Tell us about The Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery series . What are the books about?
Mary O’Reilly was a former Chicago police officer who was shot in the line of duty, trying to protect another officer. She’s rushed to Cook County Hospital for surgery, but she dies on the operating table. On her way “to the light” she hears someone calling her name and telling her that she has a choice. She can continue on and go to heaven, or she can go back to earth, be with her family…but, things will be a little different. Mary chooses going back and figures the difference might be that she walks with a limp. She’s a little more than surprised when she discovers she can see and communicate with ghosts. She moves from Chicago – because it is too overrun with ghosts – to the small town of Freeport, IL where she sets up a private investigation agency and solves “dead cases.” Her clientele are either ghosts who have unfinished business or humans who have a ghost haunting them.
What genre is it?
I think the Mary O’Reilly Series is a hybrid. It’s a cozy mystery, but it’s also a paranormal romance.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
I’ve been delighted and surprised to discover that my readers range from senior citizens to high school students, men and women and people all over the world. My strongest demographic is women, but it seems to have a nice cross section appeal.
Complete this sentence for us: If you like________________ , you’ll love the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery series.
Murder She Wrote and Ghost Whisperer.
Tell us a bit more about Mary O’Reilly. What is it about her that has made her such an enduring character for you and all your readers?
Mary is the girl next door, well, the girl next door who can see ghosts, shoot guns, practice martial arts and solve mysteries. She’s a strong person, but she also has character flaws. She is often impetuous, which comes from being the little sister in a family of strong men, and she doesn’t ever take herself too seriously. She uses common sense – when she hears a noise in the basement and she’s the only home, she calls for back-up first. She’s seen those movies…she knows what happens. She is also willing to risk everything for love and not only romantic love. She threw herself in front of a bullet with her brother’s name on it. She has wonderful friends in the stories who are decades older than herself, but she loves them. And each ghost she helps takes a little bit of her heart with them with they finally cross over.
There are 8 books in the series at the moment. Do you have a favourite?
I started to list one, and then I thought about another, and then another. I suppose it’s like children, they each are so unique and so wonderful that there really isn’t a preferred, they are all great.
What is the secret of your books’ success? What do you do to market them?
I’m not really sure – I am amazed every day. But I can share what I’ve done. I try to write a good book that’s engaging. I try to put out a new book every three or four months which, I believe, keep all of my other books in the top ranking so people can find them. I have an author’s Facebook page and I have wonderful readers who encourage me and tell their friends and families about my stories. I share my email address with my readers and respond to every email (although when I’m working on a book, it might take me a little while to get back to them.) And I am grateful every single day that I get to do this for a living.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in a 100+ year-old farmhouse in northwest Illinois that has had its share of ghostly experiences. I used to run my own public relations and marketing company in the town of Freeport and Mary O’Reilly’s office is where my office used to be. I have several “assistants” who work with me every day – McDuff (my Siamese cat), Riley (my Bernese Mountain Dog/Golden Retriever mix) and Hans (my German Shepard mix.) They all offer all kinds of valuable insight, especially when I’m eating lunch at my desk. I come from a big family – seven siblings – and I have a big family – seven children. I also have eleven grandchildren with two more making their debut this summer. I love a good ghost story, but I’m not fond of horror movies. My favorite thing to do is go for a walk in our own five-acre woods with the dogs and clear my head.
Have you got a blog or website where readers can keep up with your work? How can we follow you on Facebook and / or Twitter?
I have a website – www.terrireid.com. And I also have an author’s Facebook page. I’m also on Twitter, but I haven’t quite figured that one out yet.
Where can we buy the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery series?
All of the books are available through Amazon ( US, UK). Some of the later ones are also available through Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.
I just finished a short story (Irish Mist – Sean’s Story) that’s a precursor to my next series – The Mists of Chicago. It’s a series that will feature Mary’s older brother, Sean, and their good friend, Professor Ian MacDougal. It’s going to be set in Chicago and will be mystery with a little more paranormal thrown in. I’ve just uploaded it today and will be excited to see what my readers think of it.