Thursday, March 27, 2014



Find out about the exciting things Dene does besides writing books. Why does Dene feel that writing needs to be consistent and when does she get her best ideas?

Find out in today's interview!

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

I started writing in elementary school and by the sixth grade exit appointment with the principal, I announced that I was going to be an author, which surprised him. He said I’d need to go to college and I said, of course, although my grades were not that great. I never lost that focus and have earned a master’s in creative writing and a PhD in rhetoric and composition (academic writing). I also have six children, a husband, a pilot’s license, a motorcycle, and several books, because through everything, I keep writing. My first novel was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and it was a finalist for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award and it was given other awards as well.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand? 

Computers have become my friends when I write. I used to write long hand, but over the past fifteen years, I've learned a lot about working with computers and they make writing easier. I write on a desk top computer some of the time and on a laptop/tablet the rest of the time. I email versions of documents to myself so I can keep them up to date on both computers, because I don’t quite trust the cloud. I feel that writing time needs to be consistent so the brain recognizes that time as settling into writing.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing? 

My favorite parts are getting ideas, being in the zone so writing just comes, seeing my books in print, getting awards, book signings when I actually meet people who want to or have read my books. My least favorite parts are rejections and marketing.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them? 
Most of the time, my characters introduce themselves to me with a cool phrase or a quirky scene as I doze just before waking. I think they are interesting and fun characters, so I think readers would like them, too.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

Facebook, Twitter, my own web page and blog, book signings and conferences. My son, Lance Card, is a professional designer and web site developer and he manages my site and my publicity in addition to my publishers’ marketing.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write? 

My best writing time is very early in the morning when nothing intrudes, like 5:00 a.m. If I start right, I can write for several hours, unless I am interrupted. No one else in the family wants to get up then, so that writing time is usually undisturbed. Then I take naps during the day.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 

This spring I have a book coming out from Covenant called RScue. The premise is a middle-aged Mormon mother takes out an international car theft ring using things she learned in Relief Society with the help of her visiting teachers. Next fall a book I am collaborating on with Emily Campbell and Jessica Lewis will be coming out from Familius. It is called Our Children in Sickness and Death. All three of us are dealing with the death or chronic illness of our children and we are sharing with our readers what we have learned from these experiences. I also have at least six other books in the works, mostly YA fantasy, which is my first love.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

My back burner is weird. I operate on the Isaac Asimov method. He used to have several typewriters around the room with different books going in each and when he got tired of one, he moved to another to keep himself and his interest fresh. With computers, we can just keep multiple files for our stories and work on them as we are interested, unless there is a contract signed, and then I focus. Right now my projects include YA fantasy that is a Regency romance with a fantasy twist, a WWII Japanese American fantasy, a story about a family of ghosts whose job is to shepherd souls to the other side, a YA fantasy of a karate champion who gets pulled back into medieval Europe, a story that is essentially contemporary Korean drama fan fiction, and some others. I keep getting story ideas.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

Gaining confidence comes with experience: experience with formal classes, experience with writing conferences, experience with writers groups, experience sharing writing, experience writing journals, blogs, short stories, novels, and submitting, even if it’s years before actually being published. Go and do.

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