Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Authors Ted Dekker & Erin Healy - KISS - Free Book

Our interview today will be a little different. First we'll have the bios of both of the authors, then we'll visit with Ted, thenErin.


Ted is the son of missionaries John and Helen Dekker, whose incredible story of life among headhunters in Indonesia has been told in several books. Surrounded by the vivid colors of the jungle and a myriad of cultures, each steeped in their own interpretation of life and faith, Dekker received a first-class education on human nature and behavior. This, he believes, is the foundation of his writing.

After graduating from a multi-cultural high school, he took up permanent residence in the United States to study Religion and Philosophy. After earning his Bachelor's Degree, Dekker entered the corporate world in management for a large healthcare company in California. Dekker was quickly recognized as a talent in the field of marketing and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. This experience gave him a background which enabled him to eventually form his own company and steadily climb the corporate ladder.

Since 1997, Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. To see a complete list of Dekker's work, visit The Works section of

Erin Healy

Erin Healy is owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a Colorado-based consulting firm specializing in fiction book critique, manuscript development, and editing for publishers. Kiss, co-authored with Ted Dekker, is her first novel. Erin is the director of the Academy of Christian Editors and former editor of Christian Parenting Today magazine. She and her husband, Tim, are the proud parents of two children.

Welcome, Ted. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

About 15 % of myself. The part above my shoulders and between my ears. Or variations of that which rests between my ears.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Recently, I told my kids I’d learned how to throw my voice. To prove my new skill in a crowded mall food court, I barked once like a dog, throwing my voice across the room. No on looked, So I did it again, much louder this time. Everyone looked. My skill failed, as did my daughter’s attempt to vanish into their chairs. We had a good laugh.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In college. I first learned that I could tell stories much earlier and I first learned I could write novels when I was in my early thirties.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Anything that fascinates me. Unfortunately my mind is not easily fascinated. Right now I’m reading a book on mental illness that I find riveting.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve completed BoneMan’s Daughters, not yet published (April 09.) Lunatic and Elyon, not yet published (coauthored, June 09.) Green, not yet published (Sept 09.) Burn, not yet published (coauthored, 2010) Tea with Hezbollah (2010) and three novels that never got published from a decade ago.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t. I let it go, and then go chasing after it. It’s in the pursuit that I write and learn. That’s where you find the edge of our world and the beginning of a new one.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
People I’ve met. Books.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Winning my Eldest daughter’s respect and love, something that fueled the writing of BoneMan’s Daughters, a kind of prodigal daughter story.
I can hardly wait to read it. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An eagle. To fly above it all and peering down at the rats scurrying about, chasing their tails. It’s what I do now when I lose my sanity:-)
What is your favorite food?
Coffee. Yes, it’s is a food. I’ve found that you can extract the flavor by grinding the beans and running hot water over them. Better than jawing on the beans.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Writing is always a writer’s greatest road obstacle. Like in extreme sports, there are distractions that keep us from tackling the obstacle, but the writing itself must remain the obstacle, or it is no great feat. The greater the obstacle, the greater the accomplishment. It’s what drives me to improve.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Chose a rather small obstacle. A smaller book. A simple book. Learn how to write before you try a double back flip :-)
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
My first coauthored with Erin Healy. Burn is our second.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Welcome, Erin. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
You know, I have no idea. I might not be able to answer that question for a few years, when hindsight might be more revealing to me. Either that or I’ll need to ask a psychologist for a professional assessment.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I said yes to my husband’s marriage proposal only three weeks after I met him. Smartest thing I’ve ever done, too.

I think James asked me to marry him about three weeks after we met. We married after knowing each other three months and three days. That was over 44 years ago. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
There was no aha moment for me. Writing has simply always been a part of what I do, of how I think and express myself. But I remember the moment I consciously thought I wanted to “be a writer”—it was after I read Harriet the Spy. I even kept a notebook full of spy-like observations for a while. Lucky for a few people out there, I have no idea what happened to it.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I admit a preference for fiction, but within that category I read everything from Dean Koontz and Jodi Picoult to Leif Enger and Marilynne Robinson, including young adult fiction and, once in a while, a classic. And of course, my day-to-day work is saturated with Christian fiction that’s all over the map, from rich historicals to soul-searching contemporaries to speculative fantasies.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?
A gift book of short stories with John Trent, titled My Mother’s Hands, and a Bible study for moms called Managing Your Time for the Mom’s Ordinary Day series.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Every night after the family’s in bed, I take a hot-hot shower, pray and plot and ponder, stay in until the water heater’s drained, and thank God I was born in an age of indoor plumbing.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Names have such unique connotations for everyone. I pick what sounds right to my own ears. And I’ve been known to use a phone book.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Once, while attempting to install new flooring in a bathroom, I cracked the toilet tank while removing it. I singlehandedly—without the aid of husband, plumber, or Home Depot employee—purchased and installed a new toilet after ruining only two wax rings. (Apologies for the tongue in cheek, but I guess that’s a question I’m uncomfortable answering.)

