AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Click an author’s name to read their interview about the boxed set

Bonner, Lynnette, author of ICE

Ehrlich, Luana, author of BEN IN LOVE

Gentry, Lynne, co-author of LETHAL OUTBREAK

Goddard, Elizabeth, author of COLLISION COURSE

Harris, Lisa, co-author of LETHAL OUTBREAK

Patchen, Robin, author of GLIMMER IN THE DARKNESS

Phillips, Lisa, author of EXPIRED PLOT

Thompson, Jan, author of NEVER A TRAITOR

Wood, D.L., author of LIAR LIKE HER


Tell us about your protagonist in your novel, Liar Like Her.

Have you ever known someone haunted by their past? That’s Quinn Bello. As a pre-teen, she fell into the habit of telling what she thought were harmless lies, until one day they led to a tragedy in her small beach town. Determined to shake her bad reputation and redeem herself, the feisty redhead with a heart for others headed to the big city and became a successful lawyer fighting for the downtrodden. But ultimately the stress of the job, her guilt-ridden past and current relationship issues led to self-medication, burnout, and…let’s just say another devastating twist that sent her back to Seaglass Cove to pick up the pieces of what was left of her life. To her surprise, Quinn finds she’s actually making it work…until a dead body turns up in her house, then mysteriously disappears before anyone else sees it.

Of course, given Quinn’s history, no one believes her. No one, that is, except the new guy in town who owns her favorite coffee shop

What’s the setting in Liar Like Her and why did you choose it?

The story takes place primarily in Seaglass Cove, a fictional beach town in the Big Bend area of Northern Florida where the coast curves to form the peninsula. I love the beaches along the panhandle and am always ready to drive down for a few peaceful days there—sand, salt water, seafood and the golden sun slipping into the watery horizon at the end of the day. I thought my readers might like to spend some time there too.

What motivates you to write?

For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with stories – the kind that pull you in and don’t let go. Especially those that leave you with something uplifting or something greater to ponder. I suppose I want to be a part of bringing those stories into the world.

What is your life verse and why?

One of my life verses is Hebrews 9:14: How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

I love this verse because it affirms that there is nothing that we have done or could do that would make us unusable by God because of the all-surpassing sacrifice of Jesus and his atonement. Not only does it put us in right standing with God, but it can even cleanse our own consciences, where we might be tempted to live under the crippling burden of guilt. It’s a verse Quinn Bello definitely needs to know.

Is Liar Like Her part of a series?

It’s part of a collection of standalone novels called the Secrets and Lies Suspense Novels. The first was Secrets She Knew, released in March 2020. These novels explore the reasons behind the secrets we keep and lies we tell and the consequences and redemption that can flow from them. They can be read in any order, but fair warning: I’ve been told they might keep you up pretty late to find out “whodunit.”

What’s your favorite part of writing?

Three things, really. First, the imagining in the beginning when it’s just me and a huge white board and no idea is too silly to consider. (And I’ve considered some pretty silly ones.) Second, the day when the printed book goes on the shelf. And last, but certainly not least, when a reader takes the time to leave a review saying how much they enjoyed one of my books. That is pure sunshine.

Visit D.L. Wood’s website here.

Read D.L. Wood’s book, Liar Like Her in the Dangerous Deceptions boxed set for only 99c from your favorite retailer here.

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Tell us about your book Ice in the Dangerous Deceptions boxed set.

Ice is about a woman who is just getting back on her feet after a very hard year. On her way home from work one night, she witnesses a hit-and-run that puts her life in danger. She has to go into protective custody—and of course the sheriff watching over her is too hunky for his own good. Also, he’s determined not to fall for her because of some dark stuff from his own past. Too bad for him that my stories always have happy endings!

When is your optimal time to read – do you prefer to read in one long block, or do you also read for five minutes here or there when you can?

I have to be careful when I start a book because I’m bad about making myself put it down once I’ve started. So, I’m a “long block” reader. I’d rather go without sleep than go without story. 🙂

Are you faithful to a genre, an author, or simply quality writing?

