Friday, March 31, 2017

Interview and Book Giveaway with a new Author!

Marji Laine chats with newly published author, Dena Netherton. And be the first to own Dena's hot new release, HAVEN'S FLIGHT, Book #1 of her The Hunted series. Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway for a free e-book copy of this riveting suspense.


Marji: I'm so excited you were able to join on this with me, Dena, and I'm excited about your story, HAVEN'S FLIGHT! This story has been a long time in the making. How did you begin this journey and what have been your greatest challenges?

Dena: Yes, I’ve had this story in my head for years. I thought about trying to write it when the kids were still in the house, but between raising children, working at the church, going back to school, and teaching a full load of piano and voice students at home, there wasn’t time to learn how to write. The nice thing about writing is, you only gain more experience—and hopefully, wisdom, too— with the passage of time. So, your writing isn’t going to suffer if you put off telling a story.

After my third and last child got married, my husband and I moved to Estes Park, Colorado. We lived in a gorgeous mountain home at an 8000 foot elevation, with wrap-around decks and huge windows that looked out on the mountains. It was the perfect atmosphere to start writing. My office looked out on the Twin Sisters Peaks. Herds of elk used to congregate just outside my window. An occasional bear or coyote wandered by, too.

Marji: Oh my gosh! Sounds heavenly!

Dena: I wrote a novel and took it to several agents who nicely told me I needed to work a bit on my writing craft. Well, writing’s a lot like learning to sing well or play the piano. At first you think, “No sweat, I can do that.” But the more you learn, the more you realize how much more you have to learn. So I joined three writers groups, got into a critique group, bought lots of books on the craft of writing, and practiced. The biggest challenge for me has been the temptation to be discouraged. It’s not easy to face rejection or receive less-than-steller critiques from judges. But I believed that I had a good story, so I pressed on.

Marji: Your story sounds a LOT like mine! Critiques and writing groups along with books on every element of the writing craft. But it was worth it for me, and definitely worth it for you with this first book of "The Hunted" series. HAVEN'S FLIGHT has a distinctively “creepy,” hair-tingly feel to it with the stalking issue. Did that layer of the story come from anything you experienced or just from your vivid imagination?

Dena: I was stalked briefly years ago when I lived and worked in San Francisco,

Marji: Yikes!

Dena: I’ve never forgotten the tension in my stomach each day as I left work. I took different routes back home and kept looking around to make sure the guy wasn’t following me. Somehow he found out where I worked and showed up at my office. Fortunately, it was my last day of work. The next day, I flew to Michigan to go to school.

Marji: Oh, how terrifying. Well, you certainly shared that tension you felt with your readers! While
you were writing Haven’s Flight, did you have any moments when the story elements seeped into reality? Like did you ever find yourself looking around to make sure no one was watching you?

Dena: The main thing I did whenever I went into town was look for people who looked like my characters. Once in a while I’d pass somebody and think, “He looks just like Jesse.” Or, “She’s almost blonde and petite enough to be Haven.”

Marji: That's fun. You really get to know your characters well when you're spinning their stories. What have you found to be the most fun part of today’s publishing environment or the writing process as a whole? Did you find anything that surprised you?

Dena: I love the friendships I’ve developed with other writers. Most people think a writer’s life is lonely, but it’s anything but. Probably because publishing has changed so much in the last few years, it nudges writers out of their offices and into social venues with readers and other writers. Which is a good thing.

Marji: I would certainly agree with that. I was sure surprised by that element. It’s obvious from your detailed descriptions that you love the Cascade Mountains. When did you move there, and what do you like most about the area in which you live?

Dena: I first visited the Cascade Mountains when I was a teenager. Something about the area resonated with me. It’s kind of like meeting your soul mate. I love the misty weather, the mountains, the cedars and Douglas firs. That’s when I knew I had to set some of my future books in the area. I visited the Seattle metro area several times. When I started writing Haven’s Flight, I came out three more times to take notes and photos and gather maps and cultural information. My husband and I moved to the Northwest two years ago, long after I’d written Haven’s Flight. The town I live in is north of Seattle, close to the Canadian border. It’s got the best of everything: the sea, the mountains, mild weather, beautiful trees, and fun cultural stuff going on all the time.

Marji: In addition to your writing, you also have other sides to your life. Tell us about the rest of Dena Netherton.

Dena: I love to hike and take photos. I love classical music, theater, opera, ballet. But I also appreciate good singers and musicians in other kinds of styles. I’m passionate about prayer, and when I pray it’s often out loud. I get a lot of praying done when I take my walks, which is why I like to walk by myself! I love people. I love to be in church. I love animals, too. I love a good story. I adore road trips. I’m left-handed, but I’m pretty much ambi-dextrous. I’m an insomniac, but that’s okay because late at night is when some of my best story ideas come.

Marji: I'm not an insomniac, but I do love to write late at night when my filters are down. So, what is Haven going up against next?

Dena: Haven is still determined to keep her father in the dark about what happened to her in the mountains. But when an old friend resurfaces with disturbing news, Haven realizes she must put distance between herself and those she wishes to protect. A new town, a new job, and a new romance hold the possibility of safety and a new life for Haven.

