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Terri Blackstock
Novelist Uses New Book
to Highlight PTSD


  Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual "new kid," her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist.

  At eleven years old, she wrote a poem about the Vietnam War. Her mom sent the poem to the local newspaper and it got published. She says, "From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Everything in my life was geared toward writing after that."

  She got involved in a writer's group that was publishing in the romance industry. Terri decided to give that a try since she enjoyed writing about relationships. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five. When she began writing for the secular market she was a Christian and planned to write clean love stories. Over time, she began to add things to make the books sell better.

  "I began adding the things that other writers were including in their books. I began adding more sex and profanity in the books and it began to take a toll on my spiritual life," shares Terri. In 1994, Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. She felt deeply convicted and got down on her knees and asked God to forgive her.

  At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots while challenging her readers. She hopes to remind them that they're not alone, and that their trials have a purpose.


  Terri says God has a way of putting her through things when she is writing a book. She may not go through the exact same trial as she writes about in her book, but she uses the emotions and pours that energy into her characters.

  Her latest book, "If I'm Found," is currently #1 on the Christian Booksellers' Top Suspense list. It is the sequel to "If I Run," which is right behind at #3.

  In "If I'm Found," Casey Cox is still on the run fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn't commit. Dylan Roberts her most relentless pursuer - is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist that he knows the truth and wants to help her. He's let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn't come easily.
  As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who's also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and just may result in her capture - and if she's captured, she has no doubt she'll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail.
   There will be a total of three books in the series.


  In her book, Terri reveals that Dylan, an Army veteran, who was exposed to an IED during battle struggles with PTSD. She also shows how Casey struggles with PTSD because at the age of twelve Casey discovered her father dead. As Dylan is chasing Casey to find out if she is guilty of murder he realizes that they have something in common: PTSD.

  According to the PTSD Foundation of America, symptoms of PTSD can include:
* Flashbacks/Traumatic Event Mood Swings
* Panic Attacks - undefined dread or fear
* Night Terrors/Nightmares
* Insomnia or Fragmented Sleep
* Difficulty Working with Others
* Difficulty Raising Children
* Marital Problems - unable to maintain healthy relationships
* Memory Loss/Difficulty Concentrating
* Hyper vigilance - constant feeling of being "on guard"
* Depression/Anxiety
* Substance Abuse
* Sleepwalking/Sleep fighting
* Fixated on Suicidal Thoughts

  More information about PTSD can be found at the PTSD Foundation of America: www.ptsdusa.org

From cbn.com Click Here

Watch this interview with Terri Blackstock

 Click Here


Author Q&A: Terri Blackstock


  With 80 titles to her credit and 7 million books sold over more than three decades, Clinton, Mississippi resident and New York Times bestselling author Terri Blackstock insists she never has trouble coming up with new characters and plots to add to her substantial collection of page-turning stories.

  Her most recent addition, "If I'm Found," was released March 21 by Zondervan, and is the second in her new "If I Run" series begun in 2016 - making it her ninth popular Christian suspense series.

  Her prolific body of award-winning work also includes 32 romance novels, nine standalone novels, four story compilations, two titles for young readers, and a devotional.

  After spending the first 11 years of her life as an Air Force brat, it was when Blackstock's parents divorced that her mother, a Mississippi native, settled the family in the Jackson area. She went on to graduate from Jackson's Wingfield High School, attended Hinds Community College, and earned an English degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

  Although she began work on a master's degree at ULM, Blackstock never finished the program because "I decided to write my first novel instead of a thesis," she said. "I wrote my first book in my early 20s and sold it to a publisher when I was 25. From then on, I have been able to write for a living."

  After moves to Louisiana and then Florida, she returned to Clinton, where she has lived since 1990. She and husband Ken have raised her two daughters and his son together, and today their lives stay busy with their five grandchildren.

  Her writing has been recognized with a Christy Award, two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others.

How did your writing career get started?

  I had my first child while I was in graduate school and took some time off. I started writing my first novel during that time. To learn the craft, I joined a writer's group that met once a month. People in that group were getting published and doing well, so I learned everything I could from them.

