Writing fiction is fun, or at least it should be. I tend to lose myself in my stories as I write, revel in the adventures of the characters I create, and enjoy them as old friends. Some of them are, in fact, old friends, in that some of the characters are patterned loosely after real people that I enjoy. I imbue these characters with overblown traits of my real friends and often use their names. Hyperbole can be fun. My friends enjoy it, and I get a chuckle out of their responses. Of course, I would never make my real friends into bad guys without their permission.

There is a character in Blood Island, who is a little nuts and a lot bad, a preacher gone over to the dark side. His name is the Reverend Robert William Simmermon. The real Robert William Simmermon is a dear friend whom I first met in a registration line at Mercer University in the fall of 1964. Bill, as he is known, earned a degree in languages and a law degree and was a highly respected lawyer in Orlando until his retirement. I cannot imagine two people more opposite that the character in my book and the real Simmermon. The only similarity is their names and their physical descriptions.

My friend Bill, knowing that I occasionally named characters after my real friends, suggested that I use his name in a book. He really did not count on my making him into a major bad guy. I had him read the manuscript before it went to the publisher, because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t in anyway offend this old friend. He loved it, and now signs his email, “The Rev.”

Another example is my friend Paul Reich. In my book, Murder Key, Paul Reich is a federal agent. I describe him thus: “Reich was a small white man, with light brown hair turning gray. He was about five-eight, one-hundred-sixty pounds and looked more like a mortgage banker than a Federal law enforcement agent.”

The physical description matches the real Paul Reich, and he is, in real life, a mortgage banker. His only complaint was that I didn’t make him into more of a lady’s man, but I explained that there are some realities that even a fiction writer can’t get around.

I look forward to sitting down at my computer and joining these characters as they sink ever more deeply into the mystery, a mystery that I don’t have an answer to. Then, one day the answer starts to take shape in my mind, the characters start climbing out of the turmoil and find the answers they have been looking for. It’s always a great ride for me and I hope for the reader.

About the Author: H. Terrell Griffin is the author of Blood Island, the third mystery in the Matt Royal series.

Born in Waycross, Georgia, H. Terrell Griffin moved to Sanford, Florida, at the age of twelve. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After three years of active duty, he began his studies at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he earned degrees in history and law.

A board-certified trial lawyer, Griffin practiced law in Orlando for 38 years. In addition to Blood Island, Griffin is the author of Murder Key and Longboat Blues.

He and his wife Jean divide their time between Longboat Key and Maitland, Florida. His website is HTerrellGriffin.com.

About the Book

Blood Island: A Matt Royal Mystery

What’s happening on this island will make your blood run cold. Matt Royal never has to look far for excitement. Excitement–and sometimes trouble–has a way of finding him first. But for this fun-loving lawyer turned beach bum, things are about to get serious. Dead serious.

When his ex-wife asks for help in tracking down her stepdaughter, last seen in Matt’s hometown of Longboat Key, Matt agrees to do a little searching.

But what looks like the case of one missing girl turns out to be something much bigger–and much more dangerous.

Enlisting the aid of his buddies Jock Algren and Logan Hamilton, Matt launches a full-speed-ahead search that leads from Longboat Key to Key West to an ominous strip of land called Blood Island.

But this is no island paradise. Blood Island is home base to a cult of religious zealots. And they’re making devastating plans that could change the world forever.

Bullets fly, and as the clock ticks down, it will be up to Matt to make sure that what happens on Blood Island stays on Blood Island.

About the Giveaway
H. Terrell Griffin is giving away a signed copy of his book, Blood Island, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Terry’s book tour page and enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 6757, for your chance to win. Entries from The Friendly Book Nook will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Terry’s book tour page next week.”

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3 Responses to “Guest Blog: H. Terrell Griffin (and giveaway info!)”

  1. Mystery Says:

    Great insight into the author. After reading, I felt inspired to write my own novel! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) Says:

    I love “The Rev” His friend is definitely understanding if he didn’t mind being a bad guy.

    Great guest post. no need to enter me.

  3. Wendi Says:

    I’ve got my guest post up, and am heading out to visit everyone else’s!

    🙂 Wendi

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