Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome Terry Odell

I'm so excited to have as a special guest -- mystery writer -- Terry Odell. During one of my usual sleuthing of sites for something to read, I discovered a new author. Okay, new to me, but not any more. The story that got my attention was called On The Other Side of the Page. To quote Terry, "A tongue-in-cheek look at the other side of writing." As an author, you'll love it. Boy did it ring true for me. And as a reader, you'll understand a bit more about writers and our wacky thought processes.  Great story.

Anyway, I was hooked and had to had the entire series that featured lovable characters Sarah and Randy, which means the main books  Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire

Lucky for all of you, Terry has also bundled together a collection of short stories into an anthology entitled Finding Fire, which includes On The Other Side of the Page.You'll learn about Sarah before Randy and what happened after Hidden Fire. A must have collection. Of course, I'm selfish and I want more. Which is good because she has another series for me to read.

Okay, I’ve prattled long enough. Terry, tell us about yourself.

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

Characters, then conflict (actually, those go hand in hand, so they build off each other. Then plot, which grows from the characters and their conflicts. Title is absolute last. I hate coming up with titles.

Tell us about what you've had published.

I started with contemporary romance short stories with The Wild Rose Press. Then I wanted to write a mystery, but it turned into a romantic suspense, Finding Sarah. Since then, I've had seven books published, although one of them, Starting Over,  was first published by Cerridwen Press, then re-released with a new title and re-editing, as Nowhere to Hide, which is now available from The Wild Rose Press in print and digital formats.

Any works in progress?

Yes, I'm working on a 3rd Pine Hills Police romantic suspense.

What drives you as a writer?

Otherwise I'd be expected to do things like clean toilets. Writing is much more fun.

How long have you been writing?

About 8 years. In that short time, I've seen amazing changes in the publishing industry. Authors are now free to pursue their own paths, bypassing agents and publishers if they want. I'm kind of in both camps. My Blackthorne, Inc. series fits both categories. I wrote When Danger Calls, and it was published in hard cover by Five Star Expressions. About 18 months after it came out, the publisher decided to "remainder" it, which meant it was effectively out of print.

However, I bought all the remaining copies, so if anyone wants one, I've got them. But, what I decided to do was test the indie-publishing market. Since I owned the rights to the book, I published it myself as an e-book, and it's in virtually all the e-book stores. In the meanwhile, Five Star bought the second book in the series, Where Danger Hides. However, even though they don't retain the e-rights, their contract prohibits and author from publishing the digital version for a year. So, Where Danger Hides is hard cover only.

Then (and because the traditional publishing industry moves so slowly, I'd already signed the contract for the third book in the series, Rooted in Danger, which again will be hard cover only for a year after it's released in April of 2012. Since I'm a writer, I was already working on another book, Danger in Deer Ridge.

However, given the slow turnaround, and the fact that Five Star had discontinued Expression, its romantic line, choosing to focus on mystery, I wasn't sure that book would work for them, so I opted to bypass the publisher entirely and go straight to digital myself. And then I added a print version through Amazon's Create Space for those who prefer print over digital. Complicated? You bet. But I wrote all the books as stand alones. They feature returning characters, but a reader doesn't have to read them in order.

I've also recently regained the rights to my two Pine Hills Police novels, Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire, and have re-published them myself, as well as another stand alone romantic suspense, What's in a Name?

Being robbed at gunpoint wasn’t part of Sarah Tucker’s business plan.  Neither was falling in love with the detective who arrived to solve the case.

For police detective Randy Detweiler, a routine robbery investigation turns into the biggest challenge of his career when he falls in love with the victim and ends up having to save more than her business.

Returning from a stint as part of a task force on violent crime, Randy Detweiler is eager to reunite with Sarah Tucker in Pine Hills, but she’s having second thoughts about their relationship.  Can she deal with a cop who gets called away at a moment’s notice, especially one who won’t talk about his job?

Their reunion is cut short when a body is discovered and rumors fly that it’s the work of a serial killer. To make matters worse, the Town Council might disband their police department, and Randy's under added pressure to solve the murder before they take action.  Forced to work under the radar, Randy struggles to balance work with a shaky relationship.

Sarah can’t cope with apparently meaning less to Randy than his job. Should she force him to choose between his job and the us she envisions for the two of them? All bets are off when Sarah herself becomes a suspect in Randy’s case. Before long, it’s more than their relationship that’s in danger.

A Winter's Day: What happened before Sarah met Randy? For Sarah Tucker, life was perfect. She had David, their gift shop, and despite minor spats, a happy marriage--until the day everything turned around. A prologue not included in the novel, A Winter's Day introduces heroine Sarah Tucker, and lays the foundation for what unfolds in Finding Sarah.

Coping Mechanisms: Randy may have his cop partner, but Sarah is his new life partner, and she's aware that any new relationship has its little hiccups. But what works with a fellow cop isn't going to cut it with Sarah. Determined to dismantle his fortress, brick by brick if she has to, she confronts him after a difficult case has him retreating. Follow these newlyweds as their relationship moves onto the next level.

A Summer's Eve: Randy and Sarah are back in an epilogue to Hidden Fire. Cutbacks in the Pine Hills Police force have increased Randy’s workload, and he’s looking forward to getting some time off to spend with his wife. However, despite all of Randy’s detective skills, Sarah still manages to surprise him, sending their lives down a new path.

The Other Side of the Page: Who says characters aren't real? Of course they are. And how do authors find their characters? I can't speak for others, but I advertise. Here's a look at how I found Randy and Sarah, the hero and heroine of Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire. And, as a bonus, there's also a look at what happened when I left them unattended for a while. A tongue-in-cheek look at the other side of writing.

Thanks so much for allowing us to know more about you as a person. The floor is yours.  Terry, please tell us where to find your work, your website, your blog, book trailer, and anything else you care to share.

My blog, Terry's Place
I'm also on Twitter as @authorterryo
And you can find me on Facebook, Google+ and probably places I don't even know about! Best way to find me is to go to my website, click the "Links" icon under my picture, and get all the URLs to my pages.


Terry Odell said...

Thanks so much for hosting me as your guest today ... I'm going to be away from my computer for a part of the day, but I'll respond to comments when I get back.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

April Davis said...

Just love a series. Cassie told me to check out this post. Has my attention.

Cassie Exline said...

Thanks for being my guest today, Terry. I'll keep watch the party doesn't get too rowdy.

Cassie Exline said...

April, thought you'd like this series. Thanks for stopping by.

Terry Odell said...

April, I hope you'll give them a try. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Spring Miller said...

Hope I'm not late, had to wait for lunch break. The books sound awesome. Interesting interview.

Molly Harper said...

Reading your answers makes me more determined to get something submitted and published. Here's hoping. Until then, I'll read and learn.

Cassie Exline said...

You're never too late, Spring. Thanks for coming.

Cassie Exline said...

Molly, glad you enjoyed Terry's post. Please come again.

Hilda Wright said...

Terry, are you done with the series? Or is there going to be another book in the works?

Thanks for hosting, Cassie.

Cassie Exline said...

Hilda, thanks for stopping by. I'm not the person to answer your question. Terry will be checking in shortly.

Terry Odell said...

Spring, I'm the one who's late. Hubster decided we should go out and look at the Aspens while they're turning. Gorgeous, but I had to be gone much of the day.

Molly - reading is essential, but keep writing. That's how you'll learn.

Hilda - I'm working on another Pine Hills book at the moment, so there should be another one. Don't have a schedule yet, though.