Zanne Marie Dyer Christian Counselor to Mystery Write and a Fun Giveaway

I’m delighted to have Zanne Marie Dyer with me today to share her transition from Christian clinical counseling to writing murder mysteries. She also has a fun giveaway. Thanks so much for being my guest today, Zanne. Please tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

As early as seven years old, I’d secretly ride my bike two miles, across a major highway, to get to the closest library. I’d sit on the library floor, like it was holy ground, pouring over books. Writing became a natural outflow of that young passion, scribbling ideas everywhere, even on my hands and arms. But life leads in many unexpected directions—mine led to a career in clinical counseling. My work put me in touch with many beautiful people, but where there are victims there are also offenders. It was at this same time, I met a few malignant criminal minds, up-close and personal. Strangely, these dark figures became an inspiration to not only write stories about crime and sociopaths, but to use words to bring light out of darkness.

You have me intrigued Zanne, the suggestion  that writers should write what they know resonates with your work. Now, talk about your latest published project.

 

My suspense novel, Dark Motives, has been recently launched. I’ve stylized this murder mystery to make readers feels as if they’re walking real-time beside the main character, Detective Jet Wholeman, as he solves a case of abduction and murder. Jet has definite skills, but he also has some serious distractions—a struggling marriage and an alluring journalist, busy weaving her web of seduction. Another layer of challenges emerge with the development of a local terrorist cell. This story has enough going on to entertain both men and women.

One of my objectives in writing this book was to recruit men to Christian fiction. By far, women are the greatest fans of this genre. I believe the lack of male interest is due mainly to the watered-down men portrayed in today’s books. With this in mind, I created an alpha-male detective. Jet has an irresistible, boyish charm—the type women crush on—but he’s also a guy that men can relate to. Although Jet is a flawed character, in danger of losing everything he holds dear, he faces many of the same challenges of a real man, in a real world. I believe this is one of the most significant factors in making men such big fans of this book. And for the record, this is not just another story about death and danger, but about the greater threat of a man about to lose his eternal soul.

I love your desire to grab male readers. My husband has begun to read more fiction since he retired. Strong believable male characters are so crucial to a great story. How do you research your books?

My husband specializes in criminal law, so he’s my go-to person for legal and criminal procedure. Also, his work puts me within reach of local police officers and detectives who’ve been kind enough to help me out. But my favorite research is in true-crime podcasts and television shows like Forensic Files, Criminal Minds (I fast-forward the darkest parts) and The Mentalist. I also love geographical, boots-on-the-ground research, and for Dark Motives this was a cakewalk—Fort Lauderdale is my hometown. The land of ocean, sunshine, palm trees and copious crime.

What inspired you to write your book?

As I said earlier, my background in psychology played a major part in my writing. I counseled many victims of heinous and violent abuse. Some of the offenders were not only untreatable but had a sadistic enjoyment for the pain they inflicted—clinical sociopaths. Some were so evil I wondered how they could possibly co-exist with the rest of us. Most mental health experts would say a sociopath is a combination of genetics and experience, but my faith told me there was something more. My quest to understand the warped wiring of these almost sub-humans intensified. With all of the research and information I had floating around in my head, it was only a matter of time before I was compelled to write a murder mystery. As I wrote, I made an unexpected, personal discovery. I realized that while I enjoyed helping victims in the healing process, my greatest desire was to stop the evil causing their pain. Clearly this is God’s job, not mine, but we all have our own flawed fantasy of justice; mine just happens to be expressed in a crime/detective novel. Uniquely, an author can use her imaginary super-powers to create good and abolish evil. Writing a book on good versus evil is pretty empowering, but the real power is in the Christian message.

Another great inspiration has been Word Weavers International. This large group of Christian writers provide support on many levels, but for me, the most profound help came in the form of their critique groups. In this format, members read an excerpt of a writer’s work and give skillful feedback about technique and content.

Yes, Word Weavers is a wonderful group. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their writing craft or a novice writer.

How did you create your story’s characters?

I think my characters are a combination of thousands of different people I’ve met throughout a lifetime. Some characters may be a combination of three separate people, others just pop out of my over-active imagination. But I’m sure I’ve met all my characters somewhere, at some time, and a few of them are still hanging around in the

dark corners of my unconscious mind.

