Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Terry Shames and the Samuel Craddock Series

Please welcome my Wednesday guest, Terry Shames. Terry's first novel, A Killing at Cotton Hill, debuted a year ago this month to resounding reviews and was named one of the top five debut novels by Mystery People. She followed it quickly with The Last Death of Jack Harbin, and the third novel in the series, featuring retired sheriff Samuel Craddock, launches soon. Although she now lives in California, Terry grew up in Texas, in a small town on which her fictional Jarrett Creek is modeled...and she captures the essence of small-town Texas to a T. Here's Terry, talking about how her life has changed in the past year.

July 16 will be the one-year birthday of my debut novel, A Killing at Cotton Hill, and I’m taking stock of what the year has meant. Here are a few changes I’ve experienced:
1)    I’m not nearly as organized as I used to be. I used to be able to keep things in my head, but no more. If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t happen—in fact sometimes, it doesn’t happen even if it is written down. It’s hard for me to understand that this is a good thing. It means I’m super busy with readings and promotion and writing the next book, in addition to trying to have a social life.
2)    I’ve discovered a new side of my husband. Who would have guessed that I could tell David that not only am I too busy to go buy groceries, but too busy to go out for dinner and that he would respond by going to the grocery store and buying things for me to cook? Also, I would never have guessed that he would be so excited by the success of my first book and would quietly go about making things work in the background when I did a book reading. I didn’t know he knew how to set out wine and cheese! I guess all the years I spoiled him have come back to me in kind.
3)    I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve always been a mixture of introvert and extrovert. That has stood me in good stead as I have to work on future books and at the same time promote my books. I love being in my office, working because my series is moving forward and I feel celebrated as an author for the first time. And I also love being out and about at book signings and conferences, talking about my books and writing.
4)    It’s not all roses! As an unpublished writer, I could do as I pleased. If I was stuck on a project, I’d start another one or mess around with a short story and maybr not come back to the book for a long time. That luxury is gone. Please don’t think I’m complaining. It’s just different.
 5)    I want to stretch my wings a little bit. I’ve recently begun thinking of writing a book other than one in the Samuel Craddock series. Can I possibly write a thriller? One of those hefty books of intrigue that I love to read? Or maybe try my hand at a “big” historical novel? Stay tuned. I’m dipping my toe in, and I’ll see where it leads.
My second book, The Last Death of Jack Harbin, came out in January to fine reviews. And in October, Dead Broke in Jarrett Creek launches. In this one, the town of Jarrett Creek goes bankrupt because of the mayor’s poor judgment…or is that the reason? Could it also be because of nefarious backroom deals that backfired? How will all this affect Samuel Craddock? Read it and find out. You can pre-order it! And here’s the cover:


Julia Buckley said...

So interesting, and so wonderful! Enjoy every moment of this new and busy life. And congratulations on all these well-received novels!

Debra H. Goldstein said...

A well earned group of lifestyle changes. Your husband and you have much to be proud of. You blogged for me and did a We Love Libraries SinC presentation when things were beginning to take off...and I am glad to see you getting the recognition for your excellent writing and continued graciousness. Carolyn Hart well knew the woman she was giving a shout-out to at Malice. congratulations and continued joy....remembering everything isn't a necessity.

Anonymous said...

Very informative blog about how getting published does bring changes in one's life! I agree so with the comments about being both an extra vert and introvert! Probably true of many writers and artists - whatever the field of art. Look forward to book # 3 -- and hope you will turn your hand to a thriller. After your experience at ThrillerFest maybe this will ignite that fire! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

Terry Shames said...

Thanks for the kind words from Julia, Debra and Thelma. Exhausting and exhilarating time in life.

Pam said...

How about a novel set at an African safari camp? Murder by puff adder?

Terry Shames said...

Pam, I'm thinking, I'm thinking....

Marilyn said...

Will Samuel Craddock ever suffer from "warthog moments"?

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