P.M. Terrell will be awarding Celtic necklace containing the Tree of Life. USA only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. Looking back over the 19 books that I have had published, I would have to say that my strongest trait is that of empathy. I am able to place myself in someone else’s shoes, feel their pain, their love, their fear, their sadness and their ecstasy. I believe when writing about other people—whether fiction or nonfiction—it is invaluable to feel their emotions because in so doing, I can convey those emotions to the reader.
2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? I researched genres before selecting those that I write in. I am drawn to books that keep me turning the pages and those are almost always books of suspense and adventure, of ordinary people facing extraordinary events and of people transformed in the process.
3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? I am definitely a plotter. I have many ideas come to me and those that I choose to write about are the ones that nibble at my subconscious until I begin researching and planning and mulling over exactly how the book will be written. I have three points that I spend a lot of time on: the beginning where I lay the groundwork, the middle where something big happens that is almost like a climactic scene in itself, and the ending that consists of the climactic scene and winding things up. Those events that come in between support one of those three areas.
4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? I have! I have a fear of heights, which I used in Cloak and Mirrors’ climactic scene. Vicki, Dylan and several others must navigate a rope bridge suspended 150 feet over the water and jagged cliffs while the bad guys are coming up behind them. I also had a character hiding in an attic when a large spider crawled across her hand. And a big fear is being paralyzed and unable to help myself but knowing the bad guys are coming for me—which I used in an earlier book in which the main character was hospitalized, under sedation, knew the killer was coming into her room but she was powerless to stop him.
5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? Compartmentalizing is key. Life is always going to throw things at us, no matter where we work or what we do. I think a big misconception is that writers can write whenever they feel like it. It’s like saying children go to school or adults go to work whenever they feel like it. Show me a writer that writes only when the feeling grabs her (or him) and I’ll show you someone without a publishing contract. Deadlines can be a strong motivator and any inability to meet those deadlines impacts everyone involved in the production and marketing of the book.
6. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. I write in my office. It has 360 degree views, which I love, and is very peaceful and quiet. My dream has always been to write in a little white cottage at the edge of the sea and I tried to do that a year ago when I applied to immigrate to Ireland. I was told I could only stay for one year so with the cost of moving, I decided to stay put. But the dream is still there and hopefully someday it will come true. The one comfort food that I cannot do without is most definitely chocolate. Anybody got any tips for a serious addiction to chocolate?
7. Writing inspirations? I receive inspiration every day, from people I meet to places I see and news I read. The biggest decision for me is which ones to write about. Too much inspiration and too little time!
8. You are introduced to one of your favorite authors. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? I would love to speak with Margaret Mitchell and find out how she developed characters that have withstood the test of time—Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler, Melanie and Ashley Wilkes, Mammy, Prissy, and so many others… And I would love to know how she was able to write such battle scenes without ever having been in a war herself.
9. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. I am very comfortable alone with myself and I can only be in a crowd of people for so long before I am craving the solitude once again. I am always looking outward at people and events and I think when I get into crowded situations I begin to suffer from cognitive overload. So if there is one thing my friends might wish that I was, it’s more of a social butterfly.
by P.M. Terrell
CIA operatives Vicki Boyd and Dylan Maguire are back in the 6th book of the award-winning Black Swamp Mysteries Series. Vicki and Dylan journey to Ireland for their honeymoon and while they are there, they agree to pick up a package from a Russian spy containing plans for Russia’s latest stealth technology. But when the Russian decides to defect, they find themselves trying to get him safely out of the country. They also discover the Kremlin has uncovered their identities and now Vicki and Dylan flee across the island. With breathtaking descriptions of Ireland’s rugged coast and the Northern Lights, romance and suspense come together again.
The winds whistled and swirled in the frosty night like a chorus of apparitions dancing and bobbing, leaving soft whispers against Dylan’s ear, enticing, cajoling, flirtatious and deadly. Ah, but they could drive a man insane on a night like this, he thought, pulling his collar tighter about his ears. He wore an Irish tweed cap and still the winds licked at his hair like fingers running through it, soothing, insistent and treacherous.
The horse’s mane was grasped as well by the same invisible force, the long strands stretched as though they were being combed by an otherworldly creature that would not let go. They were nervous tonight and he imagined given their heads, they would turn about and leave the eerie foothills of the Blue Stack Mountains. He kept a firm hold on Dougal’s reigns as the horse snorted, the sound unnaturally shrill.
He could read a horse like he could read a man’s face, and tonight it didn’t bode well. Dougal’s ears were stiff and pitched forward, a sign of unease for sure, and every now and again they twitched and trembled as his haunches dipped low. Dylan peered through the shadows at the other horses, both as spirited as his; and yet their tails were clamped low, their voices constant.
In contrast, the men were hushed as they had been since leaving the manor house, the silence broken only intermittently as Jack announced a change in direction or a distant landmark for which he was aiming. Even then, his statements were terse as if he was reluctant to speak in the eerie terrain.
The ground beneath the horses’ hooves was uneven and unpredictable. As the night sky began to brighten with the first vestiges of the aurora borealis, he began to see why their progress had slowed since entering the mountain range; the horses had to pick their way around craggy rocks, the tall grasses obscuring whether the land was firm or soft until their hooves either landed on solid ground or they felt the disconcerting descent into boggy earth.
He inched the horse forward until it was nearly even with Jack. He rode a silver mare with a jet black mane and tail, a beautiful animal to be sure and under the stars her coat was mesmerizing as if it was aglow.
“Are you certain this is the way to Innisbarracar?” Dylan asked.
Jack glanced in Alexei’s direction before shifting his attention to Dylan. “You said you needed weapons, did you not?”
“Then we’d be taking a bit of a diversion.” He pointed at the mountain’s highest peak.
“Innisbarracar would be on the other side through the pass. We’ll be headin’ in that direction—” he pointed slightly to the left of the mountain “—where we’ll be arming ourselves first.”
They rode for a few minutes in silence before Dylan asked, “And what type of weapons would you be havin’ there?”
Jack looked at him out of the corner of his eye. “Whatever kind you’d be needin’.”
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in several genres, including suspense, historical and non-fiction. Prior to becoming a writer, she owned two computer companies in the Washington, DC with a specialty in combatting computer crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Technology is often woven through her suspense thrillers. Terrell is of Irish descent, and Ireland often figures prominently in her books as well. She has been a full-time author since 2002 and currently travels between her home in North Carolina and Northern Ireland, the home of her ancestors. She is also the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina’s Writers Conference and Book Fair (http://bookemnc.org) and The Novel Business (http://thenovelbusiness.com).
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/terrellpm
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