Monday, December 09, 2013

FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES - Terri Main - One Free Ebook

Welcome, Terri. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Every character a writer writes, if they are doing their job well, is a piece of themselves. It may be a piece they embrace, a piece they hate, a piece they ignore, or a piece they strive to actualize, but every character comes from within the writer. Even when we blatantly borrow from people we know or other characters from movies, books, TV shows, or plays, the fact that we choose those particular people instead of others to borrow from is driven by our own characteristics.

Of course, some things are closer to the surface than others. Most of my protagonists are middle-aged women, who are usually academics. I have a few novels in the works that are different though in that regard. I've got a boy genius in one of my books, who is just bursting at the seams to grow up and isn't well understood by his peers. I can sort of relate as a kid who was tagged with being gifted which did nothing for my prospects at school.

Sometimes, though, you can get too close to home. There are times I'm in tears with my characters when dealing with shared traumas.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I'm not sure I've done too many quirky things. At least not big ones. Make a silly face or something. One time my sister goaded me into following a guy home in the car. That wouldn't be to quirky if we were 17, but we were both in our 40s at the time. And I followed from in front, two blocks away so he wouldn't know.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I'm not sure there was any huge revelation. I did start writing my first novel at 11. It was a story about a guy living in the 21st Century, whose Grandfather from the 20th Century and Grandson from the 22nd Century both show up in his house on the same weekend. I think I had just watched the Time Machine on TV.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
It's quite a huge range. I read books of theology and philosophy, science, history (mostly ancient, but some as late as the Enlightenment), science fiction, sword and sorcery, and cozy mysteries. I also like to read books about writing and current trends in society, particularly as they relate to technology.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Well, I can't run any more. Between bad knees, a bad back, and asthma, I had to learn to stop running. The world would still be there when I got there. I purposely pace myself. I set timers and rarely work more than 20-30 minutes at a stretch without taking a break. When I ignore the timer, I pay for it later and end up getting less done because I've worn myself out.

I also play casual games like you find on Facebook. They are mindless, silly things, but they are relaxing.

I also use a timer in my office when I’m writing. I get up and walk back and forth in the house several times every 30 minutes. And I have played computer games to take a break, but they hurt the arthritis in my right shoulder now. How do you choose your characters’ names?
More or less randomly. Seriously, I get a decent name and forget about it. I'm not going to obsess over their names. Now, with my science fiction and fantasy, I do have some things about the names that come from the world I've created. In the Dark Side of the Moon world of 2201, ease of travel has broken down a lot of barriers. So there are a lot of mixed ethnicities. I have characters like Juan McCalister, Kevin Hiyachi, and Carmalita Avidesian. Also many of the young people on the moon take their lunar heritage very seriously and choose names like Moonbeam or Crater.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Probably getting my first masters degree. I worked very hard on the thesis and was told at the end of everything, that any one of the three sections of the thesis would have been enough for the degree.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Really? I am what I am. Okay, maybe a Vulcan. Oh, I guess you mean real animals. None I can think of.

What is your favorite food?
Steak cooked by me in the pressure cooker with potatoes and onions.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I'm not sure. I think when I was young (like junior high) I was ashamed of reading the Writers Digest, Writer and other books on writing not to mention Scientific American, Science Illustrated, etc. instead of the comic books the other kids were reading. But that was more of a social thing.

I really didn't have many serious roadblocks. But I've been taking writing classes since 7th grade so a lot of that sort of thing was preempted by my education. We would spend fifteen minutes every day at the start of class from 7th through 12th grades writing. It became like breathing. I learned better techniques and improved, but I never felt there was anything actually standing in my way. I may have self-esteem issues about my appearance, my social standing, my general worth in the world, but not about my academics or my writing. Those were things I learned in very positive ways at a young age. The other's not so much.

Tell us about the featured book.
Fangs for the Memories is the third book in my Dark Side of the Moon Mystery series. It is a standalone volume. However, characters from the previous books continue to develop as does the romance between the two main characters.

When wealthy playboy Dexter Harrington the Third is found laying in the entry hall of his upscale apartment in Collins Township on the Moon wearing red contact lenses, prosthetic fangs, and a cape with a stake through his heart, the local police knew they were out of their depth. So they called in Carolyn Masters, history professor and former FBI profiler and Michael Cheravik, former Dallas PD homicide detective and criminology professor.

Along with Mike's students, the pair begin an investigation that leads through the seamy world of vampire play and the even seamier world of Old Money family rivalries. While just trying to solve Dexter's murder, they stumble upon a terrorist plot being coordinated by some of the most respected families on the moon. But who is really responsible for Dexter's death and why?

Please give us the first page of the book.
When the maid found Dexter Harrington the third laying on the floor wearing a black cape, she was not surprised. The red eyes didn't surprise her either. However, she was taken aback by the stake through his heart.

Being a sensible woman from old Scottish stock, she didn’t scream. She just called the police and decided to take the day off.
Kenneth Hiachi recorded this duly in his report, called the coroner, and then called his old criminology professor Michael Cheravik. Meanwhile, I was sleeping peacefully after an all-night grading session.


“Good Morning, Dr. C. Wakey Wakey!”

“What is it Mags?” While I found the housekeeper program a friendlier version of my household management system than the default English butler, I wished she would just sleep late some mornings.

