Dark Side of Morning by Tierney James

Several years ago, I went to dinner with a group of aspiring authors at a writers convention. To our surprise, and the amusement of the others sharing our table, Tierney James and I ended up discussing scrapbooking and sniper rifles. We’ve been friends ever since, and I am excited she was able to take a little time to answer some questions for me to celebrate the release of her newest book, Dark Side of Morning.

This book includes a strong element of Native Americans. How did you get interested in Native American culture, and how did your experiences influence your writing of this book?
I did my student teaching on the Qualla Reservation in the Great Smokey Mountains among the Cherokee people. Years before my parents had taken me there on vacation. I told them I would return to live there. And I did. It changed my life. They experience life, nature and spiritual awakening on a higher plain. My soul rejoiced among these wonderful people. In my Enigma Series the hero is half Cherokee. His mother has the same name as my house parents on the reservation. The years have passed but my love of the culture has grown by leaps and bounds.

This book has sci fi elements in it. What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve visited the Field Museum in Chicago many times. And of course the North American Indian section is the first place I go when there. I looked into the mannequin eyes of my main character over the years and wondered if he could see and hear me. Some say it’s creepy. I say it is full of possibilities. Parallel universes started to interest me when I read Louie L’Amour’s book Haunted Mesa. He died shortly after it was published and I had a lot of questions.

Tell me about the protagonist in this book.
Dr. Cleopatra Sommers never came to terms with her father’s disappearance at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He had been a Native American scholar that explored avenues of unexplained spiritual paths in their cultures. The museum had been her home and playground growing up where her father spent long hours working. She was always drawn to one display case holding a mannequin of a Pawnee Indian. There was no way she could know he watched her all those years until the night he crossed over to find her.

If this book were made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
Robert Silent-Thunder for Wind Dancer
Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) for Cleopatra Sommers
Detective Jacque Marquette I’m thinking Bradley Cooper

Your previous books are true thrillers, with terrorists and pulse-pounding action. Does this book contain any of those elements?
Yes it has those elements but on a spookier level. I talk about skinwalkers which is like a witch that the Navajo have in their culture. Those are super scary things. Then there is the possibility of biological agents that could wipe out the United States.

I completely enjoyed the Enigma series. Do you anticipate ever returning to that cast of characters?
I’m actually working on #4 right now! Think diamonds, Africa and Tessa’s son hacking the wrong kind of people.

Tierney, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and share some insight into your new book. Folks, take a moment to pop over to Amazon and check out Dark Side of Morning (and tell all your friends!).

Special Guest Tierney James: Rooftop Angels

RooftopAngelsTierneyJames200x300I met Tierney James at a writers’ conference several years ago. We bonded immediately over scrapbooking and guns, and I feel fortunate to count her as a friend. In honor of her recent release, I asked her to stop by and answer a few questions.

First, some background. Tierney has been in education for over thirty years. She recently stopped teaching World Geography for a nearby college to pursue her writing career. Creating a workshop for beginning writers, speaking at schools and serving as an officer in the writing group Sleuths’ Ink, are some of the work she does when not writing. With the creation of Winds of Deception, Tierney is now working with one of the crew members of USS Liberty in hopes of obtaining the Medal of Honor for him.
Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney has traveled across the world. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa, she ties her unique experiences into other writing projects such as the action thriller novel, An Unlikely Hero, the first in the Enigma Series. Winds of Deception is the second in that series. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town for many years fuels the kind of characters she never tires of creating.

And now, for the questions!

What prepared you to write action thrillers with a Homeland Security theme?
Curiosity. The Twin Towers coming down. I’m also really into geo-political conflict.

This is the third in your series. Can you give us a little taste of the book?
When Tessa Scott wakes with blood on her hands in a rat infested shack in Afghanistan, she discovers six orphan girls and the Undersecretary of State counting on her for protection. Confused at how she got there or why a smoldering Black Hawk helicopter has crashed outside the village, forces her into yet another adventure of cat and mouse with the Taliban who intend to kidnap them. With the help of a Kyrgyz tribesman and his men, they elude the danger only to discover their protection comes at a price which involves marriage to the leader. An unexpected chance at new love outweighs the secret Tessa must now carry forever. Meanwhile Captain Hunter, an Enigma agent, desperately searches for her before she disappears on the rooftop of the world. A race against time and ruthless drug lords, who work with the U.S. government, create obstacles which change Tessa’s life in a way she never expected.

