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Monday, May 15, 2017

Author Interview & GIVEAWAY - Mikal Dawn



Go Hawks!
FIRST OF ALL...You all need to know how much I ADORE Mikal! I had the AMAZING honor of meeting Mikal last summer in Nashville at CFRR (Christian Fiction Readers Retreat). She is a vibrant woman full of love and humor! To find out more about CFRR you can visit the website HERE.

I posted my review for Count Me In last week and announced a GIVEAWAY! That giveaway is still open and the final entry option can NOW BE COMPLETED! Please enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post. You can also find my review for Count Me In HERE.

About the Author

Mikal Dawn is an aspiring inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast and proud military wife. In addition to being part of the new Wholly Loved women's ministry team, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry organization, is a virtual social media assistant, volunteers as a Key Spouse for her husband’s squadron, and drinks a lot of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Mikal lives in Nebraska with her husband, Mark, and their three children and one ferocious feline. Find Mikal on mikaldawn.comFacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Welcome to Bookworm Mama Mikal!

Me and Mikal bonding over our
coffee addiction!
Mikal: Ohmygoodness, Rachel, you do me a HUGE honor!! Thank you!! I’m super excited to be here. I almost feel like a real author! 😉 

Rachel: I am so excited to have you here today as...a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! (So what if there is ONE more day before the "official" release) So...Let's get this thing started...

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

Mikal: I honestly don’t know where my love of story started. I don’t remember ever not loving stories and reading. I remember my dad reading me stories from a Bible storybook when I was pretty young, and I loved that time. I also remember being grounded…from my books! LOL! My mum would make me go outside (*shudder*) and actually play instead of being in my room and reading or making up stories with my Barbies and imaginary friends. (Yep. I had—and still have—imaginary friends. Only now I get to tell everyone it’s okay that I have them because I’m a writer.) 

Rachel: When I was told to go outside...I brought a book with me and hid in the barn and read! I don't remember ever being grounded from reading...That sounds MISERABLE!

Read about the enduring appeal of Anne of Green Gables here.:
Pinterest
What literary character is most like you and why?

Mikal: Um…oh man. I don’t know! I’ve actually taken those silly Facebook quizzes, and they always come back with me being Anne Shirley. That quirk? Sure. Probably me. But I think Anne is way more eloquent than I am. Way.

Rachel: Nonsense! You have your own unique eloquence! And yes...I agree about the quirk.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book? 

Mikal: This is actually a fun question to answer. The story idea didn’t start with me. I was taking a course through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and one assignment asked us to write an initial event, an inciting event, a crisis event, a climactic event, and a denouement. I can’t remember for sure, but I think we were given character names and possibly occupation (don’t quote me on that, though). When I submitted my assignment, a few people emailed me privately and said it sounded like it would make a great story. So…I wrote it! I thought it would be fun to write an opposites-attract story with safety and danger being the opposites.

Rachel: Oooooh! I LOVE this. It is amazing where things...anything in life...can lead us!

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Goodreads
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

Mikal: The very first Christian rom-com/chick-lit I ever read was Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh. I fell in love with it! Since then, there haven’t been many Christian romantic comedy authors (except for Krista Phillips, and of course Tamara) or stories that I’ve known of or read and liked, until recently! Now Kara Isaac, Pepper Basham, and the upcoming October release by Bethany Turner. I was fortunate enough last year to read Pepper’s upcoming book, Just the Way You Are, and was just inspired to hurry up and finish Count Me In

What secret talents do you have?

Mikal: Um…Rachel. Girl. If I told you, they wouldn’t be a secret anymore! Duh! 😉 

Rachel: Dang it Mikal! Hey, at least I tried right?

I've already read some of these but the ones I haven't look good!! Good Reads: Lauren Conrad's Spring Reading List:
Pinterest
What 5 books have had a significant impact on your life? 

Mikal: 
  • The book of Acts in the Bible. Seeing the Holy Spirit’s direct work on the people in this book, reading about martyrs and miracles…how could I not be impacted by it? I mean, this obviously goes for the whole Bible, but Acts (okay, and Romans, but I won’t count that against my 5 books) have really shaped my faith.
  • Stealing Adda because it’s the first time I realized that Christian fiction could be funny, snappy, romantic, and strong. 
  • Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. I just…I can’t even explain. If you’ve read it, you know. You get it. If you haven’t, please go buy it or borrow it from your library. If they don’t have it, please request it. It will move you and change you.
  • Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig. This was a hard book to read. Fast-paced, action-packed, and incredible! But there are scenes in it that were difficult and painful, but handled with strength, dignity, and in my perception, beautifully.
  • Blessed Child by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright. Yep, another novel. But hey, Jesus told stories to teach the people around Him, so I have no shame! This novel opened my eyes to the possibilities with the Lord. I often think of this book while looking at the world around me and wonder what I’m missing because of my lack of faith or sin holding me back. Does that make sense?


Rachel: Oh man! I am sad to say I have not read any of these novels (because Acts I have read lol)...But adding them to my TBR. And YES that makes sense! 😊

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Pinterest
Mikal: Do you really think I’d admit to this?!?! Puh-lease. 😉 But really, I don’t think they’re unusual. I drink copious amounts of coffee and keep strawberry-flavored Australian licorice nearby. And hummus and pita chips. But not popcorn. The butter gets on the keyboard and gets it all gross. Oh, and did I mention coffee? I must have coffee. 

