Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Meet Author Jaden Terrell & Win A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT!

Well folks, it's here!  October Thrills and Chills has begun, and with it comes A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT and a trivia contest after our author interview.
Jaden Terrell is the author of the Jared McKean mysteries and a contributor to Now Write Mysteries, a collection of writing exercises published by Tarcher/Penguin for writers of crime fiction. Terrell is the executive director of the Killer Nashville Thriller, Mystery, and Crime Literature Conference and a recipient of the 2009 Magnolia Award for service to the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. The former special education teacher is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Tennessee Writers Alliance. A graduate of the Citizen Police Academy and the FBI/TBI Citizen Academy, Terrell has a red belt in Tae Kwan Do and is certified in Equine Sports Massage Therapy. Contact the author at:

Tonight we're joined on my virtual front porch with my friend, author Jaden Terrell, and she's popped by to answer a few questions.

Welcome Ms. Terrell.

Visit Author, Jaden Terrell's webpage:
Q:  When did you first decide you wanted to become a writer?
Jaden:  From the time I was old enough to understand that I could never be an Indian chief, I've wanted to be a writer. When I was eight, and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said a teacher and a writer, and that’s never changed.

Q:  Who are your literary influences?
Jaden:  I have so many. For crime fiction: Dennis Lehane, Steven Womack, Robert Crais, Jonathan Kellerman, Lawrence Block, and Timothy Hallinan. In general: J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, John Knowles. I should probably add Louisa May Alcott (Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys), L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), and Eric Knight (Lassie Come Home), because I read them over and over when I was a child.

Q:  Do you have any advice for new writers seeking a literary agent?
Jaden:  Write the book first. Finish your first draft without self-consciousness, and after it’s done—and only after it’s done—revise and edit until it’s as good as you can possibly make it. Anne Lamotte’s book Bird by Bird is a must-read for any aspiring writer.  While it’s never too soon to educate yourself about the publishing business, the quality of the book should come first. As for agents, www.aaronline, and are all good sources for agents. You can search by genre to narrow the field. Then do your homework by looking up their websites, looking them up on Preditors and Editors (, and checking out their sales on Publishers Marketplace. Conferences, like Killer Nashville, Sleuthfest, Thrillerfest, and Backspace, can also be great places to meet agents. You can learn a lot about writing an affective query from Nathan Bransford’s website,, or Janet Reid’s Query Shark blog, Educate yourself.

Q:  Tell us a little more about yourself.
Jaden:  When I can find the time, I like to play with our pets, read for pleasure, play guitar (I’m not a professional; I just play enough to write songs and amuse myself and my closet friends), do canine freestyle (which is heeling and tricks to music) with my dogs, massage and give treats to my 32-year-old quarter horse, draw, paint, and make dolls.

Q:  Do you see a bit of yourself, or anyone you know, in the characters you've brought to life in your novels?
Jaden:  Some of the characters, like Jared’s son Paul and his housemate Jay, are composite characters. Paul has traits of several students I taught when I was a special education teacher, and Jay is inspired by—but not literally based on—a good friend I lost to AIDS. I think there must be some part of the writer in every character. I hope I have very little in common with the villains in my books, but I have to be able to find a way to understand why they do what they do. I wouldn’t take the actions they take, but I have felt the emotions that lead to the actions.

Thank you so much for the interview and for the great advice.  But what's that?  You've got a few autographed copies of A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT you'd like to give away to some lucky readers?  


Well I say we kick things up a notch, and begin the first contest of October Thrills and Chills with a fun trivia contest, and award the winners your latest release!

First, let's lay down some rules:

1)You may enter from the time the post is up on October 1, 2012 until the contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (also known as Hotlanta time) October 5, 2012.  
2)Only ONE entry per person.  
3)From the pool of entrants who get the answers right, we'll take their names (please leave a name your reply and email if you're not subscribed to the blog) and I'll place them in my son's football helmet and draw out the names of the winners on October 5th!  
4)If you are chosen a winner I will need your contact information so we can send you the book.   
And now, let the trivial pursuit begin!

Choose the best answer, a, b, c, or d!

1)Jared McKean is an investigator in what city:
a) Las Vegas
b) Nashville
c) Memphis
d) Kodiak, Alaska

2) (Not book related, but somewhat Halloween-related.  Gotta throw a curve ball now and then!) Elaine Benes, character on Seinfeld, tried to choose her own theme song because her boyfriend at the time drove her crazy with his.  What song did she choose?
a) Brick House

b) The Seinfeld Theme Song
c)Witchy Woman
d) Desperado

3)What superhero bobblehead do we see in Ch. 1 of A CUP FULL OF MIDNIGHT?
b)Captain America

4)Name of Jared McKean's ex wife  (You gotta dig for this one!  Hint:  See author's website. Second hint:  Brooks & Dunn sang a song called...)

Good luck!


Sl J said...

Jaden, I love your "I'm a writer, half the people I know aren't real."

1. b
2. c
3. d
4. a

Jaden Terrell said...

Thank you, Joey, for hosting me today, and thank you, SI J. Why do I get the feeling you have a few of those "not real" friends yourself? :o)

Joey Francisco said...

You're welcome Jaden! And thanks for doing the interview. This is going to be a fun week.