Out of the Shadows by Theresa Sederholt Genre: Suspense, Family Crime
Dane Johnson was like every other man in his thirties except for one very big secret. One that, for him, was so horrific, he was determined to keep it hidden. He thought it would never see the light of day—that is until today. His fragile world has crumbled around him. The past exposed for the world to see. Now the boy he tried so hard to keep safe might be gone forever.
This is a journey into one man’s hell, with the hope that it will help others find the strength to be able to say, “I need help.”
Theresa Sederholt was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. She is a graduate of Campbell University in North Carolina, with a degree in Criminal Justice. Theresa now resides in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband - a professional chef - and her two adorable dogs.
Experiencing life first-hand is what she does best. Believing she can do anything has put her in some crazy situations; babysitting a pig farm and cutting the top off a mini truck. Her list is A-to-Z and full of endless possibilities.
As a flight attendant (there’s that list again), she would make up stories about all of her passengers as they came and went. It seemed only natural to put pen-to-paper and see where these characters would take her.
A story that started as a single woman having a cup of coffee - while trying to make it through life - quickly grew into a complex world of romance, mystery, and murder. The Unraveled Trilogy was born.
This trilogy may have had humble beginnings, but in 2015 it gained prestigious recognition. Shattered Lies (book three in the trilogy) won Inks & Scratches Book Of The Year along with Cover Of The Year. BTS (Book Trailer Showcase) Book Reviews gave Shattered Lies The Red Carpet Book Award for Honorable Mention Rising Star Readers Choice. Theresa can humbly claim herself as an Award-Winning Author.
Theresa’s beliefs are pretty simple:
There isn’t a luggage rack on the hearse.
Give a girl some Nutella and an espresso, then watch her change the world.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My husband’s job moved us around the country. Every place we lived I would try different jobs. I became ill and it changed my life, cancer does that. After that I decided to take life more seriously. I was older but decided to go back to college and get my degree. At first, I was thinking sociology but then I discovered a love for Criminal Justice. In life you need to find your passion. I realized that’s what I found my passion. I decided early on that I wanted to work for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. I soon discovered that my age was an issue, add to that I am disabled, and it became a problem. I was at a loss as to what to do next in my life. My husband stepped in and suggested that I should write a book. That suggestion changed my life.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I can’t write if anyone is in my house. Not that I need it to be quiet but try writing a sex scene with your husband sitting next to you!
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
One of my many jobs was working for a company called Hot Tops in Arizona. They made kits to convert mini trucks into convertibles. I’m certified to cut the top off of your mini truck. On a dare the owner gave my co-worker and I a truck to trick out and enter it in the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas. It was the girls against the guys. The girls truck won first place and was featured on the cover of Truckin Magazine.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Rude people. Making a judgement without having all the facts. Putting too much information on social media.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn New York.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
After I jump out of a plane, I would spend it with my family and friends.
Who is your hero and why?
My hero is my husband. He’s my biggest champion and gave me the greatest gift—my son.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
My dream job is to be President of The United States. That being said I would lead with kindness, compassion, truth and fairness. I would apply common sense to every decision.
What are you passionate about these days?
Making a difference. I would like to think when I’m gone people will look back and say, “She did it on her terms and made us all see the world differently.”
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I play with my dogs and I enjoy antiquing.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Impatient, kind, empath, honest, stubborn.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When a reader told me that my book changed her life.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Die Hard! I can recite the entire movie!
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Uniquely Mine A Fitz Series book one. So many people have told me that Fitz is …from …
I’ll leave that to your imagination.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A Pit Bull. I might seem tough but I’m very tender hearted.
What inspired you to write this book?
I volunteered at a domestic violence shelter for three years. I saw so many men come in with no place to go. They are the victims without a voice. If they could find services, they are very limited. I felt I needed to shine a light on this silent issue. Change can only come when we finally acknowledge that there is a problem.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ll let you know when I figure it out. In the mean time I’ll just keep writing.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
Yes, It’s all on the horizon.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Out of The Shadows?
Dane Johnson is a typical dad in his mid-thirties. He is married to Julie, his high school sweetheart. He goes to work, comes home and spends his spare time with his family. Except he has a secret he keeps hidden from the outside world. His wife is abusive to him and his son. He’s at a loss. He can’t get help, no one believes a man can be physically abused. Dane does what any loving parent would do to protect their child. He takes all the abuse thrown at him in order to protect his son.
Brady is thirteen years old. He’s at a point in his life where he’s trying to discover who he is and trying to deal with the turmoil at home and at school.
Danni is Brady’s best friend who just happens to be a girl. Like Brady, she is trying to find her way in life. She is the only one who knows everything Brady is going through. She wants to help him, but she doesn’t know what to do.
