Dakota Peace author Megan Kinney shares her story

Today I welcome Megan Kinney. I received a preview copy of her debut novel Dakota Peace. it’s moving and wonderful. We’re going to learn about her journey and how she came up with the idea for Dakota Peace.

I’ve always loved to write, but I started writing fiction when I was pregnant with my first child over sixteen years ago. I was naïve enough to think that just because I had a great idea and the love of writing I’d be able to write a great novel. After my first rejection, I signed up for a correspondence course on how to write fiction, then I went to my first writer’s conference.  There I learned gobs of information about the writing industry, met some amazing people, and got my second rejection, but with it constructive criticism. Five years after writing my first novel, I completed my second and sent it to a publishing company for rejection number three. Four years ago, after a tragedy in my hometown, I decided to write in order to find closure. Two years later I went to another writer’s conference, and this time an editor liked my pitch, starting the two year process from rough edits to published manuscript.

I was inspired to write Dakota Peace after two police officers were killed in my hometown.  At the funerals, the same dispatcher who took the initial call when the officers lost their lives called the officers’ number over the first responders’ radios several times. Then in a ten-code she tells them their free to go home, to rest in peace, and that the other officers would take it from here. This tugged at my heart as I imagined the pain and courage of this dispatcher. In the following months, the story of a dispatcher struggling with burnout emerged.

Much of this story is from my own experience as a law enforcement wife and a foster parent as the main characters are searching for a kidnapped foster child. I ask lots of questions to experts I know whether they are dispatchers, police officers, nurses, or social workers. I had the unique opportunity to take a citizen’s dispatch course for four hours one night. That gave me firsthand knowledge of what a dispatcher does during a shift. Then lots of research is done looking things up online.

My favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17. “The Lord your God is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” God delights over me whether the words are flowing or I’m struggling with edits or I’m just having a rough day. This verse says nothing about what I’ve done to earn His love because He loves me first.

If I could go back and give my younger self advice I’d tell myself to take every opportunity to learn about the craft of writing, start networking with other writers sooner and build a platform as soon as possible.

My favorite place to write would be either in my bedroom where I can look out over the neighborhood or at the lake, depending on what I’m working on and how much I need to concentrate.  Although I write modern-day women’s fiction, I love to read historical fiction. I love stepping into another time period through the pages of a well-written book.

Back Cover for Dakota Peace:

She went looking for peace, but trouble found her.

After a traumatic call, emergency dispatcher Natalia Brynner flees the city, desperate for some distance from her stressful life. Her peace is short lived when a flat tire strands her on the other side of South Dakota with nothing but her high heels and a speeding ticket. State Trooper Travis Wilkins offers to keep her company while she waits for a new tire, but the quick fix turns into an overnight stay which turns into an extended stay. She soon finds herself in the middle of a foster child’s kidnapping case helping the handsome law man. His presence doesn’t quite settle her anxious heart. With the support of her new friends and her blossoming relationship, Natalia starts to believe she could finally experience a peaceful life … until an armed madman threatens it all.

Facebook launch party is live today. 6-8 MST (& CST and 8EST) Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/618959645602534/

 

More about Megan Kinney:

A foster mom and police wife, Megan Kinney combines her experiences and love of writing in her debut novel. When she’s not behind a book or computer, she’s enjoying the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and four daughters.

Social media links:

megankinney.net

m.facebook.com/megankinney.net/

instagram.com/megan_kinney_author/

Buy links:

shoplpc.com/dakota-peace/

amazon.com/Dakota-Peace-Megan-Kinney/dp/1645262553

Also, Megan is offering a free e-copy of Dakota Peace to one lucky commenter. This is your chance to ask her about South Dakota, who resembles her police hero and dispatcher heroine. Or just to ask to be put in the drawing. The winner will be drawn on Friday.

 

An Interview with Author John Turney and a Giveaway of His New Crime Thriller Whiskey Sunrise

John Turney and I at the Write To Publish Conference. Glad to have him stop by my blog today.

John Turney and I at the Write To Publish Conference. Glad to have him stop by my blog today.

Glad to have you back. I enjoyed Whiskey Sunrise. I found my heart racing as I watched the story unfold. This crime thriller explores so many aspects of life beyond the horrendous crimes. Please, please make yourself comfortable. Sit down and help yourself to some Ceylon tea while we chat.

Whiskey Sunrise is much different than your first Innocent Blood. Share why.

The two places that really interest me are the American West, especially the Southwest, and Ireland. In both places, people have struggled to live. Struggled against nature—the deserts of the Southwest and the rocky soil of Ireland. Struggled against invaders—various native groups, the Spanish and the Americans in the Southwest, and the various invaders from continental Europe in Ireland. In my Innocent Blood book, while it actually takes place in my hometown of Cincinnati, there are huge elements of Irish folklore. In my latest book, Whiskey Sunrise, I deal with another invasion—the invasion of drugs, guns and people across our southern border. So why the change? Just two things that interested me that I wanted to explore.

