Today, I am thrilled to have Dora Hiers for a visit, talking about her recently released novel, JOURNEY'S EDGE, which I enjoyed very much. Welcome, Dora! Before we get into writer questions, though, I just have to say you seem to have a strong sense of place, along with a lot of contentment in being there. Is it because you have lived in the same area all your life? What do you like best about it?
Actually, five years ago, my husband and I moved to North Carolina from Florida, where I’d lived most of my life. I haven’t looked back. I love the wide-open spaces and living within a two-hour drive to the mountains, flicking the fireplace on for the first time in winter, and the different seasons. Who knew leaves exploded into so many different colors? And now I get to wear something besides shorts.
The Smoky Mountains are just a couple hours away, too. Close enough that we can buzz up there for a long weekend. You can find me on a secluded cabin deck, sipping coffee or iced tea, snuggling on the couch with a good book, walking around the lake with our golden retriever, or enjoying a cookout with family. It’s always an awesome, relaxing time. Yes, you could say I am very content, here.
Something to be said about being able to choose a place to live simply because you like it. could be it's your best inspiration for writing novels, too. Speaking of which, do you listen to music when you write?
The only music I listen to while I work is the chirping of birds and rustling of squirrels outside my office window. And the occasional snore of my golden retriever.
It can't get any better than that! What is it you enjoy most about writing books?
I'd have to say journeying with my characters as they come alive on the page, from that first spark of an idea, to their first zing of attraction, all the way to their happily-ever-after.
Hmm… do you think up characters to fit into your plots, then, or do you think up plots to fit your characters?
I'm organized to the point of dividing my shopping list by aisles in the grocery store. Planning comes naturally to me...in everything but writing. As methodical as I am in other areas, I’m not a plotter. My goal is to give birth to great characters and hook a reader into an opening scene, and let the story flow organically from there.
Well, it certainly works for you, I can say that. Which makes me wonder if you've always wanted to be a writer, or something you got into more recently?
I wasn’t born with a pen in my hand like most writers. My urge to write came later in life, when my youngest son started middle school and didn’t want me hanging out at school with him anymore. I knew I needed something more to fill my days. An avid inspirational romance reader, God planted a story idea that pinged around in my head for a few months until I finally confessed my desire to write to my husband. With his enthusiastic support, I started pounding out the story, soaked up online writing courses, attended a writer’s conference, and joined American Christian Fiction Writers, Carolina Christian Writers, and a critique group.
All the right things, in my opinion. Not to mention I've always felt that avid readers make wonderful writers… if they don't mind all the hard work! What can we look for next, Dora? Are you working on anything, right now?
I just submitted When Truth Whispers to White Rose Publishing for consideration. It’s the first in a novella series set in Promise Lake, a fictional city in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Want a peek?
Oh, yes, definitely!
After a humiliating breakup, best-selling romance author Teal Benning flees to Promise Lake to complete her current novel, minus paparazzi and flashing cameras. Suffering from writer's block and a broken heart, Teal accepts the offer of help from neighbor, Hunter Miciver. Hunter longs to be more than the friend who picks up the shattered pieces of Teal's heart. When Teal finds out his secret, will she see him for the man he is, a man of faith and devotion, a man who would cherish her for the rest of her days? Or will she lump him into the same category as all the other men in her life, including her father? Will Teal recognize when truth whispers her name?
It sounds fascinating, I'll be looking for that one, for sure. Thank you for coming, today, Dora, I've been looking forward to visiting with you for a long time.
Thanks for having me, Lilly, I've enjoyed the visit, too.
It's been my pleasure. Now, before we get into a look at JOURNEY'S EDGE, can you tell why you wrote this particular book?
Actually, Trey Colton from Journey’s End inspired this book. Renner was Trey’s partner, both Deputy U.S. Marshals, but total personality opposites. I knew the moment Renner appeared on the page that he would have his own book. I had to dig around in his past to find his sweetheart, but when you meet Kinny, you’ll understand how perfect they are for each other.
That they are. Let's give readers a look...
A Routine Audit? Hardly.
Red flags—including some goon who's following her—raise McKinley Frasier's suspicions that numbers don't add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley's daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman—the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner's not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a "new man." She trusts the new Renner with her daughter's safety...but what about her heart?
JOURNEY'S EDGE is one of those books that makes you feel as if you are actually peeking into someone's life. That's how real these characters feel. And while all books have some form of conflict, and you know something like that has to pop up somewhere, I kept finding myself hoping none of it was going to happen to these people, because I liked them too much.
Renner is the type of man we all admire: capable, considerate, and he knows how to protect the ones he loves. After all, protecting people is what he does for a living. However, when his emotions get jumbled up with his heart, he turns out to be as vulnerable as the rest of us. And like us, he can be distracted, or biased, and not always on the top of his game. Which makes for page-turning suspense when so much is at stake. Such as Kinny's heart. Which he has broken once before, and is determined to win back, again.
But can a person really ever go back? One can forgive, but they can't always forget. That is, unless forgiveness is something more than unburdening your own heart, so you can get on with life, guilt free. But what if it's more than that? What if there truly is something supernatural that changes things whenever one turns their life over to God? If that was true (and I believe it is), it just might work in real life, too. That everyday one we are all caught up in and think we have so little control over. Then, again, maybe we do, if we could only turn it over to someone who can actually do something about it.
Journey's edge made me think about that.
You can find out more about Dora Hiers and her books by visiting these places:
Facebook: Dora Hiers Author