Door to Door by T. L. Brown
Updated: Jan 23
“When life delivers you little pieces of delight, don’t question it.” - Lydia McKay (Door to Door)
“If a rabbit has no tale, can he still tell a story?” - Daniel Swift (Door to Door) I don’t know about the rabbit, but T.L. Brown sure can! Door to Door is the first book in the Door to Door series, a set of paranormal mystery books that are pure magic!
I received a signed copy of this book from the author and I feel like I won the lottery. This story captivates you with a THUD. The first word (actually sound) in the book that opens a door to an epic adventure!
Follow Emily Swift as she unravels the secrets of her father’s unusual job as a Salesman and his untimely death. With each page you turn, you will be drawn into this fun, campy, Alice in Wonderland-esque portal mystery. I literally couldn’t put it down.
Today I would like you to meet T.L. Brown, author of the Door to Door series. Before we chat with T.L., let’s read the synopsis for Door to Door:
Two worlds collide when Emily Swift turns thirty and her late father’s journal lands on her doorstep... Seventeen years after Emily Swift’s father died, a door is opened to a new world, an Empire led by peculiar men and women called Salesmen – transporters of magical items. These Salesmen have the unique ability to travel from place-to-place, and even world-to-world, simply by stepping through the “right” door. Now that Emily is thirty, it turns out that she can “door travel” too, stumbling unplanned into kitchens, bathrooms, and alleyways as her connection to the Salesman Empire is revealed. Fueled by the cryptic notes and sketches in her father’s journal, Emily discovers the real reason behind his death: he was targeted and assassinated by the Fringe, a terrorist group of rogue Salesmen. After an attack that leaves an innocent woman dead, a rare book containing clues to the whereabouts of the Crimson Stone is missing. Emily is charged with getting it back. As she races through the Empire, she pursues John Templeton, the mysterious Salesman with extraordinary abilities, who seems to both help and undermine Emily at whim. With new friends Anne Lace and the boyish Rabbit, she tracks Templeton, but the Fringe is not far behind – as two new murders prove. Along the way, Emily struggles to balance her desire to find out who killed her father against the task of recovering the legendary stone. The internal journey of reconciling the father she hardly knew, with the great leader she’ll never know, forms the foundation for a fast-paced race to keep powerful magic out of violent, fanatical hands.
J.C. - Before we start, T.L., can you take a moment and introduce yourself to our readers?
T.L. - Sure, Jessica! And thanks for asking me to participate in this Q&A. I was excited to be asked!
My name is Tracy and I’ve authored two paranormal mysteries under the pseudonym T.L. Brown. My books fall under the category of cozy – the sex and violence happen off-scene. But I leave in enough for the reader’s imagination. (Wink-wink.) I earned a BA in History-Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Now I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes of New York with my amazing husband (Gordon) and seven chickens. I’m originally from Western NY and love the snow and cold.
J.C. - You can tell from my own series that I love a good portal adventure. What made you come up with the idea for Door to Door?
T.L. - About a decade ago, my husband and I were driving back Upstate from Long Island. It was just the two of us, and to pass the time, I started to make up a story. Gordon is GREAT at asking questions and kept me going with a series of: “And then what happened?” As I talked, I moved toward using “door travel” as a way for these unique beings (Salesmen) to move from one place to the next and also between worlds.
Like so many readers, I’m a fan of classic works like Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia – as one would guess. Old TV shows like Quantum Leap, Sliders, and Farscape fascinated me. I’m a sponge. I suck in everything to fill the creative well.
J.C. - A mystery is literally dropped on Emily Swift’s door when her father’s journal arrives on her thirtieth birthday. She immediately dives in and begins to unravel its secrets. Are you as inquisitive as Emily?
T.L. - Yes and no. Some people assume Emily IS me, but that’s not the case. I’m certainly not as adventurous as she is. However, I am curious – and mainly about other people and their stories. It drives my husband nuts because when I’m out, I end up talking to strangers.
Everyone has a story they’re dying to tell about themselves. I like to listen. I ask good questions.
J.C. - Templeton. He’s dark, mysterious, sexy … Need I say more? I’m still not sure if he is the good guy or the bad guy. What are your feelings about Templeton?
T.L. - Oh, I love writing Templeton. In my head he’s as you described. It’s funny, I get the most interesting feedback from readers about him. More than one has said, “I know he’s a good guy!” I just smile. Remember, Templeton tells us which side he’s on right in Door to Door:
…The corners of his mouth picked up. “That’s right. Sorry to disappoint Daniel Swift’s precious little girl, but yes. I work for the most powerful Salesman in the Empire. Me.”
Is he evil, though? No. He’s rude, arrogant… brilliant, cultured, sexy.
