Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Interview & Giveaway with Suspense Writer, Dani Pettrey


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!

70 comments:

  1. Awesome interview!! I loved this book!!

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    1. Thanks, Heather :) So glad you enjoyed the interview too.

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  2. Thanks for joining us today Dani, great to meet you here!

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  3. I can't wait to read this one. LOVED Submerged and I know this is going to be a great adventure and a great romance!! :)

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    1. This one is SO good!!! The romance is killer (pun intended) :)

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    2. Thanks, Joanne. Really hope you'll enjoy Shattered!

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  4. I can't wait for the next one! I loved both books...especially "Shattered".

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    1. Thanks so much, Annette. Thrilled you enjoyed Submerged and Shattered!

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  5. This is such a great interview and your Facebook chat last night was great fun too, Dani.

    I love your answer to your favorite character. Can't wait to read this book.

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    1. Mary,

      So thrilled you enjoyed the interview and had fun at the chat!

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  6. I'm not usually a fan of suspense novels...I'm too easily terrified! Lol But this book sounds so good, I just might risk it!! =)

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    1. Lol, Melissa :) Hope it'll be worth the risk :-)

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  7. Love learning more about how authors write, especially Dani, she is one of my favorite right now! Can't get enough of those McKennas!

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  8. I also enjoyed getting to know Karli as you learn her back story. At the beginning you don't think much about her, but as the book goes on you feel like you get to know her and I got really sad that she had died. =( All part of good story telling

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    1. Thanks, Collany. So glad you were able to feel like you got to know Karli.

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  9. Loved the interview! I want to do the exact same things in Alaska! This sounds like just my kind of book! :)

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    1. So glad you enjoyed the interview. Hope you're able to make it to Alaska one day :))

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  10. Awesome interview! I can't wait to read the book!

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    1. Thanks, Laura. Really appreciate you dropping by :)

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  11. Loved the interview. I didn't realize most romance books have the 50 50 split between romance and suspense. I love that they do. Really enjoyed the book banter last night. I loved Submerged and am looking forward to Shattered. So thankful there's many more to come in this series. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Susan,

      So glad you enjoyed the Banter last night and the interview. Thanks so much for dropping by! Blessings, Dani

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  12. Loved the interview. Thanks Jamie for the contest and offering Dani's new book; I can't wait to read it.

    I really enjoyed the chat last night Dani, it was so much fun.

    Last year my oldest son/his wife/their son went to Alaska with her parents and sister. They had a wonderful time and brought back some fantastic pictures. I want to visit there some day.

    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice@comcast.net

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Tina. So glad you enjoyed the interview and the chat! So glad to hear your family had a wonderful trip to Alaska. Can't wait to take a trip there myself someday :)

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    2. TINA!!! YOU'RE THE WINNER OF THE BOOK DRAWING!!! Shoot me an email at jaimewrightbooks (at) gmail (dot) com with your snail mail addy and I'll pop the book off in the mail to you! :)

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  13. Loved the interview! Blessings to you both!

    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Heatstroke?! Sounds awesome! Can't wait to get my hands on 'Shattered'!

    Thanks again for the book banter last night Dani! I always learn so much from listening to authors.

    ~Sarah
    http://sudryandspecific.wordpress.com/
    sarpenner@yahoo.ca

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      So glad you enjoyed the banter. I had a blast! Hope you'll enjoy Shattered when you get a chance to read it :) Blessings!

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  15. Love the interview. Can't wait for the rest of your book!

    superstarsarah94(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. I've already ordered Shattered (books take awhile to travel to NZ) and I'm so looking forward to it :)

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    1. Thanks, Kara. Hope you'll really enjoy Piper and Landon's story when it arrives.

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  17. Great interview! Caught the end of the Facebook party last night and it was wonderful. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. Quack, QUACK!

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    1. Thanks so much! Love the quack :) Adorable.

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  18. Thank you, Coffee Cups & Camisoles! I enjoyed Dani's interview. It's fun getting to know the author behind the book. ;)

    Dani, I've been to Alaska several times (Anchorage) and saw Moose. Interesting creatures. There was the cutest baby one on the right side of the road, and I had my friend stop so I could get out and film it (It was several years ago, so it was one of those heavy, rest on your shoulder kind of camcorders.) Anyway, the recorder was large and I was so enthralled with the little guy that I couldn't see the mama was on the other side of the road snorting away! (I was told snorting serves as a warning to get away from her baby!) My friend kept telling me to get in the truck and I kept saying, "Ok. One sec." When I realized the mama was about to charge me, it nearly scared the pee out of me! lol I told my friend, "If you'd said, get in the truck OR YOU'RE GOING TO DIE, I would've moved a lot faster."

    Even more exciting than the moose was seeing the Aurora Borealis! We went to Portage Glacier and sat in the snow, not caring if our frozen bootahs fell off because the heavenly show was so spellbinding.

