MacGregor, T.J. 1947-
MacGREGOR, T.J. 1947-
(Alison Drake, Patricia M. Janeshutz, Patricia Marie Janeshutz, Trish Janeshutz, Trish MacGregor)
PERSONAL: Born Patricia Marie Janeshutz, June 7, 1947, in Caracas, Venezuela; American citizen born abroad; daughter of Anton Carl (an accountant) and Rose Marie (a homemaker; maiden name, Rutledge) Janeshutz; married Rob MacGregor (a writer), July 16, 1983; children: one daughter. Education: Utica College of Syracuse University, B.A., 1970; Florida State University, M.A.L.S., 1973.
CAREER: Social worker in Vero Beach, FL, 1974–75; Spanish teacher in Vero Beach, 1975–76; State of Florida, Vero Beach, prison librarian and Spanish teacher, 1976–79; adult education teacher in Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1980–81; Florida International University, Fort Lauderdale Campus, teacher of English to Cuban refugees, 1981–82; Spanish teacher at private school in Fort Lauderdale, beginning in 1982; writer, 1983–. Public relations consultant to Avianca Airlines.
AWARDS, HONORS: Dark Fields was nominated for a Shamus Award; Edgar Allan Poe Award for best paperback original, Mystery Writers of America, 2003, for Out of Sight.
Dark Fields, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1987.
Kill Flash, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1987.
Death Sweet, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1988.
On Ice, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1989.
Kin Dread, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1990.
Death Flats, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1991.
Spree, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1992.
Storm Surge, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1993.
Blue Pearl, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1994.
Mistress of the Bones, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1995.
The Hanged Man, Kensington (New York, NY), 1998.
The Seventh Sense, Kensington (New York, NY), 1999.
The Other Extreme, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Vanished, Kensington (New York, NY), 2001.
Out of Sight, Zebra Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Black Water, Kensington (New York, NY), 2003.
Total Silence, Kensington (New York, NY), 2004.
Category Five, Kensington (New York, NY), 2005.
UNDER PSEUDONYM ALISON DRAKE
Fevered, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1988.
Tango Key, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1988.
Black Moon, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1989.
Lagoon, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1990.
High Strangeness, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1992.
UNDER NAME TRISH MACGREGOR
(With husband, Rob MacGregor) The Everything Dreams Book: From Fantasies to Nightmares, What Your Dreams Mean, How to Remember Them, and How They Affect Your Everyday Life, Adams Media (Holbrook MA), 1998.
(With Phyllis Vega) Power Tarot: More than 100 Spreads that Give Specific Answers to Your Most Important Questions, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.
The Everything Astrology Book: Discover Your True Self among the Stars!, Adams Media (Avon, MA), 1999.
Your Cosmic Kids: Using Astrology to Understand Your Children, Hampton Roads Publishers (Charlottesville, VA), 1999.
Your Intuitive Moon: Using Lunar Signs and Cycles to Enhance Your Intuition, New American Library (New York, NY), 2000.
The Everything Spells and Charms Book: Cast Spells That Will Bring You Love, Success, Good Health, and More, Adams Media (Avon, MA), 2001.
(With Rob MacGregor) The Lotus and the Stars: The Way of Astro-Yoga, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 2001.
Creative Stars: Using Astrology to Tap Your Muse, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2002.
Your Story in the Stars: Using Astrology to Uncover the Hidden Narrative of Your Life, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2003.
(With Marian Singer) The Only Wiccan Spell Book You'll Ever Need: For Love, Happiness, and Prosperity, Adams Media (Avon, MA), 2004.
Mars and Sex: The Secrets of Sexual Astrology, Citadel Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Soul Mate Astrology: How to Find and Keep Your Ideal Mate through the Wisdom of the Stars, Fair Winds Press (Gloucester, MA), 2004.
(With Millie Gemondo) Animal Totems: The Power and Prophecy of Your Animal Guides, Fair Winds Press (Gloucester, MA), 2004.
(Under name Trish Janeshutz) In Shadow (novel), Ballantine (New York, NY), 1985.
(With Rob MacGregor) Inside Miami Vice (nonfiction), Ballantine (New York, NY), 1986.
Also author, under name Trish Janeshutz, of the novel Hidden Lake, Ballantine (New York, NY).
SIDELIGHTS: T.J. MacGregor writes a mystery series featuring the husband-and-wife detective team of Quin St. James and Mike McCleary, whose cases take them throughout southern Florida. MacGregor won a coveted Edgar award for best paperback original for her novel Out of Sight, one of several of her works that feature psychic or otherworldly plot elements. MacGregor's interest in psychic phenomena has also led to her authorship, under the name Trish MacGregor, of numerous books on various aspects of the paranormal, dreams, and alternative religious beliefs.
