Sunday, November 10, 2013

Writing Team David and Diane Munson

Thanks for joining us today, David and Diane! Is there a story behind your book Stolen Legacy?

Family is very important to both of us, as is the question of what we will pass on to the next generation. Our latest thriller brings us full circle to why we started writing Christian thrillers. Years ago, we studied the genealogy of Christ as recorded in Scripture. This led us to delve into our own ancestors as we wondered how far back in our families was Christ the cornerstone. We continue to be fascinated how God knits together the generations for His purposes and plans. Diane’s grandparents left the land of their birth and immigrated through Ellis Island to America, traveling from the Netherlands. Her father and David’s Uncle both served in WWII in the U.S. Army Air Corps. These men talked little of their experiences, as is the case of many WWII survivors.

These historical truths inspired us to write Stolen Legacy, a story of betrayal and courage, where our heroine is shocked to uncover secrets from her grandfather’s past that rock her life. Eva Montanna is a Federal Agent and strong female character, who stands up to criminals every day. She appears in our seven other novels. But when Grandpa Marty is threatened, Eva’s faith is tested beyond what she could ever imagine. She digs into his WWII journals, where she learns things she never knew about Marty and unravels a scheme involving Dutch Masters. Readers will be immersed in the Dutch Resistance and those who stood up to Adolf Hitler and his quest for a “final solution” in eliminating Jewish people from the earth. A recent visit to a holocaust museum brought fresh tears to our eyes. Our interviews of WWII survivors made history come alive for us.  

What started you on your writing journey?

Studying Christ’s life, as we noted above, propelled us onto this winding and challenging writing path. As an attorney, I (Diane) enjoy researching, writing, and presenting facts to judges and juries in an effort to persuade. In my leisure time, I had researched and written on many legal pads, a novel about Peter Vander Goes, who lived in the 15th century and was instrumental in financing Johann Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press. David typed every word. I presented the manuscript to publishers at the Faith and Writing Festival following the terrorist attack of 9/11. While publishers liked the novel, several recommended that because of my experience as a Federal prosecutor, and David’s service as a Federal Agent, we should try writing suspense. Also, there was renewed interest in suspense novels after 9/11. David had many dangerous experiences as a former NCIS agent and an undercover Federal drug agent. 

After the conference, I came home with great enthusiasm and asked how he would like to write a “legal thriller” with me. He agreed and we wrote Facing Justice, the story of Federal Agent Eva Montanna investigating a man from her church who an informant accuses of supporting terrorism. Three weeks after presenting the manuscript to a publisher, we were offered our first contract. Stolen Legacy is our eighth thriller and tells the story of Eva’s grandfather, Martin Vander Goes, a descendant of the 15th century Peter Vander Goes. We reveal part of the legacy that has passed down through the family. Could novel number nine, finally be the one I initially wrote? We hope y’all stay tuned.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

One frustration of writing is how little time we have to read for pleasure. When we carve out time from researching and traveling to promote our writing, we both like biographies and wholesome suspense. Diane loves George MacDonald, and has read every book by Grace Livingston Hill. She also enjoys the classics by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. With the limited time we have for reading, we both try to read everything that’s written by Christian attorney Robert Whitlow. Some of his novels have now been released as family friendly movies. On a final note, we look forward to God’s creation and spending time outdoors. So we read about birds and great places to go birding.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?

Each of our novels stands alone, so we call them companion books. Three main characters often reappear, even if only for a couple of chapters. They are: Eva Montanna, Federal Agent, wife and mom; Griff Topping, FBI Agent, widowed and remarried; and Bo Rider, CIA agent, international spy, husband and father. Eva, Griff, and Bo frequent our pages because we, and our readers, know and respect them. Each has their unique character and spiritual walk. In every new novel, we feature a character that had minor roles in earlier novels.
In Stolen Legacy, Marty Vander Goes, Eva’s grandfather, shines. We introduce him as an older man, who is lonely on his farm after the death of his wife, but ecstatic that his granddaughter, Eva Montanna is visiting with her family. As Marty and Eva are immediately thrown into a threatening situation, we pull back the layers of Marty’s character, by exploring his bravery in being orphaned as a teen, and sailing to the Netherlands, only to be thrust into WWII the day after his arrival. Through his journals, Eva and readers travel with him as he suddenly becomes a man who faces his enemies. We learn of the trying times that molded him into the strong and artistic man he has become. This is a thriller, so of course Eva discovers events in Marty’s life that have a shocking impact on her life and faith forever.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?

