Has winter’s onslaught left you shivering? Do you crave the warmth of a fireplace? Today’s chills–and sizzle–are brought to you by author Joannie Deneve. Here’s the declassified account of her new novel, Saving Eric.
QPQ: Welcome back, Joannie! What a thrilling start to 2015. You’re living an author’s dream—two book releases in two months. Cakewalk, right?
JD: Thank you, Jericha. I love chatting with you. Yes. Thrilling and a dream come true, for sure; but cake walk? Not so much. My daughter asked me the other day the classic question: “Mom, if you knew then, what you know now, would you have still pursued your dream of writing and publishing a novel?” And I’d have to say, “Yes. I would. But I’m so glad I didn’t know then.” Bottom line, Jericha, I’ve learned so much over the past three years. I’ve gained skills and met some of the most phenomenal people on the planet. Cakewalk, no. Worth it? Yes times a million.
QPQ: So your journey to publication was a process. Tell us about Saving Eric.
JD: Glad to! I’m a wounded-hero junkie, so it was inevitable that my book would have a larger-than-life hero who must overcome challenges to accomplish his goal. Saving Eric is a character-driven story of how God rescues and changes broken people and then uses those people to reach and effect change in others. It’s not an action spy thriller, though there are elements of suspense and intrigue. And while it’s also not a typical romance, there is definitely enough romance to satisfy that desire in a reader. Here’s the premise as found on the back cover:
Templetons don’t break down. Even when their worlds are falling apart.
Eric Templeton’s well-ordered life as a top CIA agent is shattered when a traitor within the agency plots to have him eliminated. Sent on a bogus mission to Africa, Eric is ambushed and critically wounded. A helicopter pilot flies him to a remote mission hospital where Dr. Brock Whitfield and his daughter Ellie work to save his life.
If Eric survives, his life may never be the same, and he still has to deal with the traitor who wants him dead. Eric wants justice, but Brock and Ellie know that Eric’s survival is the least of his worries. What he needs most is mercy and truth.
QPQ: I adore this premise. As capable as he is, Eric is wounded. Adrift. What’s his desire?
JD: Great question. His life has been turned upside down, and the people he trusted the most have proven to be untrustworthy. His main desire at first is to expose the traitor within the agency and somehow see justice served for the crimes committed against himself and many other innocent people.
JD: Eric has an unconscious and almost obsessive need to perform in order to obtain acceptance from his harsh and demanding father. Failure is never an option for a Templeton. One by one, God begins removing the props of perfectionism from Eric so that he has no place to look but to God. I love how our gracious God relentlessly removes all our props so that we have to fall into His arms.
QPQ: Lies, greed, and murder…. Eric has a vicious enemy who thrives in a lucrative position. What can Eric teach us about fighting enemies stronger than we are?
JD: A great question! At the beginning of his career, Eric Templeton is the agency’s golden boy. But when one of his superiors goes rogue, Eric becomes the poster boy for trying (and failing) to defeat enemies in his own strength. In fairness, his atheistic father had drilled into Eric the need to rely on himself and expect no help from others, much less God. That’s why God backs Eric into a corner until he has no choice but to cry out for God’s help.
QPQ: That’s powerful, Joannie. Tell us about Eric’s leading lady.
JD: I love Ellie Whitfield. She has her own wounds that the reader will discover as the story unfolds. Ellie is a great example of the transformation that occurs when one experiences unconditional love and the grace of God. A love affair gone wrong drove Ellie from the States to the remote medical mission in Angola, Africa, to work with her father. As a trained physician’s assistant, Ellie helps her father with the medical cases.
QPQ: Eric sustains a life-threatening injury that results in great loss. I suspect you left a piece of your heart in that wrenching scene.
JD: You’re so right, Jericha. I cried as I wrote many of the pages. As Eric’s creator, I hated to put him through such adversity. Saving Eric is a work of fiction, but think of what God must feel when we must go through hard things for our (or someone else’s) greater good.
QPQ: What an intense correlation. Where can we find Saving Eric?
QPQ: Last question–if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
JD: Another great question: My wonderful son, Jeremiah, the doctor who was my medical consultant for Saving Eric, took me to Israel and Rome last year. It was the trip of my dreams. Now since I’ve been to the “mountain top and have seen the Holy Land,” I’d really like to go again. I’d take time to absorb the beauty and significance of that blessed place where our Lord walked, taught, and ultimately died to obtain the salvation for mankind. What a savior!
QPQ: Amen. Thank you for joining us, Joannie! May God continue to bless your writing.
Joannie is giving away a copy of Saving Eric Monday, March 2, 2015. **For your chance to win, guess the following!**
Joannie loves Disneyworld. If she could be any character at Disneyworld, who would she choose?