Jaime here. One of the things I love about mingling with the writing world is the opportunity to read new authors AND get to know them! Enter Dani Pettrey. Her first book, Submerged sent me into a tailspin. I love historicals and here I was, consumed until the wee hours of the morning with a suspense novel. Way cool. Since then, I've been able to get to know Dani a bit and she's guesting on our blog today for an interview and in prep for a book report and GIVEAWAY on Friday for her latest and greatest Shattered.
Hey Dani - so great to have you here! Let's jump right in. Your books are based in Alaska - the Final Frontier ;). Have you been to Alaska and what made you pick that as your location for this series?
Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure of visiting Alaska yet, but I would absolutely love to visit. My dream trip would include seeing the Aurora Borealis, cruising along the Inside Passage, sea kayaking in Prince William Sound, bear viewing in Kodiak, hiking Denali, a flightseeing trip of Mt. McKinley, Glacier/Wildlife Cruise in Kenai Fjords National Park, and of course, being a moose fan, no trip would be complete without seeing my favorite animal.
I chose Alaska as my location because I wanted a setting full of adventurous possibilities, someplace you could push the normal boundaries (extreme weather, remote areas, etc.), and Alaska provided a wonderful backdrop with an inherent risk of danger if not properly prepared for the extremes you can encounter there.
In your first book, "Submerged", you mixed a LOT of history in as the background for your plot. In "Shattered", it didn't include much, if any history. Are you a history buff, or do you just like to shake it up from book to book :)?
I am a huge history buff—particularly the Medieval and Regency periods. Including Russian history in Submerged worked great with the story. It naturally fell into place. In Shattered, I originally had a secondary historical thread, but discovered fairly quickly into my rough draft that it wasn’t right for the story, so I pulled it. Story always comes first.
So, Landon and Piper ... heatstroke. The romance was palpable. But then the suspense was equally heart-pounding. Do you have an equation to know how to balance both so perfectly to keep your story moving?
I’m not a plotter (or a math fan J), so I definitely don’t have an equation, but in the romantic suspense genre there is a sort of unwritten rule of 50% romance and 50% suspense. I think that often ends up being the case whether intentionally or unintentionally. You’re telling a romance amidst a suspense backdrop or vice-versa. I’m extremely fortunate to have amazing editors that have an excellent feel for when either area needs strengthening, and that’s where revisions come in.
Who was your favorite "sub character" in "Shattered and why?
Karli Davis, the murder victim. Karli is killed at the opening of Shattered, but getting to share her story throughout the book through clues, others’ eyes, and the little traces she’d left behind proved an interesting challenge. Getting to tell a story from the viewpoint of someone who’s no longer able to speak for herself was fascinating.
There's a definitive Spiritual thread running through your books. What is your main goal for including that and why do you write Inspirational fiction?
I don’t have a goal. It’s simply that my relationship with Jesus is part of every facet of my life, so it only feels natural for it to be part of the stories I tell. Just as my love of adventure permeates the stories, so does my faith.
Coffee or tea? Why? :)
Coffee because you can add chocolate to it and it tastes delicious :)
If you were caught in a cabin after an avalanche ;), what three items would you want with you (assuming you already have your Bible)?
Coffee, chocolate and a cell phone with killer reception :)
Great choice, Dani! LOL So thanks for joining us today. I'm really excited about the opportunity to give your book away to some lucky duck!
Readers, you'll definitely want to hang around the CCC blog this week. For every comment you leave (one per day) on any post from this week, you'll be entered to win Dani's new book Shattered. You won't be disappointed and trust me, Dani's book will have you on the edge of your seat!