Hey folks! I’m glad you could make it today because I have two very interesting authors for you – Diane and David Munson! Both are “ExFeds”, and they combine their experiences and talents to write high velocity suspense (you can read a preview of their new book, Redeeming Liberty, here).
Diane and David were not only kind enough to give me an interview, but they’re also giving away a free copy of their new book – woo hoo! Just remember to leave a comment (include your email address) to get entered to win.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Munsons…
How about a small bio? Tell us a little about yourself including why and how did you start writing and how did you select your genre?
Diane grew up reading stacks of library books as a child. She went to law school and became an attorney, but she dreamed of writing Christian fiction. That dream deepened as she read George MacDonald, Grace Livingston Hill, and Frank Peretti.
David lived on the edge as an NIS (now NCIS) and then undercover DEA agent. When he served as an investigator with the U.S. Senate, Diane served as a federal prosecutor in D.C. We didn’t have much time for pleasure reading. After leaving D.C. and moving back to the Midwest, we discovered the husband/wife team of Brock and Bodie Theone. We were hooked.
At the same time, we studied the genealogy of Jesus. This spurred our own ancestry investigation, which led to us writing an historical fiction of a Dutch family persecuted for possessing one of the first printed Bibles. Publishers at a writer’s conference encouraged us to finish the work. We did.
By the next writer’s conference, 9/11 had happened and publishers wanted suspense novels. They believed our backgrounds were a platform to succeed in the marketplace. We put our two heads together and Facing Justice was born. Since that release, we’ve penned four other suspense novels that we call “factional fiction”: Confirming Justice, The Camelot Conspiracy, Hero’s Ransom, and our recent release, Redeeming Liberty. We’re hard at work on our sixth. What blessings God has brought us on this journey and we wouldn’t trade it.
What is your writing day like?
Fun and varied. Some days we travel for research or to scout out possible scenes. Other days we venture to the library and dig into books and articles about new weapon systems, or how people in an area, such as the Middle East, live. When we begin writing a novel, we block out phone calls and other distractions. Our goal is to write 500 or so words each day. We write various scenes, then swap for editing and critique. Crunch time comes when we near our deadline. On those days, we do not even stop for dinner, working until midnight for days at a time. Thanks to God’s direction, we work together so we can be flexible.
How do you organize your writing?
With our first novel, we made a detailed outline, breaking that into individual scenes. As we continue to write, our process has become more fluid. It’s important to keep our characters’ lives and descriptions correct as several main characters, ICE agent Eva Montanna, FBI agent Griff Topping, and CIA agent Bo Rider, appear in several novels. We keep a 3×5 card on each, saving them all in a file. Also, when we travel we come up with our best ideas so we have a pad handy in the car. For each novel, we fill several legal pads with notes and possible ideas, which we organize into a larger file. We never want to be so rigid or set in our ways to inhibit creative juices from flowing.
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you”?
Diane: Our latest release, Redeeming Liberty, features Federal probation officer Dawn Ahern, who also appeared in our second novel, Confirming Justice. Dawn risks her life after meeting Liberty in Sudan, refusing to leave until she has done everything she can to save Liberty. Her acts of courage were not how we first envisioned the story, but Dawn’s bravery spoke to us from the pages—God was giving her strength to push her limits, and she relied on Him.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters?
We sure do! Sometimes we wake up in the middle of the night with plot and character ideas. We have a file folder called “Future book ideas” where we store all kinds of things. Since we draw upon on our past careers, we still have cases and characters we want to bring to light.
What does your work space/office look like?
Have computer, will travel. We both have lap tops, which we now use more to write, using legal pads mainly for notes and mini-outlines. Our book shelves are stocked with dictionaries, a good thesaurus, books on the craft of writing, maps, atlases, history and travel books. We also have a TV handy to check on breaking news, as our thrillers give readers a glimpse into tomorrow’s headlines. We aim to write close to windows as God’s beautiful earth inspires and motivates us, especially sunrises, sunsets and the night sky.
What is your go-to snack when writing?
For Diane it’s apples, oranges and berries, and salty snacks like Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies or Goldfish crackers. David likes sweet cherries, popcorn, and his trademark sunflower seeds. Snacks and recipes that we enjoy sometimes appear in our novels.
If you could recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why?
Hands down for Diane it would be Bleak House by Charles Dickens, as it shows how love triumphs over the law. Does this sound familiar to the Good News of Jesus?
David loves The Sacrifice written by Robert Whitlow, as it brings to life the sacrifice that Jesus paid for all who accept His sacrificial love.
Where can readers learn more about you?
A BIG thanks to the Munsons for stopping by (especially during the holiday season). Don’t forget to leave a comment – I’ll pick a winner Saturday night!