CLUSTERS: Case of the Missing
by T.M. Williams
Seven year old Olivia Baxter and her dog vanish while playing in the front yard of her family’s home. After a week of searching, Olivia’s body was suddenly found in the closet, even after the police had thoroughly investigated the home.
Ethan Franco is a troubled journalist working for the Washington Gazette. His inability to move on from the past has deflated the passion he had for his career, causing him to lose his edge. Frustrated with Ethan Franco, but not wanting to lose his once star journalist, Editor-in-Chief, Jameson Stone assigns him a story to cover as a last chance to prove he could be the reporter he once was.
Ethan Franco begins his investigation into the mysterious death of Olivia Baxter and other unexplained disappearances, believing there may be a connection in the cases. No sooner did Franco begin his investigation then he realizes he is being tailed by government agencies.
Large footprints in the woods, strange sounds, foul stenches, and a looming government presence become pieces of the puzzle in cases of the missing.
Inspired by real events, the author of the Bohemian Grove trilogy and the Apocalypse brings forth a story that has been kept a secret for over a century — a story that a large group of people are still trying to keep under wraps.
Just as Michael reached for the pot of coffee, replaying that scene in his head for the thousandth time, a noise from the back room stopped him. Claire was closest to the hallway where the sound came from and she spun around quickly, drawing her gun.
Deena shot up to her feet, her eyes bright with concern. “Who’s back there?” she whispered to the officers.
The Captain shook his head. No one was back there. Michael had checked the bedrooms just an hour before, like he had done every morning, hoping to find some missing clue as to Olivia’s sudden disappearance. Claire backed up to the north side of the hallway while Sean and Craig flanked the other side, their guns drawn as well.
The noise came again, clearer this time. “Is that a dog?” Claire whispered, her eyebrows drawn together in a deep V.
Whimpers filled the home, followed by – scratching? Claire narrowed her eyes as they made their way quickly down the hallway toward Olivia’s bedroom, with Michael leading. As they entered her room it was clear where the noise came from.
“I think that’s our dog,” Deena said, wide-eyed.
The rangers all exchanged looks. The family dog had disappeared the same morning as Olivia.
Michael approached Olivia’s closet door and motioned for Craig and Sean to flank his right. He opened the door in one quick motion just as the frightened looking dog bounced out of the closet, causing Michael to stumble back at the sight inside.
Deena’s tortured scream pierced the air as she fell to the floor, crawling over to the dead body of her little girl, curled up on the closet floor.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing T.M. Williams, author of CLUSTERS: Case of the Missing.
Hi T.M., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us about yourself and your background.
My background is business and marketing, but I’m currently a full time novelist and freelance journalist.
What were you like at school?
A trouble-maker, bossy, rude and disrespectful. I was a terrible teenager and feel bad for those that had to put up with me. I was also out-spoken, high-energy, and restless – something which I still am today.
Were you good at English?
I wasn’t really good in school at all and barely passed. I became bored easily and couldn’t sit still in class. I’m sure if ADD were around back then I would’ve been diagnosed with it. I’ve always loved reading, though, and read books like crazy. I could never get enough of Dean Koontz or Stephen King. In fact, the only fan letter I’ve ever written was to Dean Koontz when I was 14.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To get as many people to read my books as possible. All my ambitions revolve around my readers. I want them to love my books and want more.
Which writers inspire you?
I’ve been following Jennifer Armentrout’s career closely for the last few years and she inspires me in so many ways. Not only with her writing and her career, but with the grace with which she handles everything. She’s a great woman to model after and I’m grateful she’s very active on social media so I can follow her work and what she does. (I’m sounding a little creepy now)
Of course, the respect Rowling and King get is inspiring in and of itself. I would love for my work to garner that type of respect, not only from readers, but from my peers.
Give us an insight into your two main characters. What do they do that is so special?
Ethan Franco (who prefers to be called Franco) and Sheriff Moore are my two main characters. They’re both mysterious in their own rights, elusive and aloof. Franco is a field journalist and Moore is your standard country-type Sheriff. Because this is a mystery book and they’re both trying to solve a case, I wanted the way they approach it to be true to their fields. Everything from the type of questions they ask to the way they see things is unique to each of them, even though they may be looking at the same thing.
