“This book is a must read for all women. Although it is a fictional story the author has brilliantly captured the many issues that women struggle with and offers hope that can only be found in Jesus. She also shows how looking beyond our own circumstances can bring blessings into our lives and the lives of others. I’ve ministered to broken women for over twenty years and I’m thankful for resources like Rain Dance that will reach women who are hurting and give them hope.” – Sue Liljenberg, International Director, Healing Hearts Ministries International
“Rain Dance is truly a prodigious book…a must read.” – Ane Mulligan, Editor, Novel Journey
Paperback Writer welcomes our author for today, Joy DeKok, author of Rain Dance as she joins us on her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
Welcome to Paperback Writer
Q: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
A: Although she didn’t mean it this way, Louisa Mae Alcott once said, “Housekeeping ain’t no joke.” I was cleaning house and the idea crossed my mind and never let go.
Q: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
A: I love using index cards – one for each chapter with a few sentences on it. That’s enough to give me an outline and still leaves lots of room for creativity.
Q: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
A: Usually, that’s all I know for sure. While the index cards fill in some of that during my brainstorming session, I know a lot of what I jot down is going to change.
Q: Do you have a process for developing your characters?
A: Once I have the story cards completed I fill out an index card for each character. I used to get really detailed here, and while it was fun, it bogged me down and kept me from the real writing. I know the basics. As the character or story reveals something else to me, I’ll write what I learn on the card. I sometimes end up with an additional card for my main character.
Q: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
A: Yes – I did this with Rain Dance. I didn’t want to and that’s part of the reason I resisted writing it for over a year. Jonica is me. Putting so much of myself on the pages was risky for two reasons: author intrusion is very big no-no and if the readers didn’t like her, they wouldn’t like me either. I prefer following the rules so becoming a rule breaker was difficult.
In my next novel, there’s a little bit of me here and there in the book, but not so much in one character.
Q: What is your most favorite part about this book?
A: When the characters dance in the rain.
A: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
A: As soon as I started writing it, I started talking about it at writer’s conferences to other writers and editors. The content raised a lot of eyebrows and editors were sure a first time novelist had no business writing an issue-based book. I kept writing it – it is the story I was given to write at that time – once I said yes.
Q: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
A: Rejection is tough even when it’s in a form letter where it’s not personal. I received three interesting rejections though. At one point a publishing house wanted the novel and I’d been told by an editor I’d be offered a contract after their readers came back with their thoughts. One of those readers was especially negative although the others were positive. They decided not to take the book. Later, two large publishing houses rejected it with positive notes and both encouraged me to self-publish and even recommended a company. Two agents also said wonderful things about the book and encouraged me to consider self-publishing as well. So, I did. Eventually, I asked a small writing group I belong to if they’d read and endorse the book. I’d forgotten one of them was an editor. She liked the book very much and said she wanted to publish it. The truth is, without the first part of the journey, the second part would not have happened. Standing back and seeing the whole is exciting.
Q: What has been the best part about being published?
A: It’s a dream come true. I think we sometimes believe dreams will just happen or they are nice things to think about, but are not things we actually get to live. I’ve come to believe if you can dream it and are willing to do what it takes, it can be your reality.
The other best thing is readers. Oh my goodness the readers! They write me and tell me their stories and through them every single question I had about the story, the characters, or my writing in general has been answered positively.
Q: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
A: There is hope and healing in life and it often comes at times and from places we least expect it.
Q: Do you have plans to write another book?
A: Yes. I have an untitled series brewing. Book one is nearing the rewrite stage (a favorite part of writing for me – where I play before I polish).
Q Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
A: I’m enjoying the different interviews and opportunities to guest blog, write about writing, and even share my favorite recipes. This is fun. The ideas Cheryl has found are a combination of the creative as well as in my genre and/or niche. I’ve especially appreciated the way she’s taken me outside of my preconceived boundaries. I am enjoying this immensely and will be hiring her again in 2010 when my next book (non-fiction) releases.
Q: Where can readers find a copy of your book?
www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, as well as all online and local bookstores. They can get a signed copy from me a www.raindancebook.com
Do you have a website for readers to go to?
www.joydekok.com or www.raindancebook.com
Thank you, Joy for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.
Thank you – it’s been a blast!
About the Author
Joy DeKok and her husband, Jon, live in Minnesota on thirty-five acres of woods and fields. Joy has been writing most of her life and as a popular speaker shares her heart and passion for God with women. In addition to writing novels, she has also published a devotional and several children’s books.
Visit Joy online at: http://www.joydekok.com/, http://www.believe4kids.com/, and http://www.gettingitwrite.net/.