Then along came her second published book, Final Trimester that released in 2014. Again, a super read filled with suspense and drama, personal interaction, and factual information drawn from Dianna's own EMT experience. Dianna graciously met with a class of high school students at Alamance Christian School (I work there) and they picked her brain real good! What a sweetie to give of her valuable time to encourage these kids in writing and how to get their story down on paper.
Now Dianna has graciously given a bit more of herself to us in the following questions posed by Chat With Vera. And she has also given us another suspense story to crack the spine of and settle in with for a good read. Looking forward to book two in the Cayman Islands Trilogy, Persephone's Fugitive!
Why you are publishing 2 series (sort of switching back and forth) concurrently instead of focusing on simply one at a time?Thank you, Vera, for hosting me and featuring my newest release, Persephone’s Fugitive.
When my publisher had a sudden opening in their June 2014 release schedule, Persephone’s Fugitive wasn’t yet complete and wouldn’t be ready by September 2013 in time for the typical publishing industry nine months production. So we decided together to release Final Trimester (Book One in the Quigley Triplets Series) to fill the vacancy since I completed it back in 2009.Where do you feel you have come from since signing for your first contract/book and today as a 3-book published author?
I gained confidence as a novelist when six agents offered me representation in 2007 and even more confidence when I signed with my traditional print publishing house in 2012. But it wasn’t until many months after my first book, The Hidden Son, released in 2013 and all the complimentary reviews and fan mail spilled in and I won the Selah Award for Best Debut Novel that I actually felt like a real author. However, with that comes pressure and deadlines of completing a new book (and just as good if not better than the last one) in less than a year, every year. In the last three years I’ve developed my writing process well to where I can achieve the less than a year timeframe as well as weed in vital marketing tasks (speaking engagements, book signing events, radio/TV/blog interviews, etc.) while I’m in the midst of writing my next book.What have you gained or learned from being a published author?
In 2012-2013 I realized I knew next to nothing about the distribution process of the publishing industry. But I learned fast, and now I could write a detailed explanation about it.Every author is different; for me, the toughest aspect of being a novelist is bouncing back and forth between the business side and the writing. In the last three years, I’ve learned how to switch gears between the business side of an author’s life to the actual creative writing side—I never write on the days I have a radio/TV interview, speaking engagement, book signing event, or any other type of marketing task. Whenever possible, I bunch my marketing together in the same week(s) and take that time off writing. On the flip side, when I’m not buried in marketing, then I dig in and focus on writing.I’ve gained the wisdom of understanding what the character in the movie Cool Runnings meant when he said: “If you aren’t enough without an Olympic medal, you’ll never be enough with it.” I’m a lifelong high-level athlete so the line really speaks to me, especially since my oldest daughter competed at the US Olympic Swim Team Trials for a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Swim Team. But in this case I applied it to my writing…before I had a pending contract offer with B&H (the large traditional print publisher discontinued their fiction department) and before I signed my nine-book contract with my small traditional print publisher, I pondered this question: Am I enough right now without ever being published with a traditional print publishing house? I answered the question with a second question: Would I ever quit writing? The answer to that is no; not only am I not a quitter (I’m one of those people who don’t know how to give-up), my brain automatically develops scenes and dialogue on a daily continual basis, like my respiratory system exhales and inhales each day throughout the day. With this thought in my mind’s forefront, I was able to answer the first question: Since I have no control over the publishing industry, my love of writing and my natural writer brain keeps me writing, no matter what. Most importantly, with my third book Persephone’s Fugitive release March 16, 2015, I’ve learned to keep it all in perspective—as an author of fictional suspense, I’m not saving lives. I’m an entertainer. I leave the saving lives to full-time career EMS crews and firefighters. My goal with my books is to entertain while honoring EMS crews globally.
About the book: When a routine 911 call turns deadly, paramedic Sara Dyer finds herself held at gunpoint by injured prison inmate, Jason Keegan. The situation rapidly spirals out of Sara's control when the confrontation becomes a tense standoff between Keegan and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
As her patient's hostage, Sara fights to save them both before Keegan blows them up. She realizes his warning to the Cayman police is no empty threat since he'd rather die than spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Sara soon discovers Keegan is just as determined to survive as she is—provided he can escape Grand Cayman and disappear forever. As she struggles to trust in God’s protection, help from an atheist turns her struggle into a lure away from her faith.
GIVEAWAY: 1 copy for 1 of Chat With Vera's readers. Begins April 1 & ENDS April 22 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA addresses only.
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Dianna T. Benson is the award-winning and international bestselling author of The Hidden Son and Final Trimester. Persephone’s Fugitive is her third release. An EMT and a HazMat and FEMA Operative since 2005, Dianna authentically implements her medical and rescue experience and knowledge into all her suspense novels. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.www.diannatbenson.com