Blue Pearl finds detectives St. James and McCleary investigating the murder of a faith healer's wife in Palm Beach. When the healer's daughter is kidnapped, St. James and McCleary suspect there may be a plot to make criminal use of his unusual powers. Emily Melton in Booklist noted that "MacGregor's special brand of high-powered action, a gripping plot, and the continually interesting relationship between Quin and Mike make this one well worth buying." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly described it as a "deadly vortex of murder, politics, lust and telepathy" with "a diverse cast of three-dimensional characters."
In Mistress of the Bones, MacGregor adds gothic horror to a murder investigation. When St. James and McCleary learn that a friend has been knifed in his isolated house, they soon discover that the house is haunted by the ghost of a slave. "A mix of journal entries, hidden passages, unidentified rustlings and e-mail messages leads Quin and Mike to a breathtaking climax and an unexpected denouement," according to a critic for Publishers Weekly. Booklist reviewer Wes Lukowsky praised the novel for its "good plot, viperous dialogue, and dazzling characterizations."
Subsequent MacGregor crime novels have emphasized paranormal or occult themes, and they no longer feature St. James and McCleary. In the award-winning Out of Sight, a pair of mystics figure out how to make human beings invisible, with dire results for their willing—and unwilling—test subjects. In The Seventh Sense, a woman narrowly escapes death when an enraged driver deliberately smashes her car, killing her husband. With the help of psychics and her own heightened paranormal powers in the wake of the near-death experience, the heroine seeks her revenge. Jenny McLarin in Booklist praised the book for its "riveting story, memorable characters, and heart-pounding suspense." A Publishers Weekly contributor enjoyed The Seventh Sense for its "creepy exploration of the powers of human perception."
MacGregor once told CA: "For years I led two lives, one as a teacher and another as a writer. The second life consumed evenings, weekends, and most of my spare time. I never earned a penny at it or published a word. I persisted, however, and now I'm no longer leading two lives. Writing is a seven-day-a-week career.
"When I do take a break, I travel. For me, as well as for my husband, who is also a writer, that usually means trips to Latin America. We've taken a river boat up the Amazon, a train to the south of Chile, and rickety buses into the mountains of Ecuador. The trips are influential in my fiction. Settings like Bogota, Cartagena, and the Amazon are drawn from personal experiences.
"I think it's vital for any writer to nurture patience, perseverance, and discipline. If you are unpublished, those qualities will eventually pay off. If you are published, those characteristics keep you producing. Personally, I can't imagine any other kind of life.
"One of the most surprising things I've learned is that anything you experience can be used as material. Several years ago, for instance, my husband, daughter and I spent time in Ecuador. One of the places we stayed was a hacienda—a kind of bed and breakfast—outside of the town of Banos. The hacienda guide was a man who had lived in the jungle for several years with a native tribe that was rapidly vanishing because of the encroachment of civilization. This tribe had perfected the art of 'ghosting,' a camouflage technique that made them appear invisible. That story became the basis for my novel Out of Sight.
"I hope my stories awaken people to the vastness of their own creative potential and that they transport readers out of their own lives, into a place where all things are possible.
"The writing process itself hasn't changed much over the years. When I'm looking for a story idea, I read a lot of nonfiction, hoping that something triggers that aha! moment. Once I stumble across tha trigger, I dive in, writing as though I'm watching a movie. I try to get the story and characters down, in an outline form. The outline always changes once I start writing the book, but it gives me a direction. I write daily. When I'm really involved with the process of writing, I begin dreaming about the story and characters. Once that happens, I' know I'm on the right track!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 1994, Emily Melton, review of Blue Pearl, p. 581; December 15, 1995, Wes Lukowsky, review of Mistress of the Bones, p. 688; April 15, 1998, Emily Melton, review of The Hanged Man, p. 1388; March 15, 1999, Jenny McLarin, review of The Seventh Sense, p. 1292.
Publishers Weekly, October 7, 1988, Beth Levine, "Janeshutz, MacGregor and Drake: Three Writers-in-One in South Florida," p. 73; September 19, 1994, review of Blue Pearl, p. 54; November 6, 1995, review of Mistress of the Bones, p. 85; March 29, 1999, review of The Seventh Sense, p. 90; January 15, 2001, review of Vanished, p. 57; August 26, 2002, review of Out of Sight, p. 50.
Booktalk: All the Buzz about Books!, http://www.booktalk.com/ (October 5, 2005), "T.J. MacGregor."
T.J. MacGregor Home Page, http://www.tjmacgregor.com (November 14, 2005).