Chasing Hope by Dana Wayne - Interview
"My kind of romance!" —Readers Favorite, 5 Stars
Max Logan longs for the joys of home and family he missed growing up in foster care. He fills that emotional void by becoming a kick-ass Marine, and for eighteen years, led his band of brothers from one hell-hole to another. Until the one that nearly destroyed him.
Sixteen months of therapy and rehab put his body back together, but some wounds can’t be seen. Some can’t be healed.
Skylar Ward dreams of a life that includes someone beside her. Someone to share her life and be a father to her young daughter. But if she learned anything from her failed marriage, it was that you don’t rush into a relationship. Only Max Logan sparks her interest. But the handsome, brooding war hero remains aloof.
Seven-year-old Maddie Ward overhears a neighbor tell her mom she needs a male companion and immediately decides Max will do just fine. He needs a family. They need him. She just has to figure out how to make that happen.
Can a precocious child be the catalyst that heals and brings them all together, or will ashes of the past bury hope forever?
"A truly special book that deserves a place of honor on anyone's bookshelf!" - InD'tale Magazine
In the author's words . . .
A Q&A with Dana Wayne
Do you consider your books plot-driven or character-driven?
Definitely character driven. Ideas always come to me character first. Something sparks idea for this character, and then I start the what-if’s and why’s – what if she’s this way or this happens? Why was she in that place? What if he experienced this event? The character tells me what needs to happen next versus the story dictating the action. And because I’m a pantser, meaning I don’t plot or outline, the character driven concept works for me.
Sometimes a character will come to me as just a name or a even face or sometimes it’s a situation, and we’re off to the races.
Occasionally, that can be problematic, like when you’re typing along and the character says or does something you literally did not see coming and you’re like, ‘oh, okay. Now what’? Or I end up typing them into a corner and have to back track until I find the thread again and can move forward.
That’s what I love about what I do and how I do it – that ah-ha moment, that unexpected dialog or event that gets me so pumped my fingers fly over the keyboard for hours. Just ask my husband how it is when I’m on a roll!
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Honestly, it was a bit scary at first. I mean, I was about to put it out there for the world to see, to criticize, to judge. But I believed in what I was doing, so, I just went for it. The results were so encouraging that when I started my second book, I finished it in record time. And the success of that one pushed me to the next and so forth. Obviously, since I write romance, I know there are people who won’t like it. But I write for the love of the craft. The fact that a lot of people do like it is just icing on the cake, and that is what keeps me moving on to the next ‘chapter one’.
What is your favorite scene in Chasing Hope?
I really like the interaction between Max and Maddie, Sky’s young daughter. She is so empathetic toward him, and her unconditional acceptance is a big part of his growth and healing. She’s prone to eavesdrop because she thinks that’s the only way she’ll be able to get to the truth of things. She’s extremely bright and mature for her age, but she’s still a child and the scene where she initiates a discussion about Max’s PTSD shows that. It was an emotional scene to write because it covered the child’s point of view and the adult one. There are other scenes, too, like the one where she talks about the scar on his cheek by talking about her own; the one where she asks him if he has a girlfriend, and the one where she is basically having boy troubles and asks his advice. There’s another one toward the end when Max makes a hard decision. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so will leave it at that. So, the short answer is, any scene with Max and Maddie interacting is my favorite.
How do you feel about book trailers and do you use them?
I love trailers and have one for all my books. They are a versatile marketing tool because you can use them anywhere. And not just for your books, either. Consider making one for yourself as an author. Everything is so web-based anymore that trailers are great way to get the word out about your work because they can be used on your website and any social media platform.
What makes Chasing Hope special or unique to you? Can you give us a little history behind the story?
I come from a family of military veterans and I’ve always been a strong supporter. I’ve heard and read a lot about PTSD and wanted to write something that addressed it in some way. But the more I researched, the more I knew that one, I wasn’t qualified to do that, and two, a romance novel wasn’t the place for it. So, I chose to have the hero, Max Logan, about eighteen months post-treatment for PTSD and the life-threatening injuries he sustained. With the right help and support, he has developed coping skills to deal with his day-to-day life. But he isn’t ‘cured’ and knows that; he knows he still needs help and actively seeks it when needed. Because his PTSD is a part of who he is, it is discussed a little bit, but the main focus of the story is Max, Sky and Maddie and how the come together as a family.
I like to think it also inspires hope in the reader; that despite whatever the world hands you, with the right support, encouragement, and acceptance, you will rise above it.
Learn more by visiting the author's website. Chasing Hope released June 15, 2019.
Meet the Author
Awarding winning author Dana Wayne is a sixth-generation Texan and resides in the Piney Woods with her husband, three children, and four grandchildren. She routinely speaks to book clubs, writers groups, and other organizations and is a frequent guest on numerous writing blogs.
A die-hard romantic, her stories are filled with strong women, second chances, and happily ever after.
"I’ve always wanted to write and knew that one day, I would. I retired in late 2013 and published my first book, a contemporary romance, in 2016. I was over the moon when the Texas Association of Authors awarded it first place, Contemporary Romance, and I never looked back. Because I am all about the romance, my stories are heartwarming, have a splash of suspense and humor, and are a little steamy. But, I believe romance is more about emotion than sex, and the journey is more important than the destination."
Affiliations include Texas Association of Authors, Writers League of Texas, East Texas Writers Guild, Northeast Texas Writers Organization, and East Texas Writers Association.
Visit her at danawayne.com
Chasing Hope by Dana Wayne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: 5
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 2
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