Julie is Dane’s wife. She is a very bitter person. Her jealously of Brady and Dane’s relationship is what fuels her rage towards Dane.
Abby is Brady’s guidance counselor. She was in an abusive relationship, so she recognizes all the signs. She tries to help but it might end up costing her, her life.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
Sadly, I saw many men come to the shelter for help and get turned away. That was my catalyst for the story. I put myself in Dane’s shoes. As a parent I wanted to feel what he felt. I thought back to when my son was thirteen. How would he handle what Brady is going through? The drama they have at that age changes drastically day by day.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I thought about the most popular names in the book world and made sure I didn’t use them. I didn’t want any comparison to any other characters, mine included.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
This was a very difficult book to write. I didn’t want it to be too long because the subject matter is difficult especially when children are involved. I needed to take the reader on a very gut-wrenching ride, yet I needed to make sure the reader felt there is hope! Judging by all the reviews and messages I’ve received I think I shined a light on a subject that really needed it. People are now talking about it. Fighting against the stigma.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
The titles come to me as I’m writing. They are never planned. Out of The Shadows didn’t come to me until the last paragraph!
Who designed your book covers?
Tracy Beavers owner of Roar Marketing Group
Robin Harper owner of Wicked by Design
Stacey Ryan Blake owner of Champagne Book Design
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I achieved what I set out to do.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes! I always do a lot of research when I’m writing a book. I knew that the available help was very minuscule. I was surprised to find some agencies that are offering help. However, so many people don’t know they exist. I included them in an author’s note at the end of the book.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would have Chris Pine play Dane, Noah Schnapp to play Brady and Kristen Bell to play Julie.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I know this is a difficult subject. Please be advised I don’t hold back. This book will make you feel you are going through this with Dane and Brady. This could be a trigger for those who have experienced domestic violence.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The very last line. You’ll understand when you read it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I would spend it with Brady. I would want to see the world through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old. To see hope for the future without any of the ugliness in the world is priceless.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
All my characters are a little of both. I’m older so I have many years of different experience to pull from.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I start the characters on their journey. If they are headed down a rabbit hole, then I guide them back on the path I intended for them.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Out of The Shadows is a must read. It fights against the stigma of domestic violence. It makes the reader stop and ask these questions:
What would I do in this situation?
What would my child do?
If a male co-worker or friend came to me with this story, how would I react? Would I believe him?
How did I miss the signs he was in dire need of help?
My hope is that after reading Out of The Shadows, people will become more aware and offer help and hope to those who need it.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, they are coming out this year.
What did you edit out of this book?
Some of the violence. I couldn’t see my words through my tears.
Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
K. Bromberg. Her writing is real. She paints a beautiful picture with all the feels. I would have loved to sit down with Tom Clancy.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
K. Bromberg, The Driven Series
Jodi Ellen Malpas, This Man Trilogy, The Protector
Raine Miller, The Blackstone Affair
Tom Clancy, The Jack Ryan Series
John Grisham, The Client
How long have you been writing?
This April will be five years.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
They come at different times. Usually when I least expect it.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I’m a firm believer that research is key. If you know what you are talking about it comes across in your writing.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes! I’ve done so much in my life and in doing all these things I discovered my love for storytelling.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
I think there is room for everyone. I hold myself to a high standard from the beginning of the process to the end.
Do you read yourself and if so, what is your favorite genre?
I love to read. My favorite genre is Romantic Suspense. I do venture out to other genres.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I need noise otherwise my dogs snoring is a big distraction. I usually have the business channel on or music.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
My focus is on one book at a time. However, I keep a notebook on me at all times. When characters from other books start talking, I listen.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Pen and computer. I like to alternate.
Advice they would give new authors.
Keep writing even when you doubt yourself.
Hire experts with a proven track record for editing formatting, covers, etc.
Describe your writing style.
Most of the time I’m a panster. However, I always have an idea of where I want the story to go.
What makes a good story?
Strong characters that are relatable to the readers. Believing in the story you are trying to tell. Giving the reader a story, they are willing to invest their time in.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Distractions, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, just life in general.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be original, but there was a character in my first series that readers kept asking me about. Finally, I felt his story was ready to be told. I wrote his story and donated the proceeds from the book to charity.
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Trust yourself and buy stock in Amazon!
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Keeping the male characters voice without letting the female emotions take over.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
There are a lot of factors that go into writing a book. I’ve had some take me thirty days and some that have taken me as long as nine months. How much research is needed. What path are the characters taking me on? I only set a deadline if I find I’m becoming long winded.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes! Life gets in the way of living. My son told me that when he was nine.
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