Sunday, September 11, 2011

with Deanna K. Klingel

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Deanna!
People talk about life before children—what was your life before writing?

I always did a lot of writing, but not this kind. I wrote school plays, puppet shows, skits for scouts and church groups, newsletters for organizations, even a little poetry and stories for my kids. When the kids were older I did event planning and when we retired and moved to the mountains, I turned my energy to gardening. When lyme disease took me out of the garden, we got Lily, my golden retriever, who dragged me into her world of training, agility, dog dancing, rescue work and pet therapy. Then we added Jessie, our foster golden, who recently died at age 15. The chronicles of their pet therapy experiences, and the wonderous moments when they made a difference in someone's life, became our book, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, published in 2010.

What book have you recently enjoyed reading?
I read about a book a week, and most of them I enjoy, so picking out a few, let's see. I enjoyed Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton, Sarah's Key by Tatiana deRosnay, A Dog's Purpose by W.Bruce Cameron and The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. I like to find unusual or out of print books in used and rare bookstores. Recently I enjoyed a couple of oldies, Citizen Tom Paine by Howard Fast (1943), and West of the Hill by Gladys Hasty Carroll which was inscribed as a gift in 1949. I enjoy writing historical fiction and I find it helpful to read books written in different eras to help me find the true voice of the time.

If you were a dessert, what would you be?
If I were a dessert what would I be? Hmm. I like dessert. This month my favorite dessert is a ripe South Carolina peach eaten over the sink with the juice running down my chin. I like sugar cookies. But best of all? A candy bar.

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
If I ran across a purple polka dotted monster in the kitchen I'd probably gasp and say, "I love your outfit. I just love polka dots. Hmm. Do you come in other colors? Like a deep royal blue? Because if you do, you are welcome to sit on the bed in the bedroom of our lake house. We're renovating and my bedroom is...guess what? Polka dots! Bright blue polka dots. Oh, well. Purple could work. Go ahead, jump on the bed. You're just too cute.

Tell us about one of your favorite memories or moments in your life.
Some of the most memorable moments that I enjoy recalling can be read in my book, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. But another I'll never forget I've not told many people. My dad was never one to tell his feelings. He never said "I love you" to me, and I doubt he ever said it to mom. He would have been embarrassed to say the words. He showed us, but he never said it. As a teenager, of course, I was convinced he didn't. But when we gathered in the vestibule of the church on my wedding day, when I reached to take his arm, my dad broke down and cried. Tears. And sobs! Uncontrollable sobs. We had to hold up the procession for him to regain his composure. I hugged him and whispered to him, "Daddy, you'll never know how much your tears mean to me."

What's one of your dreaded things to do?
Something I really dread doing? Grocery shopping. I really hate grocery shopping.

What is the Lord teaching you, or recently taught you?
I have just attended the Catholic Writer's Conference in Pennsylvania. It was as much a retreat as it was a conference. The Lord was so present. I think he spoke to all of us that our work as writers is important and when we invite him to sit with us, and muse with us, our work will be inspired and it will be read by someone who benefits. He reminded me to enter my workday prayerfully. Sometimes I get going so fast, I hardly take a breath, let alone stop for prayer.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book out, in September, is Avery's Crossroad. Avery's Battlefield is 1861 and 1862. Avery's Crossroad is 1863,'64, and '65. Avery is 14 in 1861.

Following that is Bread Upon the Water. The true story of Duong Tien, a Vietnamese boy who must escape his country (twice) to follow his call to the priesthood, will be out between Thanksgiving and Christmas from Rafka Press as YA nonfiction. Tien endures dehydration, starvation, pirates, near-drowning, imprisonment, abuse, disease, separation from his family, immigration camps, and his final nemesis, the English language. It's a story of profound faith. I think you will enjoy it.

You can purchase Avery's Battlefield from Amazon.

Deanna is giving away a copy of Avery's Battlefield. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Anonymous said...

Good interview. I'd like
to win this book.


wfnren said...

Thank you for doing this giveaway.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to win, what seems like an amazing book.
God Bless

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks again.


ann said...

This is a book that I sure would enjoy reading.

PS yes I hate grocery shopping to !

amhengst at verizon dot net

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