Welcome to the blog, Daphne! Please tell us about your latest book:
Thank you, Laurie. Here’s the back cover blurb for ALABAMA DAYS:
How could a loving God hurt so many people?
Paramedic Scott Wilson wants no part of a God that would allow bad things to happen to good people. As a result, he hides behind his work and addiction to ease the pain within his soul. When newspaper reporter Angela Mabry moves into town, Scott can’t help but notice the feisty redhead. Angela is determined to uncover the town’s seedy underbelly and in doing so, she and Scott are entangled in a web of intrigue and deception. Together they search for the truth and discover that not all is what is seems.
What was the catalyst for your interest in writing?
An overactive imagination…that’s the answer. Since I was little, I could dream up a fantastical story to tell my sister and cousins. Eventually, after reading so many books, my English teacher in my junior year, encouraged me by telling me I had a gift, a talent, to seeing the elements in a story and also writing them. That began the journey for me. I could look at, for example, a man walking through the mall, and my mind would suddenly have a barrage of questions: where is he going? What did he buy? How is he feeling? What is his purpose? What are his dreams? And so it began…
Who was your favorite character to create?
It is a toss-up between David Boyette in Mississippi Nights and Scott Wilson in Alabama Days. Both are men who are hurting, emotionally and spiritually. Whereas David was the bad-boy prodigal, Scott, on the other hand, was the complex OCD character who struggled with how he thought the world should have operated and how it wasn’t living up to his expectations. Scott took a little more time getting to know, and I think that is why he’s my favorite so far.
How did you come up with the names of your hero and/or heroine?
I was struggling with names for this book. I wanted something common with a twist. So the names came from a multitude of sources: the name of my cousin, the last name of one of my favorite authors, a middle name from a series written by Lillian Jackson Braun, and then I watched Sky High one day and thought that was a common and yet cool last name. So that’s how Angela Mabry and Scott Weatherby Wilson were born.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
I am what some call a pantser. I call it organic writing. I know the essence of the story, the direction I may want to go, but I let the story, the characters, lead me on the journey. Of course, I still have to jot down notes and scenes, so I don’t forget what I wrote. And sometimes I write out a tentative outline, but I hardly ever go by it. It’s more or less a guide for me to stay on track and to not deviate from what the story is about and who the characters are.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
I have a few favorite books and the stack keeps growing. Yet these are the authors to which I always return: Louis L’Amour, Henry van Dyke, Terri Blackstock, Dr. Richard Mabry, Mike Dellosso, Patrick Carr, and Steven James. I’ve started reading more of Mary Connealy, lately, and her stories have been inspirational.
Do you experience writer’s block? What do you do to get through it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. A writer writes. Period. So when I can’t write on a particular novel, I move to another story or a scene in another book. Or even jotting down ideas that I might want to incorporate for the book I’m working on or another. The point is: I am always writing something. It may not be on the book I’m writing, but I am putting something down. And that’s the key.
What’s next for you as an author?
I have a nonfiction novel releasing in November, which is journal that chronicles my ups and downs with chronic pain and fibromyalgia. In the fiction scene, I am working on the next installment of A Southern Saga. This book is about the life-altering choices three brothers make on their family resort. Plus, I’m working on shorter books about the children of the Boyette family from Mississippi Nights. As a deviation from romance and romantic suspense genres, I do have the bones written for a fantasy and sci-fi. But those are for some other time. My dream though is to be able to win the Christy Award someday.
That sounds exciting and winning a Christy Award is an admirable goal! Here’s a look at your gorgeous cover along with an excerpt:
Here is one scene that shows the deep, growing relationship between Scott and Angela. The next excerpt is just a couple of short sentences, but it has such as strong message in it.
His gaze settled on her lips, and he laughed. “You, uh…” He motioned at his mouth. “…you have a slight mustache, my fearless reporter.”
A red blush crept up her cheeks, and she tried to wipe away the milk from her lips. Scott stopped her and wiped it away himself, rubbing his thumbs over her mouth. And then he paused with his hands cupping her face. His breath hitched. When had he fallen for her? This sassy redhead who forged head-on into any situation.
His mind warred with him as seconds ticked by. She had said “friends only.” But how could it be “friends only” when she looked back at him with the same expression she was probably seeing on his face? He closed the gap between them. Her fingers tightened around his, and her shoulders tensed. He kept his fingers from curling into her hair and fought down his impulsiveness.
He couldn’t do this. She had to be the one to decide. Scott dropped a small kiss on that little freckle above her eyebrow, and then pulled her into an embrace, cradling her head against his chest. Surely, she could hear his heart thumping loudly in there.
“Get your things. We have church tomorrow, right?”
She nodded and then gently pulled away from him. Her eyes held relief, but also a deeper trust. Did he pass some sort of unspoken test? He felt as though he did. She walked away, gripping his hand until the last possible moment. As their fingers let go and Angela disappeared around the corner, Scott let his arm stay suspended in the air for a moment.
His heart hammered against him. Peaches and roses drifted slowly around him as he let his arm drop back to his side. He would give his life to keep her safe.
Nana Debbie’s voice spoke in his head, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Angela was more than his friend. At least to him. He shoved his hands into his pockets as his mind replayed the rest of Nana’s comment. Jesus loves us, Scott. He considers us more than friends, and He laid His life down for all of us.
She smiled. God surely had a way of healing a heart. Sometimes, He had to break it in order to mend it. But He never let anyone down.
Thanks for sharing that with us, Daphne. Where can readers find you online?
I’m active on social media here:
Daphne has generously given us a fantastic Giveaway today for one lucky commenter! Everything in the photo below:
Copy of Mississippi Nights and Alabama Days, plus a mug, bookmark, and Paramedic’s Prayer placard.