Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Not a lot. My characters might share some similar interests or a particular struggle I’ve had in the past, but they are very much their own :)
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I won an indoor mock rodeo competition. Instead of bulls, we rode hoppy balls. Definitely the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always loved telling stories, but it wasn’t until after the birth of my youngest daughter and a serious health scare that I decided to pursue my love of writing.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy a wide range. In fiction, I read everything from the classics to mysteries to romantic suspense. Some of my favorite novelists include Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Gina Holmes, Sue Grafton and Jane Austen. I also enjoy a great deal of non-fiction. I enjoy reading travel commentaries, history books, and Christian living titles by authors like Max Lucado and Alistair Begg.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I find spending time in God’s Word and in prayer each morning before I start the day to be an enormous help. I also set aside family time every evening and, of course, take a daily coffee and chocolate break—very helpful. J
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I usually pick my hero and heroine’s names when I first begin brainstorming the story. Secondary characters are a lot tougher for me, particularly last names. I often end up scrolling through the yellow pages looking for a name that fits. In my first draft, it’s not unusual for me to have characters simply named landlord or new deputy.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I consider it more of a blessing than an accomplishment, but I would have to say homeschooling my daughters. I joyfully still have one at home, but my eldest is a freshman in college this year and it was such a tremendous blessing to be able to homeschool her since kindergarten.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would say a pelican. You can fly and you get to live at the beach. Our family often vacations at the Outer Banks in
North Carolina and watching the Pelicans
glide over the water at sunset is absolutely gorgeous.
What is your favorite food?
Does chocolate count?
It certainly does. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think learning not to listen to everybody’s opinion. I know that sounds weird, but bear with me. As an aspiring writer you want to learn as much as you can and you should. But you’ll find you get a lot of conflicting information. Some authors are plotters others are seat-of-the-pants writers. Neither is better than the other. It’s simply a matter of what works best for you, and you may find that is a combination of the two. I believe all writers, published or aspiring, should continue to learn, to hone their craft and to receive constructive criticism, but the key is to take what resonates with you, what makes you a better writer and disregard the rest. Just because something worked for one author doesn’t mean it has to work that way for you. I think that is the enormous blessing of writing organizations like ACFW. So many authors generously give of their time and share their knowledge. If you ask a question about character development, you’ll get a ton of varied answers. Take the lessons that make sense to you and cherish them.
Tell us about the featured book?
Submerged is the first book in my Alaskan Courage series. It’s the story of Cole McKenna and Bailey Craig.
A sabotaged plane. Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.
Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in
, 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. Yancey,
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.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Never wager unless you control the stakes.
And she’d thought she held such a strong hand.
Agnes Grey forced her head against the rattling seat back, clenched the armrests with such force her nails broke. Perspiration soaked her brow, seeping into her eyes, but she refused to cry. She was too old to cry.
The plane was going down into the water within sight of her home. Home—warm, safe, dry. She’d never see it again.
Her friend Henry Reid strained to look back, his white knuckles bulging on the wheel as he fought to regain control of the spiraling Cessna, but the fiery plane seemed bent on destruction. Panic flashed through his eyes. “Tighten your belts. Put your head between your knees.”
His concern was sweet, but it wouldn’t change the outcome. Their fate was set.
They were going down—hard and fast. The other passengers’ terrified expressions said they knew it too. Innocents, every one, Agnes thought, fury on their behalf trumping her own fear. She was the only one on board who knew this catastrophe was no mechanical failure. It was him. She knew it as surely as she knew she’d seen her last sunset.
A bitter cry tore from her cracked lips. Any semblance of control on her part had been an illusion,
She’d played her hand, and he’d just called her on it.
If she hadn’t been so stinking stubborn, if she’d kept her mouth shut and given him what he wanted . . . But Momma hadn’t raised her like that. She’d done the right thing. She only wished she hadn’t brought the others down with her.
Managing to crane her neck left, she took in the sight of the loving couple’s hands clasped tight, crying as they whispered frantic words to each other.
Agnes’s stomach lurched. She’d brought them on this journey, doomed them to a watery tomb.
At least now he’d be satisfied. She’d be gone. They’d be gone. No one was left to . . .
Acid burned up her throat.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m online at my website www.danipettrey, on Facebook and on Twitter.
Thanks so much for the interview,
You had very thoughtful and fun questions. Blessings, Dani
Thank you, Dani, for sharing your new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Submerged (Alaskan Courage) - -paperback
Submerged (Alaskan Courage) - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.