Marji: Ooo, romance! That'll be fun. So here are some "Quick Ques":

a. Beach or mountains? 
            Why choose? I have both where I live!
b. Dogs or cats? 
             I love them both, but I ‘d rather have a donkey.
c. LOL! Tea, coffee or soda? 
             Definitely dark, dark coffee. I’m Norwegian, after all.
d. Sweet or savory? 
             Sweeeeet.
e. Pizza, Burgers, Ribs, or Tacos? 
            When I’m really hungry, I crave a good burger.
f. Date night out or game night in? 
            Take me out to a fine seafood restaurant.
g. High heels or sneakers? 
            I love to don high heels and load up on the jewelry.

Marji: Thanks so much for sharing with us!

Dena's new book, HAVEN'S FLIGHT is discounted right now (as an e-book pre-order) for $2.99, a 40% discount, until it's release on April 4th. And she's giving away one of those copies to one of you who are reading right now. Please leave a short note to encourage this new author (and include your email address) in the comments to be entered in the giveaway. The random drawing will be held on April 7, 2017. Here's the short version of her riveting suspense:
How can you flee from an unseen enemy?
Haven Ellingsen enrolled in Life Ventures Therapy Camp in the Cascade Mountains to help her heal from horrible memories of her mother’s violent death at the hands of an armed robber. But now, a greater fear dogs her steps. The rustle of leaves or the snap of a twig could be nothing. Or it might signal the sinister presence of the stalker who won’t stop following her. It seems like a cruel trick from God to throw Haven into another dangerous situation only a year after her mom’s murder.
He hides near her tent and listens to the girl talk with the counselor. Mostly she talks about her father. She’s unhappy, and he can’t stand to listen and do nothing about it. He needs to rescue her. He needs to make sure she doesn’t ever go back to that man. His own father was the cause of his mother’s death. And Ruth’s. He can’t let that happen again. Not with this girl. When the time is right, he’ll take her away to his hidden cabin where she’ll be safe. And he will feel peace for the first time in years.
Can one month of survival training equip a girl to face all that the rugged wilderness and a madman can dish out?
Marji and Dena will be talking about the publishing atmosphere on Publishing Laine, 7PM on Blogtalk Radio. Join them live or listen after the fact at this link.

Oh, and take advantage of Write Integrity Press's April Fool's 99¢ Sale on Mystery and Suspense to celebrate the release of Dena's new book. Learn more at the Write Integrity Press website

26 comments:

  1. Sounds like just the type of book I like to read. Thanks for this chance to win a copy! I was born in Boulder but now live in the Twin Cities area but would love to go back to Colorado. Estes Park area is beautiful!

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    1. Dawn, I loved living in Estes Park. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth. The only downer about living there was trying to shop at the Safeway during tourist season!

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  2. Dena as a reviewer it always gives me alot of pleasure learning about new authors. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us. I love chilling suspense, creepy stalker books. As long as there isn't a thunderstorm with no electricity and I'm home alone. :o Then my brave turns into chicken. lol Congrats on your new book! The cover is great!

    dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Diana, I'm the same way with creepy stories. I hope you enjoy reading Haven't Flight. I wrote it just for us thriller-loving gals.

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  3. Sounds right up my alley. I love intrigue and suspense! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet. Thanks!

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    1. Paula, thanks so much for reading my interview. I hope you love Haven's Flight.

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  4. Dena, congratulations! Published a book is a great achievement. I hope to read Haven's Flight soon.
    Thank you and Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Connie, I really appreciate your kind words. I hope you enjoy Haven's Flight.

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  5. Beverly Duell-MooreMarch 31, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh! What a great sounding book! Great interview! A book I will be reading! duellonlysis(at)aol(dot)

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    1. Beverly, Haven's Flight is definitely a thriller. Don't read it alone on a dark and stormy night! Thanks for your support.

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  6. Sounds like a great book!
    smincer10(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Suzanne. Love your name; my lovely mother in law is also a Suzanne. I hope you enjoy Haven's Flight.

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  7. I loved the insights into your life and the genesis of this book. I'm counting the days until Tuesday when it releases. Can't wait!

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    1. Amanda, thank you for visiting Suspense Sisters. I highly value your friendship, and appreciate your professional advice throughout the past five years

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  8. I love mystery/suspense stories. This one sounds like a great one! Thanks for the interview and giveaway. d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Donna, I hope you enjoy Haven's Flight. It was immensely fun to write it and the two sequels, too.

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  9. Hi Dena,
    I'm so excited about your debut release!!

    A donkey? Why pray tell? And thanks for the giveaway!!

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    1. Lesann415@gmail.com Left that out, sorry :)

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    2. Leslie Ann, donkeys are smart and filled with personality. Plus, they must be very discerning creatures because they always pick me out in a crowd and come over to nuzzle me! LOL

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  10. Hi Dawn, Boulder is such a fun town. I love the Pearl Street Mall. Sure hope you enjoy Haven's Fight!

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  11. This sounds like a very good book!
    Martha T.
    CRPrairie1@imonmail(dot)com

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    1. Martha, I hope you love Haven's Flight!

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  12. Haven's Flight sounds exciting -- I can't wait to read it!

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    1. Karen, it's a bit like your fascinating Hidden Bloodlines story. I hope you like it.

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  13. Dena, the book sounds terrific! I can hear the setting come alive in the tone of your voice. Couple that with an intriguing suspense, and you have me hooked.
    I always envied (in only the best of ways) your living in Estes Park, the description of your house and the views just made me drool more, LOL!
    Congratulations on your debut book, Dena!!!

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  14. Thank you so much, Audra. The Cascade Mountains are the perfect setting for my creepy story....even though I love the Colorado Rockies, too!

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