Wednesday, September 25, 2013


My guest is Teresa Burrell. legal suspense author of The Advocate series and her latest release, The Advocate's Ex Parte.  She's talking about her high maintenance character, Sabre Orin Brown and her cohorts and their penchant for wanting to tell their story their way. 
Hi Sia. Thanks so much for having me back here at Over Coffee. 
My pleasure Teresa. 
By the way, I’ll have a medium, decaf, hazelnut mocha with non-fat milk, and extra chocolate. Could you make that extra hot. It cools so quickly. And in a mug, please. I hate drinking coffee from a paper cup. Thanks. 
Decaf, hazelnut...? Right. Decaf?  [Sia smiles graciously and hurries away. What's the point of drinking coffee...sheesh, where is my stash of Ghiradelli...and my chocolate doesn't come in non-fat...what does she think this is? Starbucks? Sheesh.]                                     
Oh wait, that’s not for me.  It’s what Sabre, my character in The Advocate Series, drinks. She’s high maintenance when it comes to ordering drinks or food. Lots of “on the side” stuff.
Ahhh...I see. Tell me about her. 

Sabre knows what she wants. She’s a hard-working, caring juvenile court attorney and advocate for abused children. She takes charge and gets the job done, except when it comes to her love life. Then she’s a mess.

I’m often been asked if the character of Sabre Orin Brown is really me. (Her initials, by the way, are S.O.B.) I can say unequivocally, she is not me. She’s younger, richer, thinner, smarter.... She does, however, have the same job I had in my real life. Of course, I didn't spend my time solving so many murders and getting shot at, as Sabre often does.

I think it is impossible to write without putting some of yourself into your characters, so you will see elements of me in Sabre. I didn't do that intentionally. Sometimes, though, I will put a character trait that is so opposite or so unlike anything I would do, just to give her depth. At least I used to. Now, after five books with Sabre, Bob (Sabre’s best friend and colleague), and JP (her handsome cowboy PI), I don’t have as much leeway. They decide how they’ll act, what they will say, and how they’ll solve their dilemmas. I’m sure you've heard many authors say that before. It certainly is true for me. I’m guided by their personalities and if they do something odd, I think the reader has a right to know why. You would think that would make the writing easier, but in a way it’s harder. Sometimes I have an idea in my mind for certain events to take place and my characters won’t let me. They turn me in a totally different direction.

I spent twelve years practicing law in San Diego Superior Court, Juvenile Division. I loved the work, but it was draining. The background information in my novels and many of the incidents that take place in court in my novels are very true to form. Some of my ideas for my books come from actual cases, but the characters are all fictional. I start with just a single line or event and then create from there.

By the way, Sia, do you have any scones? I love scones with my coffee. So does Sabre.

I no longer practice law. I just write novels now and my life is much simpler, no where near the stress I used to deal with every day. Now, I only stress when I have a deadline for a book release. This last week was pretty crazy getting ready for the launch of The Advocate’s Ex Parte, the fifth book in The Advocate Series. It just came out last Sunday. As you know, it’s a legal suspense mystery series. I write legal suspense because someone once told me if I want to be a writer, I should write what I know. There’s a reason why I don’t write romance!



Attorney Sabre Brown is summoned into Judge Lawrence Mitchell chambers for an ex parte hearing. When the judge attempts to discuss one of her cases, she refuses to listen without proper counsel present. 
Later that evening, Judge Mitchell is murdered.

Sabre’s shock at his death is only surpassed by an attempt on the life of Dr. Carolina Heller, a psychologist she employs on a regular basis. Sabre now fears for her own life. 

Sabre enlists her private eye JP, and they begin to comb and scrutinize her cases, searching for connections between the two crimes. But Sabre’s life is in danger from someone much closer to her. 

Sabre and JP’s roads diverge. While JP infiltrates a twisted world of greed and corruption, Sabre is caught up in a domestic crisis fueled by obsession. As each is forced to fight their own battles, the question soon becomes, can they find a way to save one another?



Teresa Burrell is semi-retired and living in California, Burrell continues to educate groups about social issues impacting children and write novels, many of which are inspired by actual legal cases. She is the author of The Advocate Series which now contains five novels, The Advocate, The Advocate’s Betrayal, The Advocate’s Conviction, The Advocate’s Dilemma and The Advocate’s Ex Parte. 

You can find Teresa: Website, Blog, Facebook,  Goodreads, and Twitter.