Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday once again. This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind I am going to be chatting with a talented writer Dana Louise Provo.
KADE: Well Good morning Dana, would you mind taking a minute to tell the readers and I a little bit about yourself ?
DANA: My name is Dana Louise Provo and I’ve always loved books, as do most authors. I am a wife to my handsome Kyle, an equestrian that likes to ride and compete on my two mares, and an author. I live in Richmond, VA with Kyle and two house plants I try not to kill off.
KADE: Sounds like you have a fun life, especially having horses to take care of. You are a very lucky. Would you mind telling us about your upcoming book?
DANA: Certainly! Bleeding Hearts is a new adult, romantic suspense novel about a young woman experiencing love and dealing with unsuspecting strangers.
Here is the blurb: Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.
Red roses, a reminder of her parents’ killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.
Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?
KADE: Oh, I love this. It definitely sounds like one heck of a love affair. I have to tell the readers that I already have had the pleasure of reading it and it is great! But I am wondering, what inspired you to write it?
DANA: I had this idea of writing a book with two different story lines running parallel to each other. When I first moved into my apartment, there was a state trooper who lived in the building (he and his fiancé are now good friends of mine) and I thought, if someone were to break in or try to hurt me while my husband was away, I could go to the trooper down the hall. Then the story fell into place with Cami, my main character (who looks much like the trooper’s fiancé) living on her own and falling in love with the wrong person.
KADE: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
DANA: The plot is fictional but where Cami lives, looks similar to my own apartment. And of course the names are all made up.
KADE: That must have really helped when you were writing the book, to have your muse right there in plain sight to use every day. I know you love all your chapters but which one was your favorite one to write?
DANA: There is a scene where Isaac, the police officer is reliving his teenage days when he tried to save someone close to his family. I won’t give too many details but for some reason, I loved writing that scene. It makes me realize who Isaac is and how I want him to be portrayed in the book. He will always be a hero in my heart.
KADE: I can see how that would have been very emotional and touching to put into word. Thank you for sharing that. Now, how did you ever come up with your title for such a story?
DANA: My good friend Holly who I befriended on Wattpad actually helped me with the title. The title is one of the last things I come up with and this time I couldn’t do it on my own, so, Holly and I brainstormed together.
KADE: Sometimes brainstorming with a trusted friend really can be a gift. Well, great job! So tell me, what has be the toughest criticism given to you since becoming an author and…your best compliment?
DANA: I’ve heard in the beginning stages of BH that I didn’t have any emotion in the book. It was something I thought I worked hard on while writing but I was wrong. After editing and editing, it finally came out exactly how I wanted it to read.
There isn’t one comment I can pinpoint. Every wonderful comment from everyone who has worked with me or read snippets of my book means so much to me. I keep all those compliments in a special pocket in my heart.
KADE: I agree. That is the best way to enjoy your incredible accomplishment. Every ounce of goodness that comes from it should be held in the same place. Wonderful. Alright Dana, tells us all about how you write. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
DANA: Hmm… I do my best writing in the morning. I like to sit with one leg crossed underneath me and I do my best with chocolate. I like to focus on writing one chapter a day and sometimes I don’t get it done but most of the time I do.
KADE: Sounds like a wonderful system to me. Whatever makes the words rolls onto the page is all that matters. And you can never go wrong with a little chocolate to help you along your way. I know a lot of writers search for information on their stories, what’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
DANA: Oh gosh. LOL. I have researched serial killers, guns, and buying guns illegally. I also needed to know how to get out of some moves should someone attack me and made my husband preform all of them. Most of the attacks in BH were tried and tested, but carefully and no blood. Haha
KADE: Ha ha, well I am glad to hear no one was injured in the writing of BH. But on the other hand I bet it would make for some fun conversations. Now that it is completed and ready to go, give us an interesting fun fact about Bleeding Hearts.
DANA: This is my first real attempt at writing romance. Oh, and I changed Isaac’s last name like three times because I kept using names that start with L.
KADE: Excellent. Your first attempt turned out pretty well I do say. And names do have a way of changing during the writing process sometimes. The characters will often let you know if you have the right name or not. So when you write, do you work with an outline or just wing it?