 

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

Since the day I became a believer in Jesus Christ, my desire has been to live-out my passion for him. When I first started writing, I told the Lord—If one person, just one person, becomes a believer because of my words, then I’ll deem myself a success. And I’ve stuck to that.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Right now, I hold fast to a verse that I believe is most fitting for the times we live in. “Do not be overcome by evil,but overcome evil with good.” (Ro.12:21).

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self about writing, what would that be?

I’d tell myself—take writing classes! I’ve discovered writing is more than just fancy words and pretty adjectives. Stringing words together with clarity, visuals, and emotion is not only an art but a science.

That is so true. As a writer what is your favorite genre to read for fun?

To keep my writing sharp and up to date, I stick to the crime/detective genre.

But if I want to relax and escape, I go for historical fiction with a little romance thrown in.

Tell us, where is your favorite place to write?

I love a quiet place with a water view, but if I need a writing jolt, I run to the nearest coffee shop. But it’s much more than a caffeine fix I’m looking for. Somehow, the muted background noise of coffee dispensers, buttons and beeps, and quiet chatter seem to simultaneously calm and excite my brain neurons.

More about Zanne Marie Dyer

Zanne Marie Dyer resides in Daytona Beach with her husband and has three young adult children. As a former Christian Clinical Counselor, she became increasingly interested in the psychology of the criminal mind. Her dream to write has resulted in a new mystery murder novel, Dark Motives. She is now working on a sequel, focusing once more on Detective Jet Wholeman, and his unique style of tracking down homicidal killers. Additional projects include a series of devotionals on the mindset of being heaven-bound versus earth anchored.

Zanne is currently a Chaplain for Word Weavers International and provides periodic Christian counseling services at her local church. Her hobbies include water activities, painting, ballroom dancing, and spending time with her children and their families.

Connect with Zanne Marie Dyer:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1951970551/

 

https://www.instagram.com/zannemariedyer/

 

https://m.facebook.com/zannemariedyer/

 

http://zannedyer.com/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/ZanneMarieDyer

 

 

Now for the GIVEAWAY

Zanne will do a giveaway for a copy of Dark Motives. Leave a comment here on the blog for a chance to win. A winner will be chosen from a drawing to receive a paperback copy. If you’re up to a fun challenge, please help name the killer/sociopath that will appear in her next novel. Simply add a first name in the comments section. This step is optional.

 

I know those who follow my blog are creative. Can’t wait to see the names you all post.

 

The drawing will be on Monday, September 28th, and Zanne will reach out to the winner for their contact information.

Spies, Flutes, and Red-Heads: The Makings of a Spy Novel

Welcome mystery writer extraordinaire, Carole Brown. I’m so excited to have her as my guest because the second book in her WW II mystery series The Spies of World War II, A Flute In A Willow is now available. She’s agreed to share a bit about how she does  her research and developed her characters and plot for the seriesDSCN4465 (3)

 

Spies:

Developing my WWII Spies series came from two things:

  • Listening to my mother talk about her life during WWII and seeing the pictures she had
  • A short story about a “supposed” civilian spy during WWII from an elderly man. Rumors had it that HE was that spy, but he neither confirmed nor denied it.

Music:

And since dangers and sacrifices abound in WWII stories—some of which I brought out in these books, I also wanted to create a sense of fun, warmth and love to lighten the suspense. One way I managed to create the feeling was to bring music into the story as a subplot.

The Red-headed Sisters:

I’d already planned to feature three red-haired sisters in their own books. It was fun to create their personalities and who the heroes would be. Fortunately, while I wrote book one, the heroes for the other two books appeared and were good matches for sisters two and three.

Let me share brief thoughts how the spies, music and sisters all work together to make this series heartwarming and suspenseful books.

With Music in Their Hearts

With Music in Their Hearts

With my interest piqued and imagination soaring, I settled on the plot for book one where the hero—handsome, smart, a minister and godly—is rejected to serve overseas but recruited to serve as a civilian spy. Sparks of jealousy and love fly between him and the heroine as they battle suspicions that one or the other is not on the up and up.