Aaaannnd…a clean kitchen. My writing space is in full view of the kitchen (unless I head out of the house to a coffee shop) until my oldest child moves out, probably later this year. So if my kitchen is messy, it annoys me. It doesn’t matter too much if there are other things laying around in view of my desk, but the kitchen? NO. 

Oh, and to give you a better picture of my kind of crazy, the light switches that are in my line of sight have to be in the right position. So, if the lights are on overhead, the switch that’s in my line of sight has to be in the on position (in the living room, we have two switches that operate the lighting overhead). But this goes anytime, anywhere for me.

Rachel: Bahahaha! No wonder we are friends! I love your snack choices...and COFFEE!!! More coffee is always the answer! And I like to clean first, then work (blog/read).

There's one kind of conversation that you'll never regret, that always bears fruit, that's never a waste of time, and that gives you access to the One in charge. That's a conversation with God.  Pray. It matters. It unleashes unfathomable power.:
Pinterest
What writing advice do you have for unpublished authors?

Mikal: First and foremost, pray! The stories brewing in your heart aren’t yours—they’re God’s. So pray, ask Him what He wants the world to read. To be honest, I fought long and hard over writing romantic comedy. I wanted to write the deep, emotional prose that really moves people to tears and changes their lives. Maybe one day I will, but that day isn’t today. The Lord pushed me to write something that will still have truth, but will make readers laugh, perhaps giving that person who’s sitting in a chemo appointment a chuckle in the midst of their pain, or the exhausted mama who just wants a fun escape from the busyness of each day. So pray, and follow where He leads.

Second, don’t compare yourself to other authors. It’s hard, I get it. I still do it. But God has given you a specific story to write. Take that blessing and run with it.

Rachel: I love, love, LOVE this! And I can testify to the uplifting and faith filled story that Count Me In is. Thank you for walking....er...Writing...the way God has called you to write in this season.

What is up next for you?

Mikal: As I write this, I’m about to get my content edits back for Count Me In, though by the time you read this, the book will just about to be released! It’s too exciting! So exciting, I want to go throw up. But I digress. 

I’m also in the very early stages of brainstorming, researching, and gathering fun pictures and quotes on Pinterest for the next book in this standalone series. It will feature Bo and Story from Count Me In. Bo is a former NHL player, and Story works part-time for Tyler (the hero in Count Me In) and as a part-time figure skating coach. This book is tentatively titled On the Edge.

Rachel: Ooooooh!!!! I LOVE THIS TITLE!!!!!! I am so excited Bo and Story get their own book! Hehe! Readers, trust me...By the end of Count Me In, you will be "on the edge" of your seat waiting to find out more! 

Thank you so much for joining us Mikal! I can NOT WAIT to give you a GIANT hug in August!!! 


My Rating

 - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info)

About the Book

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she's out of a job. 

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly. 

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

Giveaway!

Many thanks to Canva for providing an AMAZING program for me to design all these beautiful graphics. Book covers, publisher logos, and author pictures not owned by me. All other graphics created by Bookworm Mama with public domain photos on Canva

23 comments:

  1. Great interview! I'm looking forward to reading Count Me In!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Heidi!

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    2. Thank you SO MUCH, Heidi!! I hope you have fun getting to know Tyler and Allegra. :D

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  2. Loved the "Go Hawks!" picture! :D My husband and I are Seahawks fans too. ;)

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    1. Woohoo! WA is my home state! And when our son was at Seattle Children's Hospital we got to meet Russell Wilson! That was AMAZING!!!

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    2. Laura...YOU ROCK!!! #GOHAWKS I'm a Seahawks lover and proudly wear my pants, jersey, toque, earrings, bracelet, necklace, socks, gloves, and shoes--all Seahawks, of course--on Blue Friday! And game day. And whenever I want to annoy my coworker, a 49ers fan. ;)

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

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    3. MIKAL!!! Hahahaha! That sounds like me and my Doctor Who apparel...

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  3. Loved this interview SOOOOO much! Happy Book Birthday MIKAL! Great job Rachel!

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    1. Thank you sooooo much, Melony!!!! Can you believe it's ALMOST HERE?!?! I'm still shaking my head at God's goodness. ONE. MORE. SLEEP.

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  4. The interview and the details on both author and book, make me want to read this book all the more. Thanks!

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    1. Aw, thank you SO much, Kay!!! And thank you for stopping by. I do hope you enjoy Tyler and Allegra's story! <3

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    2. YAY Kay!!! I hope you enjoy it! It is SO good!!!!

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  5. Yea...GO HAWKS!!! We're big Seahawks fans here living in Oregon, even been to two pre-season games.

    Nice interview! Been looking forward to getting to know Mikal more. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Count Me In

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    1. SO. JEALOUS!!!!! Living in Nebraska, I don't get the opportunity to go to games unless I can hop in the car and drive three hours, *which* WILL happen...if I can find a Seahawks friend to join me. (My husband...I lament him. He's a fan in name only because he does not sports. *sigh*)

      Thank you so, SO much, Trixi!!! <3

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    2. YAY TRIXI!!! We are practically neighbors....Seahawks are my home team! I can't wait to hear what you think of Count Me In!

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  6. Fantastic interview! I'm excited to read COUNT ME IN!

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    1. Eep!! Thank you SO MUCH, Caryl!!! <3 Release day is almost here!!! :D

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    2. YAY Caryl! Thank you for stopping by!

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    1. I know you are going to love it!

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  8. Lovely interview! Congratulations on your debut, Mikal!

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    1. Thank you so very much, Tam. And for your influence, even when you didn't know it. <3

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