I knew I wanted to be a writer in the fourth grade when my school principal encouraged me to write. My writing, like my reading, took me into other worlds that have remained with me throughout my life.
I began writing suspense in 1973 but my first published book was actually a computer how-to book that was released in 1984. It would take another 18 years for my first suspense to be published. I look back now at my earliest attempts and know I wasn’t ready – and they weren’t ready – for prime time. But having been in this industry for so many years, I now feel like I’ve witnessed a publishing revolution. The future looks very exciting.
I totally agree. We have seen a publishing revolution. What is your favorite scene from your book?
It would have to be The Pond Scene. Dylan and Vicki are in Ireland on a CIA mission when he awakens her in the middle of the night and carries her outside their rented cottage to a pond where they go skinny-dipping… and a whole lot more.
He stepped toward her as a lock of water-soaked hair fell across his forehead. His eyes had turned to vivid green in the light of the moon. With the initial shock wearing off and her body warming under the surface of the water, she pressed herself against his chest. As his arms wrapped around her gently, she tilted her head back and draped her arms around his neck.
His lips were full and soft as they brushed against hers. He looked into her eyes and smiled, causing his laugh lines to crinkle and his irises to sparkle. He had an uncanny ability to live in the moment, she thought as she parted her lips. This gift was infectious, and as his lips found hers once more, she felt her heart grow lighter. She felt weightless as he held her, his strong hands rubbing against her back and through her hair while his chest pressed against hers. She didn’t ever want this moment to end.
His kisses grew more passionate and his arms tightened around her until she had to pull back slightly to catch her breath. Her heartbeat had quickened and now as she remained pressed against Dylan, she could feel his heart beating faster as well. He looked down at her, his long lashes shading his eyes. His lips were slightly parted and he was breathing more heavily, his lips slightly upturned in a sly smile.
They stood in the center of the pond for a long time, simply holding each other and feeling the water lap against them in the gentle breeze.
“Lean back,” he said in a soothing voice. “And I’ll catch you in me arms.”
She couldn’t imagine trusting anyone as much as she trusted him. She turned perpendicular to him and started to lean back. True to his word, he caught her in one muscular arm and helped her float along the water’s surface as her long strands billowed out across the water’s surface, glowing almost golden in the moonlight.
That's a lovely scene. What are you working on now?
I am working on After the Tempest, the second book in a new Ryan O’Clery suspense series. Ryan is an Irishman working as a homicide detective in North Carolina. In the first book of the series, The Tempest Murders, he finds out a serial killer he is tracking has set his sights on the woman Ryan is falling in love with. In After the Tempest, the killer is back—and more dangerous than ever.
That book is due on my agent’s desk this spring. Then I’ll turn my attention to the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, The Pendulum Files. In this book Dylan and Vicki join forces again to find out who is behind the bombing of foreign products making their way to America—and the surprising reason why. This book is scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Three pieces of advice:
Disconnect your ego from your writing;
Hone your skills and always seek to improve;
And learn as much as you can about the publishing industry before signing your first contract.
That's excellent advice. Now for a blurb and an excerpt!
Dylan Maguire returns to his native Ireland with psychic spy Vicki Boyd. Their mission: to locate and extract a CIA Agent who disappeared in Dublin while on the trail of a known terrorist. But when Dylan receives word that his grandmother is dying, he is plunged into a past he thought he’d left behind forever. His mission and the dark secrets he’d sought to keep hidden begin to merge into an underworld that could cost him his life. He must now confront his past demons and the real reason he left Ireland—while Vicki harbors a secret of her own.
Suspense Magazine says, “p.m.terrell’s writing is powerfully written and masterfully suspenseful; you have to hang on for the ride of your life.” Midwest Book Review says the Black Swamp Mysteries series is “page-turning action, unforgettable characters, breathtaking descriptions and unexpected plot twists.” And syndicated reviewer Marcia Freespirit says the series is “riveting, spell-binding, sexy and intense!”
Brenda motioned for her to stand to the side. Then she parted the curtains.
Dylan had come around the back of the house while three men tumbled out of the pickup. They immediately converged at the truck bed, where they picked up pipes and headed toward the front door.
“So, Eoghan,” Dylan called. His voice was loud and heavy as he moved further from the house, drawing the largest man’s attention to him. “What’re wantin’ with me now?”
“What have they got in their hands?” Vicki whispered hoarsely.
“Lead pipes.” Brenda’s voice was husky and strong.
“You know what we be wantin’,” the largest one shouted. “We’re here to finish your sorry arse off; what we should’a done a long time ago.”
The men began to separate. They looked like a pack of wolves, Vicki thought, as one moved to Dylan’s left while the other moved to his right. The ringleader, Eoghan, stood his ground directly in front of him.
“He doesn’t stand a chance with the three of them,” Vicki gasped. “Not spread out like they are, not even with the gun.”
“Killin’ me won’t bring ‘er back,” Dylan called. He continued backing away from the house.
“No, but it’ll put you in ’ail that much sooner,” one of the others shouted.
“Kill me and you’ll spend your life in a prison cell, Aidan,” Dylan said to him. “I’m not worth your freedom.”
“Why should we spend our lives in prison for killin’ a man?” the third shouted. “You didn’t spend a day in the clink for killin’ our sister!”
Vicki gasped. “My God!”
Brenda grabbed her shoulder, forcing her to look her in the face. She hadn’t realized that her sister had disappeared from the window. But now as she stared at her amber eyes burning hot, she began to take in the pistols in each hand. “Slip on a coat and your shoes,” she hissed. “Fast.”
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 16 books. Vicki's Key, one of the first books in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, was one of five finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense) and 2012 USA Best Book Awards (Mystery/Suspense.) River Passage, an historical work based on her ancestor's migration to Fort Nashborough in 1779-1780, won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award. The Nashville (TN) Metropolitan Government Archives determined it to be so historically accurate that they entered the original manuscript into their Archives for future researchers and historians.
Prior to becoming a full-time author in 2002, terrell founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her clients included the United States Secret Service, CIA, Department of Defense and federal and local law enforcement. Her specialty is in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence. Her experience in these areas have greatly influenced her books' plots.
She is the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation, whose slogan is "Buy a Book and Stop a Crook" and whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She founded Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money to increase literacy and reduce crime.
For more information on Book 'Em North Carolina, visit www.bookemnc.org and www.bookemnc.blogspot.com.
She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/author.p.m.terrell and https://www.facebook.com/pages/pmterrell/129318810431554.
Don't forget to follow p.m.'s tour. She's giving away a celtic knot necklace to one lucky commenter. To follow her tour go to this link. http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/12/virtual-book-tour-dylans-song-by-pm.html