Today we welcome Dawn to the Quid Pro Quills to talk to us about her book.
QPQ – What is the single most exciting thing about releasing your first novel into the world?
DC – Wow, exciting?? Everything! Having readers!! I love to hear from readers―to find out what they thought about Nathan and Amaryllis’s journey throughout the pages. I also love to find out what parts/quotes stuck out to them.
QPQ – I can only imagine. And now the flip question, what is the single most frightening thing about releasing your first novel into the world?
DC – My answer’s the same―everything! Just today, I was wondering what I was ever thinking to wish for the stress of NOT KNOWING ANYTHING! That’s what happens when your book is published. It’s like letting a caged bird free… Some will think it’s beautiful, some might think it’s ugly, but regardless, it’s out there flying free for anyone who decides they want to read it!
QPQ – Your characters have such interesting names. How did you come up with Amaryllis Brigham and Nathan Everstone?
DC – I saw the name Amaryllis while stuffing envelopes full of information requested by perspective students while I attended Taylor University. Later that year I was still searching for my heroine’s last name. I saw the name Brigham on a wall hanging at one of my friends’ house and decided it was perfect. The craziest thing about this is that five years later my boyfriend/future husband lived in that same room! I totally made up the name Everstone that same year (1998, if you must know!) because I thought it sounded strong. I chose the name Nathan for my hero because it’s in my husband’s name, Jonathan.
QPQ – I love that your hero’s name comes from your husband’s name. That’s so sweet. All good heroes have a weak point or a blind spot somewhere. What is Nathan’s Achilles’ heel?
DC – I love this question! Because The Hesitant Heiress is written from first person POV of only Amaryllis Brigham, the reader gets to know him from his association and interaction with her. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think it’s safe to say that Nathan Everstone, at least near the beginning of the book, has a pretty inflated ego. Coming from the family that he does, it isn’t surprising! But really, falling in love with Amaryllis sure did end up as a lesson in humility for that man. He’s never had I work very hard for the attention of any woman… so he’s at quite a loss when it comes to her!
QPQ – What is it about Amaryllis that readers will relate to?
DC – I believe The Hesitant Heiress is written very honestly, almost transparently, when it comes to delving into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of Amaryllis Brigham. I tried very hard to make this so, because I wanted the reader to know what it felt like to be her. The reader begins the story finding that Amaryllis is filled with fear about the future. She’d nervous about associating with new people of a higher class than she and has a difficult time believing anyone will ever value her because of the ways she’s felt abandoned and unimportant over the years. One of my favorite parts about writing a book is executing the character’s journey and spiritual arc. I think readers will definitely be able to relate to Amaryllis, no matter where they’re coming from in life.
QPQ – Your setting in the story is very well done. What drew you to this particular time period and this location?
DC – Thank you! I can’t lie, I love the buildings of that era (1890, The Gilded Age), as well as the dresses! And the civility! And the manners! The expectations! But what I love the most is that people back then were just like us, only trapped at a different place in time. I think people nowadays like to imagine that people were better back then because of the strict ways of society, but that isn’t true. And I love the idea that, yes, there were “rules” for society and “good people” in certain situations… but that doesn’t mean they were obeyed to the every letter. Not that they were purposefully broken by everyone, but that things just didn’t always work out the way the rulebook demanded.
QPQ – I’m excited that this is the first book in a series. Can you tell us who the main characters are in books two and three?
DC – The main character in The Bound Heart is Amaryllis’s friend, Meredyth Summercourt. She’s a fiery redhead with certain plans for her future–a future she’s convinced she deserves because of past mistakes. However, her hero isn’t who she suspects at all… at least until chapter one of her book!
The Captive Imposter is about Nathan Everstone’s youngest sister, Estella. She, too, has had her heart set on someone—someone who has always seemed perfect in every way. But eventually, after years of pining, she realizes how wrong she’s been… and that what she’s really been doing was fooling herself. How could she ever trust her heart again after being deceived so easily for so long?
QPQ – I’m looking forward to both of those stories!
The entire first chapter of The Hesitant Heiress is available to read on-line. I highly recommend our readers check it out! Where else on the web can readers connect with you, Dawn?
Thank you for joining us today, Dawn. I know readers are going to enjoy this story and those to follow. Write on!