Afghanistan is a pretty exotic locale. Your first two books took place in the United States. Is this the new Enigma?
Well I love geography and sometimes my story just takes me to faraway places. There will be one in China and Turkey but the others will probably remain in the good ole USA.

How many books will there be in the series?
Right now I think there will be about eight.

Will you try to write in other genres?
I’ve tried my hand at paranormal thriller and now science fiction/fantasy. Those are really fun.

List your favorites:
1. Author – James Rollins, Brad Thor, Steve Berry, Daniel Silva, Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown
2. Music – Movie soundtracks, jazz
3. Actors – Dwayne Johnson, Jason Scott Lee, Jeremy Renner, Daniel Craig
4. Hobby-Gardening
5. Animal—Dog & the Okapi
6. Exotic locale—Tibet & Israel
7. Movie—Wind & the Lion

What else would you like others to know about you?
Besides teaching and writing, I enjoy family, gardening and traveling. I like trying new things such as learning Hebrew in hopes of incorporating the knowledge in a future Engima Series. Doing research sometimes involves learning new skills, such as being certified with various weapons. I had a blast taking a Samurai class at Killer Nashville. I’m also addicted to writer conferences.

Social Media:
http://www.facebook.com/TierneyJamesAction
Twitter: @TierneyJames1
https://www.pinterest.com/ptierneyjames/
Website: http://www.tierneyjames.com

The Big Easy Blog Tour

I’m honored to be a part of The Big Easy Blog Tour. My friend, Tierney James, who I was lucky enough to meet at the Ozark Creative Writer’s Conference a couple of years ago nominated me to follow her. She and I ended up at a big table for lunch one day and discovered that we had something in common: scrapbooking. A little bit later in the conversation, a friend of mine mentioned that my husband had gotten me a sniper rifle as a gift (I mean, seriously, what says love like that?). Tierney immediately perked up and we compared notes about what we like to shoot. We’ve been friends ever since – there aren’t many friends that I can talk to about shooting and scrapping!

Anyway, on to the tour:

What am I working on? I recently submitted a manuscript to the Crimson Rose line of The Wild Rose Press for their upcoming Lobster Cove series. I’m very excited about that possibility. I’m also working on Diamond in the Rough, which is a follow up to my soon-to-be-published novel, Denim & Diamonds.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? I write romance and mystery, and most of my books have a bit of each in them. One thing that makes my books stand out from others is my legal experience. I’ve worked in the legal field for about 20 years, and my stories are usually inspired by some nugget of truth I’ve come across in real life. For instance, Denim & Diamonds was inspired by a client who wanted to leave her horses and ranch to a niece, but she wanted to make sure the ranch would be well managed.

Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been inspired by strong women. When I was young, I read novels and was disgusted by the wimpy, swooning women. I was thrilled when female characters began to grow spines, and take on the bad guys – both in romances and mysteries. Whatever genre I’m writing, I love writing about characters who inspire me. Hopefully they’ll do the same for my readers.

How does my writing process work? Well, that’s a good question. Personally, I tend to write by the seat of my pants. The process of turning off that internal editor and getting words on the page is a must, otherwise, I’d never get a manuscript finished! That said, the more novels I get under my belt, the more pre-writing work I do. For my current novel, I’m using index cards to plot the scenes before writing them. Oh – and Pinterest helps. I pin images that remind me of my characters, settings, etc. It serves as inspiration, and helps to fix the characters in my mind. Here’s the page I used as inspiration for Denim & Diamonds.

http://carypress.com/denim-diamonds-by-lori-robinett/

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

Please join me on the Big Easy Blog tour next week as we visit these writers:

Colleen Donnelly: Colleen lives in the rural Midwest with her dog, Mia. She believes in hobbies, hard work, and down time. Her first book, Mine to Tell, is historical fiction, and her second book, Asked For, will be released soon. Check out her blog here.

Angela Drake: Angela has been writing most of her life. She writes in several sub-genres of romance as well as a wide variety of freelance markets. Sometimes research crosses both her fiction and non-fiction journeys. She loves speaking at conferences, judging writer competitions and mentoring others who share her passion. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her ever-supportive husband of twenty-seven years and various fur-babies. Her first book was just released this month. Check out her blog here and look for her book here.