Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Interview with Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry plus GIVEAWAY

Thanks for joining Suspense Sisters! Elizabeth Goddard here. Today I've invited my dear friends Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry to a short interview. They are giving away a Kindle copy of Port of Origin to one happy winner. Please leave a comment with your contact information.

Welcome, friends! 

Where did you get the idea for this story?

Lynne has always been a fan of Mercy Ships and has followed their work via Facebook for years. One day she was scrolling through her FB feed and saw a picture of a boy whose body was bent into the shape of a Z. She read his before and after story. Through volunteer medical care the Mercy Ship had brought to his third-world country, he was given the gift of straight legs. At about the same time pirates were really upping their attack game on ships passing the Somalian coast, an Ebola outbreak that made its way to the States set off global panic. The three elements collided and Port of Origin was the result.

Is pirating in Africa real, or something you made up for this story?

Unfortunately, pirating is still a problem the world over, but it is especially dangerous for ships to travel the waters of the African coasts. According to a recent BBC News report, West Africa is home to the world’s most dangerous seas. The oil-rich coastline makes easy targets of the oil and gas tankers. 

Who would have thought that we would still struggle with pirates. Regarding Mercy Ships, Have you ever been on a medical ship? (My husband worked with them for a while. We lived near their base of operations in East Texas.)
Lisa has memories of close to thirty years ago when she visited the Doulos while it was docked in West Africa. What she remembers the most was going to their bookstore and buying a couple CDs. Her family had been living overseas for a long time, so walking into a bookstore that looked just like a bookstore in the US was very exciting. But what is even more exciting is that this ship held over 22 million people during its thirty years in service in 108 countries!

Besides giving readers a fast-paced thriller, what do you want people to get out of this story?

One of the most thrilling parts of writing such a large cast of characters is the challenge of walking in so many different shoes, which is what you have to do to write authentically. What always amazes us is that no matter a character’s skin color, educational background, or their finances, at the core of each of us is a longing to be seen, heard, and loved.

What is it like co-writing a book? What is the process?

LYNNE: There is a creative give and take that makes the storytelling process more difficult, but in the end, we believe also makes the story more powerful. Since we live on different continents and in different time zones, we did a lot of the work via email. The skeleton of the story went back and forth between us many times. However, when we really needed to solve a plot point we would set up a Skype call, which also gave us a chance to visit and reconnect. And since we really do enjoy each other, those calls were a treat for both of us.

First, we decided we wanted our hero and heroine to each have a distinctive voice. The easiest way to achieve their separate voices was for each of us to choose which one we wanted to write. Next, it made sense for Lisa to write the scenes involving African characters since she lives there. Because of my connections to the medical world through my daughter and husband, I did the research and writing for those scenes.

LISA: A project like this definitely was something I loved doing since I don’t have a lot of contact with other writers on a day-to-day basis. And having two people brainstorm ideas for a book is always a win-win situation. So while writing a book is always challenging, this experience was also a huge blessing to me. It allowed us to each take our strengths and put them together, while also learning from each other.

Once we decided on who was going to write which characters, it allowed us to focus on that part of the story line, and on each specific character’s backstory and personalities. Watching the story then come together was really exciting.

This sounds like an amazing, exciting read! It's up next in my TBR pile. I can't wait! I LOVED Ghost Heart--the first book in this series--and  it's my all-time favorite romantic suspense. You guys make a great writing team. 

Remember, readers, to leave a comment to enter the drawing for a Kindle copy of PORT OF ORIGIN. 

Elizabeth Goddard


  1. Absolutely loved Ghost Heart. So excited to read this next joint project of Lisa and Lynne’s!! Thank you for sharing about it
    Anne at Rightler dot com

  2. Both great writers and it does sound exciting. Looking forward to reading this.

  3. nice interview
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Love your stories, Lisa, and would love to read one written by you and another author. Thanks for the chance!
    dawn dot nicol at gmail dot com

  5. Great interview, Lisa and Lynne! Thanks for writing such great books!

  6. I love reading about how they work together. It has to be really difficult living on separate continents! Can't wait to read the book!

  7. This sounds like an excellent read! Badawson16 at aol dot com

  8. Thanks so much for letting Lynne and I stop by and chat about Port of Origin! Enjoying reading through the comment!

  9. Great post. Book sounds like a great read. Loved interview.
    Thanks for giveaway.

  10. Forgot my email. My email address is

  11. It’s fascinating to learn how two authors collaborate on a book! Can’t wait to read it!

  12. Sounds like a great story! I recently heard about Mercy Ships for the first time. I can't wait to learn more!

  13. Ghost Heart is a phenomenal story! I'm excited that Lisa and Lynne have collaborated again! They are exceptional authors!


  14. sounds like a great book! sheliarha64(at)yahoo(dot)com

  15. Great Interview! Point of Origin is a Spectacular Book! It really showcases the writing styles of each author while blending them beautifully into one voice! This book is timely and since they had the idea prior to the Pandemic, it makes you feel the Lord had His hand on it. lg(dot)hudson(at)yahoo(dot)com

  16. Just finisher Pursued and loved it. I would really love to read this one also.
    Stella dot potts77 at gmail dot com

  17. Great post! I hope to read this one.
    debby236 at hotmail dot com

  18. I already know I love everything by Lisa and can't wait to read something by Lynne too! No, I did not pirates were a problem today! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com