Hello and welcome to p.m. terrell's virtual book tour. p.m. is going to talk to us about the challenges of being an author. p.m., thanks so much for including me in your tour.
My first book was published in 1984 and over the past 28 years, I have seen the industry change far more than I could ever have imagined.
When my first books were published, I could easily telephone book stores to schedule signings and they acted genuinely happy to have me there. With the multitude of authors now in the marketplace, it has become next to impossible to schedule bookstore signings, even though my publishers are traditional and unsold books are still returnable.
I have switched instead to speaking at libraries. Instead of sitting at a table, discussing my books with individuals passing by, I find myself with audiences that often number over a hundred. I speak about my writing and my work to an audience that doesn’t feel pressured to buy. Yet within a short space of time, I sell dozens of books.
This year for the first time I’ve tried blog tours and I am enjoying them immensely. A few years ago, I spent as much as eight months on the road with three or four appearances scheduled each day. Now I sit in the comfort of my office and reach readers from around the world. I miss the personal interaction, the smiles on fans’ faces, the handshakes. But I enjoy the comments left by readers and the wider interaction that often stretches to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
At one time, I had difficulty convincing my neighbors that although I was at home all day every day, I was working. However, now that I have fourteen books in the marketplace and several more scheduled for release over the next eighteen months that is no longer an issue. Now when I see my neighbors, they no longer ask if I am writing another book; they ask me what I am writing.
I was told when my first book was published not to quit my day job. It was sound advice, as I’ve seen the sale of books ebb and flow. This year has seen my eBook sales reach four to five times my printed book sales; whether that is from more computer-savvy blog followers, I don’t know. My books are also available now around the world and I find when USA sales are down, sales may be up in France or Germany or the UK or India. Each country and each format is a profit center all its own and in order to succeed in this business, an author must now understand each of those revenue streams and how to maximize them.
I never have issues with writers block or creativity. My biggest complaint is I don’t have enough time in the day to write all that crosses through my mind. I love writing and I can’t imagine what else I would do if it was no longer available to me. The computer work I once did seems stale and uninteresting compared to the dangers and romance of the world in which my characters live.
I count myself as one of the luckiest people on earth because I can do what I love.
In Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan Maguire is back in his first assignment with the CIA: to interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it's obvious she's had help from within the CIA's own ranks. With Vicki Boyd's assistance, Brenda is back in Dylan's custody. And now he must find out why some in the highest levels of our government want her dead while others are willing to risk everything to help her. And when he discovers Brenda's real identity, his mission has just become very personal.
Dylan and Sam stood in the wide, hushed hallway as they observed the interrogation room through the one-way mirror. Inside was a metal table in the center of the room with empty chairs on one side. Against the far wall was a counter that ran the length of the room, comprised of a sink and cabinets above and below the stainless steel countertop.
But it was the single chair on one side of the table, the side closest to Dylan and Sam that riveted their attention. The metal chair was arranged so they viewed the occupant from the side. The ankles were cuffed to the slat at the bottom of the chair while each wrist was cuffed to the chair arms. Thick copper hair hung in waves that reached to the person’s waist and obscured the face.
“That’s a woman,” Dylan said.
“Very observant,” Sam replied.
Sam crossed his arms in front of him. “Not this one. She’s not even close to breaking.”
“What’s ‘er name?”
“Ah, a Scottish name…What is it you want me to do with ‘er?”
“Keep her awake, for starters.” He glanced at him. “It should be good practice for you. Use some of those interrogation techniques they taught you.”
“She’s got blood on ‘er.”
“You got a medical bag, do you?”
“I’m sure we can round one up.”
“What is it you want to know?”
“Who she works for,” Sam said as he picked up a handset beside the one-way mirror.
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books, including Vicki's Key, a 2012 International Book Awards finalist, and River Passage, 2010 Best Fiction & Drama winner. She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation whose slogan is "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook" and the co-chair of Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference & Book Fair. For more information, visit www.pmterrell.com.
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