I like to read all kinds of genres, though I stick mostly with Christian fiction. I don’t like coming away from a story feeling dark, dirty, or depressed. Christian fiction generally, no matter the genre, has at least an uplifting message, if not a happily ever after ending.

Which factors most influence your selection of a book?

I love romance, I love history, and I love suspense. If you put all three into a story you’ll probably hook me but good. I have to confess that a cover is a huge make or break part of a book for me. If I don’t like the cover I rarely will read the book. Quite snobbish I know, but I figure if an author or publisher can’t take the time to put together a great cover, then the writing is also probably sub-par.

Your fiction pet peeve?

There is a new tendency to write very marred/flawed characters. Give me a hero and heroine that I can look up to! They don’t have to be perfect, obviously, but I don’t want to dislike them so much that I can’t bring myself to cheer for them. This is my biggest pet peeve, but I run into this mostly in secular shows and the rare secular fiction book I might try to pick up.

How do you mark your spot – folded page corner, bookmark, dollar bill, whatever is at hand?

I read eBooks so my iPad marks it for me. I rarely read paperbacks anymore.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Hmm… I think different verses speak to me at different times in my life when I need them. A verse that has been speaking to me recently is from 2 Chronicles 7:13-15. “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, Then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”

Visit Lynnette Bonner’s website here.

Read Lynnette’s book, Ice, in the Dangerous Deceptions boxed set for only 99c from your favorite retailer here.

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Tell us about your novel, Collision Course.

The books starts off in Reg Jacobson’s POV and we learn that he’s an FBI agent, but he’s in a motorcycle crash that leaves him with a traumatic brain injury so he’s on medical leave. He “collides” with Nicole Weatherly who left the FBI to become a private investigator. She’s been on a journey to discover who murdered her father when she was a kid. Nicole and Reg have a romantic past and break-up, and now their lives are thrown together in a fast-paced story of intrigue.

What’s the “dangerous deception” in Collision Course?

Now telling you that would be giving away the plot. Let’s just say many deceptions come into play. Deception and betrayal.

Is this book a series? If so, tell us about the series.

I intend for this book to be the first in a series. I have recently acquired the rights back to three books from Love Inspired Suspense, but I intend to revamp the stories in a big way, and I’m not entirely sure what the theme of the series will be until I’m done. I’m learning toward some sort of security specialists. But I do know that the stories are packed with action and adventure and take place in exotic locations from a tropical island to Alaska.

What’s the setting in Collision Course and why did you choose it?

Setting inspires me for all my stories, and I’ve set CC in the Pacific Northwest—western Washington/Seattle area. The story’s setting starts out at a big old mansion on a rocky cliff on the coast. That seems to be a recurring setting for my books, but especially the region of the country. Ever since I lived in Oregon for a few years I fell in love with the region and have set most of my books there. I’m living in Washington now—back to the region after living elsewhere for a decade.

How would you describe your writing process?

Chaotic. It changes for every single book. In general though I write a seriously rough first draft, and then edit to word count, continue to polish and edit repeatedly. I wish I could write a perfect book the first time, or at least a “clean” manuscript the first round, but I feel the pressure of the approaching deadline and need something to work with, hence the fast-written rough draft.

What’s one thing your readers might not know about you?

Was just thinking about this last night. This is often a question in interviews and I’ve answered it so many times—is there anything left for readers to know about me? Hahaha! Here’s something though—I did not know the alphabet or how to read when I started the first grade. My mother didn’t put me in kindergarten, so I started behind the curve. Nor did I even know how to count. At some point the teacher asked us to all count to twenty. I was at the back of the class. So as each student counted from 1-20 for the class to hear, I paid attention and by the time it was my turn, I knew how to count. Needless to say, I quickly caught up with my classmates. FYI, that was decades ago and early learning wasn’t pushed so much.

How does being a Christian influence your writing? I just wrote an article about this topic, but I believe God should be reflected in our writing. Not that we have to try to make that happen because as Christians, since He is lives in us, that should just be a natural outcome. So I believe faith messages, the sense of God in our stories, should happen organically as we write. That to say, my faith highly influences my stories.

Visit Elizabeth’s Goddards website here.

