She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach.
The following is a February 2013 interview with Dani.
I'm a wife, home-schooling mom and author of the Alaskan Courage series from Bethany House including my bestselling debut Submerged and my current release Shattered.
2. How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?
I have always loved daydreaming and making up stories. I wrote poetry and short stories in high school, but never really pursued it past that. I met my husband, we got married and had two children.
I had a serious illness after the birth of our youngest child and while recuperating, I read a lot. I'm still amazed how God used that difficult period in my life to revive my love of story. I started slowly--reading a lot, studying the craft, but knew in my heart He was calling me to write.
3. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?
I think Christian fiction is wonderful for two reasons. One, it's nice to pick up a book and not have to worry about profanity, graphic sex or violence. Second, and more importantly in my mind, is seeing Christ at work in the lives of the characters.
There have been many Christian fiction novels over the years that I truly believe God has used to comfort me, instruct me, and to help me further along in my walk with Him. Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes is one such novel.
I hope readers experience the thrill of adventure, the romance of falling in love, and the heroism of saving the day. I hope my stories fill them with joy and hope.
5. What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why?
The emails I have received from teen girls have had the greatest impact on me. Hearing a teen say how much she related to Bailey Craig's struggle (the heroine from Submerged). How she felt unworthy, but after reading Submerged, she felt closer to God--it is amazingly humbling and encouraging.
6. How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?
What a fabulous question! It has definitely strengthened my relationship with Christ. It's hard to put into words the vast experiences I've been through since I wrote my first manuscript, but God has carried me through some really rough personal times and is walking with me each step of the way. My greatest prayer is to bring Him glory, to write the stories He lays on my heart.
7. Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life?
To be the person God created me to be--the Christian, mother, the wife, the friend…
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
My family and I really love spending time outdoors. My favorite pastimes are hiking and hanging at the beach.
Submerged is the first novel in my Alaskan Courage series. It introduces the McKenna family and is Cole McKenna and Bailey Craig's story.
A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.
Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.
Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart... but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind.
Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.
Submerged (Alaskan Courage #1)
[Purchase: Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle]
When her prodigal brother Reef's return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.
When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself--and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.
Shattered (Alaskan Courage #2)
[Purchase: Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle]
I'm wrapping up the revisions on Stranded (the third book in my Alaskan Courage series). It's Gage McKenna's story and is full of adventure, danger and romance.
Stranded (Alaskan Courage #3)
[It was announced this week that there will be 5 books in the Alaskan Courage series - one for each of the McKenna siblings. The release dates are shown in the image below as northern hemisphere seasons.]
Waving hi! I love that we live in the communication age and oceans don't separate us the way they used to. It's so great connecting with readers worldwide.
12. Do you have any parting words?
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement :)
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