In all your research on the FBI & its agents, have you ever gone on an assignment with any of them?
No - It’s against protocol; however, I’d love it! I did ride the line with the Border Patrol in McAllen, TX, which was a fabulous experience.
What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?
That would be my trip to Juba, Southern Sudan. I went to research a novel accompanied by a woman from Kenya who was familiar with the area. Let’s just say, I had a couple of memorable experiences!
How do you brainstorm? In front of the computer screen? Outside staring into space? With a bowl of ice cream on the couch?
Cooking and gardening. Both free up my mind so I can wander into the character’s world and see how he/she reacts and responds to what is happening. Of course I’ve burned a few dinners and missed a few weeds in the process.
What's your favorite place that you've visited while doing research for your books?
Tough question! I have a few . . .
1. Juba, Sudan. I learned so much about the people, the culture, and myself. A little dangerous at times, but God took good care of me.
2. McAllen, TX when I rode the line with the Border Patrol. I saw the heart of the agents, their compassion for the illegals, the danger, and their commitment. The research helped me write a novel that won a Christy in 2011.
3. Houston’s FBI office. Whoa! That was exciting.
What's the closest thing to a story-type adventure that you've had in "real life"?
Raising boys as a single mom? :)
When I was in Juba, I hired a young man to drive me and my companion all over the city. I wanted to see the city and venture out as far as he deemed was safe. His rules were I had to keep my door locked and my window rolled up. While in the middle of the city, the car was surrounded by other vehicles—cars, trucks and motorcycles—as though we were a bicycle hub and the vehicles were spokes. The driver told me not to worry, that he’d get the car out of the mess safely. While we were penned in, a man attempted to open my door four times. Didn’t think about the real danger until later.
At the end of the Sudan visit, I took an African safari to the Masai Mara in Kenya - by myself. Loved the birds and animals, the Hemingway type of tents, the people - all of it. Oh, coffee and ginger cookies were delivered to my tent early in the morning. The experience was incredible! Lots of pics to prove it. I remember a bull elephant charging the jeep I was riding. Got a super pic of that.
If you had another life to live, and you could be anything you wanted to be, what you be? (thinking mostly career here, but you can answer however you want : )
FBI agent. :) Not a desk job either, but an investigator of Public Corruption or possibly Crimes against Children.
And for all your loyal and eager fans (and possibly even a few news ones today) where can they stalk you online?
Hey readers, it's Casey here again! Earlier this month, DiAnn won the CHRISTY AWARD for her novel Sworn to Protect. Leave a comment here today to enter to win a copy of that book! I'll announce the winner next Friday. Don't forget to cast your vote for our next Cold Call Author!