Author Interview With Dani Pettrey!Sunday, July 27, 2014
I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Bethany House author, Dani Pettrey, on The Write Things!
Which books have influenced you the most in your life?
Dani: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Screwtape Letters, The Jesus I Never Knew, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes, Predator by Terri Blackstock, A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, and Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series. I’m sure I’m forgetting some, but those are the ones that pop foremost in my mind.
I understand that you homeschool your children (I was homeschooled all through high school!) — how has homeschooling influenced your career as a writer?
Dani: I think homeschooling has influenced my career in a number of ways. First, homeschooling allows a nice flexibility for my writing schedule. While my children worked independently I was able to sit at the kitchen table with them and work on my writing. A 9-5 job doesn’t allow that kind of flexibility. Secondly, my writing has always been a family effort to some extent. I brainstorm with my girls and hubby. Each of them reads my stories and provides feedback. They help with behind the scenes marketing. It’s a lot of fun sharing my writing projects on a family basis. Thirdly, as homeschoolers we’re always researching via the library and the web and I think that love of learning and resourcefulness have been of great asset to me.
What do you think is a crucial element to a good story?
Dani: Characters. Without them you don’t have a story. I think characters you can relate to, root for and empathize with are essential for a good story.
How has your love for travel and adventure inspired your suspense novels like Submerged?
Dani: My love of adventure is what inspired the Alaskan Courage series. I’ve always been intrigued by extreme adventure athletes. One night a number of years ago my family and I watched a movie about cave divers. The movie got me thinking about what kind of people would do something so dangerous for a hobby or for a living, and the idea for Submerged and for the McKenna family was born.
What was the hardest thing about writing the Alaskan Courage series?
Dani: Writing the Alaskan Courage series was very research intensive, but I happen to love research so that probably doesn’t count as the hardest thing…though getting the details right can be tricky.
How has your faith influenced your writing as a Christian novelist?
Dani: I hope in a natural way. Just as my love of adventure permeates the stories I write, so does my faith. My relationship with Jesus is part of every facet of my life, it’s only natural to be part of the stories I tell.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young writers?
Dani: Keep reading, writing and learning. It sounds very simple, but it’s very easy to become sidetracked or discouraged. Writing can be a solitary endeavor and there are many obstacles along the path to publication, but if God has placed the love of story on your heart then write for Him. You just may be amazed what He does.
Thank you to Dani Pettrey for this opportunity! For more information, you can find Dani on Twitter or her website.
Also, congratulations to Andy Walser for winning for The Write Things book giveaway for Submerged, the first installment in the Alaskan Courage series!