A Conversation with Author Terry Ambrose

IR– What does it mean to you to be called an author? 

TA– To me, being called an author brings with it certain responsibilities. Chief amongst those responsibilities is to never betray the reader’s trust. When I read a book, I want to be entertained with something fresh and informative. As a reader, that’s what I expect from an author—and when they let me down, I feel as though I’ve been betrayed. I never want my readers to feel that way.

IR– Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters? 

TA– The Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series features B&B owner Rick Atwood and his eleven-year-old daughter Alex. In this, the sixth book in the series, Rick’s wedding to Marquetta Weiss is nine days away when a murder happens. Rick, who consults with the Seaside Cove Police because of his background, is pulled into the case. Alex, who is always convinced her dad and the cops will get things wrong, starts her own investigation. The story is told from Rick’s and Alex’s viewpoints—and believe me, they have very different perspectives.

IR– What inspired the idea for your book?

 TA– One of the overarching storylines in this series has been the discovery of a 400-year-old Spanish galleon off the coast of Seaside Cove. The great thing about a discovery as big as the San Mañuel is that it brings plenty of unsavory characters to a small town. 

IR– What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book? 

TA– The history of Joaquin Murrieta surprised me. While Murrieta is known as one of early California’s most notorious bandits, I never realized he may have taken on that role, not so much because he wanted to be a bandit, but more because he was a man driven to strike back against those who had wronged him. The thing is, nobody really knows for 

IR– Tell us about a favorite character from the book

TA– My favorite character in the book is always Alex. She’s filled with enthusiasm, and wild ideas, and is (almost) always fearless.

IR– Do you have any “side stories” about any of the characters?  

TA– There are plenty, but let’s go back to the first couple of books. That’s when Rick was newly divorced. He and Alex had just moved to Seaside Cove, Rick was considered the town’s most eligible bachelor. As a result, he became the prize in a ‘marriage competition.’ The big problem was that the only woman in town who remotely interested Rick was Marquetta, and she had no interest in him (at least, that’s what she said).

IR– Where did you come up with the names in the story? 

TA– I have a thoroughly boring process that involves a random name generator and sheer intuition, i.e., what sounds good?

IR– If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together? 

TA– I would definitely hang out with Adam Cunningham, Seaside Cove’s Chief of Police. I’d pick his brain while sharing coffee and muffins at Crusty Buns!

IR– How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block? 

TA– I’m always focused on improving the storyline, the choice of words, and the character’s reactions. This gives me the freedom I need to think about the end result and not what I’m looking at on the page at a particular point in time.

IR– What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book? 

TA– Stop editing and finish the story. Once you have a completed story, you’ll know what needs fixing. Until then, you’re just repaving the cow paths.

IR– What are you working on in the near future? 

TA– I have a new series that I’ll be bringing out in the fall. The lead character is a spunky young woman whose PI father retires and leaves his firm to her. The Case of the Amorous Assailant will kick off the series.

IR– What comes first for you — the plot or the characters? 

TA– That’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. But if I had to choose, I’d say the characters come first. They’re the ones who drive the plot. It’s their fears and desires that cause the plot to happen.

IR– As an author what do you think makes a good story? 

TA– Characters we care about (love or hate). Dialogue that sounds natural (which isn’t the same thing as real dialogue because that’s very boring!). Settings that come to life. A well-conceived plot. Give me all that and I’m all in.

IR– What has been your favorite reader feedback? 

TA– I have a great team of advance readers who keep me on my toes. They point out everything from typos to those lapses of consciousness where I wrote something that didn’t fit the story at all.

IR– How do you interact with your readers?

 TA– Primarily, through my website. I produce original content each week and respond to the comments that come in as well as to emails I receive. 

IR– What is your all time favorite book or author? 

TA– Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series has always been a favorite of mine, especially the earlier books. 

IR– What do you look for in a story as a reader?

 TA– An engaging lead character who doesn’t bore me with a hundred pounds of backstory. (It’s a pet peeve—too much backstory is, well, too much.)

IR– Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests? 

TA– Photography and travel. Fortunately, we bought an EV last year so we can travel and not worry about the price of gas!

IR– If you could have lunch with 3 authors who would they be? 

TA– Sue Grafton (of course), Carl Hiiasen, Isaac Asimov. I’d like to ask them all for their craziest research stories.

IR– What would your dream library look like? 

Spanish architecture, dark wood shelves, nooks where you can sit and read, and a stairwell leading to a tower where you can go for a breath of fresh air.

IR– Name three fun facts about you or your work

In my writing, you can always expect the unexpected. 

I take great photos, especially when there’s a sunset involved. 

I can’t draw a straight line without a ruler.

IR– If you went on a road trip with any author who would it be, and where would you go?

TA– Kay Hadashi — we’d tour the Hawaiian islands, which is where she grew up.

About The Book

Lies, Spies, and the Baker’s Surprise (A Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery)

The wedding of Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast owner Rick Atwood and Marquetta Weiss is only days away and the B&B is abuzz with excitement. But the mood changes when Rick’s daughter Alex does a little snooping. She overhears Henry Nicholas on his cellphone with his wife, and it’s not Tara, the woman who checked in as Mrs. Nicholas.

When Alex outs Henry at breakfast, Tara explodes. She demands Henry leave immediately. He checks into the town’s motel. But the next morning, Henry is found dead in his room. Rick and Police Chief Adam Cunningham investigate the death, focusing on Tara, who was seen outside the room at the time of the murder.

Alex is convinced Tara is innocent and starts investigating. The trail leads her to a rocky bluff over the ocean and a deadly showdown with a sociopath. There, the truth, and Alex’s life, hang in the balance.

Purchase – Amazon
Available in Kindle Unlimited

About the Author

Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose, tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Terry has written eighteen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.

You can learn more about Terry and his writing at terryambrose.com.

Author links:
Website    Facebook      Twitter     Instagram     BookBub     Goodreads    Amazon


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  1. a wonderful interview. thanks for sharing so much . I love what inspired this story. a lot of nature inspires me with my quilting


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