Guest Post and Giveaway (Gift Basket!) by Author P.M. Terrell
Posted by Krystal Larson at 11:27 PM Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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Following a flawed CIA mission, Vicki Boyd leaves the Agency to begin a new life in a new town assisting an elderly woman. But when she arrives, she finds Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and her nephew has arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki quickly falls in love with the charming Dylan Maguire, but all is not what it seems to be at Aunt Laurel's house. And when the VIA arrive to recruit Vicki for one more mission, she finds her CIA past and her new future are about to collide... in murder.
MALE OR FEMALE: WHAT’S IN A SEX?
I have now written 17 books, of which 14 have been published and 3 are in various stages of the production cycle. When I look back at each one, I find I sometimes used the point of view of a female character and at other times, used a male.
In one book, Exit 22, I used the POV of three different males: Christopher Sandige, a political operative; Joseph Gabucci, a hired assassin; and Alec Brody, a dogged detective. The second book in this series, Vicki’s Key, used only one POV: a female, Vicki Boyd. And the third book in the series, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, (set for release this fall) used the POV of both Vicki Boyd and Dylan Maguire, an Irishman now working for the CIA.
Why the difference?
In Exit 22, it was important that Brenda Carnegie, the woman Christopher Sandige meets when he is stranded for the weekend, remain mysterious because the plot centers around her criminal activities and whether she, in fact, is a killer. By looking through Chris’ eyes, the reader sees a man who has been focused on his career to the detriment of everything else—until a beautiful woman captures his interest. The assassin, Joseph, is methodical. The reader doesn’t know anything about his background—except when he is not killing, he knits baby booties and he considers getting out of the assassin business to open a knitting shop. The twist in his personality actually made him terrifying for readers. And the detective has a broken history—a failed marriage and a tragedy—which makes him vulnerable without making him a less effective detective.
All three looked at Brenda in different ways: Chris was in love with her; Joseph wants to kill her; and Alec wants to imprison her.
When I wrote Vicki’s Key, I knew the twist that would forever bind the characters together throughout the series is Vicki Boyd is Brenda Carnegie’s sister. Separated after their parents died and adopted into different homes, it was important to show a sibling that is the emotional opposite of Brenda. I needed to show Vicki’s vulnerability as well as her skills—a CIA psychic spy (modeled after the real psychic spy programs in the U.S. Government) she feels more than the average person. She must be able to feel the personalities she is spying on because it is part of her ability to understand what they are doing and why. I wanted to show someone who appears weaker in the beginning of the story but who must find the fortitude and the inner strength to do what is necessary—even if it means committing murder or covering up a crime.
The Irishman in Vicki’s Key, Dylan Maguire, captured the attention of the editors and advance readers to the point where he had to become a major character throughout the series. So in the next book, Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, the POV switches back and forth between Vicki and Dylan. The contrasts are great: Vicki feels while Dylan applies logic. While both have a sense of duty, they go about their duties in different ways. Dylan anticipates problems while Vicki hopes to avoid them. But when they are separated at a time when rogue agents are coming after them both, they both must rise to the occasion and defend themselves—and those around them. I find it provides a richer, deeper experience when I have multiple main characters and they are both male and female. It reminds me of a television series in which there is an ensemble cast. The reader gets the benefit of seeing through the eyes of both female and male characters.
Which characters do you tend to enjoy more? Seeing through the male’s eyes or the female’s?
p.m.terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of thirteen books, including six suspense/thrillers and two historical suspense. Suspense Magazine says "p.m.terrell gets better with each and every book she writes" and Midwest Book Review says, "p.m.terrell is a master at skillfully combining drama, action, suspense and romance to engage the reader in an adrenaline rush of page turning adventure." PBS television host Barbara Berlin says, "p.m.terrell is the next John Grisham." A full-time writer for more than 12 years, her latest series, Black Swamp Mysteries, combines international intrigue and adventure with the CIA's psychic spy program, resulting in a series that appeals to lovers of suspense, romance or the paranormal. Prior to becoming an author, terrell operated two computer businesses focusing on computer intelligence and white collar crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. For more about terrell and her books, visit www.pmterrell.com.
Facebook: p.m.terrell, author and Patricia M. Terrell
Gift baskets from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki's adventure takes place for one random commenter and the host with the most comments.
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