Today's interview is with Ann Patrick, soon to be a Jewel of the Quill.
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
Thanks for having me visit, Janet. I write inspirational romantic suspense under the pen name Anne Patrick, and inspirational romance under the name Kinzie Monroe.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
Oh, they definitely chose me. I'm a character driven panster. Once my characters start talking to me I just tell their stories. It's sort of like riding a roller coaster, I never know what's around the bend, and I love it.
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
No, I'm pretty content where I am. But you never know, I might be visited by an alien someday who insists on me trying my hand at science fiction.
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
Suspense, mystery, and thrillers mostly. Some of my favorite authors are Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Iris Johansen, Lisa Jackson, Tami Hoag, Stephen King...I could go on but I won't :-).
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
Well, as a kid I always knew I'd either be an actor or a writer because I was always acting out these wild adventurers that would magically appear in my head. Probably as a way to keep me out of trouble, my mother encouraged me to write them down. I've been spinning stories ever since. Currently I have more than a dozen novels published and five more under contract. When I'm not chasing bad guys or lurking in dark alleys, I like spending time with family and friends. I also like to travel to foreign countries to experience new cultures.
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That's a tough question, but I'm going to go with my sassy and head-strong fire investigator in my novel Fire and Ash. She's traveled a rough road to get where she's at, and because of some unfortunate circumstances in her life she doesn't feel worthy of God's love. I enjoyed watching her transformation through the book. Can I add that Fire and Ash has been nominated as 'Best Book of 2010' at Long and Short Reviews. It's also the #1 bestselling suspense/romance ebook at Christianbook.com.
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Absolutely! My inspiration for several of my villains came from when I worked for a security transport service. I was part of a two-person team who transported prisoners to correctional facilities and to court. It was the most interesting four years of my life.
8. What are you working on now?
I've just started the second inspirational romantic suspense book in my 'Wounded Heroes' series. Many of my characters are war veterans who are currently serving or have just returned home. Books two through five take place on the mysterious Dauphine Island. The first book in the series, Kill Shot, releases in November.
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
Dangerous Deception, releasing March 1st, is a short story included in a Mystery/Suspense anthology from Victory Tales Press. The inspiration behind it was the civil war in Sierra Leone in the nineties. Since I've set the story to modern day, it could be compared to any of the uprisings taking place in the middle east.
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
Here is the blurb for Dangerous Deception: Journalist Gwen Jacobs thrived on dangerous assignments. That is until her ambition led to the massacre of an entire African village. Now, a year later, she’s been offered a chance at redemption and the opportunity to expose the men behind the slaughter. Unaware of the secrets she carries, or the danger they could bring if exposed, philanthropist Jack Peterson and his small group of humanitarians welcome Gwen on their journey of hope with the understanding she will tell the world of the atrocities taking place amidst a civil war. But when Gwen’s deception is uncovered and a rebel commander learns who she is, not only is Gwen’s life on the line, the whole group could die.
And the excerpt:
Gwen Jacobs answered the knock at her door and came face to face with the worst mistake of her life.
The dark, piercing eyes of Michael Garrison scanned the length of her body before meeting her glare. “Hi, Gwen.”
It took every ounce of her restraint not to slap the smile off his face. “I was just on my way out.”
“This won’t take long.” He brushed past her.
Gwen closed the door, leaning against it for support. She hadn’t seen Michael since their last assignment together for the BBC.
He scanned the modest living room. “Nice place.”
The simple one bedroom flat was the only thing she could find within her budget, her landlord’s generosity and leniency making up for its lack of comfort and style.
Both journalists, they’d met in the states four years ago on assignment. After a year of dating, he’d asked her to move to London with him and like an idiot she did. “What do you want Michael?”
“I have a job offer if you’re interested.”
She immediately turned and opened the door. “No thank you. I’m freelance now, remember?”
“Yeah, I’ve seen your editorials. Cute photo by the way.” His smile widened. “Face it, Gwen, you’re not cut out for human interest stories. You were born for the frontline. Besides, from what I hear, the pay isn’t so good.”
“The pay is fine. Now, if you don’t mind I’m late for an interview.”
He walked to the door, but instead of exiting he nudged her aside, closed the door, and took hold of her hand. “Please, just hear me out.”
She jerked loose, leveling her glare on him. “I said I wasn’t interested.”
“You’ve been hoping to go to Lerato, am I right?”
“You’re offering me an assignment in Dewana?” she asked somewhat leery. For months she had wanted to go to the small country located in West Africa to expose the atrocities taking place in the midst of their civil war.
“According to a reliable source in Chizoba, the RFAGC is planning to take Lerato in the next couple of weeks unless their demands are met, including the release of Chidike. I’ve set up a meeting on the 20th.”
It wasn’t exactly the assignment she’d been hoping for. The Revolutionary Front Against Government Corruption, under the leadership of Akua Chidike, was responsible for much of the mayhem in the poverty stricken country. Committing some of the worst war crimes ever reported. “I thought international travel into the country has been suspended?”
“I got you a seat on a private charter with an American businessman by the name of Peterson. He’s with some religious organization. They’re going in on a humanitarian mission. They leave day after tomorrow.”