Read Elizabeth’s book, Collision Course, in the Dangerous Deceptions boxed set for only 99c from your favorite retailer here.

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Tell us about your protagonist in Glimmer in the Darkness.

Cassidy Leblanc’s life has been no picnic. When she was nine years old, her abusive mother accidentally killed her little sister. Cassidy got home from her friend’s house just in time to see her mother drunkenly hovering over little Becca’s lifeless body. Cassidy was the one who called 911 and, because she told the police the truth about her mother’s abusiveness, she was the reason her mother got sent to prison.

Landing herself in foster care.

But Cassidy survived, even thrived. Until the night when she was eighteen when she and the little girl she was babysitting were kidnapped. She escaped, but the child died, and the whole town assumed Cassidy killed her.

Like mother, like daughter.

So she ran away. But Cassidy refused to live her life as a victim or fall into an alcoholic stupor like her mother. No, she finished high school, went to college, and became a counselor to toss-away kids like herself. She credits God with what she accomplished. Her faith made her someone she could never have become without Him—determined, confident, and strong.

When another little girl goes missing, Cassidy is the only one who can find her. It’ll take all her strength to return to New Hampshire and face the town that accused her, the man she’d loved, who believes she murdered his sister, and the killer who’s haunted her dreams for a decade.

How does being a Christian influence your writing?

In countless ways, but I’ll just share two. First, apart from my faith in Jesus, I’d never have had the courage to try writing. Before Christ, I was insecure and fearful and wouldn’t have risked rejection. As my faith has grown, though, so has my belief that I truly can do all things through Him. He called me and equipped me to write, and He’s the only One I need to impress.

Second, being a Christian influences not only that I write, but what I write as well. I feel called to share what I’ve learned about the Lord in my stories. My primary goal is to glorify God with every word I put to the page. A second goal is to influence and encourage believers in their own faith walks. If I can do those two things—and write a good story at the same time—then I feel I’ve succeeded.

What is your favorite part of writing?

The best part of writing is having written. I love to read the words I’ve already put on the page. Sometimes, the writing process is torture. But when it’s done, when I get to see the story the Lord gave me on paper—wow, it’s a wonderful feeling.

What’s one thing readers may not know about you?

I drop everything. I’m the dropsiest person you’ll ever know. The back of my phone is cracked so much, it looks like a spider got beneath the clear case and built a web. It’s so cracked I’m afraid to take the case off for fear it’ll crumble to dust.

By the time we replaced our dishes this summer, we were down to a single bowl—out of twelve. I’d broken the other eleven. (The new dishes came from Ikea. Because I know me so well, I chose a 6-piece place setting that was available for $20. It’s already down a bowl.)

So, like a little kid, I drink out of a sippy cup. I got tired of cleaning iced tea off the floor and sweeping glasses into the trash.

Okay, to be honest, it’s not exactly a sippy cup—though that’s what my husband calls it—but one of those cups with a lid and a straw sticking out of it. I used to buy the hard plastic ones, but they’re breakable. (Yes, I can break plastic.) I’ve graduated to a stainless steel cup with a matching straw. It’s lasted for months—a personal record.

So now you know my dirty, er, messy little secret. If you hear a crash, that was probably me breaking another dish. Thank goodness for Ikea.

Visit Robin’s website here at RobinPatchen.com

Read Robin’s book, Glimmer in the Darkness, in the Dangerous Deceptions boxed set for only 99c from your favorite retailer here.

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Tell us about the protagonists in your novel, EXPIRED PLOT

The main character in this book is Hollis, who readers will have seen waitressing in the diner in Last Chance. Her hero is Will, who readers have seen as “Hammer” –an undercover FBI agent—who also goes by Phil Tilley, mild mannered traveling salesman.

It’s complicated. Haha. Seriously, “it’s complicated” should be the working title of all my books before I give them a “real” title.

I’m so excited for this book! These are characters I’ve wanted to hang out with from the time they first walked on the page in Book 1. I knew right away there was more to the biker guy with the spider tattoo…and when Hollis first showed up in the diner, I knew she was hiding something big.

