Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Award winning author p m Terrell is our guest today for a nice interview, then she’ll share a bit about her latest release, DYLAN’S SONG. She’s an author who is new to me, but I can tell she will be one of my new favorites. And not only does pm have a new release to share with us, she has a fabulous giveaway for one lucky person who comments on her blog tour with Goddess Fish. In keeping with the Irish theme of DYLAN’S SONG, p m’s giveaway is a lovely Celtic Knot necklace shown below.

Now, on to our interview with pm:

Caroline: Please share something about growing up.

Pm: I was born in Washington, DC when my father was working as a cryptographer with the FBI. I’m the third child of five, right in the middle—I have an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister. Though we traveled a bit when I was younger, I returned to Washington, DC as a teenager so I’ve spent most of my life in the DC suburbs as well as the city itself.

I was definitely the bookworm. I was never one to be physically active (much to my chagrin as my body ages!) but I could lose myself in a book every moment of every day.

Caroline: So could I—and I still can when I have the opportunity. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Pm: With so many authors writing in such diverse genres today, I find that I have favorite authors when they write certain books that speak to me. I love Erin Quinn’s Haunting series, Anne Rice’s The Mummy, and I love romantic suspense. I just finished reading Haunting Jasmine by Anjali Banerjee and loved it. I also thoroughly enjoy true adventure, among them Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm. I like reading about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

Caroline: I have to tell you that P. M. were my dad’s initials and what most people called him, so it seems odd to be interviewing someone who uses those same initials. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?

Pm: I raise freshwater angelfish and I find that doing anything related to my aquariums is extremely relaxing, from cleaning them to watching the fish. In the Black Swamp Mysteries series, I wrote that Dylan and Vicki were raising freshwater angels as their CIA front; much to my astonishment, every time their fish bred, my own did!

And I love being around water, whether it’s a lake or an ocean. There’s something about it that is very relaxing.

Caroline: How funny about your angelfish breeding. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?

Pm: I first read this in Oprah Magazine: After the final ‘no’ there comes a ‘yes’ and on that ‘yes’ the future depends.

Caroline: How long have you been writing?

Pm: I began writing in 1973. That dates me, doesn’t it? My first book, a non-fiction, was published in 1984 but my first suspense wouldn’t be published until 2002. I now write full-time.

Caroline: Don’t we have the best job in the world? Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude?

Pm: I do prefer quiet, as I find that verses of a song or snatches of TV will make their way into my writing. My favorite place to write is in my living room with my laptop, because I am surrounded by aquariums. However, I often must write in my office in a separate building on my property in order to ensure solitude and focus.

Caroline: I prefer my office, which I call my pink cave. Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Pm: I plot the crime before I begin the book. Since I am under contract and tight deadlines, I must know where my characters are headed. However, I do find some surprises as I write that have me veering off course in a much more dramatic direction that I believe make the books even more exciting. So I guess you could say I’m somewhat in the middle.

Caroline: Plotting helps me stay on course, but I welcome those surprises. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Pm: I do use real events but I often change them. For example, I peruse the declassified documents of the CIA and will often find a snippet of information from World War II or the Cold War that I can update to happen in this day and time. In my Black Swamp Mysteries series, which is set in the real town of Lumberton, North Carolina, I will often place real people in scenes—but only with their permission.

Caroline: Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?

Pm: I write full-time so I approach my writing the same way I would approach any job. Even if I don’t feel “in the mood” I have to write every day. Getting everything down on paper is the first step. The second, third, fourth and fifth will be editing and refining the story. I know when my deadlines are and how much I should write to stay on target but if I am headed in the right direction, the story simply flows. When I find myself struggling to meet a word count, I know I am going in the wrong direction and I have to stop to rethink what I’m doing.

Caroline: Good advice, pm. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Pm: I want to take them to another world with exciting characters that will remain with them long after they’ve finished the last page.

Caroline: Don’t we all? What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Pm: I will continue to write for as long as I am able. I’ve been fortunate to have remained a full-time author for more than ten years now. Last year I was under contract to complete three novels in twelve months. This year it’s more manageable with two novels. I hope to continue the Black Swamp Mysteries series and also a new Ryan O’Clery series, writing at least one book in each series each year.

