What would you like my readers to know about your books?

ST: My books are fun. Many of them start when characters are young adults and grow with them. I write romantic fiction and am slightly obsessed with having a happy ending.


JR: Many authors struggle to find balance between work and home and self. I think we end up working in every free moment. Do you struggle with this? If not, how have you organized your time and focus to keep yourself from drowning?

ST: I don’t balance well. Writing can consume me. I try my best to handle the necessary responsibilities but I fall short on occasion. Planners don’t work for me.

I suffer with depression and anxiety. With that comes procrastination and little to no motivation. I drown frequently but have learned ways of swimming through this. I think my biggest struggle is with not thinking my writing is good enough for others. I frequently read my old works again and they make me so happy. I am motivated by the fact that they might possibly bring one person half as much joy as they bring me.


JR: What does your creative process look like? Do you have set goals and deadlines? Do you have a separate writing space? How about writing playlists?

ST: I do not outline on paper except for specific scenes. I plot mostly in my head. I have at least three stories running through my head at any given moment.

Writing goals are a surefire way for me not to write (although I have two books that we successful NaNoWriMo projects). I have been hit or miss with deadlines.

I write whenever and wherever, though mostly from my bed.

I am the playlist queen. I am working on posting the playlists that go with certain books or characters on Spotify. An extremely large part of my creativity and inspiration comes from music.

You can find more information at her blog or her Amazon page. Happy Creating!

2 thoughts on “Sweet Turtleberry, author & publisher

  1. I identify strongly with this:
    “Writing goals are a surefire way for me not to write”

    And reading about your playlist method gives me the thought that I should try the same. I’ve often thought, “Hey, I could really come up with a lot of ideas if I were listening to Led Zepellin-Kashmir.” I need to try it.

    1. Really? That’s interesting. Maybe goal-oriented vs. open-space oriented (?) are like pantsers vs. plotters? I’m so goal-driven, I don’t have the vocabulary for the other types of motivation! lol

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