DANA: Outline! This book has a lot of firsts for me. This was the first time I used an outline and I do have to say, I will never go without one again. It helps me tremendously with the direction my books are going.
KADE: Yes, writing is full of firsts. Even when you have been doing it for a while I am sure every day it teaches us something new about who we are and what we are capable of. Outlining, is surely one of them for some. Another first for you is becoming a published Author, tell us about that experience.
DANA: Yes! After I finished my book, and edited it to the best of my ability, I started querying to agents. I only queried around 50 agents and publishing houses before I landed a deal with Clean Reads through a Twitter pitch party. I love doing competitions so when I found out about the #Pit2Pub party on Twitter, I joined in and got six publishing houses asking for my full manuscript (including RRPI, my other publisher). My manuscript was with one other company when Clean Reads contacted me with a contract. I waited about a week before making a decision. Then I signed my book and became an official author!
KADE: So exciting, Congratulations on finding the perfect home for your book. Now with your first book under your wing, we need to know, when did you first started writing and when did you actually finish your first book?
DANA: I started writing BH in June of 2015 and it only took me two months to finish the first draft. I signed my contract in February of 2016.
KADE: Wow, that is incredibly quick! You are a machine! Haha How did you choose which genre you wanted to write in?
DANA: I don’t discriminate against any genre and have several books that are across the board. One thing they all have in common is romance. I’m a sucker for anything romantic and have always wanted to write it. This is the first romance I’ve attempted and it’s not the last.
KADE: What a wonderful way to think. Any genre with a touch of romance is game then. Haha. Every writer has their muses, so where do you get your ideas from?
DANA: Sometimes I use life experiences as inspiration for books, other times I see people or certain names that I like and the story comes to me. It just depends on the story or circumstance.
KADE: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
DANA: There isn’t a certain book that influenced me to write or live my life, but sometimes when I read a great book, it makes me want to be just as good as they are. I know I can succeed as an author, I just have to try.
KADE: Excellent attitude Dana! It has worked for you so far… and yes, trying is the ONLY way to find out. Other than trying, which is the best advice, do you have any other words of wisdom you would like to share with all those writers out there who are worried or struggling with picking up that pencil or pen?
DANA: Don’t procrastinate! If you want something, go at it 110%. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start and don’t hesitate to finish something. I am notorious for not finishing my crafty projects, but writing is not one of those. I love it. I want it. I will have it. You just have to work at it.
KADE: Perfect! Incredible advice, thank you Dana. So tell us, what is your favorite quote or saying?
DANA: Life is too short. You don’t want to wake up tomorrow thinking about yesterday and regretting that you never did something. If you want it, do it.
KADE: Love it! So much passion in those words…and wonderful words to live by. Alright Dana, now for some silly stuff for the readers. Tea or Coffee?
DANA: I love a good peppermint tea! And any kind of caramel coffee, latte, etc. is my best friend. I’m a sucker for Starbucks.
KADE: Yummy! On both accounts. Sweet or salty?
DANA: Both! J My new favorite thing is Symphony chocolate with toffee and almonds!!!
KADE: Ok, now you are just killing me and making me want to go to the store to buy some. Ha ha Thank you for that. Now back to the book. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
DANA: Yes! Here is the beginning of chapter one!
My hand trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms tremble as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn’t move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us.
We’re at a stalemate.
A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I’m a just another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind.
Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off.
“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it’s no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now.
“Why are you doing this?” I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I’m wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong.
“It’ll be over soon, sweetheart.” His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs. The salty mixture of sweat and tears run down the side of my face.
KADE: Oh I remember how intense some of these scenes are. Incredible story. Now that you have given the readers a glimpse into the world of Bleeding Hearts, would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?
DANA: Blog: https://authordanaprovo.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authordanaprovo/
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/authordanaprovo
KADE: Just want to say a HUGE thank you to Dana for taking the time to hang out with me today. And a big thank you to all of you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.
If any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and place Author Interview in the topic space.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!