Monday, January 20, 2014

Hereafter by Terri Bruce: Interview and Excerpt


Thank you for having me, Laurie! I’m thrilled to be back here again at Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts. This is one of my favorite blogs to read, so being a guest here is super awesome. :-)

Afterlife  Book One
Terri Bruce
Genre: Paranormal/Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Mictlan Press
Date of Publication:  January 20, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-0-1
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-1-8
Number of pages: 369
Word Count:  111,000
Cover Artist: Shelby Robinson
Book Description:
Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife. 
Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore. Can she wipe the slate clean and get a second chance before it’s too late?
Tell us about your current release.
Funnily enough, I’m back here to promote the same book I was promoting the last time I was here. LOL—I feel like I’ve been running in place for a while. Well, that’s not entirely true—it’s not exactly the same book. This is the second edition, a re-release, of Hereafter, the first book of my Afterlife series. Last summer I had a dispute with my publisher and got the rights to my books back. I decided the best vehicle for getting the series out was to self-publish and here I am. Hereafter is basically the same book, but with tighter editing (I hired a professional editor to go completely over the book, despite the fact that it had already been edited by the previous publisher), a fabulous new cover, a couple of extras in the back (a readers’ guide/discussion questions and a promo for the sequel!), and a fancy new print edition that looks and feels fabulous. I’m so excited—I feel like the new packaging really reflects the book a lot better, and I like the look and feel of the print edition much better, too.

Tell us about your next release.

Next up is Thereafter (Afterlife #2), the second book in the series. This book was originally supposed to come out May 1st of last year and the dispute with the publisher put a crink in that. But thankfully, one year later, it will finally be in readers’ hands. And then, if I’m really lucky, Book #3 will be out in the fall, which is when I’ll finally be hitting new ground. Both Hereafter and Thereafter had gone through the entire production process with the previous publisher, so everything I’m doing at the moment is basically going over the same ground with these books that I already covered once. I’m eager to stop fiddling with these two and focus on something that is completely new to publication :-)

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I could not live without critique partners and beta readers. I have a lovely group of critique partners—insanely smart, talented, funny, and kind people who give great feedback on what works and what doesn’t work in my drafts. Then, once I think it’s all done, I turn it over to a couple of trusted beta readers—close friends who read an insanely large amount, and who will give me honest feedback about what they liked and didn’t like (as readers) about the story. If my books are any good, at all interesting, make any sense, and hold together at all it’s because of these people (both the crit partners and beta readers). They are the unsung heroes of writing.


Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

Sadly, not really :-( But I want to! I’m one of the cute, cuddly authors—I don’t bite! Really! :-) I’d love for fans to contact me. In fact, I’ve started a new weekly feature called “Writer at Work Wednesdays,” in which authors share an excerpt from something they’ve written and share some behind-the-scenes insights. I would love my fans to submit some questions to me that I could feature on future Writer at Work Wednesday posts!


Do you have a milestone birthday coming up? If so, how are you approaching it?

It’s funny you should ask! I will be turning 40 in just a few weeks. Hooray! I am THRILLED by every birthday I have—each year I can’t believe I’ve managed to stay alive another year! That probably sounds weird, but as a child/teen, I was very depressed and contemplated suicide quite a lot. Living to 18 in some ways feels like a miracle. Now, as an adult, I have a different challenge: cancer runs in my family, so the threat of that looms over me, like a ticking time bomb. It sort of feels inevitable that I’ll develop some form of it. So every year I reach another birthday feels like a miracle.


Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?

Online, you will often find me on Twitter. I love Twitter. Tweet me!! I respond! In person, you will almost always find me at home when I’m not at work. I am a total homebody (LOL—that is not an invitation to stalk me at my house! :-))

Do you have a Website or Blog?

Do I have a website or blog?! But of course! Come visit me at As I mentioned before, on Wednesdays, I blog about my writing. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I talk about books/readerly things in general (I participate in the Broke and the Bookish’s “Top Ten Tuesdays” and I have a new weekly feature, “This and That Thursday” where I compare two books that share a theme).

Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it?  If so, can you share it? 

This is one of my favorite scenes in the book, and Madame Majicka’s line at the end kind of sums up my philosophy:


“Okay, then tell me this: there are all these stories about the afterlife, right? So which ones are true?” Irene asked.

“Well, all of them,” Madame Majicka said, as if she didn’t quite understand the question.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” Madame Majicka said gently but insistently, “all of them—the Milky Way is a collection of stars and galaxies, a river in the sky, and a universal consciousness. There is a single god and there are many gods. There are cities of the dead and lakes of fire and a blinding light and all your family is there. There’s a bridge to the sky and a boat across a river and a hill separating you from the next village. You must both forget and remember. You will both eat the best of everything and have no need of food. You will be both naked and clothed. You will be a part of everything and apart from it. You will be omniscient and you will be insignificant.”

Madame Majicka’s voice became like a spell, weaving a world that shimmered before Irene’s eyes. It hovered just beyond her sight, on the edge of her consciousness, like a streetscape seen through a rain-blurred window. She could feel and smell and taste it all, just beyond the range of her current senses. It was as if she was remembering a far off place she had visited long ago. Somehow, it all felt familiar.

Irene blinked and the vision dissolved. She felt an unaccountable wave of bitter and crushing loss break over her. She blinked again and was surprised to find her eyes were wet.

Jonah was listening with rapt attention and was gripping the edge of the table with both hands. He leaned forward, nearly panting with excitement.

“Yeah, but they’re just stories…” Irene said helplessly. “I mean…the afterlife isn’t really going to be like that…”

Madame Majicka picked up the teapot and poured another cup of tea. “Well, my dear, just because it’s a story doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”

About the Author:

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember and won her first writing award when she was twelve. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Her second novel, Thereafter (Afterlife #2), will be released May 1, 2014. 

Twitter:       @_TerriBruce

Facebook Party Full of Prizes

Help celebrate the re-release of HEREAFTER back into the wild at the Online Release Party January 21st from 12:00 pm EST (noon) to 12:00 am EST (midnight). Join Terri and over a dozen special guest authors—including Alma Alexander (“The Secrets of Jin-Shei”) , Gail Z. Martin (“Chronicles of the Necromancer”), Barbara Ann Wright (“The Pyramid Waltz”), and Jennifer Allis Provost (“Copper Girl”)—for games, giveaways, and other shenanigans.
So please stop on by and bring your friends—the more merrier! 



Laurie C said...

Love the quoted passage and the new cover!

TerriBruce said...

Thank you so much for having me on the blog today, Laurie! This was a fun interview!

TerriBruce said...

Awww, thanks Laurie! I really, really love my new covers (the sequel's cover is almost done and it's gorgeous, too!)