What’s the “dangerous deception” in EXPIRED PLOT?

In Expired Plot, EVERYONE has a secret. That made it so fun to write! Hollis and “Phil” have even been dating for a couple of weeks. And yet, they haven’t really been honest with each other. (Understatement.) In this book, their REAL lives collide and the truth comes out—but not before they’re forced to rely on each other even when they really don’t want to.

Is this book a series? If so, tell us about the series.

EXPIRED PLOT is book 6 in the Last Chance County series, which is going to continue next year!! I have no “end” planned for this series yet. I’m enjoying getting to know the residents of this unique town…and intend to write plenty more books.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Aside from putting a book out in the world and hearing back what readers think, I’d have to say I like the idea stage the best. A blank paper, some gel pens, and a whole lot of ideas (some that are plain crazy) is a great time of discovery. It’s a fun stage where anything goes, and I get to run free in my imagination.

What’s one thing your readers might not know about you?

I live in the US, and have primarily American settings and characters, but I’m actually British. (With the accent and everything.) And occasionally the spelling and punctuation slips through as well, lol.

I also LOVE my dog.

Maybe these aren’t secrets.

Visit Lisa’ website here: AuthorLisaPhillips.com

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Tell us about the Agents of Mercy series this book is in.   

Over a decade ago, Lynne Gentry and I decided to write a medical thriller together. Ghost Heart ended up being the first book in this series. It’s a story about transplant tourism and a mother’s love for a child that makes her willing to do anything to save her. We finally published that novel in 2017, with plans for a second in the series, and promises that it wouldn’t take another decade to write it. Interestingly enough, we’d just finished the second book, Port of Origin, a story about a virus unleashed on a medical ship, when the pandemic our world is facing today hit the headlines. Lethal Outbreak, our story in this collection is actually a prequel to Port of Origin, but can be read in any order. It delves deeper into how Aiden Ballinger and Rachel Scott—one of the main characters from Port of Origin—meet. And then sets the scene for the next book in the series, Death Triangle.

How does your writing process work with a co-author.

I never thought I would be able to work with another author as close as Lynne and I do. After writing for twenty plus years, I’m pretty set in my ways. J But with Lynne and I, it just works. I’m the plotter, and she brings depth to the characters. Her daughter is also a doctor, so we have a great resource there to tap into. As for the actual process, we each write different characters, though by the time we’re done editing the story, we’ve woven things together so tightly, you can’t tell who wrote what. For a writer who normally spends time plotting and working alone, I’ve loved the opportunity of working together!

What is the setting of Lethal Outbreak and why did you choose it?

This story is very international. It starts in the mountains of Tibet, then goes to Washington DC, an island in the Bermuda Triangle, then ends up in Istanbul. Why? Simply because we love international settings, especially when one of us have been there. My husband and I spent some time in Istanbul earlier this year, and I knew I had to use the setting in a book. It ended up being the perfect backdrop to the end of this story.

Tell us about your protagonist in your novel, Lethal Outbreak.

Rachal Scott is one of the secondary characters in Port of Origin, and a character we knew would be the main character in Death Triangle, the book that comes next in the series. But she had such a rich backstory, that we wanted to write a prequel to Port of Origin, and so the timing for her story in this box set was perfect. Rachel grew up in the Amazon, the daughter of a doctor and a missionary. She’s smart, and yet also serious and cautious. Getting thrown into a situation where her life is on the line doesn’t fit into her world. She’s a researcher who works with infectious diseases. But what happens in Lethal Outbreak will change her life forever.

What does your writing day look like?

Even though I work from home, I’m one of those who has to get up and get dressed and ready for the day before I write.  And while I work full time writing, my job has always worked around kids, family, and ministry, so no day is ever the same. The great thing about working from home, though, is the flexibility that gives me which is definitely a benefit. And when I’m not writing, I’m looking for ideas for my next book!

Visit Lisa’s website here: Lisa Harris Writes.

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Tell us about the Protector Sweethearts series this book is in.

