by Jeff Reynolds
For my first blog of the year, I thought you might like to get to know the people who contribute regularly. True, you have gotten to know a little bit of Heidi from my interview with her and the four interviews of Deborah Malone (one by me, the other three by Deborah), but you might want to know a little more.
So here is my interview with the Sleuths and Suspects Angels. I'll let them decide who fits in each role, and I'll of course take the John Bosley role (I always loved his portrayal by David Doyle).
Q. Tell us a little about yourself: Area you live, marital status, how you came to Christ, how long you've been blogging with Sleuths & Suspects, and what you'd be doing with your freetime if you weren't writing?
Heidi Glick: My husband and I live in a Cincinnati, OH suburb. We've been married for 14 years and have a son. I came to Christ at en early age after hearing the Gospel at Sunday School. I've been blogging at S&S since the very beginning. If I wasn't writing, I'd be spending time with my family.
Jackie Layton: I live in Wilmore, KY. I have one terrific husband, two wonderful sons, a super daughter-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. If I wasn't writing, I'd exercise more, read more, and probably golf with my husband.
Deborah Malone: I'm the youngest of three children. I have two older brothers, Curtis and Bill. My Dad was born in Opelika, Ala. and when he was a young man moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to work for General Electric. Then he met my mother. After having the two boys, Dad was transferred to North Georgia in 1953. I was born in 1954. I often wonder what my life would have been like if we'd stayed in Cincinnati. I have a ton of cousins who lived there. However I'm happy to be a born and bred Southerner. My parents both attended church and I can't remember a time we didn't go. It was natural I'd follow in their footsteps. If I wasn't writing I'd be taking photographs. I love macro photography!
Jeff Reynolds: My wife, Becky -- we celebrated our 30th last July -- have lived in Orange County California, Phoenix Arizona, Valley Nebraska (a 2000 person town 20 miles west of Omaha), Bowling Green Kentucky, and Nashville Tennessee before moving to Indianapolis in '95. I became a Christian in '79 at a 2nd Chapter of Acts concert during my third semester at a Bible College in Phoenix: yes, that school taught the true Gospel, but I needed the gospel presented a little different for the Spirit to work. I've been blogging with S&S since last September. If I wasn't writing -- there's a lot I might be doing. Besides being a writer, I'm a songwriter, an ordained minister, a closet politician who's considered running for office, a Distinguished Toastmaster who's thought of starting a radio program, and an unabashed zoo-oholic -- Becky and I have been to over 40 zoos/wild animal parks.
Q. What is your writing genre, and what do you have published?
HG: My genre is suspense. My debut novel, Dog Tags, was released in June 2013. I also have written two technical writing articles for Intercom. Currently, I'm working on a contemporary fiction short story set in Georgia.
JL: My favorite genre is romantic suspense. I'm not published. Biggest writing accomplishment was coming in second place in the romance section of the Category 5 contest.
DM: My genre is Cozy Mysteries. Cozies are a subgenre of Mysteries and are light in nature. The murder takes place off stage and the sleuth is an amateur person. I have three books published: Death in Dahlonega, Murder in Marietta, and Terror on Tybee Island.
JR: Fiction-wise, I'm an unpublished mystery writer, thought I've tried my hand at suspense recently and while younger have tried writing adventure and science fiction. I do have ideas for some novels that would be historical romance, science fiction, and fantasy, as well as mystery and suspense. However, I have had several letters to the editor published in both the Nashville Tennessean and the Indianapolis Star.
Q. Name your writing heroes both in and out of your genre.
HG: Frank Peretti seems like a down-to-earth guy. I'd like to meet him sometime. I've enjoyed his novels. In terms of my style, Ted Dekker has influenced my writing the most. As for writing heroes, I look up to Sarah Sundin, who writes outside of my genre. I love her novels because she ensures every word is purposeful. I read a lot of books, and even with bestsellers, I tend to skim certain parts. But not with Sundin's writing. Also, she does a great job with character arcs.