  The best place to break into the publishing world at that time was in the romance genre. So, I tailored my writing to fit that market. I went to writers' conferences to make contact with agents and editors, and as a result, I was able to sell my first book to Silhouette Books. After I had that foot in the door, I just kept writing. Those books were kind of short, so I was able to write one in about three months. Some years I wrote three or four, and I sold them all. I was selling to Silhouette, Harlequin, Dell and HarperCollins.

  In 1995, I had 32 books published and 3.5 million books sold when I made the switch to the Christian market, where I started over writing suspense under my married name - Terri Blackstock. I had used two pseudonyms before that time. Since then, I've had about 50 suspense novels published and have sold another 3.5 million books, to make 7 million in all.

How and why did you begin writing Christian-themed novels?

  After I had been writing for the romance market for 13 years, I became miserable. I loved being a writer, but I wasn't fulfilled at all. I was a Christian and had what I call a spiritual awakening, and I felt an intense conviction that I wasn't using my gift the way God had intended. I had several books under contract at that time, but I didn't want to write them. I remember the day I got down on my knees, literally, and told God I didn't want to write anything else that didn't glorify him. I didn't know how that would look.

  I told my publisher that I wanted to buy back my contracts, and it happened that they owed me more than I owed them, so that worked out really well. Then I was able to get an agent who sold to the Christian fiction market, and I wrote my first book proposal for a suspense novel with a Christian theme. It just so happened that Christian publishers, who had mostly published prairie fiction and historical or biblical fiction up until that point, were ready to expand their list to include more genres. I came in at exactly the right time, and Zondervan, an imprint of HarperCollins, not only bought that suspense novel, but they gave me a four-book deal. I've been writing suspense for them ever since.

How do your stories generally share that message of faith?

  I first try to tell a great story, and my worldview naturally comes through. I think every writer has a specific worldview that works its way into their books. Mine happens to be a Christian worldview.

  Faith is always a part of my plot. An example is my Cape Refuge Series. That first book, "Cape Refuge," opens with the murder of a beloved couple in town, and their daughters are determined to find the killer while they deal with their own grief. The theme through those books is why God allows suffering.

  My Restoration Series was about a massive global power outage because of some electromagnetic pulses that knock civilization to its knees. My modern family who were addicted to technology now have to live without transportation, communication, currency, electricity or any technology. They change in drastic ways that wouldn't have been possible without the hardship.

  So the faith element is a critical aspect of the plot. It's not just plugged in. I want to write page-turners that entertain my readers, but ideally, I'd also like to challenge them and encourage them before they get to the last page.

How did you discover your gift as a writer?

  I've always had a very vivid imagination, and when I was a little girl, before I could write, I would make up plays and get my friends to act out the parts. I would be the director, the writer and the star. That was probably the beginning of my writing. When I was in seventh grade, I wrote a poem that my mother sent in to The Clarion-Ledger, and they published it, and another one a couple of years later. I was so thrilled! I knew then that I was going to be a writer when I grew up, and from then on I worked on that. Writing was always great therapy for me, and there was nothing more satisfying than telling a story that kept others riveted.

Tell me about the linking plots and characters of "If I Run," your debut book in your new "If I Run" series; and its follow-up, which is your newest book, "If I'm Found."

  When I was young I used to watch "The Fugitive" TV episodes starring David Jansen, in which the hero has to run from the law while he tries to find his wife's real killer. In each episode, he'd be found out, and he'd leave town and start over again in a new place. I wanted to explore a female fugitive who has to keep running and start over in new places, and try to forge a life when she knows that everywhere she lands will just be temporary. It gave me a lot of great opportunities for her to get into situations that were fun to write about, and I hope were compelling for the reader.

  Casey Cox is one of my favorite characters in any of the books I've written. She's complex and simple at the same time. She's been accused of committing a heinous murder. She knows who really did it, but she can't go to the police - so she decides to run.

  Dylan Roberts is hired by the victim's family to work with the police department to go across the country looking for Casey. In "If I Run," he's chasing her to bring her back for prosecution, but by the time we get to "If I'm Found," he realizes Casey is innocent. So he's hunting her now to protect her, rather than to prosecute her. He knows her killers are closing in and her time is running out.

Will there be other books in this series, with these characters?