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A polar bear, chubby and mentally suited for cold climates, content to eat fish, to live in low-populated areas, and to hibernate with my cubs.

What is your favorite food?
I only get to pick one? But I love to eat! I’m a polar bear, remember? Eenie meanie miney … flank steak, marinated in my nana’s ginger-honey-soy sauce recipe and cooked on my father’s grill. Accompanied by his spicy Caesar salad. And my mother’s sourdough-cheese soufflĂ©. Must … go … eat …

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I went into writing believing I’d be a plotter. I’d spend days on detailed plot, act, and scene summaries, outlining from beginning to end, only to have the story fall apart once the writing began. That failure paralyzed me, Mrs. Uber-Organized. While working with Ted I learned the value of holding a story loosely and allowing it to have its own breathing room. Now I start a story knowing where I want it to start and where I hope it will arrive. As for how it gets there, I try to discover that more organically during the writing itself.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Learn the craft. Learn how to respect it before you attempt to do anything subversive. Learn what moves your audience. Learn how to expose yourself and your work to the honest opinion of others, especially people who don’t like what you’ve written. Learn, learn, learn. “Your job,” write the authors of Art and Fear, “is to learn to work on your work.” And keep a lot of chocolate on hand. It enhances the retention of studying.

Dark chocolate, of course. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
It’s awesome! Buy it. Read it. I do hope readers might find it to be more than entertaining, that they might begin to see their most painful personal memories in a new light. I hope they can discover grace in pain and see these experiences as formative events that God can redeem and transform into meaningful parts of their history. When God told the Israelites to commemorate their suffering (such as with altars and feast days), He wasn’t telling them to wallow in it, but to remember Who delivered them from it. If our whole history—good, bad, and ugly—keeps us focused on Him, our future will make more sense. I really believe that.

That is so true, especially in this day and time. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Erin, for spending this time with us.
Readers, you can order the book by using this link:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Don't forget to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won.


Unknown said...

This book sounds really interesting. I'd love to be entered please thanks!

Anonymous said...

This looks like a book that I would enjoy. Thank you for the chance to win!

Maggie Brendan said...

Wonderful interview! I must confess, I've never read Ted Dekker's books, but have heard so much about how good they are. I'd just love a chance to win this new one with Erin Healy!

Jessica Nelson said...

I actually have this book coming in the mail, so don't enter me Lena. :-)
Erin, great interview. When I saw your name on the book I was like, who is this? LOL A polar bear is a great answer. I love to cuddle with my cubs too. :-)
I'm looking forward to reading your and Ted's book!

Merry said...

Please include me in the drawing for Kiss. I've read many good reviews and it sounds very mysterious and exciting. Thanks!

Martha A. said...

I would like to enter for this book, although I always wonder if I will be too scared to read it!
I have heard great things though, so am willing to try!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


windycindy said...

Greetings! I have read good things about this co-authored book. Please enter my name in your drawing for their book. Many thanks, Cindi

Holly Magnuson said...

I've enjoyed several of Ted Dekker's book and would love the opportunity to win this one. Thanks!

Mimi B said...

I loved reading what Ted did to his daughter at the mall! Sounds like my kind of parent. He seems like a man of few words.

And Erin's being a polar bear just cracked me up! I'd never thought of that, but right now being in MN I sure could relate.

Please enter me to win. My 15 yr old daughter's bff just read the book and really liked it!

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Carolynn said...

This book sounds really good, thanks for the chance to win it!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in :)
Thank you!

Stormi said...

Always wanted to read one of his books but have never had the chance. I would really love to win this book and see what everyone is talking about.


Anonymous said...

i have heard so much about this book. i would love the chance to win it. thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

kalea_kane said...

Please don't enter me, I am reading this now, but I just wanted to thank you for the great interview. I just love Ted Dekker and I was out-of-my-skin excited when I read about Kiss.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me for this book, i love ted dekker books, and erin sounds like a great writer!

Norma said...

This book sounds very intriguing. Please enter me.

buddyt said...

I think I would like the book so please enter me in the drawing.
Thank you.


Edna said...

I would love to win this book, may God bless all.

Anonymous said...

Goody I'm not too late ! I missed this email update must have read right over the subject !
I was reading the latest blog entry and saw a list of recent titles and Ted Dekker !!!!! I love thrillers and have been wanting more to read. I only own one Dekker book and the library in my town has none, Yikes ! Please sign me up . . . yay suspense.

artist4christ - @ - cyberhaus -.- us

Marla said...

Sounds like another very good and interesting book. thank you for the entry.

mommyjen99 said...

Please enter me! This sounds like a great read.

Ashley E said...

I'll read anything Dekker. :) Enter me in the drawing please. Thank you!


hippmom said...

I am intrigued by this book. Look forward to reading it.

THanks for the interview and giveaway.

Emily said...

Dying to read the latest from Ted!!