Greetings from Sarah Sundin, sheltering-in-place in California. While we’re all suffering a bit of cabin fever, how appropriate that I’m interviewing author Anne Greene, who takes you to exciting locations and times through her award-winning novels. Anne loves travel and history, and it shows in her writing!
Anne, please tell us about your book, Shadow of the Dagger.
Three people are murdered and one kidnapped to find the solution to a priceless treasure map. Nicole Phillips seeks to find her kidnapped brother, but whom can she trust? No one is who they appear to be. To bring his brother’s murderer to justice, CIA Intel Analyst, Josh Baruch, lays his life on the line as he uses Nicole for bait to find the killer.
That sounds exciting! What inspired you to write this book?
Shadow of the Dagger is set in one of the most exotic countries in the world. Turkey is the crossroads country between the Eastern and the Western worlds. Paul visited there during several of his missionary journeys. The seven churches of Revelation and the marble remains of Ephesus are located in Turkey. The Crusaders built castles there. In many places one can drive to villages that look to be straight out of the Bible with their flat-roofed houses and animals penned near the stone-walled enclosed buildings. The underground bazaars and the women still dressing in long gowns and veils and the savory food cry out to be experienced in my book. I lived in Turkey for six months at the Turkish Air Base with my dear husband, and I was blessed to travel the country while he worked. My American protagonist was new to the country and she journeys across the country from Istanbul to Alayna seeking her kidnapped brother.
What a great experience to have lived in Turkey! So what is the primary focus of your book?
Nicole Phillips seeks to find her brother’s kidnapper. Her family and her husband have been murdered, and Ian is the only one she has left. She travels to Turkey to help him in an archaeological dig. Before she arrives, he’s kidnapped, leaving her alone in a strange country where she cannot speak the language and where a woman cannot travel alone. God provides the perfect person to help her. In a land where she can trust no one, she returns to her faith in God and learns to trust Him. This is not a preachy Christian book, even though Josh Baruch, a Jewish non-believer comes to know his Messiah through Nicole’s stumbling attempts. The Christian message is lived out rather than preached. This is a suspense, adventure, romance, which is the first book in my CIA Operatives series. My focus is edge-of-the-seat enjoyment.
How do you share Christ in your writing?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer, meaning I do not plot a book before I write one. I usually have a character, or a location, or an event in mind when I sit down to write. So, the Christian message one will find in my writing stems from the characters themselves—what they learn, how they react to the situations they find themselves in, what they need in their life. My message might be personal Christian growth or finding salvation. Whatever the character needs in the life she lives. Usually both hero and heroine discover something about Christ.
That’s wonderful! How about in your own life? When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
When I was young, my dolls were not my babies or my children. I asked for character dolls dressed in clothes of their country. Then, with these dolls, I acted out plays and stories. I was always a reader and spent many hours of my formative years in the local library. I found reading liberated me from my boring small-town life. I traveled into the future and into the past.
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I received the Lord into my life when I was twenty-one and my life changed drastically, but I remained a reader. I married, had children, and when they went to school, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do with the rest of my life. Immediately my dear husband told me of a conference in Chicago where I could learn about writing. He knew I’d always dreamed of becoming a writer. I attended the conference, had an appointment with the editor of Moody Press, and signed a contract for my first book. I accepted those miraculous events as God wanting me to write for Him.
Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I’ve had many day jobs. I’ve been a legal assistant at which time I learned to type—such a help for a writer. I’ve owned a photography studio which comes in handy with a story now and then. Might I mention Hatteras Island Mystery? I’ve been a real estate agent which taught me not to become so involved in a job that the job takes over my life. I’ve worked retail, which taught me I am definitely not a salesperson. In my youth I worked as a paper girl. Loved that job, and it taught me independence and thrift. When I was a teen I worked as a waitress. Enjoyed that job. I’ve worked all my life, so I’m disciplined and hard-working as a writer. Every job I had I view as something I can call on to add authenticity to my books.
You’ve certainly had a wealth of experience—and nothing is wasted. How about hobbies? What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
I’ve always loved to sing and am privileged to sing in a fantastic 150-voice choir. This is a big commitment with Sunday morning songs of worship, Christmas and Easter concerts, as well as other concerts during the year. Singing songs of praise is such a joy. I feel more as if I’m ministered to rather than as if I am ministering to others. I also love to paint in oils. I love visiting with friends and yes, I still read a lot.
It sounds like you have a well-rounded life. So what’s coming next for you? Can you tell us about your next project?
I’m working on a book set in 1838 based on one of the most heart-rending events in American history. My title is Trail of Tears and will release later this year. Trail tells a powerful, emotional story about fictional John Ross, one-sixteenth Cherokee and Princeton-bound. His father is murdered, his plantation home burned, and he, along with the Cherokee Indian Nation, is imprisoned for removal by the US to the unexplored Oklahoma Territory. As the captives push and pull their covered wagons over snowy mountains and through a frigid winter, the cruel wagon master beats and misuses John. The master’s bitter animosity toward John explodes over and over. John becomes a rival for a full-blood Cherokee girl. Yet the persuasive voices of the preacher and his beautiful daughter have an impact.
That sounds fascinating! Thanks for sharing with us, Anne.
To learn more about Anne and her books, please visit Anne’s website. And she has photos from her travels on her website too!
Writing for Him,