  Yes. Book 3 in this series, "If I Live," will release next year. I'm just finishing it now.

With so many books to your credit, is it difficult to create so many new characters and storylines?

  You would think that with 80 books published, I would recycle plots and characters over and over, but that isn't the case at all. My books have to be exciting enough to hold my attention, and I get bored easily. So I try to make each book different from all those that came before. I don't seem to have any trouble coming up with new ideas, and new ideas for plots always generate new, unique types of characters.

You've mentioned that you've been able to draw from your own personal trials
to create plots for your books. Tell me about that.

  I often use events from my own life, and the emotions I've experienced, in writing my books. When I go through something painful, there's a part of me that's always kind of standing outside myself recording how it feels to be in that situation, and later I process it by writing about it in some way. I don't always use the exact event from my life, but I might have someone going through something similar, so the emotions I write in those characters are real.

  Through the years, some events in my own life that have been reflected in my books have included dealing with a family member's drug addictions, a cancer scare, divorce, blended families and remarriage. I've been married to my husband for going on 25 years, and lots of the things that have happened in our marriage have wound up in my stories. Everything I experience winds up in my books in one form or another.

From The Jackson Clarion-Ledger - Click Here

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Terri Blackstock
"If I Live"

Casey Cox spends her days changing disguises and on the run for fear law enforcement will capture her for the false murder charges her friend Brent. Dylan Roberts is the investigator in the case, who now believes she is innocent. He must come up with a plan to safely help her connect with the DA as she makes a deal with him to turn over all evidence she has against two corrupt cops, only to find out that the DA is working with them. Without knowing who to trust, they must expose the real killer before they both end up dead. 

Terri Blackstock
"If I'm Found"
(The sequel to If I Run"

Casey Cox has been framed in the murder of her best friend by a shady detective on the local police force. She goes on the run changing her identity a few times to stay one step ahead. Dylan Roberts is a private investigator hired by the detective to find Casey. Little does the detective know; Dylan believes Casey is innocent. Together Dylan and Casey must find a way to prove her innocence so Casey
can stop running.

Terri Blackstock
"If I Run"

Casey didn't kill her friend Brent, however her clothes and car are so covered with bloody evidence that she's forced to flee and live as a fugitive until she can discover who did. Former army criminal investigator Dylan Roberts is determined to track Casey down. Can she stay one step ahead of him until she's vindicated?

Terri Blackstock
"Dawn's Light: Restoration Series #4"

In the final book of the Restoration Series by bestselling author Terri Blackstock, the end of a global electrical blackout signals the beginning of the Branning family's ultimate test. Murder and affairs of the heart form the backdrop for a family sifting through the lessons they have learned-and how well they have truly learned them.

Terri Blackstock
"Double Minds"

As talented singer/songwriter Parker James struggles to make her mark on the Nashville music scene, she finds the competition can be fierce - even deadly. When a young woman is murdered at the recording studio where Parker works, Parker is drawn into a mystery where nothing is as it seems. Unraveling the truth puts her own life at risk when she uncovers high-level industry corruption and is terrorized by a menacing stalker. As the danger escalates, Parker begins to question her dreams, her future, and even her faith

Terri Blackstock
"Last Light"

Terror reigns when electrical power is cut off across the world-creating a global crisis that reveals even deeper darkness within human hearts. What would you do? Whom could you and your family trust, especially if there was a killer in the neighborhood? The first book in this exciting new series from Terri Blackstock.

Terri Blackstock
"Night Light"

As global catastrophe plunges the world into darkness, survival becomes everybody's new lifestyle. The Brannings must choose between hoarding their possessions or sharing with others. When young thieves raid their pantry, Jeff Branning tracks them down, uncovering a trail of desperation and murder---and a new purpose that'll transform their family and the community! 352 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

Terri Blackstock
"True Light:
Restoration Series #3"

On so many chilling levels The "what if" question arises as a global catastrophe affects the residents of Oak Hollow. They now have had to deal without electricity for eight months and the deep winter nights have set in. Tension mounts when a young man is murdered. Is Mark Green the killer? The darkness from the blackout also reveals the darkness in human hearts as the survival of the fittest gets more intense.

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