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26 January 2011

Meet DeAnna Julie Dodson, author of In Honor Bound

Today's host: Jennifer Slattery

Step into time . . . Historical Fiction by DeAnna Julie Dodson:

Author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed, Letters in the Attic and To Grace Surrendered.

DeAnna Julie Dodson loves NHL hockey, quilting, cross-stitch, chocolate, puzzles, packages and sleeping late. Her four feisty cats, ranging from seven months to eleven years old and from five to twenty-five pounds, make her laugh every day. She has a passion for mystery and crime fiction from the 1920s and ’30s, especially the works of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham, and hopes to write like them one day when she grows up.

Today she's here to talk about her Clash of the Titles competing novel, In Honor Bound, and the faith that sustains her and fuels her writing.

DeAnna, where did you get the idea for this novel?

Oddly enough, it’s a combination of Shakespeare and a Disney movie.

I resisted Shakespeare until it was forced on me in college. Reluctantly, I went to a production of As You Like It, and I was absolutely blown away. That made me want to read all the other comedies and then the tragedies. When only the histories were left, I reluctantly tried one of those. Again, I was blown away. Yes, they were the stories of the kings and queens of England, but they were also the stories of families, of fathers and sons at odds, of arranged marriages, of political intrigue, treason and murder. What soap opera could hold a candle to it?

And the Disney movie? "Sleeping Beauty." No, seriously. Think about when the prince rides up to tell his father that he can’t marry the princess he’s been betrothed to since childhood because he’s fallen in love with a peasant girl. And, of course, that prince’s name is Philip. Needless to say, my story turned out a bit darker than Disney’s version.

What a creative imagination you have! Which character do you most relate to?

That’s a tough question. Several of the characters are like me in some aspect, but I suppose Philip has a lot of my characteristics. He’s intolerably stubborn. He believes things ought to be one certain way and no other, and when he gets hold of an idea, there’s no shaking it loose. We both need a lot of work.

What is Philip's greatest strength and greatest weakness?

Philip is a man of honor, a man who will “swear to his own hurt and change not.” He wants desperately to do what’s right. That’s his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. He’s so proud of his “rightness” that he almost loses sight of what really is right. He truly is bound up in his honor.

What is one thing you hope your readers will take away from your story?

I hope readers will carry with them the idea of God’s unfailing love. No matter how we spurn Him and deny Him and scream we will never love Him, He’s still there loving us, waiting for us to see the true depth of His love.

When do you feel closest to God?

I feel closest to God when I sing. There’s something about singing praises that connects me to Him as nothing else can.

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

I love Isaiah 41:13: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear. I will help you.’” It doesn’t get any better than that.

That is a beautiful verse, and a poignant reminder of God's ever-present love. If you could travel back to any time period, in what era would you live?

I’ve given this question a lot of thought over the years, because I love history. I love the clothing and the customs and the language of historical time periods, so I’d love to actually see with my eyes what it was really like at the court of King Henry V or to attend a grand ball at a antebellum southern mansion or to ride in a 1932 Rolls Royce. But live there? Even in the 1930s? I’m too much of a wimp to deal with the bad sanitation, the spoiled food, the dangerous travel conditions and the lack of central heat and air conditioning. I’d definitely go visit though!

Who has been most influential in your life and why?

I’d have to say my dad has been my greatest champion and cheerleader my whole life long. He still tells me I can do anything I set my mind to. And, somehow, he believes it.

DeAnna, that is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. Our readers loved your excerpt and I have a feeling it's been added to many "must read" lists! I can't wait to share their comments with you and Tina on Friday...

For the crowning of the laurel!
Visit DeAnna's website, www.deannajuliedodson.com, to find out more about her and her writing and visit Amazon to order a copy of this compelling novel.

There is still time to be entered in our free drawing. Leave a comment on any of this Clash's posts and on Friday, your name will be entered.

Make sure to come back Friday!
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Item Reviewed: Meet DeAnna Julie Dodson, author of In Honor Bound Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jennifer Slattery