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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Author Interview - Deanne Durrett, author of ROGUE'S TRUST

Anne: This morning I have the joy of interviewing my friend Deanne Durrett, author of Rogue's Trust that I reviewed on this blog yesterday. We connected at the American Christian Fiction Writers Convention last year (and will again this year, I assume). Deanne is one of those easy-to-love people who populate these conferences. So--Deanne--I have a few questions, and I'm assuming other folks will add their own when they read this blog.

 One question I always like to know the answer to: What inspired this story?

Deanne: Rogue Trust came from a whole packet of inspirational seeds, not just one. The first, about sudden wealth, came from a close friend. Years ago, she told me her mother inherited a million dollars when her aunt died... and Mom didn't spend any of it. When I realized that my friend would someday inherit a fortune I began to think what her change in economic status would do to our relationship. And, since I'm a writer, I began to think of this as a story line for a future book. There are many other seeds in the packet and I'm writing about some of them in my blog, Ordinary Days,

Anne: Did you project any of your own personality on any of the characters?

Deanne: I'm sure I do, but not intentionally. All my characters are their own personalities but they're a mixture of people I know or have known. So some of them do what I would do or think like I think, but not all the time. As they tell me their story, I'm often surprised by who does what.

Anne: If you were going to picture one particular actor or well-known personality for the hero (J.T.), who would it be?

Deanne: In the book, J.T. reminds Becca of Bobby Ewing from the old Dallas TV Series. Beyond that I don't have any Hollywood persons in mind. I don't think of the actors, I think of the characters they play. Becca inherited her parents CD and DVD collection so she watches episodes of Dallas at times. This is probably because my husband and I missed the series when it originally aired and watched the whole series as the DVDs became available. We were doing this while I wrote the book.

Anne: Same thing for the heroine (Becca). Who does she look like?

Becca exists in my mind. She told me this story. In fact, she's a little unhappy because I changed her name. She told me her name was Bella, however, my daughter made a good argument for the name change. So I took Joy's advice. I see Becca in my mind but can't find a photo that works for her. I searched for one for the cover but, no luck... so that's the girl (Becca's mother, also named Becca) on the beach near the Cape Henry Lighthouse on the cover.

Anne: (Now folks, before you go thinking that Deanne's gone a little over the edge, I know other authors (including me) who also hear voices of their characters telling the stories. It's hard to explain unless you've been there...)

Does anyone inspire your vision of the daughter (Amy K)?

Deanne: Ahhh... Amy K, I love Amy K. I'm seeing her through her mother's eyes and that may be the reason. She's a little like a friend's granddaughter (and something like my own) but my husband says she's the girl I wanted to be at her age. The freedom to espress herself and the individuallity... I think that's what he means. Amy K is individual and unique, I don't think I've seen a character she could be, no actress, for sure. I have plans for Amy K in future books in this series. Her wardrobe may not always be so colorful and she may not always be so wise. Who knows? I'll have to wait and see how she matures.

Anne: Would you give us a teaser for your next book?

Deanne: The next book was going to be Wren's Nest, the story of a surrogate mother deal gone bad, with Joe Chandler (Becca's uncle) playing a major role. Then I changed my mind about the main characters for this story... switched to new characters and more romance with Joe in a secondary role. Alas, I've changed my mind again, and Lucy's Mansion will be next. It would have been all along if I'd let my head overrule my heart. I love Wren's Nest and it's almost finished, whereas Lucy's Mansion lives in my head except for about 30 pages and an outline. It begins where The Rogue Trust ends. Becca is waiting for the first kiss but the romance hardly gets off the ground before chaos breaks out at city hall involving angry neighbors, zoning regulations, and Lucy's mansion. Once again, Becca lets circumstantial evidence sway her thinking, and J.T. gets the blame for everything that goes wrong. (I don't know how this woman can be so easily irritated by such a charming man!)
Anne: Your main characters display their Christian faith on a routine basis; how does this compare to yours?

Deanne: My main characters share my faith and my basic beliefs. My books are about people in the right place, at the right time, willing to do God's will. Sometimes they're the answer to someone's prayer. My characters call these people earth angels... so do I. My characters are in the midst of the action, whereas, most of the time, God calls me to sit at my computer and write their stories, chapter by chapter.

Anne: Thanks Deanne. Again, it is my joy to feature you today. And you readers out there--what do you think? Got any other questions?
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