Q&A: Diane and David Munson
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE JOSHUA COVENANT?
Diane– My love for God’s written word and a deep interest in prophecy. The Bible teaches how God’s promises never fail. In this latest thriller, I want to bring readers hope in the storms of life. In fact, the title was originally going to be “Rider’s Storm”, but the more I wrote the more God spoke to me that David and I should write about His faithfulness in the midst of desperate circumstances. The Joshua Covenant tells a thrilling story of espionage in the heart of the Middle East: America’s embassy in Tel Aviv. We ratchet up the suspense as CIA agent Bo Rider goes on a wild ride in Israel, but more than that we reveal how his wife Julia’s emerging faith encourages her husband to find life-changing answers.
David– With Diane’s legal background as a federal prosecutor/attorney and mine as a federal agent, we have witnessed God’s protection. Because I worked in counter-intelligence for NCIS, I wanted to showcase those experiences in The Joshua Covenant alongside end-times prophecy. Bo serves in America’s embassy using his real name after years of clandestine spying when he is rocked to find a menacing plot against America’s ally. As the CIA agent battles sinister forces that challenge not only his loyalty, but also his very core, he comes face-to-face with God’s covenants to Israel. This is a relevant “factional” story for these times.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Diane– My faith in Jesus began to strengthen after first discovering Christian fiction. I was practicing law where I was inundated with difficult decisions and teetering on burn-out. I began reading Brock and Bodie Theone’s Zion Covenant and Chronicle series loaned to me by another lawyer. On my thirty-minute lunch hours I immersed myself in realistic historical stories of WWII and the creation of the State of Israel. Fantastic writing! I’ve continued reading Christian fiction ever since. Grace Livingston Hill also inspired me. She wrote over 100 novels where her characters live out their faith solving mysteries of life. The Scottish poet and theologian, George MacDonald, also blended suspense with memorable characters who love Jesus. Robert Whitlow is a modern-day author who I enjoy and spending time with his writing is worthwhile.
David– I also read the Theone’s after Diane did. Their work changed my life and led to me believing that Diane and I could write together. Joel Rosenberg interests me—we used to go to the same church in Virginia. Also, we listen to Dee Henderson on audio. Readers who read Joel, Dee and Terri Blackstock also enjoy our writing.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
Diane– In my marriage and in my legal work, I seek to glorify God, who has given me a new avenue to serve Him: writing family friendly adventures with my husband. What a blessing. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Though David and I aim to write authentic stories, Jesus is the sole reason we both write Christian fiction. Through His life, death, and resurrection we are reconciled to God. In our novels, I pose questions of faith using our characters’ lives, such as: in troubling situations, who do we rely upon—government, the law, judges, friends or faith in God?
David– I worked with agents who were believers and those who wanted nothing to do with God. So those experiences find voice in our thrillers. For example, ICE agent Eva Montanna is a federal agent who loves Jesus and she has an impact on FBI agent Griff Topping who never went to church. In The Joshua Covenant, Bo is faced with troubling family issues as he fights to save his career. Using a surprising twist, it’s a Bible prophecy teacher who provides the key to Bo’s survival as he faces the greatest struggle in his career and life.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AUTHORS?
Diane– In the late nineties, I became immersed in the genealogy of Christ, which led David and I to research our family’s genealogies. The Spirit of God moved me to start writing an historical fiction about a family in the Netherlands that receives one of the first printed Bibles by Johann Gutenberg. Finishing that manuscript fulfilled a dream for me. I started writing when I was a teen, even receiving an honorable mention in a poetry contest. My legal career took my writing in another direction, but I wrote book reviews for the Christian Legal Society of which I am a member. At a writer’s conference when a publisher discovered I was a former Federal prosecutor and David a former federal agent, he suggested we write legal suspense. We gave it a go, sitting under a palm tree and making an outline on a legal pad. Six thrillers later, the rest is His-story!
David– It was a life-changing moment for me when Diane came home from that conference asking me how I’d like to write a legal thriller with her. I had a career filled with danger and people often suggested I write a memoir, but I wasn’t really interested. For weeks we prayed about a potential novel using Psalm 90. God answered our prayers with a publishing contract. With NCIS and as an undercover Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, I met criminal groups, crafting scenarios so their enterprises couldn’t succeed without my undercover involvement. The skills I learned in disguising my true identity translate nicely into writing intrigue. Diane’s historical novel still awaits, so stay tuned.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
David– It’s our prayer to provide quality writing that is appropriate for teens on up without gratuitous violence and situations. We strive to write authentic Christian “high velocity suspense” that entertains and inspires women and men with the true caring love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We also hear from many non-Christians that buy and enjoy our books.
Diane– I agree with David that it is our hope to make a difference with each book we write. Jesus is the hope for all the world no matter the conflict or trouble. Readers share on our blog or in emails that the struggles our characters face and the strength they receive from God’s Word faith helps them face difficulties. Jesus is our Shepherd who makes us lie down in green pastures. He restores our souls. Praise the Lord from whom all blessings flow.