– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The House of Secrets’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
Terry Lynn Thomas grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.
Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. The Drowned Woman is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion. She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II. The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, came out in April 2018 and has since become a USA TODAY bestseller. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.
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Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.
When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.
As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.
Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.
This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS
The House of Secrets is 99p throughout June as part of the June Kindle Monthly deal. The Spirit of Grace, book 1 in the series is also .99 throughout June.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but life and adult responsibilities forced me to put my dream on the back burner. I worked as a court-reporter and litigation paralegal a long time, until I met my husband. When we relocated to the southern United States in 2006, I was able to devote my time to writing in earnest. I had written several novels – none of them good enough to be published – prior to that.
An avid mystery buff, I have a soft spot for the wonderful Gothic mysteries of the mid-twentieth century. (Think Mary Stewart, Dorothy Eden, and Victoria Holt.) The Sarah Bennett series is a homage to those great Gothic writers of the mid-twentieth century.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Of course, I consumed the Nancy Drew books ravenously. I also remember loving a book called Laura’s Luck by Marilyn Sachs. I discovered Agatha Christie and Patricia Wentworth at a very young age, and have read those books over and over.
Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to take advice from Mary Stewart. She was such an amazing writer. (Touch Not the Cat and The Ivy Tree are my faves.)
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Lady Julia from Deanna Raybourn’s fabulous series. I love Deanna’s writing, and although she has a new series out (that’s rather fabulous, by the way), for some reason, Lady Julia just resonates with me. She’s saucy and independent and utterly fearless. I have the entire series on audio and listen to them every year during the Autumn months. I imagine we would drink something other than tea, however. 😉
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Rituals are so important for me! I write during the morning hours and generally write in 50 minute sessions, with a break in between. During the break I do my best to stay off social media. I usually go for a one-mile walk or do a bit of housework so my head stays in my story.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Answers to a what if? generally form the backbone of my books and come to me when I least expect it. (I keep a notebook by the side of my bed.) The last line of the book usually comes first, then I have to fill in the beginning and middle.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Plotter all the way! I craft detailed notes on setting, character sketches, and outlines. Having said that, I always give myself permission to go ‘off-map’ if I need to. Sometimes stories have a way of going a completely different direction.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The do’s: Write, read, and write some more. Have a canon of work behind you. Find someone you trust to critique your work. Don’t give up! You never know when your lucky break will come along. Join writers groups and network with writers and people who work in the publishing industry. Develop your craft and treat it like a job. And just to make it clear: Don’t give up!
The don’ts: Don’t give up!! It takes a long time (at least for me, anyway) to learn to write good fiction. Don’t let people read your work unless they are in your writing tribe. Don’t be a writer, be writing.
What are your future plans as an author?
I am working on a new mystery series set in modern times, plus I have ideas for more Sarah Bennett books and more Cat Carlisle books. Stay tuned for info about that!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
The passage below is a favourite of mine. Minna Summerly, who also resides at the Geisler Institute, believes that her (allegedly) dead fiancé has come to seek revenge on Minna for leaving him at the altar. This scene played out perfectly, especially given that the setting is a psychiatric hospital.
I worked straight through until eleven-thirty and had just put my completed work on Dr. Geisler’s desk when a scream pierced the quietude of my office. I ran out into the corridor and followed the hysterical sounds toward the foyer. Bethany and I met in the hallway. Together we raced toward the noise.
The screaming turned into a hysterical incantation. “No, no. Please. No.”
Minna. She stood near the front door, a black dressing gown flowing over her bony frame like a witch’s cloak. Her hair hung in wild curls the color of spun silver. She looked as though she could have raised her arms and cast a spell or hopped on a broom and flown away. Instead she held a piece of paper in her trembling hand. Scattered around her feet were the petals and stems of a desiccated bouquet of roses. A flower box from Podesta Baldocchi lay on its side, tossed away in the chaos.
Chloe sat at her desk, observing everything, missing nothing, her eyes huge. The maid, a young girl in a uniform two sizes too big, froze, holding the dust rag suspended in midair.
I moved toward Minna, desperate to help her, but Bethany waved me off.
“Minna, what’s wrong?”
“Sarah. Bethany.” She waved the paper she held in her hand through the air. “It’s Gregory. He’s alive.” Her breathing became heavy and deep. She tore the letter up, threw the pieces on the floor, covered her face with her hands, and wept. Deep racking sobs coursed through her body, threatening to topple her.
Bethany swept in and put a comforting arm around Minna’s shoulder. She spoke to her in the same sweet, disarming voice she had used on Mr. Collins. “Come on, dear. Let’s get you someplace safe. We’ll lock the house and make sure that Gregory isn’t here. I’ll see to it personally.” She spoke to the maid. “It’s all right, young lady. Go see Mrs. McDougal for a cup of hot cocoa. There’s a good girl.”
“You’ll protect me, won’t you, Bethany? And Matthew. He’ll come for Matthew.”
“Of course,” Bethany said in a soothing voice. “I’ll take care of everything.”
Minna allowed herself to be led away. The two women made their way toward the staircase, while Bethany muttered comforting words in Minna’s ear.
Just as they were about to reach the first landing and slip out of sight, Bethany called to me. “Find my husband. Tell him to hurry.”
Before heading off to search for Dr. Geisler, I picked up the torn pieces of paper that Minna had thrown on the floor and tucked them into my pocket. I had every intention of finding out the truth about Gregory Geisler.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Terry Lynn Thomas.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!