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The Life of a Storyteller - an interview with Dee Henderson

Recently, we exchanged a few questions with author Dee Henderson via email.

FC: It’s been many years since your last book, we missed you. What have you been doing?

Dee: It’s always nice to be missed. It wasn’t a plan to have so much time between books; it’s simply how this particular story evolved. Full Disclosure originated in a mystery series I had developed over the course of a couple years. That series turned into the back-story for a larger single title. I don’t recommend arriving at a book that way, but I personally like the results of a richer plot line and more complex characters.

I’m wired by God to be a storyteller. Hours spent working on a story are not a job, but are in fact the reward for having gotten the rest of my life uncluttered enough that I can go do what I want. And most often that’s a pen and paper and being lost in a story I’m creating. So I hope to be creating stories for my readers to enjoy for decades to come, just hopefully with not as much time between finished stories in the future.

FC: For those of us who are excited to read Full Disclosure. Tell us about it.

Dee: In Full Disclosure I gave two very good cops a car wreck, a suspicious death, and a lead on a hired shooter. The case which began so simply will lead them to the kind of secret that will change how history is written once it is known. So at its most basic, Full Disclosure is a mystery and a romance.

I enjoy writing about cops. With this story I wanted to portray the job that a cop’s life really is—the cases keep coming to be solved, and if you’re going to have a private life, space for it is going to have to be carved into the flow of work.

I also like to write about falling in love. I decided to write a bit against type in this romance. From the beginning, Paul Falcon wants to get married and is looking for the right lady. Ann Silver is content being single and hasn’t been thinking about marriage. It created a unique romance that I loved.

And I enjoy writing about faith. What characters think about God, whether they believe or not, interests me. I’m not ready to say a manuscript is finished until I’ve figured out what I want the book to share about God. In Full Disclosure I explore how God is involved and interacting with us in our day-to-day life.

FC: How would you compare Full Disclosure to your other novels?

Dee: It’s a more complex book with a richer plot than my prior books, and the story continued beyond the romance and wedding to the first months of their lives together. I describe it as an O’Malley book plus more.

I write a lot about survivors—overcoming what’s happened, learning something about yourself and friends, deepening what you know about God. This adds a rich layer to the stories I want to explore. This book follows that basic theme, so I think it’s going to read as familiar to my fans even though it’s more layered than prior books.

FC: Who’s your favorite character in all your books and why?

Dee: I love Quinn and Lisa as a couple. Lisa has a depth to her back-story I didn’t realize was there until I wrote The Truth Seeker and it fit so well with the faith theme being the resurrection that I think it was God-inspired in small ways. There are scenes with Lisa and Quinn I remember better than any of the other stories I’ve written.

FC: Are any of your characters based on real people?

Dee: You can pretty much read a book of mine for the dog I either have or want to have. But the characters in my stories come from my imagination.

FC: Are you a character in any of your books or is there one character you relate to the most?

Dee: Ann Silver in Full Disclosure is probably the character I understand best. Her personality is closer to mine than most I’ve written. Part of that was simply the back-story Ann needed for the book required a certain type of personality in order to sound authentic.

FC: What are your favorite books to read?

Dee: It’s a family joke but true that I read everything. Recently, books on business, economics, marriage, painting, and politics. I love to understand how something works and what a job is like. I read a lot of fiction. I read to understand how another author got that emotional reaction from me or made me sit up and notice a well-developed plot.

Some titles I’ve reread this year: Certain Prey and Mortal Prey by John Sandford—absolutely fascinating lady shooter and ripping plot lines. The Good Guy by Dean Koontz—a great hero and you don’t realize why until the end of the book. I loved how the author played out the information about his hero. J. D. Robb—I love the Eve and Roarke story line that threads through the series. I like the depth of their unfolding relationship and how well it’s played out across multiple books.

FC: Are you a music lover?

Dee: I don’t hear well enough to hear music like others do, so while it is often on in the background, I’m not one who could tell you what the words are to a song.

FC: What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?

Dee: I walk when I’m given the chance to fill half an hour. I pick up a book and read when I want to wind down at the end of a day. If I have a few hours where I know I won’t be interrupted, I may paint. I enjoy television where a good plot line is rolling out, where dialogue is flowing at an interesting pace.

FC: What has God been teaching you lately?

Dee: He’s working on teaching me to live within my limits. I tend to stretch too far and not leave enough margin in my life, around my finances in particular, or my health. I find it easier to manage areas like my time. On that, I keep a limited list rather than a to-do list. I know I won’t get done what everyone would like from me, so I choose the items that personally matter to me or impact my family. Most stuff simply doesn’t get done. It’s easier to accept that than to live like you can do everything. The other areas of life are much tougher for me to discipline. Anyway, God’s been working on that one for a while. I’ll be glad when he’s helped me solve it.

FC: What’s on your bucket list?

Dee: I was asked one time, “What’s your favorite holiday?” And I replied, “I actually don’t like holidays—they’re too busy. I’d rather have a regular day that goes 24 hours without something going wrong during it. That would be a nice holiday.”

When I read your question about a bucket list, I had a similar reaction. I want more of the same. I want a week like last week, where I wrote some on a story, talked with friends, took a walk with God, read a few books, watched a movie, and slept. Oh, and my mother called and asked if I wanted something brought back from the Dairy Queen. It’s hard to beat that kind of nice week. Even the weather was nice. Sometimes earth feels like a slice of heaven. I don’t have major goals I want to accomplish or things I dream about doing. I’ve already got them. I simply want more of the same, and time to enjoy them.

  Video trailer for Full Disclosure

Download an excerpt from Full Disclosure, by clicking here.

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