Anna Dynowski interview

» Posted on Mar 28, 2007 in Blog | 2 comments


My winner for last week’s drawing is Cheryl. Congratulations!!!

Interview
What made you start writing?

At the end of 1999, I was complaining to the Lord that I really hated working in the corporate world. I was dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and generally speaking-unhappy. But getting another job wasn’t the answer because I would just trade one office location for another. And I so wanted to wake up in the morning and be excited about going to work. A friend of mine recommended I read a book entitled, How To Make A Living Without A Job. It sounded just the thing I needed so I purchased the book and began reading. The book was designed to help you figure out what you enjoy doing, like hobbies, and try to earn a living from it. By the end of the book, I asked God, “Well, what can I do and enjoy doing it?” One night, while lying in bed, sleep far from me, I started thinking. One talent I had developed during the years I worked in various offices was the ability to compose professional letters. Well, what kind of a talent is this and more importantly, how can I make a living off of it and be excited about it? As I tossed these questions around in my mind, an awesome thought occurred to me: I could write a book and because I enjoyed reading romances, why not a romance novel? The excitement built but I realized I had no idea how to write a novel. So off to Chapters (Toronto’s biggest bookstore) I went and bought the book, How To Write Romances. In 2000, I joined Romance Writers of America and began to write my first story. In 2001, I joined the Toronto Romance Writers and the Faith, Hope and Love, both chapters of RWA.

How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I’ve been writing now for seven years. Although the big New York publishers rejected my first book, Full Circle, it was picked up by a small printing press, Write Words Inc. The ebook (by ebooksonthe.net, a division of Write Words, Inc.) came out in 2005, and the trade paperback (by Cambridge Books, another division of Write Words, Inc.) came out in October, 2006. Both versions, I’m pleased to say, are still available.

How do you handle rejections?

Three days before I received my first rejection, I read about Stephen King having enough rejections when he first started out, he could probably wallpaper a wall in his office with them. When that first rejection arrived in the mail, I thought, Well, I’m keeping company with the great ones. I can honestly say I can now compete with Mr. King with the number of accumulated rejections. I, too, can wallpaper a wall in my home office with them. They hurt. I would be lying if I said otherwise. After all, I threw one hundred and ten percent of myself into the projects. The essence of me is in those books. But I have never allowed the rejections to keep me down. I believe my dependence on God has helped me through those times. Some one once said, and I don’t recall who it was, that for each rejection you receive from an agent or editor, it’s one more wrong agent or editor that God has eliminated. Isn’t that an awesome thought?

Why do you write?

I am compelled. I cannot do otherwise. The only way I can explain it is to say I feel a calling on my life to write and I have to write. I have to write what the Lord has placed on my heart to share. The tagline I adopted for myself is to encourage and entertain. That’s what I do. What I am driven to do. My fiction stories entertain readers but they offer hope and encouragement, as well. I guess my writing is a ministry. I came across a quote from Mother Teresa awhile back. “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending out His love letter to the world.” I think this sums up pretty good why I write.

What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I don’t know. I suppose I’d be doing a lot more reading than I do right now. But I know for sure I’d feel without a purpose.

What are you working on right now?

I’m just starting to do my preliminaries on my fifth novel, working on the premise of the book, getting to know my characters, figuring out what their goals, motivations, and conflicts, internal and external, are. This is what I’m working with: If bachelor Luke Boniface isn’t on police duty, he’s enjoying the company of women. But when two meddling old men in his small town place a personal ad for a wife, on his behalf, in the newspaper, the town swells with eager respondents. And heading the enthusiastic list of applicants: his ex-wife.

Tell us about the book you have out right now?

Appointment With Destiny is published as an ebook and trade paperback. The ebook, by ebooksonthe.net, is currently out and the trade paperback, by Cambridge Books, is due out later this spring.

Smart, no-nonsense Tessa Kramer, devastated by a divorce and the revelation of the shattering secret of her adoption, determines two things: one, to never trust a man again, and two, to find out who she really is. Her search takes her to Bandera, Texas, to a dude ranch, to a certain cowboy…and the air sizzles and not from the Texan heat.