Emma Jaine Rayner, by her own claims, is a non-professional pianist, who entertains and gives an extra doze of homeyness to the boarding house residents with the nightly musical fests. Her active imagination while playing, increases her longing for a man to love—and Tyrell Walker, the civilian spy, increases the pressure by wooing her with his trained voice.

AFitW 5th image(2)

 

A Flute in the Willows

In Book Two, the heroine and hero are both rebels in their own way. She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband, an overseas U.S. spy. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? When his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie. These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their ownselves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Josephine Rayner Patterson, the second sister, is quite different from her older sister. She’s athletic and training for the Olympics once it’s resumed after the war. But returning to her flute after a drastic alteration in her life, it’s the balm that heals her troubled heart. In spite of resisting, Jerry Patterson through her music and enduring love, finds his heart strangely drawn to what he’s never experienced before.

Sing Until You Die

The third book in this series has a tentative publishing date of 2019. The youngest sister of the WWII Spies sister overhears a private conversation while singing to the military troops and realizes it’s vital information to the well being of the United States. When she’s almost discovered, Claire barely escapes. Surrounded by zealous people she can’t and won’t trust, Claire has no options but to trust the one person she most disdains, the one person she ran from, quiet, plugging-along Wills but rumored to be the best spy serving on U.S. soil. In the midst of danger, Wills has the chance of a lifetime: to show the love of his life his love for her. Will she learn that God is her strength and wisdom and that no matter how well she can sing, how far she travels, how many men she meets, only Wills can fill the void in her heart?

Claire Roseanne Rayner is the princess of the family, the petted and beloved daughter of the Rayner Family who sings like a bird and is determined to fly away like one too. She loves God but staying away from the boy-turned-man she grew up with is never far from her mind. William (Wills) Mason has never wavered in his love for Claire Rayner. In spite of having no talent in either singing or playing, he’s fully behind Claire’s musical ambitions.

More:

Spies

Researching the spies was an eye-opening experience. Not only danger is involved, but there are tons of reasons why men—and women—serve in such a capacity. The rewards are vast—money, esteem, the parties and socializing, exotic countries—if all goes as hoped and the spy escapes detection. Caught—prison and death can be the result.

Music

It was easy to include this in these books because of my own love of music. The decision as to what or how it was brought into each book was also a fairly easy decision. Music has so many benefits besides lightening up suspense books.

  • Encouragement
  • Mood enhancers
  • Spiritual uplifter
  • Good music is healthy

and so much more.

One tidbit before I move on to the sisters. I love most instruments, but the flute was not one of them—until I heard one played by an expert. That changed my ideas about flutes, and from then on, I’ve been a devoted fan. The flute seemed the perfect instrument to include in atheletic Josie’s life.

Red-headed Sisters

I’ve always loved red hair. It’s so vibrant, rich in color and alluring. Studying and researching the subject I realized how many different shades of red there are. Choosing the shades was fun, but I wanted it to be more than fun. The shades needed to match their personalities.

All in all, the first two books have been a delight to write, and I’m looking forward to the writing the third book soon.

 

Thanks for allowing me to visit, Cindy.

Absolutely loved having you.  You are always a delightful guest. Thanks for making the time.  If you’d like to learn more about Carole and her latest novel read on.

Back Cover Blurb for Flute in the Willows

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.

She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?

Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.

These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Buy the Book:

https://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1492661357&sr=1-1

About Carole Brown:

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaroleBrown.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Brown/e/B00EZV4RFY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427898838&sr=8-1

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/browncarole212

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carole-brown

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sunnywrtr/boards/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5237997-carole-brown

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=67381031

Google+:    https://plus.google.com/u/0/113068871986311965415/posts

Stitches in Time:  http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/

Question for readers from Carole:

How much research detail do you like when reading a book? Is there ever too much or not quite enough to suit you?

 

I loved learning how Carole did her research and built her story world.  I strive to give my readers helpful information and writing tools. If you enjoyed this peek into the research side of the writing world sign up for this blog before you leave and receive more interesting and fun posts in your email.