Colleen Coble is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her coastal Romantic Suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor Series.
In this interview, Colleen talks about her latest release—the second novel in her Annie Pederson Novel Series, titled Dark of Night.
FF: What inspired the story in your book?
I get a lot of requests for more Rock Harbor novels, but I wanted to do something slightly different that would still bring in the characters readers have grown to love so much. I stumbled across an article about law enforcement rangers—LEOs—and I wanted a strong female character to take that role. I had an idea from some years back about a woman dealing with the abduction of her younger sister when her sister was five. Annie was born from those elements.
FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
Annie and Jon had a relationship when they were younger and broke up with Jon went away to medical school. He’s now an orthopedic surgeon (I know quite a bit about orthopedics after two broken ankles and a knee replacement in the past three years!) and Annie works with Ranger Kade Matthews from the original Rock Harbor Series. She handles law enforcement on a national forest, and I found it to be a very interesting profession I thought readers would enjoy. She’s a widow with a small daughter and also manages a marina on Lake Superior that she inherited from her parents. The marina is struggling, and Annie has a lot to juggle.
FF: Which character surprised you the most?
I love exploring how people justify poor choices, and while delving into one of those choices, I brought in Siela Chen who is part of the FBI’s CARD unit which deals with abducted children. I was interested in learning more about her job.
FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
We can see how choices translate to life in general. And we get to experience things we’ve never dealt with. Story shares emotion which carries a big wallop when learning about life.
FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
Break of Day wraps up the Annie Pederson trilogy, and I’m excited for readers to see all the threads tied up, including several ones that have spanned all three books.
FF: How do you get into the right frame of mind to write for your genre/audience?
I always have my reader in mind. This series is an example of that! Readers asked for more Rock Harbor novels so I dug deep for all the layers they enjoyed so much in the original series. I hope I delivered!
FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
Choices matter, but forgiveness matters even more.
FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing Romantic Suspense novels?
It can be challenging to make sure the suspense is layered with the romance and neither one is shortchanged for my readers.
FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
One book that really helped me as a writer is one by James Scott Bell titled Write Your Novel From the Middle.
FF: How has your faith or world view impacted the way you tell stories?
The underpinning for my faith and world view is the role forgiveness plays in our lives. It starts with God’s forgiveness for us, but we’re told to exercise it on our relationships with others. I’ve seen families and friendships impacted badly when it’s not practices and have seen relationships transformed when we follow God in the area of forgiveness. It’s often not easy, but it’s always worth it in the end!
Dark of Night
Annie Pederson Novel Series #2
Genres: Suspense/Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 10, 2023
The law is about justice—not grace. But perhaps ranger Annie Pederson can find a way to have both.
As if the last few months haven’t been hard enough—complete with threats on her life and the return of her first love, Jon—Annie has to figure out whether or not to believe a woman who claims to be her sister, Sarah, who was abducted twenty-four years ago at age five. Annie’s eight-year-old daughter, Kylie, has plenty of questions about what’s going on in her mother’s life—but there are some stories Annie doesn’t want uncovered.
As Annie grapples with how to heal the gulf between her and her would-be sister and make room in her daughter’s life for Jon, she’s professionally distracted by the case of yet another missing hiker in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A woman named Michelle Fraser has now been abducted, and though the woman’s estranged husband is at the top of their suspect list, Annie and her colleagues will need to dig deeper to determine whether these recent mysteries are truly as unrelated as they seem.
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