Monday, September 13, 2010

Author Interview: Dawn Dyson

About The Author: 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.

How far would you go to protect the ones you love?

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?

What inspired you to write "Bella Maura"?
I wanted to do something light (as "light" as my writing gets, anyway). I wanted to spend time doing something restful, inspiring and full of love,or "positive energy". I'd finally reached a much earned, simpler time in my life and I wanted to see what that looked like on paper. Anyone who has read my previous work (Mercy Sky, 2005) knows I'm quite heavy in my story lines, but my life was so much more complicated then. As a writer, it is so interesting to see the stages of your own life reflected in your books. Writing is such a great teacher.
What does the cover of your book mean?
Justin Evans is the cover designer and gets all the credit. I think he did a brilliant job. Without giving too much of the story away, I can say that Bella is a girl who uses her mouth to pray and she changes history that way. But in order to know how to pray, one's mind must be renewed in a process much like caterpillar to butterfly. I call it Salvation. Once one's mind is transformed and made aware of spiritual things, the power of prayer is immense because one knows WHAT to pray - it's a man or a woman's heart lined up with God's will to formulate truth in the earth. How Justin made this image line up so amazingly with Bella, I'll never know, but God must have had a hand in it somewhere. Thank you, Justin.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
That's like picking a favorite child. Sorry, I love them all - even the twisted ones. But I can say, factually, my life represents Sienna's life,but my heart is a lot like Jonathan's and my soul is a lot like Bella's. Maybe that's strange, I don't know...
Which authors have been most influential to your own writing?
Saint Paul (especially when read in the Amplified translation) and George MacDonald. Joyce Meyer has helped me personally; she's helped me find the motivation and the correct perceptions I need to continue writing for the good.
If you could choose to have dinner with any book character in history who would it be and why?
Sherlock Holmes. One step back in time and I'd feel instantly smarter and classier, and I could guarantee he'd be well-dressed - and a carriage ride in the countryside to an English castle couldn't hurt. I'd love to solve a mystery with him. (Jeremy Brett, in my opinion, was ah-mazing as Holmes on video.)
Do you read reviews of your book? If so, do you let them influence your writing?
I do read reviews because I respect them (most of them). I don't let them influence my writing beyond a superficial degree however, because they are just opinions, not fact or, better, they are not the truth of who I am. I know my heart, and I know what I'm trying to do and persistence will override a negative opinion any day. And a little pain never hurt anyone,sometimes that's what spurs us on to something great. It's all good. And positive reviews are great encouragers.
Is there any part of your book that is based on your own real life experiences?
Bella Maura is very autobiographical, but I don't know that I'll ever share which part(s) for sure.
Is there any message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
I'd love for readers to walk away from Bella Maura with instant hope, with a lighter, easier feeling in their soul. It's when we are at rest that we can actually get more creative and start thinking we can do the big things God is calling us to do. I hope more people think about mentoring. Or adopting. And I hope more people understand God's gifting to the individual after reading this book - that they respect the God in one another. And, of course, if there are any young adults or ANY adults who have suffered (or are suffering) abuse, I sincerely hope that they will gain strength from Bella Maura. If that is you -- I know, I KNOW, you can rise above it.
What book are you reading now?
J.John's God's Priorities, The Lord's Prayer. It's very good. I'm also reading Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue.
Are you currently working on anything? if so, can we have a little teaser?
I am currently putting the finishing touches on Bella Maura's sequel,Justice Quinn. Together the books will make the Beautiful Justice series.It should be released in 2011, depending on Bella's sales record, and an excerpt is at the back of Bella Maura. I can tell you that Justice Quinn is strong.., and Bella's all grown up. It's a very cool book, I think.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
God Bless you! Here's to you agreeing with what God made - YOU!
A special thanks to Dawn Dyson for taking the time to speak with me and answering my questions!
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