Monday, July 13, 2015

Interview with P.M. Terrell, A THIN SLICE OF HEAVEN

Do you have a favorite character?
My favorite character is always the male love interest in the book I’m currently writing.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes, when I was writing Vicki’s Key, Dylan Maguire was supposed to be a minor love interest. But the plot depended on her falling fast and hard for him, so I researched all the characteristics that women love—the Irish accent, the good humor, the ability to keep his loved ones safe, the five o’clock shadow, the green eyes and black hair… And when I sent the draft into the publisher, my editors came back to me and said to rewrite the ending because Dylan Maguire had to remain in the entire series. I guess I’d done too good of a job making him irresistible! And I’m glad he stayed—he makes writing the Black Swamp Mysteries series so much fun!

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes. My first book was published in 1984 and that was the only real route to getting published. I purchased the Writer’s Market and contacted all the publishers who specialized in my genre.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I received enough rejections to wallpaper my home. I stopped counting after I’d received 70 rejections. After two years, my first novel was accepted and when it was in its third printing, I was still getting publisher rejections. Fortunately, I’ve had a long-term relationship with my publisher now and I’m relieved those query days are over.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
They said yes!

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
I am under contract for two series, Black Swamp Mysteries and the Ryan O’Clery Mystery Series, and I’ve been fortunate to have my stand-alone books published as well. I am currently searching for a children’s book publisher for a series I’ve written, but that wouldn’t be self-published—I wouldn’t have a clue how to get the illustrations done.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I’ve been very fortunate to have a team of editors who know my work and whose opinions I value. A few years ago, an editor had been assigned to me by my publisher that made my life a living hell—she questioned everything to the point where I spent more time explaining the technicalities of an FBI investigation than it took me to write it in the first place. Fortunately, she was let go after that book and I’ve truly appreciated the editors that have replaced her.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
I’m very fortunate that my books are available worldwide in both brick-and-mortar stores as well as online. It always fascinates me how many books are selling in foreign countries. The world gets smaller all the time.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
It was in the beginning; writing is a solitary activity and when my first novel was published, I was horrified to learn that I had to become a salesperson overnight. I toured the country for many years before it was no longer necessary and now my involvement in marketing my books is almost exclusively confined to social networking and blog tours. I love that, because it gives me so much more time to write.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the publishing arena?
Know the publishing industry. Even if you are looking to be traditionally published, it helps everyone if you know the industry and the processes involved in editorial, production, marketing and sales. Don’t expect your book to be an instant New York Times bestseller unless you’re with a major publisher and they’ve shown you a six-figure marketing budget. And don’t think you’re a failure if you’re not a bestseller. I’ve been working in this industry for more than 30 years and I’ve seen a lot of good authors come and go because they gave up too soon.

She had arranged to meet her husband in Northern Ireland for a second honeymoon, but when Charleigh arrives at the remote castle, she receives a message that he won’t be coming—and that he’s leaving her for another woman.

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.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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

Author’s website:  

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