David: I grew up in the north, and had a blast building snow forts, having snowball fights, and sledding/skiing near Lake Michigan. 

Diane: Doing family things, like attending local fairs, spending summer days at Lake Michigan eating special sandwiches made by my Mom, and visiting new places such as Chicago, and Sault St. Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. One favorite memory is going to the circus and eating peanuts out of the shell.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

David: No! In fact, if I dread something, I attack that first to get it out of the way. I push that noodle until it’s over the top of the hill. This leads to one of my quirky habits. I don’t particularly like vegetables, so when they’re on my plate, I eat them first. Next I eat anything else unpleasant, finishing with my meat, and then my dessert, preferably warmed apple pie with ice cream.

Diane: Yes, and David has been a great inspiration to me to tackle the hard things first. I enjoy cooking, but not washing dishes. I have found if I wait long enough … David will jump right in and help. LOL!

As a travel addict, I have to ask, where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

Anywhere and everywhere in this beautiful country. Each new place is a delight. As readers can see from our events schedule, we spend considerable time in Florida every year. Which months? That is quite predictable. We love to hit the road and meet readers along the way. Next year we hope to visit Yellowstone and the surrounding states.

There also was a period when we made annual excursions to Aruba, the arid island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. This island, which was once part of the Netherlands Antilles, has yet to find its way into one of our novels, but may soon.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?

As an undercover drug agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, David traveled to interesting, exotic and dangerous locales throughout the world, sometimes traveling with criminals who didn’t know his real identity.
Between his travel, our mission trips, and our travel to Europe and England, our novels are influenced and set in those locations. Each novel features various areas in America, with the characters often finding themselves in places we’ve been. For example, Facing Justice has London, and the tiny Island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean. The Camelot Conspiracy features Kazakhstan, a former Soviet satellite country where we both spent time. Hero’s Ransom is set in China and Thailand, while Redeeming Liberty has our agents fighting dangers in Sudan, Iraq, and Iran. Israel is center stage in The Joshua Covenant. In Stolen Legacy, readers are taken to Michigan, the Netherlands, England, and Austria.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?

Each of our thrillers is centered on a spiritual truth, such as forgiveness, redemption, and hope. Because in our careers we dealt with people coping with the struggle between good and evil, we show our characters at various levels of spiritual maturity. Believers struggle to live out their lives in a world where evil permeates everything. As a result, readers see life as it is (minus gratuitous language, sex, or graphic violence). Ultimately, in our writing, good often triumphs over evil, which is justice. Religion isn’t presented as syrupy in our writing; so many fans are men and people who aren’t Christians. Still, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is obvious in our books. Jesus is the Hope for all the world. He said that He doesn’t want one of His sheep to perish. It is our desire to show readers the great and matchless love of Jesus for them through story. 

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

We are already writing the next thriller, which takes Eva Montanna further back into her family history. Her ancestor, Peter Vander Goes was a judge in the Middle Ages who fought great opposition in helping Johann Gutenberg print Bibles for the common person. This novel brings to light those who faced death for their Christian beliefs. 

Check our website at for updates and its release in November 2014.

Connect with the Munsons at:

David and Diane Munson are giving away a copy of Stolen Legacy. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


sm said...

Love to win your book written by two professionals in detective, etc. sharon, ca wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rick Estep said...

Love their writing style , especially with their real life experience. Great review.

Librarybooks at religious dot com

cjajsmommy said...

Again, not entering to win since I am currently reading this book. Oh how I wish I had more time to read! Thank you for this interview, it is great getting to know two of my favorite authors a bit more.

Cindi A said...

Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win!
Gotta check more of your books out!

sm said...

Interesting about the genealogy of Christ developing your interest in writing. I would enjoy winning and reading and sharing your book with my friends, family and church library. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Patricia Bradley said...

This sounds like a great book would love to win it. pat at ptbradley dot com

Library Lady said...

We have their books in the church library.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to win this book.
Janet E.

Anonymous said...

A husband and wife team. Interesting. I have a question. If these books are written in these countries, how are different places in America in each book? This book sounds very interesting and I would love to win it. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

JackieW said...

Enjoyed the blog today and meeting authors new to me. I think the book sounds like one I would enjoy reading.

Susan P said...

I love learning about new authors and husband/wife teams are fun to read.
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

Ro said...

I have not read any books by the Munsons. Would like to be entered for a chance to.

Thank you!

ohiobuckeye91 [at] gmail [dot] com


Merry said...

I enjoyed the interview and wish I could tag along on their travels!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Rick Estep said...

I wasn't able to find out the winner from this book. Am I missing it somewhere?

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