Guest Chick: Terrie Farley Moran

Ellen here and I’m so happy to welcome my pal Terrie Farley Moran as a guest Chick. In addition to her impressive career as a solo mystery author and co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, she’s now joined forces to write with “Jessica Fletcher!” Today, she’s going to tell us how she scored this awesome honor…

MURDER, SHE’S WRITING

My name is Terrie Farley Moran, author of Murder, She Wrote, Killing in a Koi Pond, the fifty-third book based on the long running television series MURDER, SHE WROTE, starring the inimitable Angela Lansbury. I am mega-excited to be hanging out today with everyone here at Chicks on the Case. And I am sending a very special thank you to my pal, writer extraordinaire Ellen Byron, for inviting me. I hope to see Ellen and many of you at Bouchercon NOLA this summer.

So, did you ever have a dream that was so preposterous, so unlikely, that you just knew it could never come true?

Well, let’s start at the beginning. The first episode of Murder, She Wrote appeared on American television in September 1984. And I was immediately hooked probably because, much as I love mysteries, I prefer them without excessive violence and interminable car chase scenes. For the next twelve years I watched Murder, She Wrote every Sunday evening without fail. (Thursdays in the final season.) My husband and my children referred to that inviolable time as Mom’s Hour. Even before the television series concluded, Donald Bain had begun writing the Murder, She Wrote books with a byline that read: Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. As addicted as I was to the television show is it any wonder that the books were always at the top of my TBR list?

Years went by. I had a terrific career, followed by a second terrific career. Then I decided I wanted to write mysteries. I wrote a cozy mystery novel that went nowhere. While I was shopping it around and getting battered by rejections, the New York Tri-State Sisters in Crime Chapter put out a call for submissions for a short story anthology. I submitted a story called “Strike Zone” and was elated when it made the cut.

When I told my family the good news, my son said, “Excellent, Mom, or should I call you Jessica Fletcher?” Everyone laughed. Years went by. I wrote and sold more short stories, finally wrote some cozy mystery novels that were published (hooray!) and I was asked to co-write the New Orleans Scrapbooking series with the talented and prolific Laura Childs. Every time I had a new project, my son would congratulate me, always calling me Jessica Fletcher. I would blush and think if only.

At the very beginning of the pandemic lockdown, on Saint Patrick’s Day 2020, while I was listening to Irish music and baking Irish Soda Bread my telephone rang. I answered and my hardworking and talented agent, Kim Lionetti, asked if I would have any interest in becoming the next author of the Murder, She Wrote series. I said “Yes.” immediately. I am sure Kim wondered if I had lost my mind. She pressed, “Don’t you want to hear the terms before you decide?”

So, I let her run through her due diligence and explain all the contract terms to me, but I barely listened. I knew this was my dream come true. And my next phone call was to my son. I said, “Now, you can call me Jessica Fletcher!”

Readers, have you ever had a preposterous dream come true? If not, what dream would you love to see come true?

Synopsis: After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. They’ve moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate.

But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis face-down in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. She hadn’t known Willis long, but it’s clear to her that he didn’t concern himself with making friends. The question isn’t if her friend’s husband was murdered but by whom.

Bio: Terrie Farley Moran is the author of Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond, (June 8, 2021) the latest in the long running Jessica Fletcher series, to be followed this autumn by Murder She Wrote: Debonair in Death (November 2, 2021). She has also written the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series, and is co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mysteries. Her short stories have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery MagazineAlfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly Magazine and numerous anthologies. Terrie is a recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards.

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/terriefarleymoran   

Website : www.terriefarleymoran.com

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65 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Terrie Farley Moran

  1. Thanks for your interesting and inspiring post, Terrie. I am convinced that the key to this business is persistence, which you have displayed in abundance. Congrats on your stint as Jessica Fletcher.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Terrie, what a great story! I too love the “Murder, She Wrote” series and am a proud owner of the entire series on DVD. I also love the books and am looking forward to reading this one. The show’s theme is also my phone ringtone for one of my friends whom I call “Jessica”. She is also an avid reader of cozy mysteries as well, attends the Malice Domestic in MD each year, and is the leader of our local Mystery Buffs book club that meets (pre pandemic) at the library.

    I wish you great success with the series, and I’m looking forward to reading more of Mrs Fletcher’s adventures.
    Carol

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Carol, we sure are a lot alike. Please tell your friend to look for me at the next “in person” Malice! I did not know there is a ring tone! How awesome!!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I will let her know. I got the ringtone on the app ZEDGE. It was free. I plan to go to the next Malice. Will look for you.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Cynthia, the BBC Sherlock Theme is my ringtone, too! But, I may have to get the Murder She Wrote ringtone for my VIP list! I didn’t know there was one.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I used to have the ring tone also!! (Now it is “Bewitched”–I alternate them, lol.)

        Like

      1. The ringtone is one I got on the app ZEDGE. I got Murder She Wrote and also the BBC music for Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Carol–it’s a date!! Suebbb–a ringtone would be awesome!! So glad carol told us about it!

        Like

    1. Marla, I was dancing around the house and jotting down plot ideas, calling my children and bragging to my grandkids! I nearly burned the Irish Soda Bread!

      Liked by 5 people

  3. First, I love Murder, She Wrote, the TV series. I haven’t read the Books, but I may read this one because it takes place in a historic home. I’ll still be buying it, read it or not, because my mom reads them and I buy them for her as gifts when they come out in paperback.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congrats! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the books. I’ve been a long fan of the series although I haven’t read many of the books. Yet.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Kaye. I don’t know if you remember the huge fire hydrant when we were at Paula Benson’s Conference in Columbia South Carolina, but that hydrant makes an appearance right in chapter one of MSW Killing in a Koi Pond!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do remember the hydrant, and have the pictures to prove it. That’s very cool!

        Like

  5. Congrats, Terrie! Since I had the honor of chatting with you at Malice, I can say I know Terrie Moran AND Jessica Fletcher personally! So excited to have you hanging out with us today on the Chicks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww, Vickie, Jessica and I are thrilled to be here. Hopefully we three will have the opportunity to chat in person again as we wend our way out of this pandemic!!

      Like

    1. Hi Christine, thank you so much. I am now a grandmother and love watching tv with my grandkids. You did her a great honor and gave her much joy I am sure.

      Like

  6. What a fabulous story, Terrie (I mean, Jessica) ! So exciting that you reached a huge dream of yours! Thank you for being on the Chicks today.

    (I would love to win an Agatha or be on a bestseller list. One can dream high, right?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christine, thank you so much. I am now a grandmother and love watching tv with my grandkids. You did her a great honor and gave her much joy I am sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Jennifer, I will let you in on a secret, Jessica and Terrie were both in their shall we say “mature” years when they started writing, so by all means DREAM HIGH–you have the time and the talent.

        Like

      2. As did she. I was beyond fortunate to have my grandmother until I was 42 😀 Now I am a Nana, but do not get to visit my 6 grandkiddos much. Hopefully soon. BTW, have a super fun time with those beautiful grandkiddos of your 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Exciting to hear you are becoming “Jessica”. Hope to see you next year at Malice Domestic in Maryland!

    Like

  8. Terrie, this might be my favorite dream-come-true story EVER! How absolutely and delightfully incredible!! Maybe you could have your name legally changed to Terrie Jessica Fletcher Farley Moran. Sure it would be tough to fill in those little boxes on forms, but worth it!

    Thanks for visiting us! ❤

    Like

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