Handsome-in-a-not-quite-tame sort of way, C.J. Tremaine, owner of El Rancho Relaxo, is a confirmed bachelor afraid of commitment until…the cool and aloof bookkeeper arrives to work on his ranch and trips his heart into high gear.

Will they be able to lay down their fears of being hurt and take a chance on love? Dare they believe God is in control and has a perfect plan?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Learn all you can about the craft of writing. Join writers’ groups. Attend conferences and workshops, when possible. Read as much as time allows. Write. Write. And write some more. And never, never, never give up on your dream to write, regardless how many rejections you get. There’s a story to be told that only you can tell. And there are readers out there who need to read your words. And no matter what, enjoy doing what you do.

How important is faith in your books?

Without faith in our God, how can any of us survive life on this side of heaven? This world of ours is filled with stress and strife. We need to be reminded of whom we can turn to for help, for wisdom, for comfort. My stories always point to the Lord Jesus, to trust Him, to wait on Him and on His perfect timetable, and to never lose hope. Besides, I have to include the Lord in my stories of romance-He’s the creator of love, romance, relationships, marriage, children, home.

What themes do you like to write about?

In the beginning, I just wrote, unaware of any theme ribboning through the stories. Then, one day, while participating in a workshop, the author-teacher asked us to think about the stories we’ve written and find the theme. She said she would bet the theme was the same in all books. At that time, I’d only written two (Full Circle and Appointment With Destiny). When I thought about it, I realized the theme in both books was “second chances,” second chances with God and second chances at love. Keeping this in mind, I paid close attention while writing the later books (For Better, For Worse, Forever and Full House) and again, the theme was identical. So I guess, I must like writing about second chances.

What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

I found writing For Better, For Worse, Forever (due out in November, 2007 by Wings ePress, Inc.) to be such a difficult book to write. I knew the premise of the story: an estranged couple, due to divorce, ended up together again when the wife was summoned to the husband’s hospital bed side by his family, because suffering amnesia from an accident, he didn’t remember they’d separated or that he didn’t want children, the reason for the separation. But, I couldn’t outline it, plot it. I could get my hero down perfectly (his fear of being a father) but I couldn’t get a handle on the wife (her obsession with having a child). I couldn’t write one word. It was like I had writer’s block. For a long time, all I could do was pray over this book. I began to wonder if there wasn’t something personal here, personal to me that I hadn’t dealt with. My husband, Henry, and I are happily married (going on 23 years) but have no children. I thought I had surrendered my desire for children to the Lord years ago. But, here I was, unable to understand my heroine and her feelings and emotions. So I began to wonder…After much introspection, I concluded I had indeed surrendered my “Isaac” to God but herein lay my problem. The Lord had so graciously seen me through my own inability to have children, that I never experienced the deep, soul-wrenching emotions my heroine was. When I began to write the story, I still had no outline. This was the first book I did by the seat of my pants and really came to depend on God to write it. I felt like Abraham when he was told to leave his country and go to where God was leading: he didn’t know where he was going to end up, only Who was leading. I suppose, because it was so hard to write and because I ended up having a better understanding of myself and a fresh revelation of God, that this book will always be the book of my heart.

What sort of books do you like to read?

I am an incurable romantic. I love to read romances.

What is your writing schedule like?

Because I have a full-time day job, the only time I can write is in the evenings and on weekends. Not that my characters wait for these allotted times to visit with me. They turn up all the time, even in my sleep, if they feel an urgent need to tell me something.

Don’t forget to check out Anna’s web site.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for another great interview! I am enjoying reading these.

    Cherie Japp

  2. I would like to give a great big thanks to Margaret for inviting me on her blog. It was a lovely opportunity to share a bit about myself. Also, I would like to thank all the readers who took time out to visit. It’s been a pleasure “meeting” you. Don’t forget to email Margaret and be in on the draw for an autographed copy of my book. Have a blessed Easter. Until we meet again, remember, Love Never Fails (I Corinthians 13:8 NIV).
    God Bless!
    Love & Prayers,
    Anna

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