Have you ever seen NCIS? CSI? Another TV crime show with an assortment of letters for a title? Have you ever wondered if elements of those shows happen in real life? David and Diane Munson, a dynamic husband-and-wife writing team, have years of experience in situations like the ones portrayed on these crime shows. They bring their expertise as former federal prosecutor, NCIS agent, and undercover operative to their faith-based international thriller novels. Their newest novel, Stolen Legacy, is set to release on November 5, 2013.
The novel features Martin Vander Goes, a man who travels from the family farm in Zeeland, Michigan to the Netherlands to visit his aunt in 1940. Martin is trapped by the German invasion and finds himself involved in the Dutch resistance. When the U.S. enters the war against Japan and Germany, Martin returns home and enlists in the U.S. Army. He joins the Monuments Men, a group of people General Eisenhower entrusted to rescue Europe’s art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis.
Forty years later, when federal agent Eva Montanna visits Grandpa Marty’s farm in Zeeland she is dragged into a harrowing conflict threatening her family. Eva needs to find out if Martin Vander Goes’ heroism in WWII is the cause of the mystery she is trying to solve.
Stolen Legacy is the Munsons’ eighth novel. When asked about the process of writing these books together, David Munson says “we decide in advance who the characters are going to be and get a rough idea of the plot. Diane writes from the beginning, I start at the end, and we meet in the middle! We write out scenes on separate laptops, then swap and make changes to each other’s work.” Writing this way allows each to bring his or her experiences and knowledge to the novel.
Diane Munson spent many years as a federal prosecutor and uses her knowledge of the court systems, including the Supreme Court, and her love of reading and writing to create the court scenes and shape the way the novels are written. David worked as an undercover officer, sometimes needing to pose as a criminal. He “got to know how they think and act” and uses this profiling to create realistic characters.
The faith aspect of the novels is very important to the couple. “We have a main theme,” Diane says, “like forgiveness. We really want to proclaim the love of Jesus with our novels.” Stolen Legacy follows the theme of Christ’s legacy, and how we can’t let someone take that away from us.
Having a faith focus, as well as having accurate information about the workings of the court room and justice system, make these novels unique. The Munsons’ are a team with all the elements needed for a good story: Diane is the writer/editor behind the scenes, they both have years of anecdotal story ideas to contribute, and David loves talking to readers and answering questions.
Stolen Legacy is a compilation of all these talents. The Munsons’ are really excited about the book because “its the first time we have written a story that is multigenerational. We go from the present into the past. Its been really fun!” The story has two threads: in the present is Eva, solving a mystery and trying to protect her family, while the second thread takes place during WWII, in the world of Nazis, spies, and the Dutch Resistance. It was a challenge to weave the two stories together, the couple says, but it has all come together.
David and Diane want readers to “see God’s faith through the generations. A young man loved God, passed that legacy to his son, and then it was passed to Eva.”
To learn more about Stolen Legacy, or to see the book trailer, visit the Munsons’ website at www.dianeanddavidmunson.com. The novel will be released November 5, 2013 and is available at local bookstores. The couple will also be speaking and signing Stolen Legacy in Zeeland and Grand Rapids, MI.
Howard Miller Library (Zeeland, MI)
Thursday, November 7 at 7:00pm
Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI)
Saturday, November 11 at 2:00pm