Sunday, September 12, 2010
I honestly don’t know. I’ve learned over the years to just leave the details to Him, but I do feel that I’m being called to split off and write in two genres. The first would be the suspense/thrillers I now write, and the other would be historical faction novels—fiction novels based on factual events in history.
That sounds good to me. Tell us a little about your family.
My daughter, Jayme, just turned 22. She is severely autistic and is essentially about 5 years old mentally. Writing has provided a way for me to work at home, care for her, and still bring in an income.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Well, I used to read almost anything, no matter how poorly written. Now, if the book doesn’t grab me in the first chapter, it gets set aside and I move on to a different book. Needless to say, I have stacks of books with bookmarks tucked somewhere in the first chapter that maybe I’ll find time to get back to someday.
What are you working on right now?
Other than appointment schedules for ACFW? :-) I’m working on my next thriller, The Vigilante while doing research for my first historical.
We need to feature each of those books on the blog, too. What outside interests do you have?
I raise chickens and ducks which provide me with endless delight. For fun, every day, I fire up the four-wheeler and my German Shepherd and I head out to the fields. She loves to chase groundhogs and hunt fox, so for her it’s all a game, but I crank up the worship music in my IPOD and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature while she rolls in the creek or stalks through the woods.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
A man by the name of Michael Klarr. The name may mean nothing to you, but I came across his story about a year ago and have been fascinated ever since. A devout Lutheran in a Catholic region of Germany, he came to the American colonies in 1717 to escape persecution in Germany. He booked passage on a ship with Pennsylvania as his destination but he never saw Philadelphia or met William Penn, the man who invited him to start a new life in the colonies. The captain of the ship confiscated the belongings of everyone on board the ship and sold them all as slaves to the Lt Governor of Virginia. Michael spent 8 years fighting for the freedom of his family and everyone on board that ship and finally won. The first thing he did after leading everyone out of bondage and into the unclaimed wilderness was to build a church to honor the God he found so faithful. That little church is still standing today…the oldest Lutheran Church in the country, still holding services every week—a legacy to a man who trusted God in the face of incredible opposition and against tremendous odds. There is a memorial to him and a museum dedicated to the incredible feats of a man who would not be defeated.
I love that. I'd like to meet Obed Edom. He's mentioned in only one chapter of the Old Testament. The ark of the covenant was left at his house after a man was struck dead for touching it. The verse says that his life prospered while the ark was there. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Don’t spend the advance on bills. Spend it on publicity.
Wise counsel. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To look at the associations he’s been knitting in my life with a different perspective. I’ve always gone into relationships with a “what can I do for you” attitude, but now he has me also considering, “what has Father brought you in my life to teach me?” and it’s been so enriching.
I love that. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Learn your craft. 2. Keep writing. Finish one manuscript and start another whether you’ve sold it or not. Just keep writing. And 3. Trust the Father with your career. He’s your boss, you work for Him, and it’s all in His hands and His timing.
Tell us about the featured book.
Judgment Day is the story of a cable news show host who is more concerned with ratings than truth—until she gets too close to a truth worth killing for. When she becomes the target of a ruthless and powerful family, they ruin her reputation, frame her for murder, and then target her to die. Her only hope is to turn to a man she once betrayed—Marcus Crisp and his partner, Alexandria Hawthorne-Fisher, two P.I.’s who may not trust Suzanne, but they are determined to get to the truth regardless of where it may lead.
I want to read it right now. Please give us the first page of the book.
Running away from home had sounded like the best idea ever when she was planning it, but now that sixteen-year-old Britney Abbott was tired, hungry, and out of money, it felt more like the biggest mistake of her life. She climbed down off the bus, slung her backpack over her shoulder, and wondered where she was going to sleep for the night.
If only her mother hadn’t married that jerk. He was so strict. According to Ronnie, Britney couldn’t date, couldn’t stay over at a friend’s for the night, and she had to be in the house no later than seven every evening. None of her friends had to live like that.
Last Saturday night her mom and Ronnie went out to dinner, leaving her home alone with the usual litany of instructions: You cannot have anyone over. You will do your homework. You will be in bed by ten. You will not spend the evening on the phone with your friends. And you will not—I repeat not—leave this house; I am going to call and if you aren’t here to answer the phone, you will be grounded for a month.
Fifteen minutes after they left, Ronnie-the-Predictable called. She answered the phone. An hour and a half later, she was gone.
She looked around at the crowds dispersing in several directions. The smell of diesel fuel overwhelmed her empty stomach and it growled in protest. Everything looked the way she felt—worn-out, dirty, and depressed.
“Hey, you okay?” A girl stood against the wall near the exit from the bus station. Torn jeans, pink T-shirt, high top sneakers, leather jacket, and numerous rings and studs from ear to nose to lip.
“Yeah, I’m cool.”
“You look hungry. I was just going over to Mickey D’s. You wanna come?”
“It’s okay. I think I can buy you a hamburger and some fries.”
Britney was hungry enough to be tempted and wary enough to wonder why the girl would make such an offer. “Me?”
“Yeah.” The girl walked over. “My name’s Kathi. I came to Washington about five months ago. A friend of mine was supposed to be on the bus but either her parents caught her trying to run away or she changed her mind.”
“You’re a runaway?”
Kathi laughed as she shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her jacket. “Look around, girl. There are lots of us. We come to DC to get away. Some stay, some move on to Chicago or New York.”
Britney felt relieved to know she wasn’t alone. “Okay. I’ll take a hamburger. Thanks.”
Kathi linked her arm in Britney’s and led her down the street toward the Golden Arches. “What’s your name?”
“Well, let’s get you something to eat and then you can crash at my place.”
They chatted as they ate their food and drank their sodas, and with each passing minute, Britney liked Kathi more. She might look a little tough, but Britney supposed that living on the streets, you had to be. Her appearance aside, Kathi seemed friendly and generous.
They were about a block past McDonald’s when a woozy feeling interrupted their conversation. When she stumbled, Kathi steadied her. “You okay?”
“Tired more than likely. It’s not far to my place.”
But Britney’s body felt heavier with each step. She struggled to stay awake. She had never felt this way before in her entire life. Not even after staying up for two straight days studying for a math test.
“I don’t feel so good.”
“We’re almost there,” Kathi told her. “Just down this way.”
Britney didn’t like the dark alley or the dark van parked there with the motor running, but she couldn’t find the strength to resist Kathi’s pull on her arm.
As they passed the van, the side door opened and a man stepped out. “Too bad she’s such a looker.”
“Yeah, well,” Kathi replied. “You get what I can find.”
The man picked up Britney and tossed her into the van. Britney tried to call out, tried to resist, but she could no longer control her arms or legs. She could only lay there and let the fear grow and build until the scream inside felt like an explosion in her head.
The man duct-taped her arms and legs. Then he placed a piece over her mouth. “Don’t worry, kid. This will be over real soon.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.wandadyson.com/ - you can read more of the first two chapters on the web site.
Thank you, Wanda, for stopping by. See you on Wednesday.
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