Kris Bryant interviews Dena Blake:
Congratulations on your first book, Where the Light Glows. What made you take the plunge and write a book?
Thank you. :) I was always a daydreamer as a child and loved creative writing. As I grew up, I somehow lost that, but while waiting for my daughter to get out of school, I started writing again to pass the time. I did a lot of people-watching and my imagination just came to life. When I decided to give it a shot, I joined a writers’ group to learn more about the craft of writing and that put me on the road to where I am today.
Were you surprised at the entire process from signed contract to page proofs?
I wouldn’t say surprised, it was more like impressed at how well Bold Strokes Books handled the whole process. I was kind of like a deer in the headlights, but everyone has been so helpful it made me feel more like I knew what I was doing.
Describe your feelings when opening up your first box of books.
It was a whole jumble of emotions. Pride, happiness, and disbelief that it was actually happening. One of the best days of my life. :)
What are you looking forward to most now that you are published?
I’m looking forward to more writing. Creating new characters and their worlds as well as their journeys is something I never get tired of doing. Having people who want to read those journeys is just the icing on the cake. I also look forward to making lasting friendships with other authors and readers alike. I’m not the most outgoing girl, and it’s really nice to have been welcomed so wonderfully into the BSB family.
Who has inspired you on this journey?
My mother was the first person who ever believed in my writing. She loved to read and was thrilled when I first started on this journey. She’s not here to see the finished product, but I know she would be proud.
You are definitely a foodie. I can tell from your pictures on Instagram and FB and just through conversation. Tell me your process of coming up with a plot based on your love of food.
There was definitely a lot of food in Where the Light Glows. I have a large family and when we get together, we eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company. I think people and dialogue work well around food, and I like to cook, so I try to bring it into the worlds I build. You may be disappointed in Unchained Memories—there’s not nearly as much food involved in that story.
If you could date any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would date Izzy from Where the Light Glows because of the magical way she sees the world. Amelia from Unchained Memories because of her strength and loyalty, and Kat from A Country Girl’s Heart because of her vulnerability. I see beauty in many aspects.
What’s next for you?
Next out is Unchained Memories in September. A contemporary with a touch of intrigue set in Oklahoma. After that is A Country Girl’s Heart, sometime in 2018. A contemporary set on a Texas horse ranch. I’m currently working on an intrigue that revolves around NASCAR racing as well as another lost love contemporary romance.
Do you plan on branching out past contemporary romance?
I’d love to write suspense, but I’m not good at it. I touched on intrigue with Memories, but I’m afraid it would take me a long time to weave in all the bits and pieces that make a suspense novel great. Erotica is something I’d like to try in the future.
When is your favorite time to write?
I like writing early in the morning when my mind is fresh and the house is quiet. Although, I can write in the evening with all the noise as well.
What are your hardest scenes to write?
I find emotional scenes difficult because of the energy it takes me to actually feel the emotions I’m writing. I also find that love scenes can be difficult to keep fresh and creative while also being realistic.
What do you like to read?
I am partial to suspense and romance, and I know that’s a strange mix. Basically, I read all kinds of books, including non-fiction. All it takes is a great cover blurb to pull me in and I’m reading no matter what kind of book it may be.
What events will you go to this year so that people can meet you and chat about your books?
I’ll be at GCLS in July and Provincetown for Women’s Week in October.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t working or writing or cooking?
I was always pretty active in sports like softball and I was a league bowler for a while. Recently, I like to go to estate sales and look at old houses. I love exploring historical places wherever I go. I also like to grow my own vegetables, but mostly I like to eat them after they’re grown. It’s that foodie thing. :)
What’s your favorite kind of cookie?
Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and chocolate-chocolate chip. In that order.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. In fact, this is the first time in my life since I was a small child that I’ve been without one or two or three. I like cats as well but, sadly, I’m allergic. I can love on them, but haven’t tried living with them.
Thanks for opening up and answering questions so that your readers get to know you better. Good luck with your debut novel and I’m looking forward to the next one! Kris Bryant out.