Friday, November 28, 2014

Terri Reed shares how to research and write crime fiction

When a mysterious toxin threatens lives and livelihoods near the border between the U.S. and Canada, Dr. Tessa Cleary is called to trace the source. But when the no-nonsense doctor is forced to work with border patrol agent Jeff Steele, she finds the lone wolf's dedication to his job—and country—chipping away at the walls around her heart. Just as Tessa and Jeff are about to uncover the toxin's deadly source, armed thugs kidnap them in the forest. Now they must trust each other to survive before time runs out for everyone. 
Northern Border Patrol: Keeping the U.S.–Canadian border safe

Terri Reed will give a signed copy of Danger at the Border, book 1 of the Northern Border Patrol series to a commenter.


1.  How much research was involved in writing books such as Danger at the Border, Undercover Marriage (Witness Protection), Strictly Confidential? 
I had to do a lot of research—reading and combing the internet. Thankfully so many people in law enforcement are generous with their time and expertise. I also bought several reference guides that I refer to when I need to know the proper police/law enforcement procedures.
Here’s a few:
Practical Homicide Investigation by  Vernon Gerbeth
Forensics by Dr. Zakaria Erzinclioglu
Police Procedure and Investigation by Lee Lofland

2.  Who did you interview and where did you go for background info?
I belong to an online group called crimescenewriters. There are so many great people on there who are either retired or currently working in law enforcement and they share all their knowledge so generously.

3.  Was it difficult to create the characters in suspense stories?
Developing characters is always a bit of a challenge because they need to be real, flawed and yet heroic regardless of the genre. In suspense stories, it’s entertaining to throw the characters into dire situations and see how they react.

4.  Did you have a definite Christian element in these books?
I do have a faith arc in my inspirational romances/romantic suspenses.  I usually determine where they are in their relationship with God at the beginning of the story and then where they need to end. As I write I keep those two points in mind so I can show the arc.

5.  Do they go into the paranormal? If so, or if not, Why?
I haven’t written any with paranormal elements but I would like to one day. I have a story in mind that involves guardian angels based on a true event, but for now I write in the physical world not the spirit realm.

6.  Was it an adjustment to switch to Love Inspired books?
Not really. I started out writing sweet romances and when I decided to revise them into inspirationals I realized I had already put a great deal of faith in my stories.

7.  Who is your favorite character from your books, and does he or she appear in more than one? I would have to say my favorite character is from my second book titled, A Sheltering Love. The heroine Claire Wilcox is probably the most like me. She does appear briefly in A Sheltering Heart.

8.  What are you working on now, and what kind preparation are you doing?
I’m starting the third book in the Northern Border Patrol series. The first book came out this past September-Danger at the Border. The second book releases in July 2015-Joint Investigation.
This third book will be a Christmas story coming out in November 2015. The setting for this book is a Christmas Tree farm so I’m reading everything I can find about the variety of trees used during the Christmas season, both here in the US and across the  border in Canada. It’s been interesting. I hope to visit one of the country’s largest tree farms here in Oregon.

9.  Why do you write?
That’s a funny question. I write because I have all these stories and characters running around in my brain all the time. Getting them out and on to paper keeps me sane.

10.              Anything you’d like to add?  I love to hear from readers. You can find me at or Facebook at
You can buy my books at

Thank you for hosting me today.