Caroline: I’m so happy to discover your books, pm. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Pm: I am currently writing After the Tempest, the sequel to The Tempest Murders, the first in the Ryan O’Clery series. Ryan is an Irishman who is working as a homicide detective in Lumberton, North Carolina. In the first book, he finds that a serial killer he’s been tracking has targeted 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 to the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, The Pendulum Files. Dylan and Vicki reunite to find out who is behind a string of bombings and attacks on foreign ships loaded with goods bound for America.

Caroline: I see a lot of reading in my future. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Pm: Three pieces of advice:

  1. Take your ego out of your writing;

  1. Hone your craft and always seek to improve;

  1. And before you sign that first contract, learn as much as you can about the publishing industry.

Caroline: Those are all sound. What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you?

Pm: I once flew in a helicopter from Kansas City to Virginia. My husband was piloting the helicopter and I had never flown in one before. It was a fantastic trip, the most fun I’ve ever had. ATC even gave us clearance to circle the St Louis Arch.

Caroline: I’ve always wanted to ride in a small helicopter. What’s something about you that would surprise or shock readers?

Pm: Like Ryan O’Clery in The Tempest Murders, I do believe in reincarnation. And I’ve seen dead people all my life.

Caroline: I’m with you there. Tell us about your series.

The Black Swamp Mysteries series has several main characters who are forever tied together through blood or circumstance: Vicki Boyd, a CIA psychic spy; Dylan Maguire, a CIA ground operative; Brenda Carnegie, a computer hacker who prefers the wrong side of the law; and Chris Sandige, a political strategist. Depending on the plot, one or more of these characters move to the forefront. I have to say my favorite thus far is Dylan’s Song because I loved going to Dylan Maguire’s native Ireland for the story. I have no plans to end the series but will keep it going as long as my readers continue to want them.

Caroline: My husband and I love Ireland. We also love reading about it—another reason to read your series.  
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?

Yes—I am the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose slogan is Buy a Book and Stop a Crook. I founded Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event that brings more than 75 authors, publishers and literary agents together in Lumberton, North Carolina. The event is free but when attendees purchase a book, the author or publisher has agreed to donate a minimum of 40% of the sale to raising literacy efforts. For more information, visit


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!”


The bogs were no place to be during the witching hour.

Dylan had grown up with stories of the bogs at night. The ground percolated; it lived and it breathed. There had been many a time when he was harvesting peat in broad daylight that he’d heard a whisper at his ear or felt hot breath on his neck, only to find there was no one near. Now as he rode his horse in silence, he felt that presence tenfold; there were eyes watching them. The intermittent tuffs of heather swayed in the growing storm and he found himself watching them with narrowed eyes, waiting for the plants to morph into sinister creatures that claimed this land after the sun went down.

He knew there was a simple reason why animals were required in lieu of an all-terrain vehicle and he was glad Sam had taken this unique land into consideration when planning the mission. He could feel the hooves beneath him sinking into the spongy earth; a wheeled vehicle wouldn’t have stood a chance, especially as they ventured from the area farmed for its peat to one far less stable.

A mist began; a slow, fine spray that he knew well. One moment the air was still and dry and the next, as though they’d passed through a curtain, the air swirled around them, the moist haze further inhibiting their ability to see. It was said many a man lost his internal compass in the Irish mist; it taunted as it grew into monstrous shapes, turning the landscape into something foreign and active.


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 and 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 and

p.m.terrell's website is and her blog is

She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell

On Facebook at and

Thanks for stopping by!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

p.m.terrell said...

Thank you so much for having me here today! I'll be checking back in and answering questions anyone might have for me.

Mary Preston said...

A wonderful interview thank you.

I find water very relaxing & I also like quiet - when I can get it.


p.m.terrell said...

Mary, thank you so much for faithfully following my book tour!

Rita Wray said...

I'm looking forward to many more books featuring Dylan and Vicki.