Sunday, May 02, 2010
Suspense is what we lived and breathed for many years, so we write what we know about. As a federal undercover agent, David assumed the identity of a criminal and associated with criminals knowing that if they realized his true identity, it could be deadly. This resulted in real adrenaline rushes. Diane prosecuted those who broke the law and defended the accused.
From watching or reading the news, it seems as if there is no justice in the world. Though God’s plan is often hard to discern, we’ve both observed mercy and compassion despite rough circumstances. We try to bring to life the men and women who are duty-bound to catch the guilty and see them brought to justice.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Each day is fresh and new in Jesus, who is our hope for peace and joy and eternal life in the next. If we had to choose one day, years ago we hiked through Yellowstone, snapped photos of bison and grizzly bears, and stood hand in hand on a winding path at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We rejoiced at the stunning creation all around us. It was like a touch of Heaven.
Sounds wonderful. How has being published changed your life?
In our careers, most everything we worked on had to be closely held and protected from public scrutiny. Since we began writing suspense, we reveal as much as possible about the work of our hands without divulging too much. While we enjoy speaking to churches, libraries and at other events, it is challenging getting used to people knowing so much about us. However, as stated in our biographies and on our book covers, we live in an undisclosed location.
What are you reading right now?
David is enjoying the audio version of Tony Dungy’s Uncommon. Diane recently finished Robert Whitlow’s Mountaintop and loved it. She’s in the middle of an old classic, one of Grace Livingston Hill’s many inspirational novels. During Grace’s life, she wrote more than one hundred books and each one is a gem. On our list is David McCullough’s John Adams. The movie series was excellent.
I collected almost all the Grace Livingston Hill's books that came out in paperback. I've since donated them to home schoolers. What is your current work in progress?
Our passion is to infuse our fiction with bits of history. In the next thriller, an earlier character named Wally, who as a “lost boy” survived the horrors of civil war in Sudan, is making a fresh start in America. To his horror, his bride-to-be, Liberty, is forced from her African village into indentured servitude. As Griff Topping and Bo Rider, two of our courageous federal agents, race to find her, they discover what it means to have freedom. The working title is “Redeeming Liberty.”
I'd love to feature the book when it releases. What would be your dream vacation?
Setting out together with our cameras and touring wildlife parks in Africa or Alaska. Either one would be fantastic and a total adventure.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
We interest readers in colorful areas in America and around the world. Many times, we select places where we’ve traveled, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains in Front Royal, Virginia (Confirming Justice), or Kazakhstan (The Camelot Conspiracy). In Hero’s Ransom, we feature Thailand where David spent time on a mission trip. When we worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., David served on a Congressional fellowship. Of course D.C. power plays percolate throughout our novels. We thrust our characters into the suspense in large cities such as Chicago and in small, quaint towns, such as Chelsea, MI, which is featured in Hero’s Ransom.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
We love to hike and snap photographs of wildlife, flowers and the beauty of God’s Earth. We sing in the choir and hop on our bikes for a ride. David gets out on the golf course and Diane enjoys planting flowers and trying new recipes, especially using fresh ingredients. She has started scrapbooking to preserve family memories.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Carving our time to write is always a challenge in our busy lives. In between our marketing efforts, and appearing at stores, libraries and churches to speak, we aim to write a certain number of pages or set aside a block of hours each day. It’s not always easy, but watching the words grow on the pages is fun!
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Never give up on what God is leading you to do with your writing. Keep honing your craft and believe in what you are doing, even when a few knocks come your way because they are certain to, as certain as we are that the stars twinkle down on us at night.
Tell us about the featured book?
CIA Agent Bo Rider (The Camelot Conspiracy) and Federal Agents Eva Montanna and Griff Topping (Facing Justice, Confirming Justice, The Camelot Conspiracy) return in Hero’s Ransom, our fourth family-friendly adventure. When archeologist Amber Worthing uncovers a two-thousand-year-old mummy and witnesses a secret rocket launch at a Chinese missile base, she is arrested for espionage. Her imprisonment sparks a custody battle between grandparents over her young son, Lucas. Caught between sinister world powers, Amber’s faith is tested in ways she never dreamed possible. Danger escalates as Bo races to stop China’s killer satellite from destroying America, and with Eva and Griff’s help, to rescue Amber using an unexpected ransom. It features scenes in Chelsea and Ann Arbor, Michigan, CIA headquarters in Langley, VA, New York City, as well as China and Thailand. Readers see up close and personal the political intrigue within government agencies and get an inside look at how our Federal agents risk their lives to keep us safe.
I love that they are written by people who have really been there, not just someone who writes what he or she thinks it's like. Please give us the first page of the book.
In the world of secret agents, it’s hard to tell the truth from lies. On Sunday morning in the sprawling complex in northern Virginia that Insiders fondly called “The Agency,” CIA agent Bo Rider was on a mission to find out which was which.
A Central Intelligence Agency agent for seven years, he’d labored at Langley in the ultra-sensitive National Clandestine Service, contracted malaria in Brazil, paddled in a dug-out canoe on the Nile River, and slept on cold rocks in Afghanistan, all to keep the country safe. But, danger was what he’d signed on for, so instead of enjoying pancakes and sausage with his family, he stepped down the familiar hallway, a grim question on his mind and top-secret file under his arm. He was about to close his office door and delve into the classified matter when a hand grabbed his arm.
Ready to strike an unseen enemy, Bo freed his arm, spinning on his heels.
“Got a minute?” In his black suit, crisp white shirt, and red-striped tie, Director Wilt Kangas exuded power and authority, which never ceased to impress Bo.
No one would guess the man was battling cancer. His unexpected presence in Bo’s office doorway was perplexing. Rarely did Kangas venture from his prestigious executive suite on the top floor to these lower parts where Bo and the other worker bees gathered and analyzed intelligence. Yet, here he was, and Bo dared not refuse to see him. Still, what did Kangas want with him?
The two men stepped inside Bo’s office, exchanging no pleasantries. Bo shut the door and, seconds later, Kangas thrust a jab, one Bo couldn’t parry.
“Rider, have you heard from Solo?”
“Not in a while.” The CIA agent raked a hand through his curly hair. “Frankly, I’m concerned about the lack of contact. Do you know something I don’t?”
Kangas’s ashen face sent dread pulsing through Bo’s veins. The real reason for the sudden visit must be bad news. Kangas was the only person in the CIA besides Bo who knew the identity and importance of Bo’s most valuable intelligence asset, code-named Solo.
His lips set in a tight grimace, Kangas snatched a cell phone from its leather holder, flipping it over in his hands, as if it were a talisman to ward off evil spirits. Bo wondered how Kangas was doing, but this was no time to speculate on his boss’s health.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please read more about us and our writing at http://www.dianeanddavidmunson.com/ , where you can sign up for our e-mail newsletter, view photos we’ve taken around the country, and see our Q&A about the justice system. We love to hear from our readers, who tell us which character they want to see return.
Thank you for another interesting interview, Diane and David.
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