Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Author Interview: Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

Echoes of Paradise
Deanna Kahler

Genre: Fiction/Paranormal
Publisher: Rose Petal Publications
Date of Publication: January 11, 2014
Number of pages: 228
Cover Artist: Cover photo by Paul Kahler

Book Description: 
Does Love Survive Death? When Celeste’s one true love Connor dies, she’s left with many questions and regrets. Caught in a web of painful memories from her troubled past – and a complicated marriage to a materialistic executive – she ventures into an unknown world.
What she experiences makes her more determined than ever to find out what really happens after death and what became of her lost love. Her journey takes her to places she never thought possible. But just around the corner, danger still lurks. Will she find the answers she seeks and ultimately discover the truth?

Our Interview with Deanna Kahler

Paranormal Romance Fans for Life would like to extend a warm welcome to Deanna Kahler, author of Echoes of Paradise.  
Deanna, where are you from and from where/who did your love for writing come from?
I was born and raised in Michigan, in the Detroit area. I developed a love of writing at a very young age. When I was just 9 years old, my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, praised a story I wrote. She was so enthusiastic and excited about my story that she inspired me to write more. I began writing short stories and poetry, some of which received Young Authors awards in elementary school. With so much positive feedback and encouragement, it only made sense to continue. Thirty-five years later, I’m still writing!

Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?
I wouldn’t say it was difficult. Everything actually went pretty well overall. It is a lot of work, but it’s also fun. For me, the hardest moments were late-night editing and book promotion. Believe or not, the writing part is easy when compared to all of time and effort that goes into marketing and spreading the word about your book. Book promotion is a tireless, never-ending task.

How do you overcome i-suck-it is, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough?
I read a lot, so when I come across a book that isn’t very well-written, it helps to remind me that I actually do have some talent. We’re all hard on ourselves, and I know I am often my toughest critic. When I get positive reviews and feedback from others, it also really helps to boost my confidence.

What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to a beautiful, secluded beach with white sand, blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. Being around water has always had a very soothing effect on me. I also love visiting parks and taking long walks. I like a peaceful, serene setting that relaxes me and helps me feel more connected and grounded.

Describe your writing style in five words.
Simple, heartfelt, imaginative, inspiring, real

What movies are you currently excited to see?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Winter’s Tale, which is due out around Valentine’s Day. It’s about a burglar who falls in love with a dying woman he meets while attempting to rob her house. After she dies, he later learns he has the gift of reincarnation and tries to save her. I think it’s really cool that the movie is a love story with a paranormal spin to it.
I’m also excited to see Rio 2. My whole family enjoyed the first movie. It’s a cute story and has very vivid colors and awesome computer animation. My daughter can’t wait to see what Blu and Jewel are up to now.

What are you currently reading?
I recently finished reading Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo and Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I’ve always enjoyed the genres of paranormal, romance, fantasy, science fiction and suspense.

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?
I would probably pursue a career in teaching or counseling. I enjoy helping people and making a difference in their lives, so those jobs would be a good fit for me.

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called?
I would introduce Worldwide Day of Rest, where everyone is required to relax. Sometimes it’s not easy to give yourself the time or permission to take a break. A holiday would make sure we did!

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot?
Echoes of Paradise is about a woman’s quest to discover what really happens after death. She loses someone she loves from her past and then starts noticing many strange and unusual happenings. She wonders if he is reaching out to her from beyond the grave or if it’s just her imagination. Ultimately, the story is about our connections to others and the amazing power of love.

What are two of your pet-peeves?My two biggest pet peeves are dishonesty and tardiness. I always try my best to treat others with kindness, respect and honesty, so when someone is intentionally deceptive or shows up really late, it bothers me. It sends the message that they don’t really value you.

To you, what makes a good story?
A good story is one that touches you or inspires you in some way. You need to be able to feel the story. In my book, Echoes of Paradise, I feature a lot of emotions – love, grief, fear, hope, etc. This helps to keep the story real and connect the reader with the characters. I also paint an encouraging, inspirational picture of life, love and death. No one wants to read something that makes them feel bad. We all want to be uplifted and touched.

What usually turns you off about a story?
I don’t like reading stories with very long and complicated sentences. Description is good, but you should never have to go back and reread a sentence in order for it to make sense. Writing should flow and not be an effort to read.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?
I would love to collaborate with Nicholas Sparks. His stories are always so romantic and touching. He really has a knack for telling a good love story. I was especially impressed that he included a paranormal element to Safe Haven. I think we would work well together!

What is on your night stand?
On my night stand, you’ll find a lamp for late-night reading, a couple of books, a photo of my precious daughter and a phone.

What is your favorite book?
My favorite book of all time is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I think the reason I like it so much is because it is real and touching. The characters faced many struggles and challenges, including illness and death. But through it all, they remained connected as a family. Love got them through the tough times and helped them to keep going. To me, love and our connections with others is what life is really about. 
Thank you so much for joining us today, Deanna. We really enjoyed the insights. Good luck with Echoes of Paradise

About the Author:

Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives.
Echoes of Paradise is Deanna’s second book. Her first book, From Pain to ParenthoodA Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption, details her difficult journey to motherhood and provides tips and resources for those facing similar circumstances.
Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb, where she enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.

Author Contacts:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Tour Giveaway Details:
3 paperback copies Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler
a Rafflecopter giveaway