I feel like I have been waiting for the Hereafter release longer than Terri. The novel came out last week at Eternal Press.
You Rock Terri!
Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?
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.
This sounds suspiciously like hell to Irene, so she prepares to strike out for the Great Beyond. The only problem is that, while this side has exorcism, ghost repellents, and soul devouring demons, the other side has three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment. If only there was a third option…
Publication Date: August 1, 2012
Publisher: Eternal Press
Number of Words/Pages: 111,002/310
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
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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.
By Terri Bruce
She wasn’t sure what to do next. The house seemed quiet and still—in fact, almost dead. She listened hard. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but somehow the house, her house, seemed foreign and strange. The house seemed to be holding its breath, almost as if it was waiting for something. She felt the thick, gathered pause pushing around her. Irene shivered. She crossed her upper arms, trying to smooth away the sudden goose bumps. How could she get goose bumps if she was dead?
The phone rang, causing her to jump. Her drink crashed to the floor. She stared at the phone stupidly for a moment, and then, recognizing LaRayne’s phone number on the caller I.D., she grabbed the receiver.
“Yes! It’s me!” Relief flooded through her. LaRayne could hear her!
There was a pause and then LaRayne said, “Hello?”
“LaRayne? Can you hear me?”
Relief fizzled away. Disappointment washed over her, so strong her knees buckled and she grabbed the counter for support.
The line went dead. LaRayne had hung up.
Slowly, Irene replaced the receiver, numb with shock.
The phone rang again. Irene let the answering machine pick up this time.
“Hey, Irene. It’s LaRayne…I’ve left you some messages…well…you know…call or whatever.”
Irene cleaned up the spilled drink, sweeping the broken glass into a dustpan and dumping it in to the trash, and then mixed herself another one. She wandered back to the hall and then back to the kitchen and finally to the living room where she dropped heavily onto the couch. She sipped her drink, not really tasting it. Then she spied her laptop across the room on a chair. She fetched it, firing it up.
Email. Yes, that’s it—email. I’ll email everyone and tell them what happened, she thought through a fog of mounting hysteria.
Even as she thought it, dully watching the computer scroll through start-up screens, the “drunk emailing” incident of a few years ago—which had led to then-boyfriend Chase becoming ex-boyfriend Chase—came to mind. The part of her that was still thinking rationally pointed out that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to email anyone until she knew for certain what exactly was going on.
You still don’t know what you want anyone to do, she thought. Call a doctor? Perform an exorcism? What, exactly, was the remedy here?
1. In three days, all power will go off, everywhere for a very long time. What will you include in your author survival kit?
Unlimited items, right? I fervently believe a girl should never pack more than she can carry, but I also believe she should pack absolutely as much as she can carry ?
Well, I’ll need paper and pens (this an author’s survival kit, right?), a source of light (propane lantern or candles and matches), non-perishable food, a canteen or something to carry water, my crochet hooks (and preferably some yarn, but I can improvise with grass and such if need be), a cutting utensil (knife or scissors) since that seems to be a staple of the survival kit, and some of my favourite books—Pride & Prejudice, Chronicles of Narnia, Wuthering Heights. Also, my three cats. I can’t write (or live!) without them. I’m both a romantic and a pragmatist ?
2. Where did the idea for the work you are promoting arise?
“Hereafter” is about a woman, Irene Dunphy, who dies and ends up stuck on Earth as a ghost. The story follows both her search for a way to “cross over” to the afterlife and to come to terms with the mistakes she’s made in her life. Of course, that makes it sound like a serious drama, but it’s not; it’s really more “fantasy lit” with elements of comedy and adventure as well as the serious elements.
As for the inspiration for it, well…I’m not a fast writer—“Hereafter” took two years to write and then eight months of querying to find a publisher—so I hardly remember where the inspiration came from. However, most of my story ideas come about the same way: I get a sudden flash or mental picture of a character doing something—like changing a tire—or maybe having a conversation with another character. I always start with the characters, not a plot or a concept. Then it builds from there—well, who is this person? Why are they changing that tire? What are they feeling at this moment or how do they talk?
3. What do you like to read?
A little bit of everything, but mostly the classics—Ivanhoe, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Idylls of the King; young adult fantasy—Philip Pullman, Lloyd Alexander, C.S. Lewis, Madeline L’Engle; and “Asian” fiction (especially Asian women’s fiction)—The Secrets of Jin-Shei, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Tea House Fire.
4. Tell us about the most exciting place you have ever visited?
I don’t know about exciting, but the best place I’ve ever visited is Paris. I spent one day there in 2010 and it was the best day of my life. The city is beautiful, the people were friendly, the weather was perfect, and I just had an amazing time walking around the city, eating a Croque Monsieur in the gardens at Notre Dame, and visiting the Cluny Museum to see the Unicorn Tapestries.
5. What is the most mundane, day to day, thing you can share about yourself?
I like spam (the canned meat, not junk email). No, seriously, I do! Fried spam is the best! Yum!
6. What scares you the most?
I have Gephyrophobia—the fear of driving over bridges. I’ve sort of always had it, but it seems to get worse the older I get. WALKING over bridges is even worse! That I HATE.
7. Tell us anything but keep it G rated.
The drowning scene in “Hereafter” and the description of the sensations Irene experiences are based on my own experience; I nearly drowned when I was six and have never forgotten it. My dad pulled me out and had to resuscitate me. To this day, I don’t like to swim in water over my head and I don’t like swimming under water.
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Hereafter, Terri Bruce, contemporary fantasy, ghosts, afterlife, life after death, spirits, heaven,eternal press, writerly wednesday