Stephanie Prichard has just navigated into the Diamond Mine harbor! Ahoy! Some of you may think she’s here to open a treasure trove of grammar pointers, which she is well versed in. But no, my friends. She’s here to share the news of her debut novel, Stranded. So settle back in first class and enjoy the cruise! ‘Tis a fine day at sea!
SP: Sure, Peggy. I’m an “army brat” and have lived in many parts of the world and US. I met my husband, Don, an Iowa farm boy, in college, where I majored in English and he in architecture. Although our backgrounds were different—sorta like the city mouse marrying the country mouse—we had a lot in common, including our taste for action and adventure in entertainment. Because of that and Don’s serving in the USMC Reserves for over thirty years, our debut novel easily fell into the suspense genre.
PT: So you both wrote it together. That voyage must be interesting indeed! What was it like to collaborate with your husband for your debut novel?
SP: Don wrote the original draft, worked on it for several years, then asked me to help him. I was going to simply correct the grammar and spelling, but I fell in love with the story and eventually became his co-author due to all the changes we made. The “surgery on his baby” was a little hard on him at first, but as we read how-to books together and attended writers conferences, we came together on the same page. His strength is plot and details while mine is characterization and writing skills, so we melded into a complementary partnership we just love.
PT: I noticed Stranded, is set in the Philippines. Have you ever had the chance to visit there?
SP: As an army officer’s daughter, I lived in several places outside the US but not the Philippines. The closest I got was Okinawa shortly after I was born, and Japan when I was in elementary school. Asian life and culture have always held a fascination for me, perhaps because of that early influence. It would be fun to visit the Philippines, but right now it’s only a dream.
PT: So let’s dig deeper. Really deep—to the hull of the structure. Give us a snapshot of the spiritual backdrop of your story. Just a tiny peek.
SP: It’s not just the jungle that the poor castaways have to survive. It’s also God. The island is sorta like the stomping grounds of the Holy Spirit (and symbolically it is), who pokes and prods the four characters into confronting the obstacles they’ve put between themselves and God.
PT: What a awesome visual! And so real in all our lives. Now, let’s step out on the plank and have you tell us something that people would not expect to know about you.
SP: Hmmm, fear of arachnids and love of everything chocolate wouldn’t be unexpected, so I suppose a good answer is that I’ve studied five foreign languages—Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Latin. I was fluent in Italian since I lived in Italy for two years during high school, but now I can’t remember anything but the word ciao!
PT: What is the next novel you are working on?
SP: Our next novel is a sequel to Stranded, which we intend to make into a series. Don is working on the draft of the sixth book, while I will start in on rewriting the second in February. Working with him is sort of like the tortoise being hitched to the hare!
All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.
Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake’s survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she’s responsible for his wife’s death.
PT: Wow, what a powerful storyline! Indeed, it sounds like a catamaran of white-knuckled mystery. I can’t thank you enough for visiting with us, Stephanie! Bon Voyage!
SP: Thanks for inviting me to share on the Diamond Mine, Peggy!
Here’s where you can get Stranded and where you can find out more about this writing team!
Buy Stranded: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQGJBUY
Do you feel lucky, matey? Stephanie is giving out a free copy to one very blessed person who leaves a comment. We here at the Mine, LOVE the folks who take the time to let us know how they appreciate these wonderful authors. So don’t get, ahem, “stranded” without a chance to enter. Leave a comment and you may be the next winner!!!