Dana Pratola's The Covering

My guest today is Dana Pratola. In her own words, Dana is “a married mother of three from New Jersey. I write Christian Romance. Not the kind with a woman buttoned to the neck and a man daring no more than to hold her hand, but the contemporary kind. I don’t write explicit sex scenes, but my characters have real desires, struggles and choices to make. A lot of the time they make the wrong ones. No subject is prohibited, but good always triumphs.”

Anne - Well said, Dana! Welcome to Piedmont Island. The winds are cool off Lake Superior today, but the sun is shining and it’s a super day to talk writing. Let’s start with something personal. Do you have a fear, phobia, or habit you’d rather no one knew about?

Dana - Is there such a thing as an “unnatural” fear of sharks? Because I think I have that. Although I believe a fear of sharks is perfectly natural.

Anne – Of course, it is. Being cautious is one thing. That I get. I worry about people who willingly climb into a cage in shark infested waters, and pay for the experience! Now that's a whole other kettle of fish! Ugh. Okay, enough about sharks. Tell us about your book.

Dana – It’s called The Covering. Gunnar doesn’t think he’s worth saving – if there is such a thing. He doesn’t want anything from a God who failed him so bad in the past. Tessa is determined to keep him alive. But how much can she do when he refuses to be helped?

Anne - Of the characters you’ve created, does one hold a special place in your heart? Why?

Dana - So far I’d have to say Gunnar. I’ve gotten HUGE response about him. Readers are drawn to his intensity, his tough exterior and his good heart. Not to mention, he’s HOT.  :) But it’s not just the ladies that love him, men too! I think they like to identify with the wounded hero who fights his demons – literally – and comes out on top. Also, because Gunnar is such a “man,” they don’t feel like they’re reading a gushy romance.

Anne – That’s always the best kind of hero. One men can identify with, and one woman love to love! What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself from writing?

Dana - That I can pretend to be patient. My daughter said I should be a Kindergarten teacher because I have so much patience. I told her it’s all a ruse and that inside I’m usually pacing or planning ways to clean up a crime scene.

Anne – LOL. I can relate. Because I write mysteries, I’m always hunting for another place to bury the bodies! Do you have any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

Dana - I can’t over-emphasize the importance of prayer. If God put the desire in you to begin with, it won’t go away, no matter the distraction, frustration or insecurity, and He can help steer you in the right direction. Once He does, don’t quit. EVER.

Anne - Have you experienced writer's block? If so, how did you work through it?

Dana - I overcome most writer’s block by watching TV or taking a nap, LOL. But if those don’t work I might try writing a scene using one or more of my characters in a scene they wouldn’t normally be in. Gunnar, for instance, might play tennis with Johnny Mac. What would they talk about? It’s not a scene I intend to use, but maybe I can pull something from it. 

Anne - Would you share an excerpt from The Covering with us?

Dana – I thought you’d never ask!

“What are you doing with Tessa?” Dominic demanded.

“We were just talking.”

“About what?”

“None of your business.”

“She’s my sister.”

Gunnar moved a bit further out of reach. “Yeah, and you don’t want her with me, I get it. But I didn’t ask for your approval.”

“You better,” Dominic retorted.

“Tessa isn’t a girl anymore, bro. She’s a woman. Not the kind of woman you’d picture me with, I’ll give you that…” Gunnar looked out the window to where Tessa was wiggling a huge box from the front seat of her car. “But I like her.”

Dominic stood, flexing the hand he’d just used to punch Gunnar. He relaxed his posture slightly. “You like a lot of women.”

Gunnar lowered his head. Yes, another reminder that his past would always haunt him. But he couldn’t change his feelings for Tessa, and if it meant being selfish to grab hold of her, so be it. Coming to that conclusion was unexpected, and to be pondered at a later time.

“Have you seen me with, or heard me mention other women since I met your sister?” He could almost see Dominic replaying the days in his mind before his lips bent.

“And the bike show?” Dom asked. “There’s no way you looked, but didn’t touch.”

Anne - Where can readers find you online?

Dana – At my website, blog,and on Twitter.

Anne – Thank you, Dana. It’s always a pleasure to chat with a fellow author, and get your take on both the writing process and the business of being a writer. I wish you every success with The Covering.

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