I’m so excited to share my mentor, DiAnn Mill’s newest release, Firewall, the first book in her FBI-Houston series. DiAnn graciously visited www.whenreaderswrite.com and discussed what drew her to write a series based on the bureau, the research it took, and the challenges she faced to get it right. After all, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the FBI.
Now, for part two of DiAnn’s interview she is ready to discuss what makes Firewall a standout novel as she introduces us to the characters.
The characters and their backstory and goals.
The bombing of an airport terminal in the first scene.
Speaking of characters, as an author you really put a lot of effort in creating characters who come alive on the page by developing their backstory (life before the story begins). What surprising developments in Taryn’s and Grayson’s lives did you learn in that process?
I had no clue Taryn was vegan. Neither did I know about her martial arts ability.
Grayson losing his mother during the tornado was another development. He held her hand for as long as he could.
Buddy was a delight. He simply showed up out of nowhere.
When characters are brought to life on the written page many readers become attached to the characters and view them as real. Have you had any challenges when a character has to die, or struggles through illness, divorce, or sin and a reader calls you out on it?
Always. I realize for any of us to change and grow, we have to endure challenges. Many times, the characters are too real – and it’s difficult to push them through life’s struggles.
Were there any surprises when writing the storylines of Taryn and Grayson?
I’m a seat-of-the pants writer, so there were lots of surprises.
Buddy the German Shepherd was a huge surprise.
The villain was the biggest surprise of all!
Taryn’s expertise as a software developer. I needed to use the correct language that my readers would understand.
Grayson – having him follow correct protocol while believing in Taryn’s innocence.
What do you love about your main characters in Firewall? And respectively, what drives you nuts about them?
Taryn is brilliant. She analyzes everything, and not much escapes her. However, when it came to Shep, she was swept away. I wanted to shake her when she agreed to marry him.
Grayson is committed to his role at the FBI. But he does have a discerning spirit. I loved the stand he took with Taryn. But I wanted him to resolve his past long before he made the choice to do so.
One of my favorite things about interviewing an author is the chance to share the personal side of the writer. These are the fun questions that introduce us to who DiAnn is and let me tell you, her answers are very insightful and will leave you begging to be on her invitation list.
What are you currently reading?
Missing You by Harlan Coben
What’s on your summer reading list?
The Conviction by Robert Dugoni
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Network of Deception by Spencer E. Moses
If you could meet any author, living or passed, who would that be, and why?
Harriet Beecher Stowe. She had the courage to write a controversial story that helped change the face of American history.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would that be, and why?
Greece – I’d like to walk where the apostle Paul walked.
Israel – been there and would like to go again.
England and Scotland – Would love to see the old and the new – castles too.
If you were hosting a dinner party and could invite anyone, again, living or passed, who would that be and what would you serve?
Guests . . . Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, John Barrett (my deceased dad), and whoever else wanted to come. 🙂
I’d serve grilled salmon marinated in olive oil, lime, and garlic; wild rice with dried cherries and almonds, tomato salad, yeast rolls, fresh green beans, cheese platter, and carrot cake for dessert.
Sounds delicious, DiAnn! Remind me to tell you the next time I’m in Houston! Firewall makes its debut appearance today with a release in paperback and digital formats and I’d like to offer you a chance to win your very own signed copy. Do you have a question for DiAnn? Who would you invite to dinner if you could invite anyone? What would you serve? Just leave a question or comment and you’ll be entered for your chance to win. Looking to increase your chances? Head over to http://www.whenreaderswrite.com for part one of DiAnn’s interview and another chance to win a signed copy of her newest book, Firewall.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books published.Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists;won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol awardcontests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2014 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. Visit her website at www.diannmills.com and connect with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DiAnnMills), Twitter (@DiAnnMills), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/DiAnnMills), and Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/DiAnnMills).