Monday, February 14, 2011

Interview with Terri Main, author of Dark Side of the Moon

Please join me today for an interview of Terri Main, author of Dark Side of the Moon.

Who do you think would like your book? (Or alternately: Please tell prospective readers why they’d like your book.)

This book is a different kind of book. It’s a cozy mystery set in a small town with a history professor pressed into service to help solve the crime. Of course, the “small town” is an underground habitat on the moon made to look like a small town. The clues, the politics, the technology and don’t forget the gravity make this a classic science fiction novel as well. So, mystery fans and science fiction fans both should find something to like in this novel.

What is your favorite thing about your story?

That’s an interesting question. I hadn’t thought much about it. I have to say it’s the interplay between the two main characters. They are both struggling with issues from their pasts. These struggles spill over into their working relationships leading both to conflict and healing. Of course, I also like the puzzle making. And then there is the careful extrapolation of current science to future technology.

Do you remember how long it took you to write? How about to edit and find a publisher?

It took a month to write the first draft. Then three years working off and on to edit it. This was a National Novel Writing Month novel. The idea being to write 50,000 words in a month. I did about 75,000. Then it sort of languished for awhile. Finally, I went over it and got it into some sort of shape. Didn’t really think I would find a publisher because of the cross-genre thing, but then I saw Muse It Up looking for stories and saying they “love cozies” so I figured why not try them. I spent about a month of intensive editing and tightening up the story and sent it off.

I was thrilled, and a little surprised to have my first novel picked up by the first place I sent it.

What is your favorite type of book to read? Do you have any favorite books or authors?
Well, in terms of fiction, I love classic science fiction (Asimov, Simak, Clarke, Bradbury, Silverberg, etc.) and cozy mysteries like Hercule Poirot, The Cat Who series, and Sherlock Holmes. In nonfiction, I like history and science books.

Anything interesting in your past you’d care to share? Like have you ever worked as a rodeo clown, for instance? :)

Not much interesting about me I’m afraid. I live vicariously through my characters. I have however been fortunate to often be on the leading edge of trends. For instance, back in the 70’s I helped produce Christian Rock concerts sometimes having to push my way past picketing pastors who thought all Rock was of the Devil. Then in the 90’s I began building websites. Now, I’m taking our school newspaper online and writing novels that come out initially as ebooks.

What’s your favorite movie or TV show?

I guess, the Law and Order, CSI and Star Trek franchises were among my favorites. Having a psych degree, I also like Criminal Minds.

Can readers contact you?

Sure they can email me at They can also “like” us at

If you were alive in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc., did you have any hairstyles that now make you cringe?

Not really. My hair has always been pretty straight, unadorned and boring. Okay, at one I got a big curly blonde wig. But the less said about that the better.

Please share a synopsis or blurb, and a brief excerpt from your book.


When history professor and former FBI profiler moved to the moon, she was ready to start a new, quieter life teaching at Armstrong university. However, she isn’t there long before Juan McAlister, astromechanics professor and lunar independence activist is murdered. The local “security counselors” have never had to deal with a murder so they call in Carolyn and Michael Cheravik, a blunt, often offensive, former Dallas homicide detective and criminology professor, to solve the crime. However, a simple murder investigation becomes a race against time to stop a terrorist attack against earth.


The death of Juan McAlister made news on two planets, an orbiting space habitat, and of course, the Moon. His death did not make news because he was a celebrity, a politician, or a captain of industry. No, the death of Professor Juan McAlister, late of Armstrong University, made the news simply because he was a murder victim—the first murder victim on the moon in over seventy-five years of human habitation on that barren rock trapped in Earth’s orbit. On Earth, they were shocked and fascinated. On the Moon, we were shocked and embarrassed. We thought indignities such as murder only happened on our flawed mother planet. They never occurred in our more civilized community. Today, every vid-screen in the solar system told us we were wrong.

I was not watching the news. I stood where I swore I would never stand again—at a crime scene staring at a dead body. This dead body was different. All those others were bodies of strangers. This dead body was my colleague, a sometime adversary, and a friend.

I was twenty years and 384,000 kilometers away from the Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico; yet, here I stood scanning my friend’s office trying once again to do the unthinkable— think like a killer.

I came to the Moon to move forward, but my advance turned into retreat, and my paradise, purgatory.

You can buy Terri's book here:

Thank you for your time, Terri, and best of luck with your book! :)


Rosalie Skinner said...

Terri, I loved Dark side of the Moon. Beaut writing. Somehow you manage to make travel through space and living on the moon feasible and believable. Awesome! Your characters are well crafted. We empathise with their conflicts and how they cope with the intrigue of living in a small community. Thanks for writing such a great book and thanks A M Roelke for hosting Terri and asking such pertinent questions. :)last century's hair styles...LOL.

Pat McDermott said...

I love the cross-genre concept of Dark Side of the Moon, Terri. Enjoyed both the interview and the excerpt. Good luck with this very original story!

Terri said...

Thanks to both of you.
Rosalie, that's what I was aiming for. I didn't want this to be way out there space opera (Not that I don't love that). I wanted to create a world that is believable and based on a current understanding of science. The ideas for the construction of the community on the moon were based on ideas put forth in the 70's for space based habitats. I just updated them a bit.

I wanted to create a world that people could believe really exists.

Rhobin said...

I've read Dark Side of the Moon and it is all Terri promises--interesting scifi, puzzling cozy mystery.

Frank Creed said...

Like Terri, I too like the characters as the best aspect of this novel. : )

Lum said...

I appreciate the comments! Thank you all for reading the interview with Terri!! :-)

Cheryl said...

I have to admit that sci-fi isn't my favorite genre, but a cozy mystery on the moon, I might be able to get into that. It's unique.