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26 March 2013

Dylans Song - P M Terrell Guests on Hywela Lyn's Blog

I'm so pleased to welcome pm terrell to my blog today. She's going to tell us a bit about that most important aspect of writing the novel - characters.  Over to you, pm.


Ever since my first suspense was released eleven years ago, I’ve been asked to write a series. I had always resisted because I didn’t want to become a formula writer, where the plot and the ending became predictable.

A few years ago while combing through declassified documents I stumbled upon the psychic spy program in use by the United States Government. The idea of having a main character who works as a CIA psychic spy intrigued me. It opened up a world of possibilities for plots, as the main character could go anywhere in the world and become involved in all sorts of international intrigue and suspense.

I studied some of the real psychic spies and developed Vicki Boyd’s character by blending the real side effects of being a psychic spy with a little bit of my own character. Like a writer, Vicki lives mainly in her own head; she travels the world and experiences fascinating scenes—but while mine are imaginary, hers are not.

When she meets Irishman Dylan Maguire, she finds he is in many ways her opposite. Charming, outgoing, charismatic, he lives life in a big way—whether it’s through his romance with Vicki or through his CIA assignments. Unlike Vicki, he has no psychic abilities but is a ground operative, often carrying out assignments based on Vicki’s Intelligence gathering.

I knew in Vicki’s Key, the book in which Dylan was first introduced, that she would have to fall quickly in love with him because it would become essential to the book’s plot. So I researched the type of man women fall for easily. Number 1 was the Scottish man; number 2 was the Irishman; and number 3 was Australian. I chose Irish because I am from Irish ancestry and I felt a connection to that country. I also learned that women love five o’clock shadows—so Dylan has one—and I gave him other characteristics that women sought in a man: good-humored, romantic, sexy, loyal—and capable of physically protecting Vicki.

A third character in the series is Brenda Carnegie. Before I became a full-time writer, I worked in the computer industry, where my specialty was computer crime and intelligence. But while I always worked on the right side of the law (usually with federal or local law enforcement), Brenda is a computer hacker who prefers the dark side. She is Vicki’s complete opposite—and she is also Vicki’s sister. By making them blood relatives, it ensures they stay together, even though they are so dissimilar. Their opposite character traits also lends itself to friction and drama, though they always pull together when the situation warrants it. In some ways, Brenda reminds Dylan of himself—the parts of himself he would rather not see—which also makes for some interesting interaction.

With such diverse characters, I can move between them to create a well-rounded series that is always surprising, always suspenseful, and always unique. Depending on the plot, I can bring one or more to the forefront while the others become supporting characters for a time, much like a TV series with an ensemble cast.

Thank you so much - I love finding out how other authors create their characters. Now let's find out a little more about your book:

P.M. Terrell


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 & 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 www.bookemnc.org and www.bookemnc.blogspot.com.
P.M.Terrell's website is www.pmterrell.com and her blog is www.pmterrell.blogspot.com.

She can be found on Twitter @pmterrell

p.m. will be awarding a Celtic Knot Necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

'STARQUEST'    'CHILDREN OF THE MIST'  (The sequel to Starquest)  Dancing With Fate      'Freeread':'A BARGAIN WITH DEATH

                  Also available on Kindle