Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Dani Pettrey. She is the author of The Alaskan Courage series and her first book, Submerged (Bethany House, 2012) is a romantic suspense set in the coastal town of Yancey Alaska and recently garnered 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times.
So let’s dive right in!
1. Dani, what interesting facts about the way you write or research might surprise readers?
I write all my first drafts longhand. I know it’s unusual in this day of technology but put me in front of a computer screen for a first draft and I freeze up. There’s something about having pen to paper that helps the words flow.
Wow, that’s pretty amazing! You must have much better penmanship than I do :) (Ok…and patience) I can just imagine all the notebooks you’ve filled up. They must make a nice keepsake. I imagine it’s fun to go back and look at those first drafts.
Thinking about how you begin, what is it about your time period and setting that stirred you to write this story?
Once I knew that I wanted to write a story about a family that owned an adventure outfit company, I began searching for the perfect location. I wanted it to be someplace where a variety of adventures could happen—diving, white-water rafting, rock climbing, snowboarding, etc. I wanted someplace ripe for adventure with an inherent risk of danger and Alaska, in all its rugged beauty, seemed perfect.
It truly was. I’ve never been to Alaska, but after reading Submerged, I hope to see it even more now. The McKenna family makes it look like a ton of fun! You have some great characters.
Thinking of your story on a heart level, What do you hope readers will take away from this story? What aspects might encourage them to reflect on their own lives or the world today?
God showed me that even when we are forgiven, sometimes we let our past sins weigh us down. Instead of embracing the new creation we are in Him, we let the past hinder our future, and it keeps us from fully experiencing what God has planned for us.
I really saw this reflected in Bailey’s story. I kept wanting to reach out and give her a hug! I think readers will find your characters very relateable. Dani, thank you for sharing your heart and some of the inspiration behind your Alaskan Courage series. For more on Submerged or her upcoming titles as well as fun facts and tidbits about Alaska, visit Dani’s website or her Facebook Page.