Dianna T. Benson joins us today. This is her second visit with us. She’s here to share about her latest release, Final Trimester. Dianna is a 2014 Selah Award Finalist (winners not yet announced), a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. She’s the author of The Hidden Son, her debut novel. Final Trimester is her second release.
Diana, tell us a little about your journey to publication.
I started writing my first book in 1993. After completing five books, I signed with my agent in 2007. Six agents offered me representation that spring; it was difficult to choose between them since all six are top-notch agents. Fall 2007, a film agent requested a screenplay of The Hidden Son after reading the book. In early 2009, just days before I finished writing the script, the film agent suddenly retired due to health issues. I never pursued anything further with the screenplay and focused back on novel writing. Later in 2009, I was offered a four-book mainstream contract, but had to put forth all my time and effort into my young family of five when my husband was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. During his treatments and surgery, I read inspirational suspense for comfort and support. I then wrote my first inspirational suspense and loved the genre. In 2011, I won the Genesis. In early 2012, for thirteen weeks I had a pending contract offer from B&H, a large traditional publishing house. That contract was pending for thirteen weeks due to the publishing house facing difficulties (less than a year later, they permanently discontinued their fiction department). Less than a month later, Ellechor Publishing House, a small traditional publishing house, contacted me and requested me to submit to them. Within two days of doing so, they offered me a nine-book contract.
Your journey thus far has been quite a tale! Tell us about Final Trimester.
Paramedic Jodi Duncan recognizes the work of a serial killer before the Myrtle Beach PD even suspects a connection between the deaths of two pregnant women. Despite the vast differences in the two cases, Jodi urges Detective Nate Quigley to think outside the box. After digging deep into the separate investigations, Nate finds no evidence to support a serial killer theory, and he warns Jodi to back off police business, which only fuels her passion for the cases.
When a third pregnant woman is murdered, Nate is named lead detective on the case and works to link the deaths in order to unmask and stop the serial murderer, a disturbed man who believes God and the devil battle inside his head to bend him according to their wills. As he fights both voices, his interest fixates on Jodi when he discovers her obsession with ending his rampage.
Without giving away too much, what is one takeaway message you hope readers will get from reading this book?
Life is hard; relationships are super hard, but that’s the point. Through our trials and tribulations, God is building our souls so when our flesh dies our souls are developed to where God wants them to be for our life in eternity. In Final Trimester (and in all my books), I want readers to see how my characters don’t just “get through” or try to “get over” the difficult stuff in life; instead, my characters accept the pain difficult events in their lives cause and they move forward with a renewed sense of understanding in themselves, in life, and in God.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Being alive and living life as a human being, especially as a mother and an EMT. On a regular and daily basis, “situations” pop into my head (an opening scene of a book). I jot the scene idea down to use at a later time. From there, I allow my writer brain to simply write the story.
Is there any scene in your book that came from a real-life happening?
Being an EMT for nearly a decade, I integrate my firsthand medical and rescue knowledge and experience into all my books. The medical and EMS scenes I write are a combination of a ton of real-life EMS scenes I’ve worked throughout the years.
What are you working on right now?
Persephone’s Fugitive — Book Two in the Cayman Islands Trilogy
When a routine 911 call turns deadly, paramedic Reyann Cooper finds herself held at gunpoint by injured prison inmate, Jason Keegan. The situation spirals out of Reyann’s control when the confrontation becomes a tense standoff between Keegan and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
As her patient’s hostage, Reyann fights to save them both before Keegan blows them up. She realizes his warning to the Cayman police is no empty threat since he’d rather die than spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. Reyann soon discovers Keegan is just as determined to survive as she is—provided he can escape Grand Cayman and disappear forever. As she struggles to trust in God’s protection, help from an atheist turns her struggle into a lure away from her faith.
More about Dianna: After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need. Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.
Her releases are available wherever books are sold. Below are the links to Final Trimester at the three largest booksellers: