p.m.terrell is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 17 books in 4 genres. She has been a full-time author since 2000. Prior to that time, she founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialty was computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Her work in computers often finds its way into her suspense/thrillers. She is also the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose slogan is “Buy a Book and Stop a Crook” and is the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event that raises money for literacy campaigns. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library and is Vice President of the Robeson County Arts Council.
Thank you so much, Susan. It's great to be here.
Tell us how your environment affected your writing.
I was born in Washington, DC and spent much of my life there. But when I retired to Lumberton, North Carolina, the area reignited my passion for writing. I now have two series that take place in Lumberton – the award-winning Black Swamp Mysteries series (four books have been released in that series) and the Ryan O’Clery series, which has not yet been scheduled for release.
How many books have you written?
I am working on my 18th book now. My 15th book was released earlier this month, so my writing is about a year or two ahead of the release dates.
Congratulations on the new release, Dylan's Song! Please give a short synopsis of it.
Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a missing CIA operative. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, it plunges him into a past he thought he’d left behind forever. And as Vicki is discovering the real reason Dylan left Ireland for America, she is harboring a secret of her own.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I think quite a bit of my character is in Vicki Boyd, the psychic spy. She lives life in her head, which isn’t such a stretch from a writer creating characters and scenes. She is not a sportive person—and neither am I. But both of us are stronger than we’re sometimes given credit for. However, I don’t claim to be psychic like Vicki. I interviewed real psychic spies working for the government to keep her job as real as possible.
Do your characters take on a life of their own? If so, which is your favorite?
Definitely. My favorite—like so many of my fans—is Dylan Maguire, the Irish CIA operative. He is strong, handsome, loving and romantic—but he can kill when the situation merits it. Who could ask for more?
What challenges did you face while writing this particular book?
The book takes place in Ireland and I had planned a trip to Ireland this past year but my health prevented it. But I was under an obligation to write the book so I found myself researching the terrain online. I then relied on my cousins in Ireland as well as a few Irish authors to check my scenes for accuracy, particularly with regard to the mysterious Bog of Allen.
Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?
I do travel and someday soon I do hope to get to Ireland, as I have several books scheduled that take place there. When I was writing River Passage (my 2010 award-winning book) and Songbirds are Free (my most popular book to date) I followed the path of my ancestor who had been captured by Shawnee warriors in 1780. Those trips took over two years and took me a thousand miles when all was said and done.
What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned is how powerful words can be. They open up doors for both the writers and readers and they transport us to places, times and events. The mind is a powerful thing.The best advice I can give to new writers is to get your ego out of your book.
Good advice, indeed, Trish.
Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?
My ideas are always stored in my head, but I will frequently do online research and email the links to myself so I can store them in specific folders. With my iPhone, I find I can research and email in the oddest of places!
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
I am finding the Internet to be an amazingly effective means of marketing and promotion. It has mushroomed over the past five years. I employ a mix of social networking (primarily Twitter and Facebook), my blogs (www.pmterrell.blogspot.com and www.vickisangelfish.blogspot.com, named after my CIA agents’ front as angelfish breeders) and I also do some extensive blog tours that have placed me in front of readers all over the world. I used to travel about eight months out of the year, crisscrossing the country doing speaking engagements and book signings, but the Internet has replaced a good portion of that. It’s freed me to write more.
Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?
I am contracted to write two books in 2013. I am working on the 5th book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, which has Dylan and Vicki returning to Lumberton, NC where they launch their next CIA mission. And I am also writing the second book in the new Ryan O’Clery series, about a serial killer.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
My website is www.pmterrell.com. You’ll find links in the left menu to my Twitter and Facebook pages and blogspots.
Are your books available in print and ebook formats?
All of my books are available as trade paperback as well as formatted for Kindle, Nook, iBooks and other eFormats. For Dylan’s Song, the buy links are:
Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/Dylans-Black-Swamp-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00BBGF12E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363291596&sr=1-1&keywords=dylan%27s+song
Trade paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Dylans-Song-p-m-terrell/dp/1935970070/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1363291596&sr=1-1
Trish, it has been such a pleasure to have you on the blog. I hope many folks will check out your books and discover Book'Em as well. I wish you continued success in your many endeavors!