p.m.terrell will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: p.m. terrell
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book?
I have always enjoyed reading mysteries and suspense. There is something about a book that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats, danger lurking just beyond the next page, chapters ending in cliff-hangers. Because I enjoy reading those types of books, they are the ones I wanted to also write.
I research intensively, and during one research session, I came upon the story of two brothers that had been murdered in Ireland in 1919. What truly wrenched at my heart was their mother’s story; she had been there and had tried unsuccessfully to stop the killers from murdering her sons. It changed her and the rest of her life. I knew I had to write this story. I made it fiction and changed the location, because the descendants of both the killers and their victims are still alive. But I wanted to tell the mother’s story. She became April Crutchley in the book, April in the Back of Beyond. When writer Hayley Hunter arrives to research her next historical book, it is early April and the tourist season has not yet begun. But she soon realizes the cottage she is renting in a remote corner of Ireland—someplace the locals call ‘the back of beyond’—is haunted by April’s ghost. The title then became a play on words, depicting the month but also the woman who refuses to leave the back of beyond even in death.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle or last child and how does this shape your view of the world?
am right in the middle of five children. I believe this allowed me to see the
world through my older brother’s and sister’s eyes as well as through my
younger brother’s and sister’s eyes. In a rapidly changing world, it also
allowed me to see firsthand how technological advancements registered in each
of their lives.
3. Where is your favorite place to write?
I write in my office. It’s secluded, though I have 360 degree views. I need quiet time to escape into the worlds of my characters. I always write on the computer, never by hand, and I’m constantly editing while I’m working on that first draft. I think back to my first books written on a Smith-Corona typewriter, and wow, have we come a long way!
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains?
Killing my darlings is extremely difficult, and I can only do it when there is something to be learned from their passing. I write a lot of historical works and novels with dual timelines, and that somehow makes it easier for me to kill someone in the distant past, knowing what the future will bring.
The most difficult person I had to write off was Cahir O’Doherty. The story, Checkmate: Clans and Castles, was true; otherwise, I would never have killed him. Handsome, charismatic, highly intelligent, devoted to his wife and fiercely loyal to his people, he was the last Gaelic King of Ireland. When the English invaded Ireland and he mounted O’Doherty’s Rebellion, he was killed on the battlefield while only in his 20s. In a truly barbaric manner, the English took his head to Dublin Castle and displayed it for all to see.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
I don’t have just one favorite author but many, and I am constantly discovering more whose work I truly enjoy. I have come to the conclusion that each person’s journey is uniquely their own, so what worked for one author may not work for another. I suppose the burning question I would ask is how they envisioned their work changing the world and whether they believe they accomplished that.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows.
I was taught as a child of the 1960’s that only Earth is capable of sustaining life forms, that we live only one life (even if it was to be just for one day or a matter of hours), and in heaven and hell. As an adult, I’ve thrown all of those teachings out the window. I believe in such a vast and limitless cosmos, there must be other life forms on other planets that we simply have not yet discovered. I believe in reincarnation and a continuous soul, and I believe that our bodies live inside our souls and not the other way around.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack?
Only three? Packets that make saltwater drinkable, my iPad with its solar charger and a multi-tool. The packets would make sure I don’t die of dehydration. The iPad contains thousands (literally!) of books that would keep me entertained when I’m not working to physically survive. And the multi-tool would help me in all those situations where I need a knife or a hammer or some other device to help me make a structure and cut down food or snare a fish. And if I could sneak in a fourth item, it would be a good supply of trail mix.
8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
would want to see into the future. There is always so much uncertainty in life,
and while writing my books I am often seeing the historical backdrop through my
characters’ eyes, who don’t know how events will play out and often they are in
life-or-death situations. I’d love to be able to see what would happen if a particular
path was chosen in my own life, much like I do with my characters.
9. Favorite snack?
Aplets and Cotlets. They’re from a Turkish recipe consisting of fruit jellies dusted with powdered sugar. They’re so delicious.
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit?
Are any police officers reading this? Then I always drive the speed limit, of course.
Thank you for having me here today!