A spin-off of my Savannah Sweethearts Christian beach romance series, my Protector Sweethearts series of nine Christian romantic suspense stories begins with private investigator Helen Hu in Once a Thief (book 1) and includes her friends and associates—other private investigators, former law enforcement officers, former FBI agents, and also friends who reside in the coastal city of Savannah, Georgia, where Helen Hu’s firm is headquartered.

Protector Sweethearts is all about hunting for lost treasures (books 1–3), lost people (books 4–6), and lost values (books 7–9). My novel in the Dangerous Deceptions boxed set is Never a Traitor (book 7), the first of three novels focusing on lost values. In Never a Traitor, truths and lies fight a battle in today’s society. Which one wins out depends on who you ask.

Who are the main characters in Never a Traitor?

Private investigator Earl Young has been working for Helen Hu for some years now. When Helen sends someone else—Hugo, who has his own story in another book—to the firm’s European office, Earl is left behind to run the Savannah headquarters of Hu Knows, Inc. Since he is surrounded by staff at the office, he doesn’t usually work alone, but his old colleagues are scattered across two continents, with Hugo in Brussels, Helen in Athens, and Mama Hu in a Greek prison. On top of all that, Helen is now married, and so is Hugo. Poor Earl is the leftover bachelor. While he ponders about his lack of personal life, Earl finds himself accompanying a client to the most boring business convention in the world. That is, until a whistleblower is murdered. Now things start to get interesting and dangerous for him and the woman he is hired to protect.

Administrative assistant Sienna Halstead has one last task to do for the FBI Criminal Investigative Division before she can quit her corporate job and disappear. Scared to death that the evidence against the international conglomerate she works for is not sufficient, Sienna makes mistakes. She has never been this careless before, and a quick call to her friend Helen Hu encourages her to finish the assignment for the government. When Helen sends her best private investigator to help her nerves, Sienna decides to prove that she is not such a helpless woman after all. That is, until people start dropping dead around her…

How does being a Christian influence your writing?

As a Christian author, I filter spiritual truths through the grid of the Bible. That is to say, I try to be extra careful about how I portray characters, both Christians and non-Christians, in my fiction books. I pay attention to Bible truths, making sure that what I present is verifiable in the Bible, especially when it comes to virtues, morals, and ethics. At the same time, I contrast those values with secular beliefs.

My favorite life verse is John 3:16, which speaks of the immense and immeasurable love of God. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

What is your favorite part of writing?

Storytelling. It reminds me of the bards of old, wandering minstrels in those medieval days, traveling from village to village to tell tales of yore. I remember taking my son on school field trips at living history sites, listening to costumed actors retell old folk tales. Not quite Shakespeare, but novelists of today hearken to those ancient times. As an author of Christian fiction, I make up stories out of thin air to entertain and encourage my listeners. If they have a hard day, a hard life, perhaps reading my books will give them a refreshing rest and point them to the permanent peace of Christ. 

What’s one thing readers might not know about you?

Once upon a time, I took a class to learn conversational Russian. Way back in the 1990s, my husband and I thought it would be a fun, random diversion from our workdays. I remember one particular night when a huge thunderstorm swept across the city and we saw lightning strike the area very close to our car while we were driving home from class. Other than that, I remember very little of what I learned in the Russian course. I do remember that it was just as difficult to learn as Old Testament Hebrew, a class I took back in college. Both languages are probably as hard as biblical Greek, which my son is taking at the university right now. It looks impossible to learn, to be honest. Even though I already know some Greek words from studying the Bible, I am unable to speak or write in this language. It is indeed Greek to me.

Visit Jan’s Website here: JanThompson.com.

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Tell us how a small-town romantic comedy/historical fiction writer got mixed up in a romantic suspense box set.
In 2002, I directed a church musical and cast romantic suspense author LISA HARRIS as one of my singing angels. We discovered that we had the love of telling stories in common and quickly became good friends. I was devastated when she and her husband announced they were moving move to Africa to do mission work. Thankfully, we had the internet to keep us connected. In 2008, I had an idea for a thriller set in Africa. Writing thrillers was way above my pay grade, but I knew someone who was good at it PLUS Lisa now lived in Africa. Her experiences would add such a layer of authenticity. In 2018 we released our co-written GHOST HEART and the Agents of Mercy Medical Thriller series was born.

