INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
The Pendulum Files
by p. m. terrell
The Pendulum Files is the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series. Also available: Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, and Dylan's Song.
The Pendulum Files is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
CIA operative Dylan Maguire joins forces with psychic spy Vicki Boyd to find out who is bombing merchant vessels bound for the United States from China. Their mission will lead them to Black Sites, the high seas and into covert operations. And when an assassin escapes from prison determined to finish the job he started, they find their personal lives and their missions are about to collide in ways they never could have imagined.
Brenda was leaning her head against the window as if asleep and now she began to move her fingers ever so slightly toward the door handle. She kept her eyes on his reflection; he was focused on driving, his eyes locked on the road just as it had been before. Only his right hand was holding the steering wheel now; it had slipped to a three o’clock position.
A slight movement caught her attention; it was so subtle, she almost thought she’d imagined it. Then she spotted the glint of metal across his body, though the road still held his attention. Her fingers locked onto the door handle as the metal rose slightly up and away from his body. He turned his head as his left hand snapped forward.
She jerked the door open as the shot rang out. She felt something sharp and hot against her shin as she kicked herself away from the car. She tumbled onto the pavement before hitting the shoulder, the gravel feeling like a million razors slicing through her flesh. She heard her own voice as if it was disembodied, screaming as she forced herself to roll across the sharp gravel before plummeting down the incline, compelling herself to continue rolling even as she realized she’d been shot in the leg.
She heard the car’s brakes slamming, the tires squealing as the man struggled to bring the car to a stop. At seventy miles an hour, it should have taken the car further from her even as she rushed to escape. But when she came to her feet and looked back at the road, she estimated he was about three hundred feet further down the road - not far enough.
She ran toward the tree line, which now appeared too far away. As a second shot rang out, she knew his sights were set on her back, and she struggled to run straight, fighting the impulse to run opposite of him. It kept her profile smaller but when he shot a third and then fourth time, she could almost feel the bullets whizzing past her.
The third and fourth shots sounded increasingly louder and she knew he was running after her. Her breath was loud and labored, her blood pounding in her temples. Even as she drew closer to the shadows of the trees, she could feel herself slowing down. The adrenaline that propelled her down the slope and to her feet was fighting against the pain in her leg.
She could feel the blood oozing down her shin and pooling in her shoe, causing her to slip and slide along grass already slick with dew. Another shot rang out, whizzing so close to her hair that she thought it had passed through it.
She threw herself into the shadows, pushing herself beyond her leg’s endurance to keep going, to get into the pine forest, weaving and bobbing forward and eastward, away from the car, away from the interstate. Hopefully, away from him.
She wanted to stop; she wanted to pull some article of clothing off herself and wrap it around her shin to keep the blood in, to keep the flesh together, but she didn’t dare hesitate. She heard the branches cracking behind her; he was there and he was closing on her. Even as she propelled herself forward, she knew all he had to do was follow the movement of the branches ahead of him to know exactly where she was.
By Kj Partridge
Hail, hail, the gang is all back in p. m. terrell's The Pendulum Files. Dylan & Vicki, expecting their first child. Chris & Brenda, running as usual because Brenda is always being hunted. Sam, the "boss" of everything who also has a soft spot for all of them. A cohesive working team all in their own rights, taking on the biggest problems they have faced yet. I have loved every book in this series and this one is just as good as the rest. I could happily read about these people forever. Of course it is p. m. terrell that makes it come together so magically, making us a part of their world. pm is most definitely a master wordsmith, plying her craft so well as to make us fall under her spell and never ever want to come back out. See I have a secret, I am not a big fan of suspense or mysteries and pm has made me a huge fan of her books. That alone speaks of her talent. I highly recommend her books, and this one is a five star read.
Interview With the Author
Hi p.m. (Patricia), thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, The Pendulum Files.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I have been watching the jobs leave the United States for foreign countries for more than a decade. It has always seemed to me that the answer to our economic problems is a simple one: bring the jobs back home. So I developed a political thriller that includes the international reasons for outsourcing our jobs without being preachy - I prefer for the readers to draw their own conclusions. I also researched Black Sites and maritime laws, which were both fascinating subjects.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Since The Pendulum Files is the fifth book in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series, the plot comes first. However, a series allows me to more fully develop the characters and as a result, they are constantly evolving. I find that a lot of my fans love the relationship between Vicki Boyd, the psychic spy, and Irishman Dylan Maguire, the CIA operative.
