Behind the Author... P.M. Terrell

I am pleased to be part of P.M. Terrell's Pump Up Your Book Tour in support of her new book, The Tempest Murders! 

1. Tell us a little bit about how you write your books.
I am a news junkie and I often get ideas from watching shows concerning national and international intelligence. I also routinely go through declassified documents and it's true what they say - truth is stranger than fiction! I will often take a real mission from the 1970's or before and update it with today's political or international "climate", often weaving in other strands from current news stories to round it out.
Once I know what the plot will be, I begin to think through the main characters - who is needed, what their ideal vocation would be, their Achilles' heel, etc. And by forming the story in my mind's eye, I know which point of view is best to tell the tale. Sometimes it's first person and sometimes, close third - and sometimes I will have two main characters' POV and switch back and forth. The key is to create the perfect vehicle for the suspense to really ramp up.
2. How long have you been writing and what do you love about it?
I began writing in 1967 - yes, that makes me feel truly old! My first book was published in 1984, so I've seen a tremendous amount of change in the publishing industry. I love the writing itself and can't imagine doing anything else. It was always my dream to be a full-time author. I started two computer businesses in the Washington, DC area, which took me away from the writing for a decade or so, but retired from computers in 2002 and began writing full-time.
3. What hobbies/interests do you have?
I breed freshwater angelfish, which is a lot of fun. The angels are very serene and my "crowning jewels" are about ten inches tall. They are sold at a local pet shop in Lumberton, North Carolina, and are called "Vicki's Angels" after Vicki Boyd, the main character in my Black Swamp Mysteries series, who is a CIA operative but has a job as an angelfish breeder as her front. I thought it was the perfect job for a CIA operative - everyone's eyes glaze over when I start to talk about my fish, so everyone would think Vicki was boring and dull, never imagining that she was involved in international intelligence gathering.
I also rescue animals and started the New Leash on Life program at a local prison in Robeson County, North Carolina, where inmates are paired with dogs destined for euthanasia. They train the dogs through positive reinforcement only (no punishment) and once the dogs are trained, they are adopted into loving homes. At the current time, I have three rescue dogs myself - a collie who was being starved to death, a Jack Russell who had been shot in the leg, and a Jack Russell/hound mix who almost died from parvo. They are all healthy and happy now and run the household!
4. Something people would be surprised to know about me is…
I am only happy when I am working. I write full-time and I also perform editorial work for a publisher. I also co-founded The Book 'Em Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates, and I founded Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money to increase literacy. For more information on our next event, visit
5. If you could invite 4 people (real or fictional, living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve?
Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Isaac Asimov and Pope Francis. By the end of the evening, I'm sure we'd have solved all the world's problems!
I'd serve shrimp appetizers, filet mignon, potatoes au gratin, grilled zucchini, home-baked bread... And a chocolate chess pie for dessert with coffee and Bailey's.
6. I can’t live without…
Tied for first place: my computer and the Internet.
7. Tell us a little about this current book - what was your favorite part about writing it?
I love Ireland and became interested in it when I was studying my family's genealogy. I came upon information about the worst storm in Ireland's history, which took place on January 6, 1839. The winds were so strong that they swept the Atlantic Ocean all the way across the island to the Irish Sea. I knew I had to write a story with that storm as the backdrop. Later that year, I experienced Hurricane Irene as it struck the North Carolina coastline before making its way up the Eastern seaboard. The combination of the two and some of the harrowing moments I experienced fused together into a book that encompasses both storms.
I wrote almost the entire book in a male point of view, which I'd first done in 2008 with my book, Exit 22. So many people enjoyed the male telling the story that I knew I wanted to begin another series in a male POV - and who better to tell it than an Irish-born detective who was living in North Carolina as Hurricane Irene barrels toward the coast?
8. What's next for your writing?
I am currently finishing The Pendulum Files, the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries series, which is due for release in 2014. Then I'll write the sequel to The Tempest Murders. It seems Ryan O'Clery, the Irish detective in the book, has quite a following and they're clamoring for the next book in the new Ryan O'Clery series.
9. How can your fans stay up to date with what you are doing?
The best ways to keep up to date with all that I'm doing is through my website at, by following me on Twitter @pmterrell, and by friending me on Facebook under Patricia M. Terrell Author. There are links from my website to both my Twitter and Facebook pages.

THanks so much for stopping by Acting Balanced today!  It was great getting to know more about you and The Tempest Murders!  Readers, be sure to check out and check out the rest of her tour - including guest posts and reviews - at Pump Up Your Book.

More About the P.M. Terrell:
P.M. Terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 18 books in 4 genres. A full-time author since 2002, she previously opened and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the Secret Service, CIA and Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement. Computer and spy technology are two themes that recur throughout her books. She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. And she founded the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair which takes place each February. She is also an animal advocate and helped to start the New Leash on Life program in which dogs destined for euthanasia are rescued and paired with prison inmates in Robeson County, North Carolina, who train them. The dogs are then adopted into loving homes.

About the Book:
Detective Ryan O’Clery has always had dreams of a beautiful woman he’d loved and lost but when he discovers his ancestor’s journals from his native Ireland, he realizes his dreams are really the other man’s memories.

Now he is working a series of murders in North Carolina that are eerily similar to cases Rian Kelly was working when his soul mate was murdered during one of Ireland’s most horrific storms, in which the Atlantic Ocean swept over the island all the way to the Irish Sea.

As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the North Carolina coastline, Ryan discovers the serial killer’s real target is a reporter who bears a striking resemblance to the woman of his dreams—a woman with whom Ryan O’Clery is falling deeply in love.

Is history destined to repeat itself? Or can Ryan save Cathleen Reilly from a killer intent on destroying everything he ever loved?

You can follow her blog at