Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Warm Welcome to Deanna Nowdanick

It's great to meet you, Deanna, and welcome you to our site! Can you tell us a bit about your family?
I enjoy a wonderful marriage to my husband, Kurt. We met at Pacific Lutheran University, a delightful chapter in Signs of Life (and Fruit of My Spirit!). Let’s just say he was the cutest freshman starting on the football team. We have two adult sons. Kyle is married to Katie, a beautiful young lady he met in high school. Kevin is married to Manoela, a beautiful young lady from Brazil. We all live within an hour of each other, so I’m blessed with lots of family time!

One of the important things in life: Family! Yours sound wonderful! How have your travels sparked story ideas?
My second book, Signs in Life, actually follows a travel theme with road signs marking each chapter. Driving antics lead us through the book, some that make us giggle, others that make us cringe, all that help us see a God Who directs and redirects throughout our travels through life.

Is there a story behind Signs in Life? 
I began Signs in Life immediately after finishing my first book, Fruit of My Spirit. I never expected to be a writer. I was an English major in college, but hated writing. I think it actually had more to do with being told what to write, rather than the writing itself. My mom had always wanted me to write a book. At the time I had two young sons and I couldn’t get a grocery list put together. Before he passed, my dad reminded me that Mom had wanted me to write a book. Coming home from a family vacation, I started to put into words how I met Kurt. I wanted my boys to know the details surrounding a very special time in my life. One story on love became another story on joy, and then another story on peace. By then a theme had developed and there was no stopping me.

Beautiful story! I dedicated one of my books--based loosely on her memories from the era--to my mother. What is unique about the setting? How does it enhance the story?
In Signs in Life, we travel with Moses. Yes, Moses. Seriously, Moses! Moses is not the guy I would have expected to include in my story. He’s one of those Old Testament larger-than-life characters that I’d reduced to a highlight film: baby in the bulrushes, crossing of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, Ten Commandments, the Promised Land. But those larger-than-life characters are really just ordinary people—like you and me!—called to extraordinary service. We’re all part of God’s great story.

Do you have favorite spiritual themes?
My two books really focus on God’s love and faithfulness. We might screw up, but we’re not screw-ups. We might be slogging through life, but we’re not alone. It’s easy to miss God in the moment. In the New Testament, Luke tells of two men walking to the town of Emmaus shortly after Jesus’ resurrection. A third person joins them, but not until later do the men realize they’ve been traveling with Jesus. “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…” (Luke 24:31). No, we’re never alone.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?
I love sharing inspirational stories. I love sharing my own missteps. As women of faith, we can look very put-together on Sunday mornings, not realizing that one of us has just had a melt-down in the drive-through while waiting for her coffee. Some of the best chats have started, “You wouldn’t believe what I just did…” Life is not a Pinterest collection of perfectly planned moments.

Where do you most like to write?
I like to start the day writing. Let me add, I like to start the day writing right after I’ve gotten the iced mocha. I sit at my desk and type away in front of a large window, often waving at the neighbors walking by. I was actually introduced by a mother to her young son as “that woman in the window.”

Love that! What are your five favorite words?
I love you

:) Good choices. Who is the biggest influence on your writing?
Anne Lamott. I read and reread Bird By Bird before tackling a new book. Each time I’ve finished a manuscript, I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed by the thought of writing another. I’ll look back at a chapter and wonder where the words came from. And then I’ll remember to just write—one story at a time, bird by bird.

Can you tell us about your next book? 
My third writing adventure is a Christmas book. I’m putting together another inspirational memoir, this time sharing stories about the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Not only did the Christ child receive unique gifts, but we have also—throughout life.

That sounds VERY interesting. Thank you so much for joining us at our site! 

Buy her book here:

About Deanna:
Deanna Nowadnick lives in Monroe, Washington with her husband, Kurt. When not responding to traffic citations, she provides administrative support for The Planner’s Edge, an investment advisory firm. Deanna’s active in her church, playing the violin and serving on the leadership team. She’s also part of several women’s groups. Her leisure time is filled with knitting, walks in the sunshine, and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirls.

Connect with Deanna here:

DEANNA is giving away a copy of SIGNS IN LIFE. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Connie said...

Hi Deanna, I've enjoyed this continuation of your interview. I especially love your statement 'Life is not a Pinterest collection of perfectly planned moments'. How very true!
cps1950 at gmail dot com

Kim Amundsen said...

Nice interview. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

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