Friday, August 10, 2012

Interview with romance novelist Dora Hiers

Readers, I'd like to introduce you to Dora Hiers today. She shares a lot about her publishing journey for the Marshals of Journey Creek series, including the newest novel, Journey’s Edge.

Dora will be awarding one $10 gift card for Pelican Book Group to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop during her virtual book tour. If you'd like to be entered to win, leave your e-mail address with your comment. And if you want to increase your chances of winning, visit other stops along the tour and comment.

After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son didn’t want her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing heart racing, God-gracing books. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Her first inspirational romance, Journey’s End, released with White Rose Publishing in 2011, and her second, Journey’s Edge released in March 2012. White Rose also contracted her third book in the Marshals of Journey Creek series, Journey’s Embrace, and her first short romance, Small Town Treasure. Dora and her husband make their home in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

Welcome, Dora. Please tell us about your current release.
Thank you, Lisa. I thought you’d never ask.

Journey’s Edge is a contemporary inspirational romance about an auditor who uncovers fraud and hires a Deputy U.S. Marshal, her ex-fiancé, to protect her and her daughter from a vengeful client. I’m thrilled to introduce Journey’s Edge:

A Routine Audit? Hardly.

Red flags—including some goon who's following her—raise McKinley Frasier's suspicions that numbers don't add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley's daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman—the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner's not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a "new man." She trusts the new Renner with her daughter's safety...but what about her heart?

What inspired you to write this book?
Actually, Trey Colton, from Journey’s End, inspired this book. Renner was Trey’s partner. Both Deputy U.S. Marshals, but total personality opposites. Trey was born first: neat, immaculately-dressed, and organized. Relaxed and casual Renner gets on Trey's nerves, but they are best friends. I knew the moment Renner appeared on the page that he would have his own book. I had to dig around in his past to find his sweetheart, but when you meet Kinny, you’ll understand how perfect they are for each other.

Journey's Edge excerpt:
"Honey, if you’re looking for that kind of action, you’ve got the wrong room."

"What?" McKinley gasped. She knew that voice, that rich timbre with just a hint of teasing. Always teasing, forever flirting.

Renner Crossman.

Oh, no! What kind of twisted sense of humor did James suffer from? She didn’t want to see Renner. She only wanted to know that he was in the hotel.

McKinley tilted her head back, inching her line of vision up to Renner’s face. Just to be sure. A lot could change after ten years. Look at her. She was a prime example.

She heard his deep intake of breath. Shock? Yeah, well, she could relate.


Ten years faded into yesterday. Those espresso-colored eyes still gleamed with mischief. Or was it something else? Maybe he hadn’t changed that much.

His hands tightened around her arms, pulling her against him. She closed her eyes and leaned into his chest.


His heart thumped a tune with hers. His breath whispered against her hair. And the scent of his aftershave was like a dear friend. She sighed.

What was it about him that latched on to her innermost dreams and desires and wouldn’t let go? His grin? His have-no-cares-in-the-world style against her organized, have-to-know-everything-beforehand outlook?

He looped his arms around her back and pressed his forehead to hers, just like he used to do. When he’d made her feel loved and cherished. Protected. Special.

A clamp tightened around her stomach, cut off air, and she almost tossed the cookies she’d scarfed down in place of dinner. Gag.


Yeah, right. More like used and abused. Thrown away with the trash.

She wasn’t safe in here, either. She braced her hands against his chest and jerked a step back, telling her brain to reject his familiar, comforting scent. She would take her chances in the hall.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I couldn’t believe how sad I was to type the end on Journey’s Embrace, to close the Marshals of Journey Creek series. I’d come to love Journey Creek and the characters who found a place to belong, to find love and their happily-ever-after.

But, it didn’t take me long to embrace Promise Lake, a fictional city in the mountains of North Carolina. I just submitted my first sweet novella in this series for consideration with White Rose Publishing. No danger. No suspense. Just a lot of heart-racing romance in When Truth Whispers. Want a peek?

After a humiliating breakup, best-selling romance author Teal Benning flees to Promise Lake to complete her current novel, minus paparazzi and flashing cameras. Suffering from writer's block and a broken heart, Teal accepts the offer of help from neighbor, Hunter Miciver. Hunter longs to be more than the friend who picks up the shattered pieces of Teal's heart. When Teal finds out his secret, will she see him for the man he is, a man of faith and devotion, a man who would cherish her for the rest of her days? Or will she lump him into the same category as all the other men in her life, including her father? Will Teal recognize when truth whispers her name?

