Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pre-release Interview with author of Persephone's Fugitive (The Cayman Islands Trilogy) Dianna T. Benson & Giveaway

Occasionally one is given the opportunity to be part of a discovery and then become an encourager of that which you have discovered. I didn't really discover Dianna T. Benson, and I've forgotten how our connection was made, but I did discover her writings. I'm so glad I had an opportunity to be one of her The Hidden Son reviewers. This was her first published book as book one in The Cayman Islands Trilogy. Wow! What a read. If you haven't picked it up and read it by now, then I encourage you to do so. 

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?
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.  
Thank you, Vera, for hosting me and featuring my newest release, Persephone’s Fugitive.
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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I removed the first comment I made because I had not read all the options in Rafflecopter regarding blog posts. The first book published by Dianna T. Benson was "The Hidden Son" and the second was "Final Trimester". I found it interesting to learn that she only lives a few hours from me. I tend to think of most authors living somewhere in a major city near a big publishing firm, sort of like many musicians living around the Nashville, TN area.

  3. I enjoyed the interview and I especially liked where Dianna quoted “If you aren’t enough without an Olympic medal, you’ll never be enough with it.” as it applied to her and her writing. What a good measuring stick!

  4. I was very interested to see that Dianna was a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. First of all, this books sounds really good! I like reading suspense books & don't read them as often as I'd like sometimes. "Persephone's Fugitive" sounds very intriguing and one my husband would enjoy too!
    What I find exciting about Dianna is that she won the Selah Award for Best Debut Novel! That has got to be such a great accomplishment in any writers life! And seeing all the complimentary reviews and fan mail would be very encouraging :-) Growing more as an author and learning all the ins & outs of writing has to be exciting as well!
    What I find intriguing about her is what she says about herself on the blog "Being an EMT and a HazMat and FEMA Operative for a decade, I authentically implement my firsthand medical and rescue knowledge and experience into all my novels." I love the authenticity of a book and especially in the medical field! This makes me want to read the book even more!
    Lastly, her first published book is "Hidden Son" and her second published book is "Final Trimester".
    Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book Dianna & Vera for the interview and giveaway featured on your blog!

    I deleted my first comment as I forgot to add something for the Rafflecopter widget...oops!

    1. Thanks, Trixi, for your thoughtful comment. Shows you've got good insight into Dianna's world. Her books are good and she is a very real and personable individual. I appreciate her!

  7. Learned about the challenges going from the business to the writing side. Sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

  8. Thank you to all who read my interview. Thank you, Edward, Kay, Trixi and Sonja for commenting and for your kind compliments. I enjoyed my time here on Chat with Vera. Thanks, Vera, for featuring me again, this time with my newest release. Blessings to all!

  9. For anyone interested in watching the book trailer to Persephone's Fugitive:
    The links to the trailers of my other books are on my website.
    Happy Easter to all!

  10. I think it's neat that she's publishing two series at the same time. This book sounds amazing!

  11. I love the post on her website about TBI.

  12. The Hidden Son is her first published book. Final Trimester is her second published book.

  13. I think her experience as an EMT would add a lot of reality to her books.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  14. I'm both excited and intrigued that she is writing about my beloved Cayman Islands! I lived there for two of my most formative years and a good portion of my heart remains there along with many dear friends. I would love to know this author's connection to the islands. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! I'm headed over to Amazon right now!

  15. I think this book is one of her best ones if it's not the best as I read in some websites, I am so excited to read it as soon as possible.

  16. It's really impressive that she won the Selah Award for Best Debut Novel for her first novel!

  17. Hidden Son was Dianna T. Benson's debut novel. Final Trimester was her second release. I am impressed and fascinated that she is an EMT and a HazMat and FEMA Operative. That makes me want to read her books all the more. :)

  18. I found it interesting that she has been bouncing back and forth between the business side and the writing - it'shard to juggle many things you want to do in life.

  19. I would be interested in learning more about The Hidden Son.

  20. Book One: The Hidden Son Book Two: Caymans Island Trilogy Book One: Final Trimester

  21. I think that it's great that she gained wisdom of understanding from a character in the movie Cool Runnings - I love that movie.

  22. I like that she writes trillers

  23. Book One: The Hidden Son Book Two: Caymans Island Trilogy


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the "Comment Me" email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.