Friday, February 26, 2016

Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock, author of If I Run, has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Recently I asked Blackstock about what she was reading. Her reply:
The book I'm reading right now is Upside: The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth. I wish I could read fiction while I'm writing a book, but the truth is that while I'm writing, I mostly read nonfiction books for research. Right now I'm working on a series with two characters who have PTSD, so I'm reading a lot about that issue. Upside is a little different from the other PTSD books I've been reading, in that it looks at how certain people endure catastrophic trauma, yet come out happier, more fulfilled, more productive, more purposeful, more spiritual, and of more help to others. How does this work? Why is it that some are devastated and never recover from trauma, and others grow stronger? The author, Jim Rendon, digs into studies about this phenomenon, and passes along ways that others experiencing trauma might grow from the experience and rebuild their lives in more meaningful and positive ways. This isn't a book that stigmatizes those who can't quite get past the trauma. It simply offers help for them.

This is helpful in my series that begins with the book If I Run, because my lead character, Dylan Roberts, has been recently discharged from the Army after two deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, which left him with PTSD. Because he's damaged goods, he can't get a job until he's hired as a private contractor to search for a female fugitive and bring her back. But the more he digs into the murder she's accused of committing, the more he doubts her guilt. Casey doesn't fit the profile of a killer. As he grows closer to finding her, he realizes they have something in common. Casey may be a victim of PTSD too. And her flight from prosecution may have deeper roots than her simply fearing arrest.

I'm hoping to bring these two people through healing and growth as their lives intersect in this series, so the book Upside is helping with that. I think it will also help anyone who's reeling from trauma.
Visit Terri Blackstock's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: If I Run.

--Marshal Zeringue