Fill in my readers about the premise of your new book.

My second book—Whiskey Sunrise, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas—takes place in the fictional small town of Whiskey, Arizona. The protagonist is the police chief who, with a small staff, has to take on an emerging and violent drug cartel and a gun running citizen. (I began this project before Fast and Furious.) The chief is separated from his wife and wants to reunite. I added a touch of Navajo mysticism.

What makes Arizona work as the setting for your story?

With all that’s going on in the southwest region of the US, Arizona seemed to be an ideal setting for Whiskey Sunrise. It also allowed me to give it a modern day cowboy feel to the story. So instead of cowboys fighting Native Americans or aliens, this allowed me to explore the themes related to issues of border security.

You touch the surface of Navajo mysticism in Whiskey Sunrise. Why?

The original peoples have a deep religious connection to the world. Although I don’t hold to their traditions, I want to respect it. If only to make my faith in Christ more real to them. I mean, if you disrespect someone’s core beliefs, you can’t expect them to honor yours. We tried that in the 1800’s and it didn’t work. So, I contrast the Navajo beliefs with a character’s deeply held Christian beliefs.

The last sentence of your book tells the reader there is a sequel. Can you tell us what we might expect?

In the sequel, I deal with a terrorist organization working with a drug cartel to wreak havoc in the southwest. Just how…I can’t say.

 

Don’t be such a tease, give us a little more.

(Taps feet and frowns) If you insist. The drug lord from WS returns. His focus is to kill the police chief. Meanwhile, human trafficking is being committed by the terrorists, buildings are being set on fire or exploded and a rare snowstorm sweeps through the southwest

Wow! Sounds intriguing. Writers read. So tell me what’s are you currently reading?

You would ask that. I just finished reading Independence Day by the authors of the film. If you liked the movie, the book follows right along with it. It adds very little to the movie, but it does explain some of the science behind the events. In my meek opinion, the movie is better than the book. Too much telling and not showing. I just started reading Gallows View by Peter Robinson. An interesting mystery combining a peeping tom with a murder and break-ins all taking place in rural England. I am also reading The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by the late Carolyn Kaufman. As a psychologist and a writer, she understood both worlds. A great book for writers to understand why people do what they do, and to take a peek into the world of a psychologist. It’s truly a shame she passed so young in her life. My ebook read is called Division of the Marked by March McCarron. A fun speculative read. Hope to read more from her.

What other things are you currently working on?

I am currently working on writing blogs for my website (www.jturney.com), which was designed by one of the fabulous people at Lighthouse Publishing, Meaghan. I am working on a short story which is a combination of science fiction and police procedural.

What is one thing you learned from writing this book?

Understand, I do not support illegal immigration or amnesty. However, for many who come into our country without going through our normal channels, there is drive of desperation in them to try to escape to a better life. The crossers risk financial loss, humiliation, rape, beatings and even death during their trek. Yes, there are despicable people coming across our borders, but there are also hard-working decent people as well. Perhaps a better immigration policy would help those enter our country who seek a better life and prevent the criminal and terrorist element.

 

You know you want me to ask so here goes. So you think terrorists have come across our borders?

Most definitely. And if the leaders of our country can’t find the resolve to protect our borders, America is in for a world of hurt. Let me give you a “for instance.” I own a house and the small piece of land it sits upon. If I turned a blind eye to people jumping my fence and squatting on my property, it wouldn’t take very long before I wouldn’t have anything left. That is what is happening on a much larger scale in the US.

Now it’s my turn to ask the question I always like to ask at the end of an interview. What advice would you offer other writers?

For writers, I’d say the three important things are: 1) learn the craft of writing. It’s not unlike trying to learn a musical instrument. Practice to get good. 2) Network. Build up a body of friends who are writers. Then help those other writers. 3) Learn some marketing techniques. This is a business, so be serious yet have fun. For readers, I would advise that you support your local writers. If you find one, two or more that you enjoy, email them encouragement. Ask your local library to stock their book. Friend them on Facebook. Give them good reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. If a few readers would do those simple things, it would make a huge difference in a writer’s career.

Author John Turney

Spot on advice. I believe I see a copy of Whiskey Sunrise peeking out of John’s brief case. We are going to give a copy away to one of my commenters. Leave a comment with your email. I’ll contact the winner to get their snail mail address so John can send an autographed copy.

Here is the link:51SDe6990EL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_ 

Whiskey Sunrise

 

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