Friday, 27 July 2012

Guest Post with author P.M. Terrell



BECOMING A WRITER

Sometimes I think my path to becoming a writer was always preordained.

My father was an FBI Agent. In 1967, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, he was transferred from New Jersey to the Mississippi Delta.

I had been born in Washington, DC and had spent my life up to that point living in the north. So when I arrived in Mississippi, I was completely ostracized—by adults who wanted the FBI to get out of their state and by other students who culturally were completely different than me.

The principal of my school, Mrs. Alexander, encouraged me to write. I started out writing short stories, which she encouraged me to bring to her office and share with her. By the mid 1970’s, I was writing full-length novels.

I was drawn to suspense and crimes, probably because of my father’s job in law enforcement and the shock of moving to Mississippi when such violence and upheaval was the norm. I found that my own reading was drawn more toward romance and fantasy; both themes that took me out of my present situation into other worlds, other times.


Though I wanted to write full-time, I was drawn into the computer industry, where I gained a specialty in white collar computer crime and computer intelligence. The career in computers helped me to continue to weave crimes into my writing—this time, with first-hand knowledge. My clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense so they feature strongly in my writing.

It wasn’t until I wrote Exit 22 in 2006 (my 10th published book) that I truly began to weave the romantic element through my suspense. And when a Baptist preacher urged me to write more romance, I decided if a minister was begging for it, it meant my books needed more of it!

I resisted writing a series because I did not want to become a formula writer. When I stumbled upon declassified information about our government’s psychic programs, I knew I had the makings of a series that could take me around the world, through different times, and with such a variety of plots that I could continue to surprise my readers. Vicki’s Key was launched in March 2012, and it became a 2012 International Book Awards Finalist and a 2012 USA Best Book Awards nominee. It weaves all three of my literary “loves” : suspense, romance and a touch of the paranormal.

The next book in the series, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, will be released this fall. It combines the characters from Exit 22 and those from Vicki’s Key. By having about five main characters, it keeps me interested because I can switch points of view depending on that book’s plot. The characters are tied together through circumstance or blood; I see it the same way as a television ensemble cast, where certain characters rise to the surface depending on what happens around them and to them. I am currently planning a trip to Ireland for the next in the series, Dylan’s Song, to be released in 2013.



P.M. will be giving away gift baskets from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki's adventure takes place--one for a randomly drawn commenter and one for the host with the most comments, excluding the host's own or p.m.'s. (US/Canada only) The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/05/virtual-book-tour-vickis-key.html


About the Author:

 P.M.Terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of thirteen books, including six suspense/thrillers and two historical suspense. Suspense Magazine says "p.m.terrell gets better with each and every book she writes" and Midwest Book Review says, "p.m.terrell is a master at skillfully combining drama, action, suspense and romance to engage the reader in an adrenaline rush of page turning adventure." PBS television host Barbara Berlin says, "p.m.terrell is the next John Grisham." A full-time writer for more than 12 years, her latest series, Black Swamp Mysteries, combines international intrigue and adventure with the CIA's psychic spy program, resulting in a series that appeals to lovers of suspense, romance or the paranormal. Prior to becoming an author, terrell operated two computer businesses focusing on computer intelligence and white collar crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. For more about terrell and her books, visit www.pmterrell.com.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me today. I'll be dropping in throughout the day to answer questions anyone might have for me. I appreciate any comments!

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  2. Sometimes the series pick us, whether we planned it or not.

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  3. I enjoyed reading more about you. Thank you for sharing about your life.
    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. Thank you, Diane and Ingeborg, for dropping in and leaving a comment!
    Diane, you're right. My latest series was never intended but it sure picked me and I'm very happy about it.
    I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my life, Ingeborg! I've shared more about myself on this book tour than I have in 10 years of writing suspense/thrillers. :)

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  5. How interesting that your dad was an FBI agent. Did he talk about his work? And what culture shock to go from Jersey to the Deep South. I was a Jersey girl who also went South and love living in NC now.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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  6. I learned something new about you today, Trish. I didn't know your father was an FBI agent. How interesting! And you believe that your dad being in law enforcement, and the violence you experienced in Mississippi were two of the reasons you gravitated toward suspense and crime writing. Fascinating. It seems Mrs. Alexander was a great motivator too. Vicki's Key, I'm sure, is an outstanding read.

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  7. Catherine and David, thank you for stopping by!
    Catherine, my father did not talk much about his work because so much was classified. He still keeps a lot to himself, though he retired nearly 30 years ago. But every now and then he tells me a story about one of his cases... and a snippet makes it into my books. He also proofs the investigative information of many of my books to ensure accuracy.
    David, yes, I am sure those early years in MS greatly affected my career path. It was such a violent time in our nation's history!
    Thank you both for leaving comments!

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  8. This sounds like a good series.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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