Friday, 4 May 2012

Getting to know Dineen Miller

Please share a little about yourself

I’m a disciple of Christ, wife to a techy guy who’s a disc golf fanatic (he’s awesome!), and mom to two grown daughters (18 & 22) who I have the pleasure of watching grow up into young women of faith! My oldest is engaged to be married to a wonderful young man who’s a believer. Yeah, proud mama, that’s me.

I’m also part of the ministry, which Lynn Donovan started in 2006. She and I are the coauthors of Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage. I’m also the author of The Soul Saver, my debut novel that just released this week!

And I’m a speaker. I love sharing the truths in God’s Word and how they apply to our lives, giving us strength, wisdom and freedom.

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker...I’ll stop there. ;-)

What appeals to you most about writing fiction?

Creating characters who struggle with their life and faith. Digging deep into what motivates them to make the choices they do and watching them grow through the process and consequences. I find the psychology of it fascinating!

This is your first novel ~ how does it feel to have it in readers’ hands?

Unbelievable! This week has been such an adventure and a blessing I never expected! I’ve been doing a fair amount of online marketing and interacting with readers this week and it just blows me away when someone tells me they bought or ordered my book. It’s very humbling to think they’re using their time and money to read something I wrote. That’s huge. I wish I could reach through the screen and hug every one of them.

Name five things you can’t live without (no need to take this too seriously!)

Coffee, unfrosted strawberry Poptarts, my iPad (which includes my Bibles and my current writing project), my Acorn slippers, and diet soda.

Favourite book ~ Favourite movie ~ Favourite TV show

Now this one is tough!

Book? I’d have to say the Bible because it’s the only book I read over and over again.

Movie? Captain America! But that may change by next month. LOL! Up until recently it was Julie & Julia. Food and writing. Doesn’t get better than that.

TV Show? Either Castle or Once Upon a Time. Love the twists and turns of both. And they’re both about writers and stories. I think I have a one-track mind. Rel, what do you think?

Where is the most interesting place you have been?

Switzerland. Lived there for three years. Beautiful and full of adventure.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A graphic designer who also designed book covers and an author. I’m blessed to have done both!

What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?

These two seem to consistently surprise people: I have two grown daughters—I guess I don’t look my age, thanks to good genes! And my husband is an atheist, but we are madly in love and thanks to how God has worked in me, my marriage and my faith are thriving.


The Soul Saver

Meet Lexie Baltimore, who is in the supernatural battle of her life. In obedience to God’s calling, Lexie uses her art and dreams to help others. But will she have enough courage to help herself when she becomes torn between her atheist husband and a godly man?

A widower and a father, Pastor Nate Winslow is drowning in darkness. Will he resist his treacherous assignment to win Lexie’s heart, or give in to the attraction between them?

As events unfold, Lexie becomes entangled in a twisted plot. Can she overcome the evil assailing her, or will she yield to the dark side?

What/whom inspired you to write The Soul Saver

My faith and my life. LOL! I wrote The Soul Saver to compliment my nonfiction book, Winning Him Without Words, which is for the spiritually mismatched. I mentioned my husband is an atheist but we are very happily married and thriving despite our spiritual disconnect. The eerie part is that as this book developed, some of what I wrote about played out in my family.

When I started writing the story in 2009, it was just a glimmer in my heart and mind. I knew the basics. I knew Lexie was a believer. I knew her husband, Hugh, was an atheist and a physics professor at Stanford University. And I knew they’d lost a child to a brain tumor.

With a short synopsis and the first few chapters in hand, I went to a writers conference that September to pitch the story to some editors and see what kind of reaction I would get. I went home without any doubts that I was to write this story. Not because of anything said by an editor, but because God made it clear that was His plan.

Here’s where it gets a little “strange.” About two weeks after I got home, we found out my youngest daughter had a malignant brain tumor. We were sent to Lucille Packard (love the folks there!) for her surgeries. Her radiation treatments were to be done at Stanford Hospital, which is attached to Lucille Packard AND Stanford University.

Because of where the tumor was located, my daughter’s radiation treatments had to be designed so as to treat the area and not bombard the rest of her brain and eyes. This treatment was carefully designed by a physics professor at Stanford University.

God-bumps anyone?

And all the weeks we were driving back and forth to the hospitals became my research for the book. Can you believe it?

Your book is a mixture of women’s fiction, supernatural and suspense! How did that interesting combination come about?

You know, that was a total surprise to me too. I started writing this story, thinking Tobias was the pastor’s friend and mentor. But suddenly he revealed he was quite the opposite! I’ll never forget sitting at my computer and writing out the scene where he kind of gives himself away unintentionally. I got chills. Had to stop and pray, “God, are you sure about this?” LOL! Then I knew the spiritual warfare would be crucial to the story because I can tell you from experience, there is A LOT of spiritual warfare in mismatched marriages. We, the believers are on the front lines praying and battling for our unbelieving spouse. We tend to make the enemy mad a lot. :)

Share a little about your main characters

Lexie is a believer and a sculptor. God wakes her in the night with visions of a place she needs to go (when He tells her it’s time) but then she has to go into her studio to create the face of the person she’s supposed to help. It’s a process.

Hugh is Lexie’s husband, an atheist and a physics professor at Stanford University. He’s a really nice guy, a good dad to their son Jeremy, but really struggles with Lexie’s faith at times.

And then there’s Nate, the pastor of Freedom Church. He’s a tortured man, having lost his wife and nearly lost his daughter. A bad choice in a panicked moment of grief cost him his faith and his peace. He’s now a pawn in an evil plan to destroy Lexie’s marriage so that Hugh will remain an atheist.

Describe The Soul Saver in five adjectives

I can’t be objective here so I pulled them from some of the reviewer: Relevant. Life-changing. Spine-tingling. Compelling. Heartwrenching.

Please share a favourite paragraph from The Soul Saver

This is from a scene where Tobias, our demon in human form, is giving Nate his assignment and is in Nate’s POV:

Yeah, like he really believed that. He’d sealed his own fate. Saving Samantha had been worth it, right?  

Only since Lexie had shown up did he ask that question.  Stupid just didn’t fit the bill. He picked up the folder, flipped it open. More pictures filled a page with information to go with each one. “I had no idea hell was so organized. You’re like a CIA for the damned.”

What do you hope readers take away from your story?

My hope is that they’ll either be encouraged because they’re spiritually mismatched or that they’ll have a better understanding of what it means to be mismatched, because chances are they know someone who is. And I hope anyone who reads it is entertained but also encouraged to see that God is so very present and real all around us ALL THE TIME! He’s always there loving and helping us more than we ever could imagine.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Dineen's website and blog
Buy Dineen's books at Amazon or Koorong


Nicole said...

She's amazing, Rel.

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