What interests you most about writing medical thrillers?
My daughter is a doctor, and my husband works for a major hospital in Dallas. Their lives fascinate me. I wouldn’t be good on the front lines of life and death on a daily basis, but I can live vicariously through them. I think caring for others is the ultimate sacrifice.

What is your writing process?
Ideas for stories come to me from some of the strangest places: breaking news, eavesdropping on conversations in coffee shops and my adult children, or while devouring historical books. For example, the idea for my Carthage Chronicles series about a 21st doctor dropped into a 3rd century plague came to me by listening to my kids argue about the origin of organized healthcare. That topic may sound boring to you, but it jump-started my crazy imagination.

I’m more of a pantser (meaning I write by the seat of my pants) than an outliner. Since I never know what is going to happen next in my stories, I hope that the reader feels the same unexpected ride.

How does your writing process work with a co-author?
There are pros and cons. The pros: Lisa is an accomplished plotter. I admire her ability to sit down and really think through an entire story. I’ve learned so much by working with her and definitely see the advantage of pre-plotting a story, especially something as complicated as a medical thriller. The cons: once the story is plotted out, I know what happens and how it ends. I really have to discipline myself to write when I’m not going to be surprised.

What is your favorite part of writing?
I love, love, love the research. Learning something new propels me to dig deeper and deeper. I believe research helps us step out of our comfort zones and gives us a way to better understand the world and each other.

What’s one thing readers might not know about you?
I grew up on a Kansas dairy farm. We lived so far out in the country that I had to be my own best friend and playmate. Who knew all those hours of fresh air and nothing to do would sharpen my imagination?

Visit Lynne’s website here: LynneGentry.com.

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Tell us about your protagonist in your novel, Ben in Love.
Titus Ray is a CIA intelligence officer who’s been with the Agency for almost twenty years. He’s a loner,  a battle-hardened veteran of the covert wars, and he grew up in a home with no religious affiliation. His father, who was an alcoholic, was emotionally absent from family, and the only time Titus ever heard God’s name used was in connection with a curse word.

When Titus is forced to live with a group of Iranian Christians for three months, he’s amazed at their ability to be joyful in the midst of persecution. As he observes their faith, their love of the Bible, and their relationship to Christ, he desires to have such a relationship for himself. After he makes his commitment of faith, that relationship becomes a thread running throughout all the books in the series.

What’s the “dangerous deception” in Ben in Love?
Ben Mitchell, Titus’s partner, is deceiving Titus as well as his father, Senator Elijah Mitchell, by pretending to be in love with the daughter of a Turkish dissident. It’s dangerous, because in the end, his deception puts Titus, as well as the woman he really loves, in danger of being killed.

Is this book a series? If so, tell us about the series.
Ben in Love is Book I in a new series called The Ben Mitchell/Titus Ray Thriller Series. My first series, The Titus Ray Thriller Series, has seven books, plus a prequel, and in all but two of them, Ben Mitchell is Titus Ray’s partner. Titus is the older partner and he’s mentoring Ben throughout the series. Ben has a habit of falling in and out of love, and that’s a running theme in the series.

What’s the setting in Ben in Love and why did you choose it?
The setting is Washington, D.C., and Langley, Virginia, where CIA headquarters is located. I chose the setting because I wanted the action in this book to take place inside the United States, instead of overseas, as usually happens in the Titus Ray Thriller series. Much of the plot of Ben in Love occurs around CIA headquarters.

How would you describe your writing process?
The writing process for me is like watching a movie and describing it to someone by writing down everything that’s occurring at that moment. I don’t make much of an outline—just a couple of pages of thoughts—and where I want my main character to be at the end of the book in order for the next book to continue the series. In this respect, I’m considered a “pantser” by other authors, because I’m writing by the seat of my pants. The opposite to a “pantser” is a “plotter,” someone who makes an extensive outline and plots everything down before starting chapter one.

What’s one thing your readers might not know about you?
I’m an avid Dallas Cowboy football fan.

Visit Luana’s website here: LuanaEhrlich.com

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