JL: Writing heroes? Brandilyn Collins without a doubt. She is so kind and encouraging. I really admire her talent and always look forward to her next book.
DM: The writer that influenced me most was Anne George who wrote southern cozy mysteries.
JR: In genre, my hero definitely is Agatha Christie, with honorable mention going to Ellery Queen in print and to the Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe, and Murder She Wrote TV series. Outside of genre, my heroes include Peretti (Christian speculative), Allistair MacLean (adventure), John R. Cooper (young adult baseball stories from several decades ago), Randy Singer (Christian legal suspense), and Kathy Tyers (Christian speculative).
Q. Which of your S&S blogs have been the most memorable, either because of how much fun it was writing it or because of how much fun it wasn't writing it?
HG: My review of the last book in the Discarded Heroes series was memorable because I was sad the series ended but also because Ronie Kendig commented on the post. That was very cool. I have to admit; I was pretty excited.
JL: I've met some great people through S&S, but I enjoyed posting about Tina Russo's story, The Rosetti Curse.
DM: I don't know if this is appropriate, but I enjoyed the ones where I interviewed myself:) Our readers are going to know me for sure, but I love doing giveaways.
JR: I'll share a couple that hit the most memorable. The first was when I interviewed Randy Singer last February. That interview was as enjoyable as reading one of his books. The second wasn't as fun -- it was hearing the times of testing Wanda Dyson has been through recently.
Q. What is your greatest concern in your life/society/etc., and what would it look like if you wrote a novel on that theme? Would you be crossing into another genre to write it?
HG: I can only choose one? I don't know that I'd say it's my greatest concern, but a concern of mine is human trafficking. I started a suspense novel set in Mexico that deals with the topic. Also, at some point, I'd like to incorporate the topic of infertility into my writing because I've experienced it firsthand and I'd like to encourage others.
JL: My greatest concern is spreading the message of Jesus Christ. If I wrote a novel with this theme, I'd want to do something different than traditional missionary. I think I'd like to have a character travel to Europe for another purpose and go from there.
DM: I miss the simple way of life we had when I was growing up. I'd love to write a story in that setting and yes, I'd probably go outside my genre.
JR: I have a two-fold concern that is not completely unrelated. The first is for Christians to be more rooted in Scripture, trusting God's Word more than man's interpretations of God's Word. The second -- partially sparked by Becky's and my involvement with Voice of the Martyrs -- is that Christians in the United States are well on the road to persecution. Actually, my first mystery book focuses on the first issue by looking at the field of apologetics (defending the faith), and the follow up would be looking at persecution.
Q. What does 2014 look like for you, writing (including blogging) and otherwise?
HG: Family life is keeping me busy, which is good. I write a little here and there as I can. I'm hoping to finish my contemporary short fiction story and another suspense novel this year.
JL: I hope to write the third story in my Kentucky Suspense trilogy. I plan to enter more contests this year, and I'd love to have an agent.
DM: Wow - this is a great question. I've been contemplating this myself. I've already wrote a fourth book in the Trixie Montgomery series, so this will be coming out in the fall of 2014. I'm working on a brand new series with new characters. It will also be a cozy mystery series. It is hard to go from one series to another, so I've been struggling with this.
JR: That is a good question. Currently, the fiction writing fire is very low if not extinguished for the moment, so the above mentioned persecution mystery may be a fatality. I still will be blogging here. I do have a thought for a non-fiction book. I'm still involved some with Toastmasters, want to start a men's prayer group, and Becky and I are talking about a mission trip. I did think of running for office, but I don't feel that's what I should be doing.
Q. I'd like to thank the three ladies for their time. The other guy? I'm not so sure about him.
HG: This was fun!
JL: Jeff, I can't wait to learn more about you all. This is a great idea!
DM: Oh we love our Jeff:) Thank you for being a part of Sleuths and Suspects.
JR: I'm grateful to be a part of this blog. It's a nice thing to be doing when I'm not working or sleeping.