Today, we’ll take a break from the 30-day novel series to share an interview with an author who is a former crit partner and a friend.
Dianna T. Benson’s new novel, Final Trimester, released May 19, 2014. It is the second novel and the first in the Quigley Triplets series. Her first novel, The Hidden Son, was released March 2013.
Dianna, welcome to Indie Plot Twist!
The first thing I’m always interested in is what led any published author to writing in the first place. What led you to writing?
DTB: The day President Reagan was shot, I was in fifth grade. From that real event that day, I developed all sorts of fictional scenes and dialogue, something I did constantly with everything. When I asked friends, classmates and teachers what scenes and stories they created because of the attempted assassination on the President, none of them had a clue what I was talking about. At that moment, I realized I was the only person I knew who did this sort of thing every day.
As time passed, I recognized my passion to write suspense novels, and like breathing, it’s simply something I do automatically. Being an EMT, a mom, and blessed with this writer brain, the stories never stop flowing.
Q: Do you have a favorite genre or subject?
DTB: I love writing suspense; it’s my natural writing voice.
An EMT for a decade, I implement my firsthand medical and rescue knowledge and experience into my stories.
Inspirational is a thread I love writing and it fits within my characterizations and plotlines like a key puzzle piece.
Q: How did you learn the writing craft?
DTB: Reading several hundred suspense novels for years, then I started writing my first book in 1993. I wrote five completed novels and read countless more books by the time I signed with my first agent in 2007. For me, reading and writing was my training method, along with listening to the input from my critique partners (Carrie is one of them) and my beta readers, plus watching all kinds of movies and select TV shows.
Q: All of those writers and aspiring writers are going to want your reading list. Which titles would you recommend first for those of us who might be watching the pennies, but still want to get their hands on good resource materials?
DTB: Non-Fiction: (buy used or inexpensive new on Amazon)
Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon
On Writing by Stephen King
The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
Writing the Fiction Synopsis by Pam McCutcheon
The Holy Bible
Fiction: (check them out at your local library)
Thousands of books in the genre you want to write
Q: Has your style evolved over the years, and if so, how?
DTB: My actual writing voice hasn’t changed and will never change, but my writing has evolved into higher overall quality through the years – tighter writing, strong characterizations, etc. My goal with every book is to write fascinating characters in an enthralling story, leaving my readers/fans satisfied plus anxious for my next book.
Q: Do you have an all-time favorite story that you’ve done?
The book I’m currently writing at any given time is always my focus and where my heart is invested. When I need to stop writing my current work-in-progress to work on the copy edits for my upcoming new release, then my upcoming new release is my favorite for the moment. Similarly, when I either need to stop writing my current work-in-progress or stop working on copy edits on my upcoming new release to focus on marketing my current new release, then the book I’m marketing is my favorite for the moment. When you spend nearly a year of your life engrossed in writing the characters and the story of any given book, you come to love it, so I truly love them all equally.
Q: Who are some of your favorite writers (past or present)?
DTB: Stephen King, Tess Gerritsen, Robert Frost, Beth Moore, Terri Blackstock
Q: How would you like your work to be remembered?
DTB: Life is hard; relationships are super hard, but that’s the point. Through our trials and tribulations, God is building our souls so when our flesh dies, our souls are developed to where God wants them to be for our life in eternity. In Final Trimester (and in all my books), I want readers to see how my characters don’t just “get through” or try to “get over” the difficult stuff in life; instead, my characters accept the pain difficult events in their lives cause them and they move forward with a renewed sense of understanding in themselves, in life, and in God.
About the Book
Paramedic Jodi Duncan recognizes the work of a serial killer before the Myrtle Beach PD even suspects a connection between the deaths of two pregnant women. Despite the vast differences in the two cases, Jodi urges Detective Nate Quigley to think outside the box. After digging deep into the separate investigations, Nate finds no evidence to support a serial killer theory, and he warns Jodi to back off police business, which only fuels her passion for the cases.
When a third pregnant woman is murdered, Nate is named lead detective on the case and works to link the deaths in order to unmask and stop the serial murderer, a disturbed man who believes God and the devil battle inside his head to bend him according to their wills. As he fights both voices, his interest fixates on Jodi when he discovers her obsession with ending his rampage.
Where To Get Final Trimester
Dianna’s books are available wherever books are sold. Below are the links to Final Trimester at the three biggest booksellers:
About The Author
Dianna Torscher Benson is a 2014 Selah Award winner, a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. She’s the author of The Hidden Son, her debut novel. Final Trimester is her second release.
After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need.
Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.