Hereafter by Terri Bruce‏

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. Her second novel, Thereafter (Afterlife #2), will be released May 1, 2014.

Twitter: @_TerriBruce

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.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore. Can she wipe the slate clean and get a second chance before it’s too late?

Help celebrate the re-release of HEREAFTER back into the wild at the Online Release Party January 21st from 12:00 pm EST (noon) to 12:00 am EST (midnight). Join Terri and over a dozen special guest authors—including Alma Alexander (“The Secrets of Jin-Shei”) , Gail Z. Martin (“Chronicles of the Necromancer”), Barbara Ann Wright (“The Pyramid Waltz”), and Jennifer Allis Provost (“Copper Girl”)—for games, giveaways, and other shenanigans.

So please stop on by and bring your friends—the more merrier!

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
What’s unique about Hereafter, and where the idea came from, is that I started from a place of, “What if all the stories of the afterlife were true?” I love mythology and when you trace stories back, you can sort of see how they all converge and spring from a single point of origin. So I thought about afterlife mythology and customs—all these myths and stories are so different; how could they possibly be connected? If I traced them all back to that single point of origin, what would that make the afterlife look like? And so, that’s what I’ve done with this series—combined all the myths and legends into a single, cohesive, and hopefully believable explanation of what awaits us after death. :-)

Q) How long did it take you to write?
Hereafter has had a strange and long journey. It took me two years to write, and took eight months of querying (and over a hundred rejections) before it finally got picked up by a publisher. It was released August 1, 2012 and was out in the world for a year. Then a dispute with the publisher led to them returning the rights of the book to me last September. Hereafter has been out of print since then. It’s finally, just now, returning to the market, soon to be followed by its sequel, Thereafter, on May 1st.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
When someone tells me they liked my book! That’s my most favorite part. But also, meeting new and interesting people; holding giveaways; and participating in blog hops and blogging memes. That stuff is super fun!

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Writing! LOL! Dorothy Parker famously said, “I hate writing; I love having written,” and that’s me to a T. I also have found that I don’t really like managing the production process (interior layout, editing, etc.). I miss having a publisher do those things for me. Keeping on top of the administrative stuff—chasing down copyright infringement, making sure the book is loaded properly to all the retail sites, social reader sites, etc.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I’m not sure I’d ever want to be famous—I’m an introvert and I’m shy. The idea of having people snapping pictures of me, everywhere I go, terrifies the bejeebers out of me! I’d have to find some celebrity that has their own private island (I hear Johnny Depp and the Jolie-Pitts both have one) and then maybe I’d be them, just so I could spend the day, alone, on my own private island.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Ahahahaha! My answer to this question is not going to be very exciting because I’m actually kind of militant about keeping my fridge clean and neat. Every week, when I do the grocery shopping, I throw out old food, clean the inside with a kitchen antibacterial cleaner, and then restock it with the new food. So the oldest thing in there is probably only condiments, all of which are not expired.

I should add that I’m only this obsessed with a clean fridge because my fridge is only a year old and I love it very, very much. I went from having a fifteen year old basic fridge that only sorta worked (and in which food spoiled very quickly) to a shiny, black, freezer on bottom unit with adjustable shelves, crisper drawers with adjustable controls, and a built in ice maker. Mmmm….ice maker... I really love my current fridge and it’s still in that honey moon phase, so I baby it and take good care of it. :-)

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
The second book in the series comes out May 1, 2014. The third book is almost written, and I hope it will come out in the fall (and then it’s on to book #4!). Meanwhile, I’m working on a science fantasy—a kind of “Firefly meets Battlestar Galatica” in which cowboys in space struggle to survive a cataclysmic event that destroys their society, leaving them lost and alone in space.

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