Please welcome Terri Persons, author of the
unique and stylish suspense novel, BLIND SPOT
Synopsis and Review:
Blind Spot by Terri Persons
Publisher: Doubleday ISBN-10: 0385518692
Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla,
New Mystery Reader
FBI agent Bernadette St. Clare is quite used to being
transferred from city to city, her ability for solving cases by seeing the
crimes through the killer's eyes something the agency would rather keep quiet.
And when her latest transfer lands her in St. Paul, it doesn't take long before
she's faced with tracking down a killer, a vengeful madman whose goal is to
carry out the ultimate punishment when the law has failed to so.
This first outing in the new series by Persons is
absolutely dazzling, with St. Clare, otherwise known as "Cat", being one of the
most engaging new heroines to come along in quite awhile. Determined,
independent, witty, and audacious, this new psychic crime fighter to the scene
singularly transforms the typical serial killer novel into one of exhilarating
distinction. In addition, Persons masterfully creates a plot filled with
both the ethereal and the natural, all the while adeptly avoiding all the usual
clichťs that all too often accompany the genre. Filled with moments that
are laugh out loud hysterical, and others that are emotionally stirring, this is
a deeply gratifying read that surprises and stimulates all the way through, and
one that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next.
Congratulations on your first book! So how does it feel to have your
title published and on the shelves?
2. We'd love to hear some background on this new
series. Can you give us
a snapshot of your wonderful main character, Agent Saint Clare, aka
"Cat", and briefly describe the concept behind your new series? (Brief
synopsis keeping in mind following questions will be asked.)
I wanted to create a character that was different from the usual tough
guy/tough chick investigator that we see in so many thriller novels. Cat
is small, blond and pretty, but not gorgeous. Sheís something of a
tomboy. Unlike many of these thriller heroes and heroines, she doesnít
hail from the big city; she is a farm girl from rural Minnesota. Sheís
insecure in her personal and professional life - and sometimes she
screws up the both of them royally.
3. What inspired you to include the paranormal aspect?
Was this your
intent from the beginning, or did it just evolve in that direction as
you began to write?
I intended to include the paranormal elements from the start. Iím a huge
fan of all things spooky. I was devoted to the X-Files television
series, which did a great job of mixing the supernatural with
traditional crime cases. I enjoy reading Stephen King and Anne Rice,
especially their older works. When I was a kid, I loved curling up with
a scary book and frightening myself to the point where I couldnít go to
bed at night. I adore scary movies.
4. What do you feel might be the biggest differences
between writing a
book with a paranormal approach as compared to a more conventional
Iím trying to do both well, actually. Iím trying to have an FBI agent
who is fabulous at nuts and bolts investigation techniques, but also has
this special ability Ė a talent that doesnít always work for her. I
donít want her sight to make things too easy for her. In fact, I enjoy
having it prove an obstacle for her at times. Balancing the conventional
with the paranormal really is a juggling act, and Iím having a blast
keeping all those balls in the air.
5. I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of the
book (and there were
many!) was the conversation at the end that Cat had with her ghostly
pal. Creating an entire world out of your imagination must be a heady
experience, and perhaps even more so when considering the extra freedom
provided by your unique approach; did you have a lot of fun with this?
And were there points in your writing where you were conscious of just
how far you should take it, maybe occasionally having to reign yourself
in so your editor wouldn't pull out the red pen?
It really was fun inserting the ghosts into the book, but I do have to
be careful how far I take it. Some readers have been shocked by a
particular revelation near the end of the book. (I donít want to give it
away for those who havenít read it yet). I was absolutely conscious of
how far I could take it, and there were indeed times when my wonderful
editor, Phyllis Grann, did have to reel me in. I donít know if youíve
seen the cable television show Rescue Me. Itís about a New York
firehouse crew, and one of the main characters is constantly chatting it
up with dead relatives. They stand in his kitchen and drink beer with
him. I just enjoy the whole idea of casual visits from the deceased.
Many of us would like such solid proof of life after death.
6. Ultimately, you've created a very convincing tale of
investigator who is a single woman with her fair share of baggage, and
one who has to make it in a man's world. So which presents the biggest
challenge - creatively and hypothetically speaking- everyday reality, or
the ability to see beyond it?
I actually think presenting everyday reality in a believable way is the
toughest. People know all about the challenges of the workplace, the
difficulties of a less-than-perfect personal life. If you canít present
that stuff in a convincing manner, youíre sunk.
7. Okay, to digress for a moment: One hears the rumors
that the FBI,
CIA, and other government agencies might believe more in this type of
perceptiveness than they let on; what are your thoughts on this?
Thatís really what the X-Files was about. I am intrigued by the
possibility that our government has secretly explored the supernatural.
If you go online or surf the cable channels, you come across any number
of conspiracy theories related to that. Whether itís for real, however,
is another matter.
8. Now a bit about your approach to the actual process
of writing, the
angst of getting published and, finally, the joy of seeing it on the
shelves. What do you find the most enjoyable part of it all, and what do
you find the most difficult?
Thereís nothing I hate about writing. I get up every morning excited to
create. It is a privilege to be able to make a living this way.
9. When in the middle of writing your book, how hard is
it to leave it
be at the end of the day? And how hard is it to let it all finally go
once it's printed and out the door?
Sometimes I get on a roll and I donít stop writing until midnight or
later, so it can be hard leaving it. Itís tough to let go of it after it
is finished, too. You always think of one more element you could have
added or should have removed. Itís like seeing your kid off to college.
Did I pack enough socks for him? Wait, let me send you with these cookies!
10. Now just the odd question for the heck of it: Do
you like sandwiches
and, if so, which is your favorite?
I eat sandwiches regularly, especially grilled cheese with a bowl of
tomato soup. When I was pregnant many moons ago, my husband made me
peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. I havenít really gone back to
those. Probably a good thing.
11. And finally, what's next for Cat?
Iím working on her next adventure. Expect more turmoil in her personal
and professional life, and more bizarre and heinous crimes that need
Terri Persons, a former reporter and freelance
magazine writer, lives in the
Midwest with her husband and two sons.