How long did it take you to write this book?
I find that being under contract for a book is a terrific motivator to getting it done! As a result, I now write each of my novels within a three-month period. Then it goes to the editor for a few weeks before returning to me. I usually have a few weeks to complete all the edits, and then the next time I see it is a few months later when it’s in the bookstores.
Fantastic. What is your writing routine?
I write seven days a week. I usually spend my mornings working on marketing and promotional efforts and my afternoons and evenings writing and researching the scenes.
How did you get your books published?
My first book was published in 1984 so I’ve been at this for quite awhile. The industry has changed substantially over the years, so my path might seem outdated now. But I started with old-fashioned query letters, mailed to the largest publishers in my genre. As I accumulated the rejection letters, I moved to mid-size publishers. After two years of queries, my first book was accepted. Since then, it has become easier for me to attract publishers to my writing because I have an established track record.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Take your ego out of your work. Listen to people who offer constructive criticism and always seek to better your skills. There is a lot of terrific competition out there, and you really have to strive to be the best you can be in order to compete.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I raise freshwater angelfish. Whenever I speak about my fish hobby, I noticed everyone’s eyes glazing over. I realized it would be the perfect front for a CIA operative, so Vicki and Dylan raise freshwater angelfish in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series. I figured all the neighbors would consider them truly boring and would never be interested in their jobs - never knowing that behind the scenes, they were leading quite exciting lives in the CIA!
Very clever! When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first knew I wanted to be a writer when I won a poetry contest in the fourth grade, which I’ll always believe was rigged. I walked across the stage to accept my prize - a poetry book - and I knew right then that I wanted to write throughout my life. It’s been nearly 50 years since I started writing novels, so I guess I’ve achieved that goal!
That's great. Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
My father was an FBI Agent so from an early age, I knew about crime and punishment. It got me very interested in writing mysteries and suspense. Later, when I got into the computer industry, my clients were the CIA, the Secret Service, the Department of Defense and other government agencies. My specialty was computer crime and computer intelligence, themes that are woven throughout my books.
Very handy! Which writers have influenced you the most?
I love the style of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I also love to read Daphne du Maurier, but I have to be careful not to use the same flowery descriptions because today’s reader prefers less description and more action. I also enjoy reading true stories about ordinary people placed into extraordinary circumstances.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I am very fortunate that readers do contact me on a regular basis through Facebook, Twitter or through my website. My most popular books are my true books, River Passage and Songbirds are Free, about my ancestors’ journey to Fort Nashborough (now Nashville, Tennessee) and Mary Neely’s capture by Shawnee Indians in 1780. They love Mary’s story and the courage she displayed. She was a remarkable woman.
I’m often accused of causing people to miss sleep! It seems that I should have a warning on my books to begin reading early in the day, or they’ll stay up all night turning the pages.
It's worth considering ... What can we look forward to from you in the future?
You can bet that I will continue to write. I have another book being released this fall entitled The White Devil of Dublin, and I am hard at work on the next book in the Black Swamp Mysteries Series, which is scheduled for release in the spring of 2015.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Patricia. Best of luck with your upcoming books.
About the Author
p. m. terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in five genres. A full-time author since 2002, Black Swamp Mysteries is her first series, inspired by the success of Exit 22 in 2008. The books include Exit 22, Vicki's Key, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, Dylan's Song, and The Pendulum Files. Vicki's Key placed as one of four finalists in the 2012 International Book Awards. Her historical book, River Passage, won the 2010 Best Drama Award, and her romantic suspense, The Tempest Murders, placed as one of four finalists in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards.
Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she founded and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Computer technology often weaves its way through her contemporary suspense/thrillers.
She is also the co-founder of The Book 'Em Foundation and the founder of The Book 'Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair, an annual event to raise money for literacy campaigns. She also serves on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library and the Robeson County Arts Council, and served as the first female president for the Chesterfield County/Colonial Heights Crime Solvers.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to a beautiful Celtic cross necklace. The author will award this prize to one random commenter during the tour, so follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning (ends 30 May).