Monday, March 07, 2011
In the last five years, five of our High-Velocity suspense novels have been published, the most recent being Redeeming Liberty. Each one of our thrillers reveals an aspect of one of our cases or true events. We’ve showcased international terrorism, the deepening relationship between Mexican drug cartels and Hezbollah (now in the news), the Kennedy assassination, Chinese espionage linked to the birth of Christ, and now modern-day slavery. We have explored themes of forgiveness, God’s protection in difficult circumstances, and what happens when the accused man federal agent Eva Montanna is investigating, is from her church (Facing Justice).
For the future, readers want to read and we want to share more about our CIA hero, Bo Rider and how he continues to be influenced by the growing faith of his wife, Julia. Also, we hope to acquaint readers with certain ancestors of our ICE heroine, Eva Montanna, particularly her grandfather, Marty VanderGoes, who readers know helped hide Jewish people in the Netherlands during WWII. Eva is helping Marty write his memoirs so look for some historical flavor in future novels. Mostly, we strive to write what God seems to be showing us. Each day we aim to listen for His still, small voice.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Isn’t it amazing how much time writing takes? As a result, we’re not reading for pleasure as much as we’d like and have created new habits. We toss in an audio book as we drive for research or book signings. But, some things never change, such as Diane’s love of classics by Jane Austen and George MacDonald.
In fashioning our novels, we conduct a fair amount of research, so we divide up subjects and delve into separate topics. This takes up much of our reading time. For example, Redeeming Liberty touches on human trafficking so David stays current on that subject and what is happening in Sudan with the election. As we season our novels with tomorrow’s headlines and meet folks on our travels, we are inspired to remain in God’s Word, gathering His strength to face each day in these tumultuous times. On a final note, we read about writing to keep honing our craft.
I understand what you're saying about not getting to read for fun as much as you used to. What are you working on right now?
It’s classified! Well, okay, here’s the declassified version of the upcoming, Rider’s Storm: CIA Agent Bo Rider faces the storm of his life. What we have planned for him hasn’t been revealed yet—either to him or the public—so please stay tuned. Hint: We are waist deep in a Middle East conflict. Hopefully, the contents of our next thriller will be declassified by the time of publication ….
If it is, please let us feature it on this blog. What outside interests do you have?
Thanks for this question. It’s critical that we tear ourselves away from pen and pad and the computer. David enjoys marketing our writing and has created a “fan page” for us on Facebook and Twitter. He’s launched into writing scripts for our videos/book trailers and has put our first two novels into e-book format. David was an NCIS agent early in his career and we now enjoy watching those TV episodes. David still has his love for flying. At the sound of an aircraft overhead, you’ll see him with his eyes fixed on the skies. Besides trying out new recipes for healthier eating, Diane spends time trying to convince David that they are good for him. His tastes tend toward saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup, but he’s learning to enjoy avocado and artichokes. Diane just learned scrapbooking from a real pro and has fun documenting travels and events. We both love digging into our family genealogies and want to preserve these histories on CDs for family members. We both love hiking and taking photographs of nature. Today we got to see diving ducks and American coots and listen to their quirky sounds. We wonder just what they are saying.
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?
David – Martin Luther, a man of great convictions and guts.
Diane – The Apostle Paul’s life changed after meeting the Lord Jesus on a road to Damascus. A lawyer and writer who wrote many epistles and books of the Bible, he began the early Christian church and was used mightily by God.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Novels on the shelves of bookstores don’t sell themselves. The process requires us as authors to promote and convince readers to buy that book. Publishers expect authors to sell at least 50 percent or even more of total sales. It’s a tremendous amount of work. We are fortunate we can travel and labor together.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
That worshiping and following Him comes first, then writing. When we appear at events in stores, libraries and churches, we meet folks who are in dire need of prayer and God’s healing touch in their lives. The writing is secondary to the greater good. We want to live smack dab in the center of God’s will. That is hard as our eyes and hearts tend to dwell on aspects of the business, such as the number of books sold. Our Heavenly Father promises us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for us, plans to give us hope and a future. Thank you Lord, from whom all blessings flow!
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Pray without ceasing. If God is for you, who can be against you?
Don’t be too influenced by critique partners. One size does not fit all. So believe in what God is gifting you to do.
Attend at least one writer’s conference in your area. That is where we met our first publisher. The contacts you make may last a lifetime. Immersing yourself with others who love writing will inspire and challenge you.
Tell us about the featured book.
In Redeeming Liberty, a young woman in a Sudanese village took the name Liberty while in a refugee camp waiting to immigrate to the U.S. Although other lost Sudanese children fled to the U.S., Liberty returned to her village where many adults had been murdered or taken into slavery by rebel militias. Now, years later she agrees to marry, Wally a boy from her village, who lives in the U.S. Before that happens, Liberty is kidnapped by a raiding party and sold into slavery to a country that plots against Israel and the U.S. Federal probation officer, Dawn Ahern, risks her life and job trying to save Liberty. When she does, only CIA agent Bo Rider can help, and he is shocked to discover a weapon is being developed that is even more dangerous than a nuclear bomb. As readers turn the pages, they glimpse not only tomorrow’s headlines, but also the truth that in Jesus Christ, our liberty is eternal. Men, women, and teens will enjoy the international intrigue, legal drama, which delivers a healthy dash of romance.
Sounds just like a book I'd love to read. I'll move it to the top of my to-be-read pile. Please give us the first page of the book.
Dawn Ahern couldn’t have dreamed of a more picturesque afternoon for a May wedding. Lofty breezes played Cupid with her warm cheeks, ruffling her hair. Surely a master painter had dipped the Potomac River gold and crimson for the occasion. But neither the shimmering water nor gently rolling green hills meant anything to her.
Everyone was inside, but not the most important man. Dawn fought back fear something terrible had happened to him. She hurried on her silver pumps toward the glass doors of Grace Church, stopping to gaze down Lyon Street, expecting to see his car come roaring up any moment. Her emotions spiked—he was nowhere to be seen.
She shielded her eyes against the bright sun, straining to see beyond the corner. Fingering the white rose that adorned her long black hair, Dawn didn’t know what to do. Sounds of quiet music from inside the sanctuary drifted past. She must go in!
Dawn yanked open the door, and in spite of apprehension bubbling inside her, she glided into the narthex where the sweet smell of roses was overpowering. Red and violet light streamed through stained glass windows, showcasing the altar at the end of a carpeted aisle. Everything was beautiful, yet nothing was right. Where was Griff Topping?
Family and close friends jostled in narrow wooden pews, trading whispers, and Dawn caught a snippet: “The groom’s not here.” Then a powerful hand seized her shoulder. “You do look stunning.”
Her heart quickening, Dawn whirled to face Griff, the man she loved.
“Why are you so late?” she asked, no joy lifting her smile.
Did he have second thoughts about being here?
“A bank robbery kept me up all night,” Griff grumbled, blowing out an uneven sigh. “I’m beat, but glad I made it. Where do you want me?”
He leaned over, planting a welcome kiss on her cheek. To quiet her beating heart, she playfully nudged him away.
“It’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding. That also goes for bridesmaids.”
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Thank you so much for stopping by Diane and David.
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