Recently I watched the documentary, God Grew Tired of Us. If you haven’t seen it, get it from Netflix or Blockbuster. It’s the story of some of the Sudanese "Lost Boys" after they come to America to begin new lives. We need to remember all the "lost boys" of this world. We need to remember and then do something about it.
My friend DiAnn Mills is doing just that. She has written both fiction and non-fiction about the Sudan, and her new book, When the Nile Runs Red, is available now. This novel is being used to raise awareness of the
atrocities that are taking place in Sudan. Book sale proceeds will be
donated to restore the Sudanese community.
When the Nile Runs Red
by DiAnn Mills
Paul Farid, who once persecuted the southern Sudanese, now loves the weary people whose lives have been destroyed by war.
Colonel Ben Alier has led his battle-hardened soldiers for two decades against the North, yet he pursues a relationship with his son even as his own demons pursue him.
Dr. Larson Kerr Farid works long hours caring for the sick, but fatigue and worry about her husband, are taking their toll. And she’s just learned something that will make everything more complicated.
These three friends face constant danger as tensions escalate between the north and south, and as Paul’s family schemes to kill him and Larson. Will Paul and Larson bridge the gap that seems to grow between them? And will Ben find peace as more than a soldier?
What reviewers are saying:
"I cannot put into the appropriate words how truly amazing this novel was. I felt like my heart was being pulled in all different directions; I highly recommend this novel. You get to take a look into the current events in Sudan, see the love grow and flourish between Larson and Paul, and see the fate of Ben that will have you wipe a tear from your cheek. This book is an emotional rollercoaster that is worth reading again and again." – Ashley Denis for FrontPage Reviews
"Mills has created a masterpiece in the inspirational fiction, When the Nile Runs Red. Plenty of action scenes as well as twists and turns in the plot keep the reader engaged with the story. With real characters, real struggles, life-and-death situations and a present but not overwhelming inspirational theme, Mills has created a wonderful read." – Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended. Lacy J. Williams
"With its apropos title When the Nile Runs Red is a deep look at the atrocities occurring in the Sudan. The three prime players are fully developed and feel heroically genuine so that their encounters provide a realistic graphic glimpse at humanity’s darkened soul. Although there is a bias towards Christianity as the benevolent religion vs. the alleged harshness of Islam, readers will be stunned by the powerful vivid exposé of genocide." – Harriet Klausner
Read a Q&A with the author and the bio in the extended body of the blog.
1. What inspired you to write this novel?
I had previously written a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan
– Lost Boy No More. From that research, I wrote the novel When the Lion
Roars, but the story would not let me go.
Through numerous interviews and extensive reading, I grew to love and
admire the courageous Sudanese people and was burdened by their
incredible needs. I had to bring them back in When the Nile Runs Red.
2. Why Sudan?
This country went through nearly two decades of civil war strife. In
1983, the northern government launched a holy war against the south.
This grew out of the views of the Islamic north against the mostly
Christian black African south. The war had three aspects: religion,
politics, and oil. The atrocities committed against the southern people
are too many to list, but the war was fought in the south through
3. How did you conduct your research?
I grabbed my backpack and sun screen and traveled to Juba, Sudan, the
southern capital. There I stayed at a Christian compound and met with
southern Sudanese from all walks of life: refugees, political leaders,
and church leaders. I talked to as many people as I could, snapped
pictures, and listened to what was being said.
4. Regarding your trip to Sudan, what touched you the most?
The incredible faith. I could look into a Sudanese’s eyes and see the
pain of persecution and the hope of Jesus. Here, we say we love Jesus
while we live in our huge homes, drive our fancy cars, are well-fed,
are not hunted down for our faith, or are concerned about medical care.
The Sudanese understand that all they have and need is Jesus.
5. Can you give us a brief description of your characters?
Paul Farid was once a Muslim who actively persecuted the southern
people, but now he’s a Christian who flies dangerous missions into
war-torn areas to deliver food and medical supplies.
Dr. Larson Kerr Farid risks her life to bring healing to the Sudanese.
Just like her husband Paul, her life is often in danger. But there is a
problem between her and Paul with no easy solution.
Colonel Ben Alier has been fighting and leading the southern army of
Sudan for nearly two decades. Often referred to as a warlord, Ben
fights his own demons.
The three are friends, an unlikely friendship forged by their love for Sudan.
6. How do you build your plots?
Always out of character with two simple words: what-if? John Gardner
said to create the best possible characters and allow the worst
possible things to happen to them. That says it all. It’s easy to coat
our darlings with easy trials and struggles, but the hard stuff, the
struggles that define the character are what have to happen. I’m a huge
fan of Donald Maass and wouldn’t consider writing a paragraph without
using techniques found in his books Writing the Breakout Novel and
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.
7. What are you goals for this novel?
To increase awareness about the situation in Sudan and to share my passion for the Sudanese people through a compelling story.
The proceeds for this novel go back to aid the Sudanese.
8. What do you hope the readers will gain?
To lose themselves in the novel. That’s every writer’s goal. But I also
want the reader to sense a call to action and support the Sudanese
9. What is your next project?
I’m currently writing a romantic suspense series with a working series title of “Behind the Sunglasses”.
10. How can readers learn more about what you are doing?
Check out my website at www.diannmills.com. I have sections about
Sudan, and for readers, and writers. Those signing up for my newsletter
get to download a chapter of an upcoming release.
11. Aside from your passion for writing, what else are you doing?
Speaking to groups about the situation in Sudan.
Teaching at writer’s conferences.
Conducting Fiction Mentoring Clinics. These are small groups who work
closely together for three work-filled days to develop their craft.
Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the
publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in
print and has sold more than a million copies.
DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” Her desire is
to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian
perspective through a compelling story.
Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three
of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by
Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through
American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 –
2007. She is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award
for 2005 and 2007.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction
Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of
America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers
Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops
around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins
Christian Writer’s Guild.
She lives in sunny Houston, Texas, the home of heat, humidity, and
Harleys. In fact she’d own a Harley, but her legs are too short. DiAnn
and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of
Metropolitan Baptist Church.