Monday, January 17, 2011

Interview: Terri Lynn Main, Author of Dark Side of the Moon

Joining us today is Terri Lynn, Main. Terri teaches communication at Reedley College in Reedley California. She has been writing professionally for more than forty years, but Dark Side of the Moon is her first novel.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Terri. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I hate that question. I am not that exciting as a person. I live a fairly quiet life with three cats and a lot of books. I love teaching my classes and writing. In many ways it’s my dream life. There really is not much interesting about me, and I kind of like it that way.

I think in some ways that helps writing fiction. In fiction you can explore parts of yourself that you don’t express openly. If you live a very exciting life, there’s not much left of explore. :)
When did you begin writing?

That would be about third grade. I learned about paragraphs then. Seriously, my first published piece was in the school newsletter that went out to the parents. It was about the sun. I found it after my mother passed away in her cedar chest. I had written that the light from the sun took eight minutes to reach the earth.

The principal had changed it to read “eight light-minutes.” I scratched it out and put back what I wrote. I then went to the principal and explained to him that “light minutes” were measurements of distance and not time. He invited me to join the science club two years before I was eligible to join.

What is this book about?

Dark Side of the Moon is a science fiction/cozy mystery novel. That’s right. There are not that many of those sort of novels around. It takes place in a small community built underground on the moon at the end of the Twenty-First Century. The main character is Carolyn Masters, a history professor and former FBI profiler, who is looking for a change after her mother dies. She is offered a position at Armstrong University and she heads off to the Moon.

She isn’t there long, though, before Juan McAlister, a astromechanics professor and lunar independence advocate, is murdered in his office. Being the first recorded murder on the moon, they call in Carolyn and a former Dallas homicide detective who runs the criminology department to investigate the case. They must now solve the murder, but also deal with clashing personalities, stop a terrorist attack on Earth, and exorcise their own demons.

What inspired you to write it?

Oddly enough, it was a dream. I had this dream in high school about a golden eyed alien who shows up at a lunar colony where I am working as a teacher. He gets arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and I am defending him.

What does that have to do with this story? Well, back in 2007 when I was planning a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I thought about doing something with that dream. Being in my 50’s, golden eyed handsome aliens were not quite as attractive as they were when I was 17. So, my main character aged a bit, but she was still a teacher and there was still a murder. And the love interest? Well, you’ll have to read to find out, but he’s definitely not a golden eyed alien.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

It will be released in February at a number of locations, but it will appear first on the MuseItUp Publishing website. The URL for that page is huge. So just use this TinyURL

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, I have a website with free reads featuring these characters, excerpts from the book, information about the moon, and a map of the places mentioned in the novel. I’m updating it frequently.

It’s at

You can also “like” us at

What is up next for you?

Well, right now, I’m working on four sequels to Dark Side of the Moon. The next one which I will be finishing up this month is called Stormy Weather. Someone is messing with the weather control system in Armstrong City. Carolyn and Mike are called in to investigate. Soon they are on the trail of a serial killer. Their investigation takes leads them to sports betting, big time wrestling (in 1/6g it’s pretty interesting) and steroids for the brain. And, yes, it was inspired by another dream.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Terri. We wish you much success.


JM said...

I'd never heard of a sci-fi cozy mystery novel until recently, but I must admit the idea really intrigues me!

Terri said...


Neither have I. There have been a number of hard-boiled PI things and Isaac Asimov wrote a number of police procedurals. He also wrote some mysteries which turned on some element of science that came close to being cozies, but not quite.

I can't think of any that I know of specifically, but I'm sure I didn't invent the genre. :-)

Ellen said...

Thanks for telling me about Dark Side of the Moon. I love both mysteries and sci fi so I'll have to check it out.

Morgan Mandel said...

One of these days going to the moon will no longer be science fiction. Sounds like a great concept for a book.

Morgan Mandel

Terri said...

Well, we have already gone to the moon several times. The problem is not the technology, but justification for a permanent base there. Most all the technology to build a colony and live on the moon is available now. Indeed, it has been available for 30+ years. However, it is expensive.

One of the big problems writing this book was for me to come up with a compelling reason to create a lunar society.

The tech stuff was easy. Most of that was laid out in a book about an orbiting space habitat written in the 1970's by a NASA scientist Gerald K Oneill called High Frontier. I just adapted his ideas to an underground lunar community.

Michelle V said...

Cool! Sounds awesome! Definitely not the same old thing!

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. I'm nursing a head cold that I hope doesn't turn into a sinus infection and hoping the kids actually get to spend a few hours at school this week. Thanks to all the snow and some scheduled half days, the only full day of school they have this week is Friday--assuming we don't get more snow.


Terri said...

Just wanted to let everyone know. Dark Side of the Moon is now available at Muse It Up Publishing. Here's the URL

It is $5.95 for downloads in pdf, epub or prc (kindle) formats.