Author Interview: Dawn Dyson
When novelist Sienna Emory receives a desperate call from an old college friend, she feels compelled to try and help her. The Cheney she remembers was a free-spirited song writer with an amazing ability to translate all of life's pain and joy into her work, but drugs and alcohol have made her a shell of her former self.
When Sienna arrives at Cheney's house, she finds Cheney passed out in the driveway; what she doesn't expect to find is Jonathan Driscoll, a handsome single father living nearby, who has obviously been there before.
Never able to have children of her own, Sienna is delighted to get to know Jonathan and his daughter Bella. However, Bella is not a typical five-year-old girl. She tells stories that she couldn't possibly know, and when she prays, she seems to communicate on a direct line to God.
As Sienna and Jonathan's love grows, while dealing with their friend Cheney's issues, Sienna discovers more about God's plans for them. Will their faith be strong enough to protect them against evil?
Dawn Dyson lives with her husband on a farm in Nebraska and has degrees in both Animal Science and Education. She currently serves as the farm's office manager, but writing is her primary passion. She describes her writing as a God-given gift and strives to incorporate Christian themes throughout each of her works. She encourages others to find their passion in life, link it with God's and then share it with the world.
1. When did you decide to start writing?
I decided to start writing during a major time of change in my life. I had no intention of making writing a profession, I was just going through a lot of personal and career changes at the time and I was re-evaluating my life as a whole. The writing, or I should say the characters, just showed up in my head. The only way to get my mind off of them and the formulating story was to get it into the computer. I'm so glad I didn't ignore it. It was such a release and a teacher at the same time. In essence, the urge to write seemed to come to me, not the other way around.
2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?
My genre is Christian Fiction, Romance/Suspense. Again, the characters and their story just came to me and it was almost effortless on my part. I became a saved Christian around the same time I began to write (chapter eleven of Mercy Sky, to be exact). When that sort of experience happens to you, it is hard to leave it out of your writing - therefore, whatever I write, no matter how edgy, it will always have elements of spiritual growth and my perceptions of Christ in it. In my personal opinion, for me, there is no point to leave Him out because what would be left over wouldn't be good at all.
3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?
Word count? I wasn't worried about it at all. The story is completed on its own terms, not mine.
4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?
My writing quirk is to have absolute quiet. I don't know what time it is, what day it is, or what is going on with my family when I'm on a roll and they are so understanding and supportive - it's great. I also look at writer's block as a gift, a little reminder from my Creator that it is time to live real life, not my parallel version of it. And it's not so much a "block" as the creativity has just started to slow and needs to be refreshed. So at that point, I reenter the real world and gather inspiration from God, nature, music, fresh air, really good movies,
ordinary tasks, etc. I completely forget about my story until it comes back to me again. It's a process - why fight with it? Just let go and enjoy it.
5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?
Beautiful. Why? You'll have to read it :)
6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?
The title is Bella Maura. I name all of my books (thus far) after children. Mercy Sky, though it may not initially sound like it, is actually a little girl's name.
7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?
I hope my readers will become inspired in their own lives in some way after reading Bella Maura. Inspiration can motivate us to change things for the better, within ourselves, or for others. While I was writing the book, I personally became lighter and happier, unburdened somehow. With this storyline, I just felt a sense of ease come into my soul and it hasn't gone away. Maybe my readers will get a little of that, too.
8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.
Mercy Sky was self-published through iUniverse, Inc. in 2005. Creation House picked up Bella Maura in 2010 and is proposing to do the sequel in 2011. I think the road to publication is in a transitional phase right now. More and more authors are taking the publicity and marketing aspects on themselves, but it is very difficult.
9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
I'm still an aspiring author so I don't know what advice I'd give to anyone except to pray. God's always got your best interest at heart.
Thank you so much, Dawn, for granting this interview and sharing your thoughts about writing Bella Maura. To know more about the novel featured here and its author, you can visit: http://www.dawndyson.com/