Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.
Lillian is a multi-published author who lives in the middle of Ohio Amish country with her husband and a menagerie of pets. After more than 30 years working as a speech pathologist for children, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
Lillian writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us. To learn more about Lillian, you may visit her at www.lillianduncan.net or www.lillian-duncan.com. She also has a devotional blog at www.PowerUpWithGod.com.
|available on Amazon|
Her new release is BROKEN TRUSTLife is all about choices…and consequences. Chryssie Mason longs to soar like a butterfly, but a lifetime of bad choices has kept her in the caterpillar stage. After years of struggling, her dreams are finally within her grasp. Her only goal is to graduate from nursing school so she can have a better life—so she can morph into a butterfly. With her final exam only days away, she witnesses a murder. A butterfly would call the police, but she decides to take the easy way out…once again. Life has taught her to never trust anyone, especially herself. With her freedom and her very life at risk, it’s time to trust. And that choice changes everything.
My husband and I live in a small town in Ohio. I mean small—we only have 1 traffic light. But I love being back home. I grew up in the area, but moved to the big city of Cleveland for many years. Like Dorothy, I love being home again.
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
That’s an interesting story. I was turning 40 and like lots of other 40 year olds, something was missing in my life. I was watching some show (probably Oprah) and her guest recommended writing your own obituary but not to include anything you’ve done up to that point. They said write in outlandish things that you couldn’t imagine.
One of the things I wrote was that I was an author. What? Up to that point, I’d never thought of writing a book in spite of how much I loved books. When I reread those words, something sparked.
And a writer was born.
What is your 'how I got published' story?
I only need two words to tell that—hard work…and perseverance. OK, technically that’s four words. It actually took me fifteen years to get a traditional contract. I can’t tell you how many times I quit writing but I always started back up which is why I always tell writers—DON’T QUIT!
How did you develop your love of story?
From my love of reading. From the moment I learned to read, I loved stories. From the time I learned to read, I rarely went anywhere without a book. To the grocery store, to my relatives’ houses, camping. And yes, I was one of those people that read under the covers and in a car.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
The answer to both is Christian mystery and suspense with a little horror thrown in from time to time. I guess writing is sort of like eating. You are what you read, and for me that means I’m a suspense/mystery writer.
Most people don’t think of murder mysteries and suspense novels as Christian Fiction. What do you say to them?
I can certainly understand their point of view. And for some readers my stories might be a bit too graphic or edgy and that’s okay, I would say my readers are those who like traditional suspense and mystery novels but are tired of all the explicit language and sex scenes that aren’t necessary to a good story.
I don’t promote or glorify violence in my stories and show characters experiencing the natural consequences of their bad choices and bad actions. My characters are usually on a spiritual journey as well—but some are further along than others.
Tell us about BROKEN TRUST.
BROKEN TRUST is my latest book, releasing March 17. There’s lots of action but it will also make you go…aww. It explores the issues of trust (of course) but also choices and how one choice can change your life—for better or for worse.
BROKEN TRUST is Chryssie’s story. Her complete name is Chrysalis which is another name for a cocoon. Chryssie wants to soar like a butterfly but she keeps making choices that keep her stuck in the caterpillar stage.
She’s days away from graduating from nursing school when she witnesses a murder. Once again she takes the easy way out and once again she has to face the consequences of her choice—this time with life and death consequences.
What’s the setting for BROKEN TRUST?
Broken Trust is set in Cleveland, mostly in the Ohio City area and the Flats.
What’s your day job? Tell us a little about it.
I retired as an SLP from a large city school district in Ohio then spent several more years working part-time in smaller, rural districts near where I live. Between the two jobs, I don’t think there is any type of child I haven’t worked with at least once.
I loved my job and miss it. Mostly I miss the children, not the paper work. If it weren’t for serious health issues, I would still be working.
What sort of serious health issues?
In 2012 I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. A long name that basically means I can develop tumors at any time on my nerves but especially in the brain.
It’s been a long, long journey but God is good. There’re a lot of things I can’t do these days, but I can still write! And for that I’m very thankful.
What do you want readers to take away from BROKEN TRUST?
We all make bad choices and then have to face the consequences of them but God is a God of second chances and third and fourth and… We do not have to let our past dictate our future.
What is your writing process?
I never know what is going to happen in my story on any given writing day. It’s as if my mind is a movie screen and I watch that day’s events and then I write it.
When I start a new story I usually have a clear picture of the main character in mind and what obstacle he/she will face, but anything goes after that. If I’m writing and start to feel bored—then I kill someone or blow something up. And that way it’s a surprise to me and to my readers.
Do you know who the bad guy is when you begin your story?
Not usually. Most of the time I have several characters who it might be and as the story comes to a conclusion, I’m surprised right along with my readers.
How does faith play a part in your writing?
That’s changed a lot over the years. When I first started writing, I wrote mainstream (secular) mysteries and suspense. As I grew closer to God in my daily walk, my writing began to reflect that and so I started writing Christian mysteries and suspense. In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and have had to learn to rely on God in a whole different way and so my writing reflects that now as well by having a deeper spiritual message than before.
In fact, I have my first non-suspense novella scheduled to be released in October of this year. PUZZLE HOUSE is a complete departure from what I usually write. I would classify it as simply Christian Fiction, a story about a woman who is asked the question, ‘Do you want to be healed or to be a healer?” by a very important person.
What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?
I first “met” Chryssie in a short story I wrote but I wanted to learn more about her and her story so….BROKEN TRUST is the result.
Do you have personal experience with any of the events in Broken Trust, and if so, could you share about that?
Only in that I worked and lived in Cleveland for many years as a school speech pathologist.
Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?
I prefer a “real” book with paper. Unfortunately, I don’t read them that way very often because of my eyesight. So, I use an e-reader almost exclusively these days.
Do you have a favorite or “life” verse? Why is that one important to you?
Romans 8: 28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
In 2012, I was diagnosed with brain tumors. The treatments and the side effects wreaked havoc on my health! I was very sick but I kept repeating this verse over and over. It kept me trusting God and it kept me in peace and joy in spite of how bad I felt at the time.
How did your education or previous career impact your journey to publication and where you are now?
My day job was as a school speech pathologist, better known as a speech therapist. So for more than 30 years I listened…and listened…and listened some more. I think it helped me in a lot of areas but certainly with writing dialogue of my characters.
If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
DON’T GIVE UP! It took me 15 years to get a traditional contract, and now I have almost 20 books published! If I can do it, so can you. But not if you give up. KEEP WRITING!
What are you working on now?
I already mentioned my next release, PUZZLE HOUSE—the tagline is Life isn’t a box of candy, it’s a puzzle. At the moment, I’m working on a sequel for it called THE DAVID YEARS. I’m also in the middle of revising and editing another book, ENCOUNTERS, that explores several issues including how our encounters with others is like a spider web. They link us to each other in ways we don’t always understand. Plus I have a couple ideas for new suspense books swirling around in my brain as well. So many ideas—not enough time!
And now about that giveaway! To enter, just hop over to Lillian's blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.comwww.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under one of the Broken Trust posts and you’re entered. Easy Peasy! (remember, only comments on Lillian's blog will enter you in the drawing - but we'd love you leave a comment here to let us know you visited!) And get your copy of BROKEN TRUST on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.