Today I feel very privileged to be interviewing romantic suspense author Dani Pettrey. She’s answering lots of writerly questions for us, AND she’s graciously offered to do a book giveaway drawing for a copy of her novel, Submerged.
I first “met” Dani through her blog, http://danipettrey.com/,
which led to an email conversation about our Nordic roots (we both could’ve had different maiden names!). Then I got to meet her at a book signing at a cute coffee shop in Virginia. Here’s a photo of us:
I personally love that Dani’s books are set in Alaska. I watch Yukon Men for fun, and for info on how to survive if things really get rough! Since I’m not the most urban kinda gal (Starbucks addiction notwithstanding), this rough and rugged setting appeals to me.
Here’s a little more background info on Dani:
Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.
And now, let’s jump right into our questions! Please comment below with your email address for a chance to win a copy of Submerged!
HG: It was so great to meet you in person, Dani! You are such a petite, cute gal! Tell me why you chose Alaska for your series setting. Have you ever been there?
DP: Thanks, Heather. It was a joy meeting you and your delightful daughter. Thanks again for coming out to say hi. 🙂
Once I knew that Cole and his family owned an adventure outfitting company, I began searching for the perfect setting. I wanted some place where a wide variety of adventures could occur—everything from scuba diving to snowboarding. Alaska seemed the perfect location. It’s ripe for adventure and has an inherent risk of danger if you’re not properly prepared.
HG: Did you have to do loads of research for the diving scenes? Also, did you base the Russian history aspects on any real events? I loved those details.
DP: Yes. I had to do a lot of research for both the diving scenes and the Russian history aspects. Fortunately I love research!
I did base quite a bit of the Russian background on real people and events. I love weaving fact into fiction, taking what existed and asking what if? It’s one of the great joys of being a write—letting my imagination run wild.
HG: How did you meet your editor—querying, contest, or conference?
DP: I met my editor at the ACFW conference. All his appointment slots were booked so I went to a Spotlight session he gave on Bethany House and approached him afterwards. He was gracious enough to listen to my pitch and to request the first three chapters.
HG: Tell us about the day Bethany House said they wanted to publish your book (or did they say yes to the entire series?). I can only imagine the emotions!
DP: My editor let me know the day that Submerged went to publishing committee. What an emotion-filled day. I decided the best way to get through the day was focused distraction so I took my girls rock climbing. When I returned there was an email from my editor making me an official offer for Submerged and two more books in the series. I literally dropped to my knees and thanked God.
HG: How long did it take to get your book published, from that rough draft to the final publication?
DP: It took me a year to write Submerged, and then once I sold another year and a half before it hit shelves.
HG: Your next book, Shattered, releases February 2013. Did you have it ready to go by the time Submerged hit shelves this year?
DP: I had already written and revised Shattered when Submerged released, but I wasn’t completely through the editorial process. I still had line edits to do this summer and just finished my first galley run through.
HG: Finally, tell us a little about the main characters in this upcoming book!
DP: Shattered follows the journey of Piper McKenna and Landon Grainger as they seek to find a snowboarder’s killer. Here’s the back cover copy:
Piper McKenna couldn’t be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed–but despite the evidence, Reef swears he’s innocent. And Piper believes him.
Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but 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 may mean risking Landon’s career.
With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry–and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.
Thank you so much, Dani! Looking forward to reading Piper’s story. All the best to you, and thanks so much for doing this giveaway!
****Please comment below with questions for Dani or with something you enjoyed about this interview. Don’t forget to give your email address for a chance to win Submerged! (Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t want to give your email publicly).****
And I’ll choose the random winner this Monday, Sept. 18th! Will email you and post the name then!