No one is black and white. We all have layers to us and I always try to make my characters multi-dimensional. The last thing I’d ever want anyone to call one of my characters is a Mary-Jane. As humans, even we’re not aware of all that we are – so it never made sense to me that a character came across so textbook.
I think that Franco and Moore both take this to a new level. Even I’m intrigued and want to know more about them. They’ve become real people to me and it’s hard for me to remember they’re just characters in a book.
What are you working on currently?
I’m finishing the Bohemian Grove trilogy and writing a new stand-alone psychological thriller called Children at the Window.
Which actors would you like to see playing the lead characters from CLUSTERS: Case of the Missing?
That’s a good question! Maybe my readers can better answer that. I have a picture in my head but I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I didn’t think about it. I just did it. I think thinking is overrated.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I have a 6 year old. My life is anything but structured. I write when I can and fortunately I have a super supportive husband who does what he can to let me get more writing time in. That doesn’t mean I haven’t woken up in the middle of the night needing to write. It’s happened.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. My brain is non-stop. If anyone can figure out how to make my brain take a break please let me know.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I’ve done both. It just depends on the story but I mostly just write on the whim.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Editing. I hate editing with a passion. When I’m done with a book I just want to move onto the next project. But, that would be sloppy. I try to get 2-3 edits in before sending it to the professionals to edit.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
I read a LOT! I try to read at least one book a week. I know for many of your readers this probably isn’t much. But considering my hectic writing schedule, it’s definitely me squeezing in time to read. I read everything and love giving new authors a chance. There are quite a few authors that I’ve read at least a dozen of their books from; Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Gail Carriger, Richelle Mead, Jennifer Armentrout, Julie Kagawa… etc.
For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Again, it’s both for me. I’m with the group of people that there’s nothing like the smell and feel of a real book. But then there’s that part of me that sees that printing paper is wasteful and also… with as many books as I read and are given to me it also takes up a lot of space. Plus, it’s much easier to travel with my iPad in my purse than 4 books in there.
I’m also a collector of fine and antique books. When I travel, I like to go into mom and pop bookshops and find old books there. It’s my personal souvenir and now the books tell me an entirely new story that’s just mine.
What book are you currently reading?
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – and loving it so far.
Tell us about your covers and how they came about.
Jason Vollario from Platinum Footage is my cover designer and does my book trailers. He’s been with me through two publishers and is practically written into my contracts. He is a genius and I work really well with him. He gets my vision and I’m really big on having a final say on my covers. I won’t sign with a publisher if that’s not possible…
The Apocalypse and my marketing book was my own design. I was able to create something that worked that both my publisher and I were happy with so we went with that. Alice Hill in Silent Wonderland is an illustrated book and was done by Meghan O’Connell from Dirty Teacup Designs. She was perfect to bring Alice to life and I can’t imagine anyone else having done a better job.
As for CLUSTERS: Case of the Missing, this is one cover I can say fits the book to an absolute perfect T. It captures every element of the book and in that sense, it’s my favorite.
Do you have a trailer for CLUSTERS: Case of the Missing?
All my trailers are available on my website: www.theaccidentalwriter.com.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
For a new author I think it’s imperative to gain new readers and I love giving books away because it makes people happy. I just try not to get carried away because if it were up to me all my books would probably be free.
What is your favorite quote?
“I’ll do today what others won’t so I’ll have tomorrow what others don’t.”
“Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay – it’s not the end.”
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
By following me on Facebook or on my website and blog.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
T.M. Williams began her writing career by accident when a song inspired a story. Once she discovered the writing bug she couldn’t stop. Since starting her writing career late in 2012 she has gone on to write several novels, including two Amazon best-sellers.
She writes Experimental Fiction and Non-Fiction. She is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, and public speaker.
Website: www.theaccidentalwriter.com (Signed copy available to purchase)
T.M. will be awarding one (1) $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.