“It’s Dr. Mike on the com. He needs to talk to you. He’s such a nice man. When are you going to marry that boy?”

“And when are you going to keep your nose out of other people’s business?”

“Can’t help it. That’s just how I’m programmed.”

“Okay, patch the audio into this room. I’m in no condition to be seen on screen.”

“Gotcha. Here she is, Dr. Mike.”

“Thanks, Mags. Your friend sure did a great job on your HMS. I should have him come over and do mine.”

“Michael Cheravik, it’s 0530 in the morning. I really hope you did not call to get a programmer referral.”

“Nah. We gotta case. It’s over in Collins.”

“Mike, I’m a history teacher and not a cop.”

“Yeah, Yeah! Well anyway, you won’t believe this. The guy was dressed up like a vampire with a stake through his heart.”

As much as I hated Mike ignoring me, I had to admit I was intrigued.

“Apparently, our vic was one of those modern day vampires. They dress up in capes and fake fangs, sit around drinking tomato juice and occasionally cutting themselves and licking the blood off the wound.”

“Historically, vampire play goes back to the late twentieth century when a series of books came out written from the vampire’s point of view.” As usual, while trying to think of something to say, I retreated to teaching to get my thoughts together.


“Maybe. Mostly, I think they are looking for something and not finding it in our modern culture. I guess you already booked us on the next tube to Collins.”

“Yep, I have our tickets right here. Meet you at 0700 at tube terminal five. We’ll have breakfast on the train. I sent the kids out a couple of hours ago when I got the call. They should have everything printed and holographed by the time we get there. We’ll go directly to the crime scene. We’ll meet the ME and security counselor there. She’s coming in from Aldrin. Mine accident, four were killed.”

“Not a good day for her. Not much better for us. See you at seven.”

Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can follow me on Facebook at  
They can also follow on twitter at
My website is at

Thank you, Terri, for sharing your new book with us.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Fangs for the Memories: A Dark Side of the Moon Mystery (Dark Side of the Moon Mysteries)

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Terri main said...

Thanks a bunch for the interview. If anyone wants to ask any questions, I'll be checking in here throughout the day.

Karen McCullough said...

HI Terri --

That was a fun interview and the book sounds great!

Terri main said...

Thanks Karen. I had fun writing the book. It was especially fun writing the parts with the robotic cat. Sort of Isaac Asimov meets Lillian Jackson Braun.

Mary Preston said...

What a fascinating read this will be.

I must say the maid was calmer then I would have been.

Mary P


Terri main said...

Well, Mrs. McCreedy is a tough old bird. Part of the old school, no nonsense sort that just gets the job done and cries about it later. We meet her again in the book. Minor character, but one of the fun ones to write.

Jan H said...

I have never cooked steak in a pressure cooker. Any tips. I need to use mine more. I don't bake in the summer because it is too hot in my house to turn on the oven in the summertime here in Texas. I hope to read your book.

Terri main said...

I understand about the heat. I live in central California where we can hit temperatures of 100 plus for weeks at a time. The pressure cooker is perfect for those times. I have an electric one that I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond. I happen to like my meat well-done, but you can set it at whatever length of time you want for the amount of doneness that you like.

Here's how I fixed stake (you can modify this for just about any meat such as roast, stew meat, pork or lamb). First I brown it quickly on each side. Once it is just lightly browned, about a minute or two on each side. Then I take it out of the frypan. I put my potatoes, which I have peeled and cut in half on top of the rack in the bottom of the preheated pressure cooker. I poor little bit of the juice from the frypan over the potatoes. Then I lay the pieces of steak on top of the potatoes. You can also add a whole onions, wedges of cabbage, or carrots. Since, I usually am cooking seven or eight pieces of steak and an equivalent number of servings of potatoes I don't usually have room for anything else. The reason I make although servings is that I freeze them and create for myself my own frozen dinners. Then when I'm not feeling well, which is a lot of the time, I can just throw one of my "TV dinners" into the microwave and have a healthy, tasty dinner.

Once you have the steak and potatoes and whatever else you want to cook in the pressure cooker, and I put the potatoes on the bottom because the juices drip down and make them a nice golden brown, I then add about a glass of water and put the lid on the pressure cooker. When the cooker is pressurized, I reduce the heat to just enough to maintain the steam in the pressure cooker, and let it cook for about thirty minutes if I have two pounds of steak and eight potatoes cut in half. If I'm doing the roast, like a chuck roast, it's about forty-five minutes. A 2 to 3 pound rump roast is between forty-five minutes in an hour. But, I like my meat well-done. Your pressure cooker will come with a cookbook that will tell you the times for different meats and degrees of doneness.

When I take the meat out of the pressure cooker, I have to be careful because it is fork tender and it can literally be falling apart. It will fall right off the bone if you're cooking a bone in steak or roast. One of my favorite things to do with the pressure cooker, is spareribs or short ribs. Again, I brown them quickly then I cut up my potatoes into small one inch to one and a half inch chunks I chop up a couple of onions and I pour my own brand of barbecue sauce over the top of the that I very carefully pour the water down beside them so there's only steam so it doesn't rinse the barbecue sauce off the top. Those usually take about 30 to 35 minutes.

Now, I am hungry. And, I don't have any stake in the freezer right now. I think I'm going to need to do some shopping tomorrow.