It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author p.m. terrell, who shares fantastic information for authors...
ELF: What do you do to mentor others?
pmt: When I began my career in fiction writing, I was surprised at the lack of support I received from the writing community. When I came across successful authors and asked them for tips or advice on breaking into the industry, not a single one wanted to share their knowledge. When I attempted to participate in book events like those in Charlottesville, Virginia or Nashville, Tennessee I was informed that I was not invited, and even attempting to join organizations such as Mystery Writers of America, I was told I did not qualify.
All of these experiences led me to make a promise to myself: that when I became a successful author, I would assist other writers of all levels—from beginner through advanced. I began by co-founding The Book ‘Em Foundation and then helping to establish annual Book ‘Em Writers Conferences and Book Fairs in Virginia, New Hampshire and North Carolina. I chaired Book ‘Em North Carolina for the first five years and have recently turned over the event to Robeson Community College in Lumberton, North Carolina. I worked with authors from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors (some had made the list sixty times over) as well as traditionally published authors with smaller publishing houses and even with self-published authors. I wanted to remove the barriers that I had encountered.
I also began mentoring authors nearly twenty years ago and this past year I started The Novel Business for more advanced writers who are expected to participate in marketing and promotional efforts. Each week I publish a video and documentation to help authors with everything from responding to negative reviews, using blogs as a hub for social networking, creating book trailers at no cost, creating landing pages and much, much more.
As I have become more successful, doors have opened for me, particularly with the longevity I have in this business now. I not only learn from my own experiences but have positioned myself so that I can witness and learn from others’ successes and failures. The publishing industry is changing at breakneck speed after dragging their heels into new technology, and those technological advances are transforming almost everything—from the publishers to production to distribution and marketing.
So if you have a question about the industry, please leave it below, and I’ll be happy to answer it!
Cloak and Mirrors
by P.M. Terrell
CIA operatives Vicki Boyd and Dylan Maguire are back in the 6th book of the award-winning Black Swamp Mysteries Series. Vicki and Dylan journey to Ireland for their honeymoon and while they are there, they agree to pick up a package from a Russian spy containing plans for Russia's latest stealth technology. But when the Russian decides to defect, they find themselves trying to get him safely out of the country. They also discover the Kremlin has uncovered their identities and now Vicki and Dylan flee across the island. With breathtaking descriptions of Ireland's rugged coast and the Northern Lights, romance and suspense come together again.
The winds whistled and swirled in the frosty night like a chorus of apparitions dancing and bobbing, leaving soft whispers against Dylan’s ear, enticing, cajoling, flirtatious and deadly. Ah, but they could drive a man insane on a night like this, he thought, pulling his collar tighter about his ears. He wore an Irish tweed cap and still the winds licked at his hair like fingers running through it, soothing, insistent and treacherous.
The horse’s mane was grasped as well by the same invisible force, the long strands stretched as though they were being combed by an otherworldly creature that would not let go. They were nervous tonight and he imagined given their heads, they would turn about and leave the eerie foothills of the Blue Stack Mountains. He kept a firm hold on Dougal’s reigns as the horse snorted, the sound unnaturally shrill.
He could read a horse like he could read a man’s face, and tonight it didn’t bode well. Dougal’s ears were stiff and pitched forward, a sign of unease for sure, and every now and again they twitched and trembled as his haunches dipped low. Dylan peered through the shadows at the other horses, both as spirited as his; and yet their tails were clamped low, their voices constant.
In contrast, the men were hushed as they had been since leaving the manor house, the silence broken only intermittently as Jack announced a change in direction or a distant landmark for which he was aiming. Even then, his statements were terse as if he was reluctant to speak in the eerie terrain.
The ground beneath the horses’ hooves was uneven and unpredictable. As the night sky began to brighten with the first vestiges of the aurora borealis, he began to see why their progress had slowed since entering the mountain range; the horses had to pick their way around craggy rocks, the tall grasses obscuring whether the land was firm or soft until their hooves either landed on solid ground or they felt the disconcerting descent into boggy earth.
He inched the horse forward until it was nearly even with Jack. He rode a silver mare with a jet black mane and tail, a beautiful animal to be sure and under the stars her coat was mesmerizing as if it was aglow.
“Are you certain this is the way to Innisbarracar?” Dylan asked.
Jack glanced in Alexei’s direction before shifting his attention to Dylan. “You said you needed weapons, did you not?”
“Then we’d be taking a bit of a diversion.” He pointed at the mountain’s highest peak.
“Innisbarracar would be on the other side through the pass. We’ll be headin’ in that direction—” he pointed slightly to the left of the mountain “—where we’ll be arming ourselves first.”
They rode for a few minutes in silence before Dylan asked, “And what type of weapons would you be havin’ there?”
Jack looked at him out of the corner of his eye. “Whatever kind you’d be needin’.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 20 books in several genres, including suspense, historical and non-fiction. Prior to becoming a writer, she owned two computer companies in the Washington, DC with a specialty in combatting computer crime. Her clients included the CIA, Secret Service and Department of Defense. Technology is often woven through her suspense thrillers. Terrell is of Irish descent, and Ireland often figures prominently in her books as well. She has been a full-time author since 2002 and currently travels between her home in North Carolina and Northern Ireland, the home of her ancestors. She is also the founder of Book ‘Em North Carolina’sWriters Conference and Book Fair and The Novel Business.
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