April in the Back of Beyond
GENRE: Romantic Suspense/Ghost Story
BOOK TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7TpMk4StYI
Writer Hayley Hunter has arrived in Ireland to complete a book on Irish history. When she discovers the old carriage house she is renting is haunted, she is determined to uncover the truth behind the burned ruins of a nearby manor house and the abandoned British barracks it overlooks. With the assistance of Shay Macgregor, an Irish historian, her quest will take her to 1919 and the Irish War for Independence, exposing the murders of two young men and why their mother, April Crutchley, refuses to leave the back of beyond even in death. With a budding romance and the opportunity to begin life anew, Hayley finds her own life is now in jeopardy as she gets closer to a truth the villagers have long sought to bury.
When I heard the soft sobs, I realized I had drifted off once more and in my half-awakened state, I thought the cries were connected to my discordant dreams. I lay there with a groan on my lips not quite ready to spill out and wishing I could simply sleep peacefully before it was too late and I would be forced to arise for the long day ahead. I felt the bedcovers slip away from my bare shoulders and I fought to open my eyes.
When they finally did open, I discovered that I was completely uncovered. The bedcovers had been pulled to the foot of the bed and were shivering inches from my feet as they lay heaped into an unkempt triangle about three feet in height. I blinked once and then twice, my mind not grasping what my eyes were witnessing, for surely it must be a trick of the eyes to think the covers were still moving.
It was then that I realized the soft sobs had continued even after I had fully awakened and they were not part and parcel of my overactive dream state but they were real and they were coming from the direction of the blanket.
“You don’t understand,” came the sound of a woman’s voice, wracked with anguished sobs. “They are still here.”
“No, sweet darling,” returned a weary man’s voice that sounded so close I nearly jumped out of my skin. “They are with God now.”
“I’m telling you they are not,” the woman answered, her weeping growing more tormented. “They’ve never left. They’re still here.”
Within the space of a single heartbeat, I saw myself just a few nights ago, convinced the voices came from outside my window. Then I was pulled into the present to fight the horrifying realization that I was sharing my bed with two apparitions.
I slid my feet away from the covers in excruciatingly slow progress, afraid at any moment my movements would alert the phantoms of my presence. I tucked my feet and knees close to my torso as I came to an uneasy seated position, almost fetal in an attempt to occupy as little space as possible.
The room had become an icebox despite the radiators and I found myself shivering almost in tandem with the blanket. I had no idea how long I sat there, curled against the headboard and pillows, watching the foot of the bed and listening to the disembodied voices that filled the air. But then something seemed to snap inside me, fully awakening me to the present time and despite my fear, despite my trepidation, I grew impatient with myself. I reached a trembling hand toward the bedcovers, intent on pulling them over me to fight the chill as well as reassure me that they were not wet.
But at the precise moment I felt the dampness under my fingers, the sobbing stopped, replaced by a gasp that was not my own. I yanked the covers to the side, determined to discover what mechanical device lay beneath. The material jerked away from me as though I was engaged in a tug-of-war and the gasp was replaced with a woman’s blood-curdling scream and a man’s shouts.
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 23 books in multiple genres, including contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer instructional, non-fiction and children’s books.
Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: McClelland Enterprises, Inc. and Continental Software Development Corporation. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in the detection of white-collar computer crimes and computer intelligence.
A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries was her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22, released in 2008. Vicki’s Key was a top-five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee, and The Pendulum Files was a national finalist for the Best Cover of the Year in 2014. Her second series, Ryan O’Clery Suspense, is also award-winning. The Tempest Murders (Book 1) was one of four finalists in the 2013 International Book Awards, cross-genre category. Her historical suspense, River Passage, was a 2010 Best Fiction and Drama Winner. It was determined to be so historically accurate that a copy of the book resides at the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. Songbirds are Free is her bestselling book to date; it is inspired by the true story of Mary Neely, who was captured in 1780 by Shawnee warriors near Fort Nashborough (now Nashville, TN).
She was the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She was the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime and served as its chairperson and organizer for its first four years. She also served on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County (NC) Public Library, the Robeson County (NC) Arts Council, Virginia Crime Stoppers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia.
For more information, book trailers, excerpts and more, visit the author’s website at www.pmterrell.com.