Connie Mann loves taking readers on heart-pounding, suspense-filled adventures featuring strong, determined women who fight for what they believe—and for those they love. She is the author of The Crown Conspiracy, the Florida Wildlife Warriors Series, the Safe Harbor series, and several stand-alone titles. She is also a USCG-licensed boat captain and gets to introduce Florida visitors to dolphins and manatees, which is as much fun as it sounds like. Visit her online at and sign up for her newsletter for all the latest news.

In this Interview, Connie talks about her latest book, The Crown Conspiracy.

FF: How did you come up with the idea for The Crown Conspiracy?
I love adventure stories, especially those involving treasure hunts and secret societies. Add in a castle or two, and I’m hooked. But a few years ago, I realized that too often, women were mainly supporting cast. They weren’t the ones saving the day and changing the world. So I started dreaming and imagining. What if there was a team of strong, flawed, compassionate, determined women who make a difference in this world, especially by helping other women? What if they were part of a centuries-old, women-only secret society whose symbol and name meant “hope”? All those what-ifs became The Crown Conspiracy and the Speranza Team.

FF: What attracted you to writing books in this genre?
So many of my favorite story elements are found in action-adventure: quests, treasure hunts, secret societies, legends and ancient artifacts, and often exotic settings. I love that they are fast-paced and exciting, filled with action and suspense. There is often a love interest, but the focus is more on the quest than the romance. In a genre often dominated by male characters (and authors), I decided to write an action-adventure series featuring a team of strong women in the lead roles. They’re the ones finding the treasure, defeating the villains, and saving the day.

FF: Describe the audience you envisioned while writing this book. Who do you think will enjoy this book?
What do you hope readers will take away from the story? While the Speranza Team is fictional, I believe it exists in spirit. Women have always banded together around common causes and helped each other make a difference in this world. These informal teams have always been about hope and shining light in the darkness. I want this book to encourage women to keep working together, and even more, to have the courage to step out and use their specific gifts and talents to change the world for the better.

FF: Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
Sophie Williams, the heroine of this story, is an artist, but she also copies/forges artwork, which fascinated me. I spent lots of time researching how that works. She is a talented artist in her own right—though she doesn’t believe in her own talents. Instead, she is all about righting wrongs, just like her parents. She copies stolen paintings and then quietly switches them out, returning the originals to the rightful owners. How cool is that?

FF: What messages, themes, or symbols are included in The Crown Conspiracy? Why are they important?
During my research, I came across the phrase, “I believe in God even when He is silent” and it grabbed me by the heart. In my own life, I’ve had to wrestle down those silences. Believing He is always there is the foundation of my hope, my anchor. I tried to find the author and discovered the phrase is part of a longer poem, with different variations and attributions. I’ve fictionalized one of the origin theories for the purposes of this story. I’m also fascinated by secret societies, so creating one that was centuries old and women-only, with an emblem of an anchor and a feather, and a name that means “hope”? Yes, please.

FF: What was your favorite scene to write in The Crown Conspiracy? What was the most challenging scene to write?
One of my favorite scenes is when Sophie—disguised as an older, rich society matron—gets pulled into a dance by Mac, the handsome, too-observant art investigator who is searching for Munich’s art thief. Fun, flirty banter is one of my favorite things to write. The climax scene is always the most difficult, with so many plotlines and characters and action sequences that all have to come together exactly right to leave the reader satisfied.

FF: What was your research process like for this book?
I love to include the cool, unique features of a setting in my stories. I visited Burg Eltz in Germany years ago and had fun including some of the history behind the symbols in the castle. I have a German heritage and speak German, so it was fun to include some of that in the story, too. I’ve also been a USCG-licensed boat captain for 17+ years, so boating and water themes regularly appear in my books, like the anchor in the Speranza emblem and the boat/water scenes in Venice.

FF: What is the most challenging part of the writing process? What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
For me, focus is the absolute hardest part. Our brains want to do anything but write, because writing is hard. I’ve developed various tricks and tools over the years—like timers, word counts, certain music, stashing my phone—that help me focus and get words on the page. My best advice is to figure out what tricks work for you and use them every time!

FF: Which books and/or authors shaped you most as a writer?
As a child, I wanted to be Harriet the Spy. She was smart and courageous and had adventures and solved puzzles, all of which appealed to me, just as the Nancy Drew books did. As a teen, I re-read Gone With the Wind at least once a year. All of these stories featured strong women and were written by authors who pulled me into the worlds they created in ways that captivated me and have never let go.

FF: Do you have any new projects you are currently working on?
I am almost finished with the next Speranza Team novel, in which the team must find a priceless, centuries-old treasure—that is said to discern motives—in order to thwart ruthless treasure hunters, stop a dangerous villain, and save the daughter of one of the Speranza Team members.

The Crown Conspiracy
Connie Mann
Tyndale House
Genres: Action/Adventure, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎1496487397
ISBN-13: ‎978-1496487391

Book Summary:
She’s a master at spotting a forgery…and knowing how to create one. But can she solve a decades-old mystery?

The media spotlight is the last thing art thief and forger Sophie Williams needs. But when one of three long-missing royal portraits turns up in Germany at her best friend’s art gallery, the spotlight is exactly what she gets. Since the tragic deaths of Princess Johanna of Neuhansberg and her two children forty years ago, the whereabouts of these portraits have been unknown . . . and the timing of their reappearance—just days before a new prince’s coronation—reignites questions surrounding the infamous accident.

Then Sophie’s best friend vanishes, and a rumor about hidden treasure connected to the paintings surfaces, seemingly confirmed by a cryptic message on the back of the first canvas. Convinced that finding the other two portraits will lead to her friend, Sophie begins a twisty investigation that pits her against other ruthless treasure hunters, a handsome investigator who seems to dog her trail at every turn, and a mysterious group that offers help, wearing an emblem identical to one on the painting.

From Germany’s grand castles and soaring cathedrals through the Alps to the canals of Venice, Sophie must choose her allies carefully if she hopes to find the portraits, rescue her best friend—and perhaps save a throne—before time runs out.


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About The Author

Connie has written dozens of articles, ghostwritten six books and was the editor of a parenting magazine. She lives in Central Florida, and is a USCG-licensed boat captain. When not writing, she's usually out on the water with local schoolchildren or with family and friends.