Interesting to note (to me, anyway): Earlier this year I attempted to write a standalone novella called Templeton’s Tale. I was writing in the first person (Templeton’s voice) and just couldn’t make it happen. Maybe it’s because I’m deep into Emily’s head… But I was surprised at the wall I hit with him. Maybe he’s even more powerful than I thought.
J.C. - Emily finds she can door travel to another location. Anwat, Vue and Matar are some of the fictional cities in your book. If you could portal travel, where would you like to go?
T.L. - Oh, wow, that’s a great question! Well, I really do NOT like to fly, so I’d want to be like a Salesman (Emily, Templeton, etc.) and travel to anywhere simply by walking through a door. No one of my family lives close, so it would be nice to just “pop in” whenever I wanted. I miss my sister and her family.
I’ve only traveled to Europe once for study abroad back in college. There are so many places I’d like to still visit (and maybe live for a while). If I could “door travel” from the US and across the ocean, I’d probably never be home!
J.C. - Your characters are so down to earth and real. Were any inspired by people in your own life?
T.L. - Jack, main character Emily Swift’s boyfriend, is based somewhat on my husband when I met him. He was 38 at the time. (Jack’s around 34-ish in Door to Door.) However, Jack puts up with a WHOLE LOT more than Gordon ever would.
In Through the Door, I purposely put a lot of stress on the Emily-Jack relationship. There’s a critical scene in this second book (balcony scene) that gave one of my beta readers a stomachache when she first read it. I guess it did its job. My husband and I actually talked about the scene quite a bit when it was being developed. The words / actions were more like his than Jack’s. But I like how it came out.
J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?
T.L. - You might be able to guess it’s my husband, Gordon. I am head over heels in love with him. He loves the Door to Door world and how it continues to grow and shift. He’s greedy to read my new chapters as they’re written, and buoys my spirits when I have doubts as a writer. His favorite character is Rabbit, but he’s partial to Tuesday. He about had a meltdown when I told him I was thinking of bumping her off in book three.
Jill-Elizabeth is one of my beta readers and knows the D2D world as well as I do. She’s a remarkable woman and a voracious reader. (She also has a fantastic writing voice but is not currently creating stories.) Quite honestly, if I were to handoff writing the D2D books, Jill could pick up where I left off. I won the lottery when we met at a writing group many years ago.
J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to…
T.L. - … have multiple, successful book series under my belt. And several Netflix series out there for all to see.
Oh! But it would be SO COOL to see people dressing up as Salesmen, Rabbits, Nisha (book two), and the Fringe at comic-cons. I mean, bliss!
J.C. - Emily’s adventure is not over. What can you tell us about book two, Through the Door and the third book, soon to be released?
T.L. - Book two, Through the Door, picks up in the early spring following Emily’s adventure in the prior December. I think (and this is just my opinion!) it’s darker than the first book (Door to Door). But I really like the story and how some of the “supporting cast” came forward. Tara and Rabbit play prominent roles this time around. Templeton wasn’t as visible, but his actions still made an impact and affected the resolution.
We also got to see a darker side of Rabbit (and the Rabbits overall) by Through the Door’s end. I like to listen to certain songs on repeat when writing a critical scene. Towards the end of Chapter 21, you’ll want Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” starting to play. (I list my fantasy soundtracks for my books on my website’s blog. It’s just a fun thing to do!)
Doors Wide Open is due out in fall 2021. It will be the third and final book in the series. Secrets will be revealed and hopefully readers of books one and two will have a bunch of aha! moments. I’m endeavoring to not go as dark with this one, but if I could only describe book three in three words, it would be: Emily is pi$$ed. (Sorry for cursing.)
Book three will give us more of Emily’s new friend Lucie as part of the adventure. Templeton will return in a bigger role – actually, he’ll be fairly prominent. Of course, Rabbit and the network will be back. How can we resist? We’ll also see more of Nisha (scary!) and the bad guy with rock-god good looks: Sebastian.
J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?
T.L. - I LOVE to connect with readers – and other writers! Please come find me in whatever pond you play in.
My website is https://writertracybrown.com/ and I can be found in the following social media channels:
Instagram (my fav): https://www.instagram.com/writertracybrown/
Facebook Insiders Group: https://www.facebook.com/WriterTracyBrown/groups/
Pinterest (a bit): https://www.pinterest.com/writertracybrown/
Twitter (sometimes): https://twitter.com/mstracybrown
and finally... My newsletter: https://writertracybrown.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=b6f9943aa53d9f3bf5b72a6f1&id=d289bd3cc1 (I don’t send out much… I should probably be better at that!
Did that interview make you happy? Any time I talk to T.L. Brown I just can't stop smiling! She has a talent for making you feel good and her books will do the same.