DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. Her latest thriller is High Treason (Tyndale House), the latest in her FBI Task Force series. When a Saudi prince visits Houston, an attempt on his life puts all agencies on high alert. FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson and CIA operative Monica Alden must put aside interagency squabbles when they learn the prince has additional motives for his visit. In this interview, DiAnn shares the inspiration behind the novel, what kind of research she did for the FBI Task Force series, and the most challenging part of writing the book…
Tell us about the plot of High Treason and the inspiration behind the story…
The idea originated with an FBI friend who told me about a case in New York City where the FBI uncovered an assassination attempt on a Saudi Arabian ambassador. I thought about the story possibility for a long time –setting it in Houston, making the plot unique, showing cultural differences until I had to write it. An FBI agent and a CIA operative are assigned to the case, and the CIA operative is a woman–caught up in an environment in which women are not viewed the same as men.
Share a little about your research process. What kind of research did you do for the FBI Task Force series?
For all my stories, Houston’s FBI has been amazing to answer questions, provide insight, and offer ways to dig deeper into my characters and plot. The research is always enjoyable because I’m able to learn something new.
Diving into Saudi Arabian culture challenged me more than I thought possible. I was fortunate to have several interviews with a female missionary who’d worked with Middle Eastern women. However, while she enriched my knowledge and warmed my heart to the women, she didn’t have firsthand experience with Saudi Arabian women. Through online recommendations, extensive reading, interviews, and rechecking facts, I formed my Saudi Arabian story world. The culture proved interesting and fascinating.
I studied food, dress, gender distinctions, business, personalities, and even politics, High Treason took a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming! On a personal note, I find it much easier to communicate with Muslim women and look forward to future friendships.
Which part is more interesting for you to think about and write—who your characters are, or the things they do? Why?
Both. Each character is a distinct individual who has experienced life according to his or her personality, family, education, career, setting, friendships, interests, age, viewpoint, and the list goes on. For me, it’s impossible to view character and plot separate. What each character does is reflected by who he or she is.
Why do you enjoy writing romantic suspense?
We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world, one that’s also filled with the love of God. The mix of suspense and the gift of love appeals to my sense of adventure and romance. The world needs the combination to know others are trained to prevent and protect people and those brave persons crave love and relationships too.
What was the most challenging part of writing this book?
Showing respect among my characters. My goal is for any reader, regardless of religion or beliefs, to be entertained and immersed into High Treason without being offended. As a Christian, I find many people so afraid of other faiths that they fail to love the person. We all have differences, and we’ll never all agree, but we can show love and respect.
Visit DiAnn Mills’ author page here:
FBI Task Force #3