Dana has a passion for helping people navigate through their grief journeys. Her memoir, In the Cleft Joy Comes in the Mourning, written four years after the deaths of her husband, son and mother-in-law to cancer, recently won top novel at the Wildsound Writing Festival in January.
Dana’s heart’s desire is that In the Cleft will help her readers embrace their own profound losses and find hope in the midst of their pain. Renewal, meaning and purpose can be unearthed even after unthinkable tragedy.
Dana loves being outside with her family and especially loves mountain biking, running and listening to worship music. She feels content in her everyday life if she has read an inspiring story, connected with her husband, son and friends and spent time in the outdoors with her dog.
What inspires you to write?
Being out in nature inspires me to write. Often when I’m running on wilderness trails with my dog thoughts start to flow. When I’m free of writing pressures I am much more creative and free flowing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I tend to be a perfectionist and have had to work really hard at not editing when I’m in the creative process. Jotting down points as they come to me without feeling the pressure to connect ideas has really helped. Later, I go back and organize thoughts and add details. Also, when stuck, it helps to talk into a microphone. There is something about talking that frees up writer’s block.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t give up. As writers, we come up against countless obstacles–writer’s block, family obligations, work demands, and frustrations during the editing process. Then, when we think the hard part is over, marketing begins. Keep going even when it feels like things are impossible.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to use a print on demand service. In retrospect, I wish I had gone with traditional publishing. I would highly recommend reading the Author’s Market Guide and researching different possibilities before making a decision. Educate yourself and ask others what they have done that’s worked before rushing into anything.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think a lot of self-published books have been poorly edited and people are getting tired of reading books that have not been published with excellence. I sense people are going to become more discerning about the books they buy and there will be less of a focus on bargain books and more on buying well written, well edited books.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Christian memoir, inspirational true stories
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print