    I hope you get to visit Alaska one day. It's like entering another world.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win your book. After the book banter on Bethany House's FB page yesterday, and reading your interview today, I'm just itching to read your work! :)

    Blessings!
    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Cheryl,

      Thank you SO much for sharing about your amazing time in Alaska. Sounds phenomenal. Would LOVE to see a moose up close (without the fear of being charged by mama :)) and the Aurora Borealis--would even brave the cold to see it!

      Blessings!

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  19. "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." I loved this answer, when your faith is that big a part of your life, it comes out in your story as real and genuine. Love it!

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  20. What fun to have you all here today!! :)

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  21. I am waiting for my copy of SUBMERGED from the library. Then I'll be ready for SHATTERED. Can't wait to read them both. I was introduced to Dani's writing by someone (sorry, I don't remember who) who recommends new authors to you after you submit a brief questionnaire.

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    1. Hope you'll enjoy both books, Barb :) So glad someone introduced me to you!

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  22. Hello Dani, I am the one from banter last night that has not read your books yet but after seeing all the comments and meeting you there, I will definately be looking for this series. The characters sound wonderful and I know I will like reading about Alaska. thanks again for your time last night.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. So nice to 'see' you again. Thrilled you're excited about reading the Alaskan Courage series. Really hope you'll enjoy them!

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  23. So, SO sweet. :) Thank you for sharing.

    Dani said 'I’m not a plotter (or a math fan J)' Now I'm no author but I absolutely am NOT a fan of math either, Dani! I know, I know, of all the things I could point out... :-D. Please enter me in the giveaway too! (Very nice blog by the way. :)

    Thanks and have a nice day!

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    1. Hey Ganise,

      Nice to see you :) And, to know you aren't a math fan either. Funny story---my oldest daughter is an applied math major--go figure :P

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  24. Great interview. Can't wait to read the book.

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    1. Thanks, Joey! So glad you enjoyed the interview :)

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  25. I read the first book Submerged and absolutely loved it. Would love to win and read Shattered. Thank you for the giveaway and the interview.

    Karen G
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. Hi Karen,

      So glad you enjoyed Submerged. Hope you enjoy Shattered too!

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  26. Thank you for featuring Dani Pettrey! I loved the interview, getting to know a bit more about how she writes and a bit about her personally. Thank you for offering this contest. I'd love to win a copy of "Shattered!"
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by and entering, Nancee. So glad you enjoyed the interview.

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  27. Great interview! This is a new author to me so I'd love to win and read her book.

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  28. I wouldn't have guessed Karli but I totally see that. Please don't put me in the drawing. I'm fortunate enough to have an autographed copy.

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    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thanks so much for stopping by :))

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  29. Sounds like an amazing read. Would love my own copy. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  30. Love Alaska & think I will love this book - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie. Hope you'll enjoy Shattered :)

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  31. Sounds like a great book. I love Alaska but never been there. Thanks for the chance to win.

    prettyinpurplerose@aol.com

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  32. Hi Dani. Missed the one just past. Don't know how. Tho't I was subscribed to you. Hope I cen win your book. Sounds good! Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hey Maxie,

      Thanks for dropping by. Best of luck in the drawing :)

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  33. Dani. I've never been to Alaska and will probably never be there. But I do have relatives living there and they love it. But I did live in Beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyo. for 6 years in the 70's and saw lots of Moose. I saw a new baby and just stopped the car and watched. There was a large puddle of water from our rains and the mother was out in the center. You know they eat stuff under the water. Well, the little one wanted her, but didn't want to get it's feet wet. It would put one in and then quickly take it out and shake it. Then the other one. After many tries, it went in slowly to it's mom. A precious memory. Once when we were hunting, I had gone off on my own and came upon two Moose. One lying down and the other standing. A scary moment for they can hurt a person. I stopped and stood still for a bit. Then creeped back very slowly until I felt he wasn't going to come after me, and made a fast detour. But I saw many while living there. Also, saw one start after someone once for getting to near. Also saw lots of Elk, Deer, and Antelope. Oh, and some bears! Loved living there. Teton Mountains and Lakes are beautiful. Since I moved away there have been a lot of changes. They wouldn't let big stores in, like Walmart, etc. It was a Western town with boardwalks and older type buildings. Guess the older ones died and when younger ones took over the city councils, etc. they voted for the more modern stuff. SAD! My kids that have been able to visit there again said it is not the same. But, a lot is. It is a very good place for stories to be written. Maxie

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  34. What great stories, Maxie! Thanks so much for sharing. I've never visited that area, but I've heard it's gorgeous!

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  35. I really want to win this book... it's for sure a keeper and one to read over and over again!!!

    sheepqueen07@hotmail.com

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  36. Lol have to agree with your 3 items if you got stranded! :) can't wait to read this book LOVED the first two!

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  37. Added to my TBR and WL. Thanks for letting us know about this book.


    wilkwise///at///gmail///dot///com

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