Think my editor will like it?

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After dropping out of the workforce to taxi my two sons around (and to make sure one of them actually attended school, he had a slight problem with that!), the writing seed dug in, took root around my heart with the idea for Journey’s End.

I soaked up online writing courses and attended a writer’s conference. Joined American Christian Fiction Writers, Carolina Christian Writers, and a critique group. But, I didn’t consider myself a writer. Writers received contracts, validation for their work. I had only rejection letters.

With every rejection letter, I would cry, rant, and tuck my manuscript into a corner of the closet for months. With my husband’s encouragement, (more like prodding, I’m so thankful for him!) I would whip out that piece of paper and look at it again with a fresh perspective. I plucked out the pearls of constructive criticism on how to make my writing stronger and better, and dug back in.

On New Year’s Eve in 2010 some five years after I started down this crazy writing road, White Rose Publishing offered me a contract for Journey’s End. Can you think of a better way to end one year and to begin another? Who needs fireworks?

Do you know what it’s taken me years to understand? December 31, 2010, may be the day I received a contract to validate my work. But, the time that I actually became a writer was when I acted on the idea planted in my heart and refused to give up on my dreams.  

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?
Writing started as a hobby for me, but has since expanded and taken over much of my day. I admire writers who work full-time and must squeeze writing in whenever they can, but I don’t do well with 15-minute blocks. I warm up to it. My speed increases over a three-hour time frame, but drastically declines in the afternoons, so I usually only work on my manuscripts until lunchtime. My goal is anything over 1,000 words. Does that happen every day? No. Edits, galleys and sick grandchildren take priority.

I’m not a writer who spins out an ugly rough draft first to get thoughts on the page, then goes back and edits. I write a scene and layer it many times before moving on. It feels like I’m slogging along, but by the time I finally reach the end, my manuscript is ready to go.

I spend afternoons working on blog posts, library talks, promoting, social networking, housecleaning, working in the yard, catching up on personal phone calls and errands, and watching my grandkids. Oh, and the best part ~ lunch with my husband!

Weekends and evenings are meant for my family, relaxation, and worship. And libraries, where I enjoy talking romance with readers and publishing with writers.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Noise bothers me. I enjoy quiet while I write. No music or distractions, just the soft snores of my golden retriever and the chattering of the birds and the antics of squirrels outside my window. And I tend to go into near panic mode if I don’t have a drink next to me. My faves: coffee, iced tea, diet soda and hot chocolate in the winter.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do, even after graduation from high school. I spent my entire life in the job force working my way up from the bottom. After high school, with a major soft drink distributor, from a telephone sales rep to a Sales Secretary. In the apartment industry, from a leasing agent to a Resident Manager. For a School District in Florida, from bookkeeper to Accountant II, where I performed and reviewed hundreds of audits. During that time, I earned an Associates Degree in Accounting.

But, my career screeched to a halt when our oldest son developed an extreme intolerance to school. I dropped out of the workforce to become a stay-at-home mom. When he graduated (thank God!), and my younger son didn’t want me hanging out at school with him anymore, I knew I needed something else to do.

My husband suggested that I should be a travel agent. We could travel around the globe for free or at a reduced cost. Not a good idea for a homebody. My heart said write. So, now, I add writer to that list. Maybe, at 50+ years old, I finally figured it out…

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I enjoyed my visit with you! Thanks so much for allowing me to share.

Purchase Links:

Readers can connect with me through:

Thanks for stopping by, Dora! Readers, don't forget about the giveaway. One winner at every stop! If you want to be entered, include your e-mail address with a comment.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Dora today.

Dora Hiers said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Lisa. I appreciate your hospitality and the wonderful way you showcased my work!

Catherine Lee said...

Promise Lake sounds great...I look forward to it. Since I live in NC, I like books set in the state (even if the towns are fictional). I live near the coast, not the mountains.

It's great that you've gotten to use your auditing background in your novel!
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Dora Hiers said...

Hi Catherine.

You live near the NC coast? We live in Kannapolis, a suburb of Charlotte, but have only made it to Myrtle Beach 1x in 5 yrs, and even then, we never saw the water. We're from FL, but mountain lovers at heart. Isn't that weird?

It's great to meet you, Catherine! Thanks for your kind words.

bn100 said...

The book sounds good.