I’m so excited to be shining a spotlight today on author Dena Garson and her newest release When Ash Remains; A historical, Native American, paranormal romance. Thank you Dena for swinging by Aurora B’s Book Blog!!
Dena Garson is an award winning author of contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance. She holds a BBA and a MBA in Business and works in the wacky world of quality and process improvement. Making up her own reality on paper is what keeps her sane.
She is the mother of two rowdy boys, two rambunctious cats (AKA the fuzzy jerks), and a loving Labrador. When she isn’t writing you can find her at her at the sewing machine or stringing beads. She is also a devoted Whovian and Dallas Cowboys fan.
It sounds like you’re a very busy lady! How do you balance your family, job and writing?
Dena: It is definitely a balancing act. My family comes first but to provide for them, I still need my day job. So I have to fit my writing into the remainder of my time. Fortunately my kids are now teens and don’t need me to hover over them full time. Most of the time I plop on the couch with my laptop and write or do author business while the boys do homework or play video games.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Dena: Both! When it flows, it’s energizing. Writing fight or sex scenes can also energize me. But when I get stuck and the words aren’t coming and I have no idea what my character would do next, it’s exhausting. The fifth (or more) round of edits is exhausting too.
Where do you write from?
Dena: If you mean where do you write (physical sense) – I have a laptop so most of the time I curl up on the couch. But my bed is a good spot if I need to get away from the TV or noise of the house.
Now, if you mean where do the words come from – It’s a combination of the movie player that runs in the back of my mind and the logical part of my brain that plots out what the characters should do next and the reasons why they would behave that way.
What types of scenes do you find the most difficult to write and why?
Dena: Just about everything in the male POV. I always question whether or not a guy would say or think things I’ve written. Thankfully I am raising boys and have a couple of male friends I can ask.
Can you tell us a bit more about your newest release When Ash Remains?
Dena: It’s a story about a warrior who is tracking the person who slaughtered his cousin. As he searches, he finds an unusual woman from another tribe who supposedly can talk with spirits. It’s an unlikely pairing since he doesn’t believe in anything he can’t see or touch, and therefore hunt. They end up working together to find the killer and fall in love in along the way.
What is your favorite part of this book, and why do you think readers will enjoy it?
Dena: Obviously it’s the ending but I can’t give away any details so I’ll tell you about my second favorite – the part where Kajika is comes face to face with a spirit – something he struggled to believe in throughout the story.
Are there any unique challenges to writing a story in a more historical setting?
Dena: Yes – there were several things I wanted information on that I just couldn’t find. I think some things weren’t recorded the way we might like. So, I had to take what I did know about the tribes and cultures I studied and make reasonable assumptions. Hopefully I guessed correctly!
Did you research any particular indigenous group as basis for your characters?
Dena: I live in Oklahoma, in the Cherokee Nation, so most of my research was about on their history and culture. I also talked with several tribal members that I know. But I also dug a little further into my own tribe, the Choctaws, as well as the Sioux, Navaho, and Cheyenne. The different origin stories are fascinating!
Overall, what does literary success look like to you?
Dena: To have people enjoy my books so well that they can’t wait for the next one and they tell other people about them. I’d love to be able to reach a much broader reader base and, ultimately, sell more books. I think the pinnacle would be to have the big publishing houses knocking on my door hoping to contract the next book yet be in a position to be able to say “no thank you – I’ve got this.”
As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
Dena: I’m currently working on a steampunk romance. It’s something I’ve wanted to write for several years so when a call for submissions to an anthology/box set came up, I jumped at the chance. But I do plan to revisit When Ash Remains and write a follow up for one of the other characters.
What question do wish someone would ask about you or your book, but nobody has? (then answer it :-))
Dena: How does your family support you as a writer?
My mom is awesome. She reads and edits all of my books now (she even finds stuff that my real editors miss!). I was hesitant to let her read them in the beginning (mostly because my first few books were with Ellora’s Cave and had a higher heat level than they do now) but she’s been a HUGE help with my last three. My youngest son is only twelve, but he’s a pretty good sounding board. He has helped me brainstorm stuff a few times. He still tells people that he helped me write Ghostly Persuasion because we brainstormed ideas together for how my witch could deal with the bad ghost in the story.
Thanks again to Dena Garson for taking the time to answer these questions and sharing a bit about herself and new book! Check out When Ash Remains…
By: Dena Garson
Release Date: March 2, 2017
Paranormal (Native American, historical) Romance
A warrior with a mission
There isn’t a buffalo or deer that Kajika cannot take down. So when his cousin is slaughtered he relishes the chance to track down the killer. The trail leads him to a woman with gifts he has trouble believing in. Despite their differences he cannot fight his instinct to protect her from all threats – even those he cannot see. That drive even rivals his desire to explore every inch of her body.
A woman with a destiny
Knowing the spirits will protect her, Ahyoka allows the handsome warrior to take her to be questioned by his chief about the unexplained deaths in their village. He may not believe in her abilities but he is one of the few who doesn’t treat her like something to be feared or shunned. He awakens feelings that make her yearn for things she thought she’d never have. Her biggest fear is that once he learns the full extent of her gifts he will reject her like most of her tribe did.
A killer twisted by hurt and anger
Kajika and Ahyoka must work together to find the one responsible for the string of deaths in and around their villages. Faith, trust, and even a little bit of love will be needed to defeat the killer and right the wrongs committed in the pursuit of power and revenge.