What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, a multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books in five genres: contemporary suspense, historical suspense, romance, computer how-to and non-fiction.
* Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence, themes that have carried forward to her suspense.
* She is also 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 is the organizer and chairperson of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in the real town of Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime. For more information on this event and the literacy campaigns funded by it, visit www.bookemnc.org.
Today p.m.terrell will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
The stories behind the writing...
* I knew I wanted to be a writer in the fourth grade when I won a poetry contest (which I’ll always believe was fixed) and I walked across the stage in the auditorium to accept my award—a book of poetry. My school principal encouraged me to write short stories and by the time I’d reached my teen years, I was writing manuscripts of 300 pages.
* When I was in the eighth grade, I won a state-wide writing contest. I’ve never been called “Pat” but for some reason, my teacher wrote that on the application and the judges assumed I was male. When they discovered that I was female, they rescinded the award and it went to the runner-up. It didn’t bother me that much but Miss Webb was livid.
* I continued writing but life often takes turns that we don’t expect, and I ended up in the computer industry shortly after the Apple computer was invented. (Yes, I am that old.) My writing soon took the form of programming code, technical manuals and occasional magazine articles for computer magazines. I started two computer companies and worked with the CIA, the Secret Service and the Department of Defense, to name a few. That work provided a lot of inspiration for future books.
* When I turned a certain age (you didn’t expect me to name the number, right?) I realized that I had always imagined myself being a published novelist by that point in my life. I began writing my first suspense in many years, titled Kickback, based on true trucking kickback schemes. I knew the subject inside and out because I’d been an FBI informant, passing information about the schemes. It took two years to write it and two more to sell it; during that time, I amassed enough rejection slips to wallpaper an entire house.
* A couple of years later, I retired from my computer businesses and began writing full-time. I find inspiration everywhere, and the toughest challenge for me is to decide which story to write. I began with suspense/thrillers that focused on computer technology (“techno-thrillers”) and which also involved domestic or international crime. Eventually, I began writing a series called Black Swamp Mysteries, about five people tied together through blood or circumstance: a CIA psychic spy, a CIA operative, a computer hacker who prefers the wrong side of the law, a political operative and a CIA section chief.
* I began writing about Ireland several years ago when I began researching my ancestors, who were Scot-Irish. I finally traveled to my ancestral home this past year and ironically, it was in almost the exact location where I pictured the castle in my latest book, A Thin Slice of Heaven—about fifty miles west of Belfast. I’ve been so inspired by Ireland and its rich history that I’m certain the country will play a large role in many of my future books.
* Stranded for the weekend by a snowstorm that has blocked all access to the castle, she finds herself three thousand miles from home in a country she knows nothing about.
* She is soon joined by Sean Bracken, the great-grandson of Laird Bracken, the original owner of the castle, and she finds herself falling quickly and madly in love with him. There’s just one problem: he’s dead.
* As the castle begins to come alive with secrets from centuries past, she finds herself trapped between parallel worlds. Caught up in a mass haunting, she can no longer recognize the line between the living and the dead. Now she’s discovering that her appearance there wasn’t by accident—and her life is about to change forever.
* “Do not be afraid, m’ Leah,” Sean answered. He did not whisper but his voice was deep and taut. After a moment, he said, “They are reenacting an event that occurred… some time ago.”
* “Oh,” she breathed. She should have felt relief but her insides continued to roil as if his explanation did not match the scene unfolding before her. Nervously, she said, “Reenactors. We have them in America.”
* “You have witnessed them, then?”
* “Yes. I find them very interesting…” She forced the words past her dry lips. “They reenact battles from the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, mainly.”
* As the churning skies turned to the color of tar, Charleigh could discern the sources of the strange glow: they were torches held aloft by dozens of people. More were joining them, stragglers rushing from the village to catch up, while they began to spread apart in a more orderly column as they converged on the flat land they’d crossed on their way into the village. One man in the forefront stopped and began pointing and directing those that followed.
* “These reenactments,” Sean continued, “were the people alive?”
ANNOUNCEMENT! p.m.terrell will be awarding a Celtic Butterfly Suncatcher similar to the one mentioned in the book, symbolizing both the never-ending cycle of life and the metamorphosis of a butterfly to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway