Anne Greene's A Texas Christmas Mystery


My guest today is Anne Greene. Anne delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. She writes both historical and suspense novels. After falling in love with several countries and their people, Anne set a number of her books in exotic locations. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited twenty-five countries, including three communist countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her book, Masquerade Marriage, published by White Rose Publishing. Her newest book, A Texas Christmas Mystery, set in Galveston, in her home state, is also published by White Rose Publishing, and releases December 1st.

When she’s not deployed with her husband, Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Two of her four children live nearby. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. In 1990, Anne graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies from the University of Texas, Dallas. Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne and to view pictures from her extensive travel, visit her at www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.    

Anne K. Albert – So good of you to drop by! Now that you’re here let’s talk writing! Tell us a something about yourself that you would normally only share with close friends.

Anne Greene - My family thinks I’m pretty quirky. I’m accused of living in my own world-whatever that means! I do sometimes get so involved in whatever story I’m writing that I forget appointments or show up at a social event on the wrong date or at the wrong address. I think I’m rather like the Absent-minded Professor.

Lots of writers like to work in their pjs. I like to be completely dressed, including make-up. Who knows when I’ll want to run out and see a friend for lunch or run an errand? I’m pretty spontaneous. I can only write for a period of time before I need some social interaction. But then it’s back to the grindstone.

And I dread exercise! Going to the gym. So easy to pass that by. When my mind is occupied with a book, my body wants to sit in that chair and write. Time passes and before I realize it, the day is gone.

I love hanging with friends, new ones as well as old ones. I love sports—where I’m playing, not watching. I love sailing, vacationing, travel. Life is made up of favorite things. Jesus said He came to give us life and to give it more abundantly. And He does!

Anne K. Albert - Tell us about A Texas Christmas Mystery.

Anne Greene - A lady Coastguardsman searches for a killer. An oil rig troubleshooter accused of murder races to clear his name. The murderer strives to silence them both. As Amber Meredith seeks to arrest Derrick Darbonne, sparks fly. She needs to solve her first case. But the handsome Cajun suspect makes her heart race and her toes tingle. Derrick has worked all his life for his high-paying, adventurous job. When his past threatens his future, will he endanger the woman he loves?

Anne K. Albert – Would you share an excerpt with us?

Anne Greene – Absolutely!

Only one thing scared Derrick Darbonne. He had no fear of fire, hurricane, sabotage, high seas, drunken roughnecks, reckless roustabouts, brawls, or hard work. But losing the job he’d slaved all his life to obtain terrified him.

He’d worked himself up from oaks draped with Spanish moss, murky alligator-filled water, and a tiny cabin on the banks of the bayou with no running water or electricity. He’d finally gotten to where he wanted to be. And now someone was trying to pin a murder on him. Some Christmas present.

Derrick crushed the schematics he’d been scanning and jammed them into his pocket. He braced his legs wide on the steel floor of the oil rig and raised the powerful navigational binoculars. A Coast Guard cutter slashed a white wedge through the sparkling Gulf waters straight toward his oil platform.

His jaw tightened, his spine stiffened, and he swallowed. 

Standing beside him, Joe Bridges, the MIC, Man in Charge, swore.

If Derrick had been a swearing man, he would have joined Joe. Instead, he gripped the navigational binoculars tighter. “Third time this week. If I had anything to hide, I’d jump ship.” He smacked his hard hat so thoroughly his ears rang. “Thought so! That guardsman is a female.” Here was a Coastie bearing down on him with the authority to shut down the operation. The men would be out of work just in time for Christmas. What pretense to investigate the murder was the Coast Guard using this time?

Derrick lowered the binoculars and frowned. “She looks familiar.”

“Ever since you arrived for the routine inspection, Cajun, the Coast Guard’s been on our backs.” Scowling, Joe thrust out a hand for the glasses. “Then there was the murder. That’s the reason the big boss’s keeping you out here again, so long.”

“Don’t I know it! I’m looking for a saboteur as well. Probably the same guy.” Derrick slapped the binoculars into Joe’s hand and tried to lighten his foreboding with a jabbing tease. “Now I’ve got to get the Coast Guard environmental crew out of your hair.”

“Rib me, will ya?” Joe repositioned his yellow hard hat over his bald head and shook a work-hardened finger. “I’ll bet you I can get that Coastie to go for me and my shiny head before she goes for you and that Cajun accent of yours. Loser pays a hundred bucks.”

“You want us to distract her with our masculine charm so she won’t sniff out any violations that could shut us down?” Derrick surveyed the rig’s two-hundred-foot deck looking for any OSHA or EPA trouble the Coast Guard might use to give a citation. Sunlight slanted off the metal plates causing enough glare to hurt his eyes. He didn’t like Joe’s plan.

Anne K. Albert – Sounds like a lot of trouble headed their way! What do you enjoy most about writing? What part do you loathe?

Anne Greene - I don’t dread any part of the writing process. And I love to rewrite and polish. I love working with words and images and bringing them to life. I do begrudge the time I spend marketing. One day I’d love to hire a PR person.

I find the whole process of writing rewarding. I like becoming the characters and living in the settings. I like the adventure of finding out what’s going to happen. If I didn’t write I’d like to be an archaeologist. I’d love to spend time on a dig and unearth treasures of the past. I’d like the camping out with like-minded people who get their hands dirty and keep their minds agile. I’d like to sit around at night after a profitable day in the field and discuss larger than life characters who made a mark in time.  

Anne K. Albert - Of all the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?

Anne Greene - I absolutely identify with all of my characters.  I become one with each of my characters. Just as an actress takes on the character of each person she portrays, so I become the character in each drama. She/he tells me what is happening inside and what she plans to do about it, and then I let her/him do it. That’s what so much fun about writing. I live each journey, each adventure of each character.

I love to write about redemption in every form. Second chances, forgiveness, grace, finding God’s will, and finding and walking with the Savior. I love the grace of God, and His unexpected ways of showing His love. The spiritual theme of my books come directly from the characters and whatever problems they struggle with.

The character I love writing about the most—is the one I’m currently working on. However, I do think I like being in the male point of view slightly more than the female. I like being macho and looking at life from a different perspective. I like being strong enough to handle a couple of thugs. Of course my detective knows martial arts, but she doesn’t use her fists. I love having a woman use her wiles and smarts when that’s all she has going for her.

Anne K. Albert - What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Anne Greene - Definitely join a writing group like American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. They have classes, critique groups, and you get to meet other peculiar people.

The craft takes years to learn for most writers. Every element is important. But, I think the writer’s imagination is the most important. Her voice, what makes her who she is, and what she is passionate about. Of course, even the most talented writer must learn about characterization, plot, vivid words, and all the ABCs of writing style.

And join a critique group and enter contests. These people give valuable feedback on what works in a story and what doesn’t.

Anne K. Albert – Great advice. Thank you for chatting with me today, Anne. It’s been a pleasure! Readers, your comments are always welcome and appreciated. 

Happy reading!

* * *