You’re in for a treat today. Dawn Kinzer, freelance editor and author of Sarah’s Smile and soon-to-be-released Hope’s Design, is part of a group of writers who publish the lovely blog for Christian writers, Seriously Write.
Dawn Kinzer writes fiction because she believes in the power of story to comfort, challenge, and inspire. (Tweet That!) Her work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, The One Year Life Verse Devotional, A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love, and has been featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home. A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, cinnamon, popcorn, strong coffee, good wine, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre. Readers can find her at www.dawnkinzer.com.
*** NOTE: Everyone who joined our chat with a comment or question below was eligible for a give-away of Dawn’s beautiful historical romance, Sarah’s Smile. Drum roll, please!
The winner of the drawing for Sarah’s Smile is Tanya Hanson.
PS. We’ll be chatting with another great author tomorrow after 12 noon. Join the chat, and you’re entered to win.
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Dawn Kinzer’s Beginnings
You may be old enough to remember the Dick and Jane books from first grade. Somehow I knew even at six years old that learning to read would open up another world for me. (Tweet That!)
I grew up in a small rural town in Wisconsin called Prairie Farm—and I mean small. The population was and remains around five hundred people. I’m third generation—my parents and both sets of grandparents grew up there and lived in town or on farms.
High School and Beyond
Although Prairie Farm was a great place to experience childhood, by the time I graduated from high school, I couldn’t wait to leave for college. I majored in biology and minored in chemistry and graduated with a BS. Although I loved literature and writing and did well in those college courses, I didn’t believe I had enough talent to be a writer.
An Unexpected Development
But while co-leading a church drama group, a friend and I were challenged to write a full-length play. We ended up writing three. I realized that writing filled a creative need like nothing else. (Tweet That!) I devoted years to studying my craft, blogging, attending writers conferences, networking with others in the industry, creating a platform, and learning all I could about publishing. Although my requested manuscripts garnered some interest from agents and publishers, they never made it all the way to a contract offer.
Changes of Direction
In the meantime, I grew weary of working for companies who valued profits over customers or employees. Along the way, I realized that I had a knack for editing—and I enjoyed it. So, I spent a year learning important business practices, taking classes on editing and honing my skills, and gleaning what other freelance editors had experienced before leaving the corporate world seven years ago and launching my own business, Faithfully Write Editing.
How did Dawn Kinzer get here?
There was a time when I thought I would never self-publish. You know the saying. Never say never. Yes, I’ve gone down the indie path. Sarah’s Smile, the first book in The Daughters of Riverton series, was released in October, and Book 2 in the series, Hope’s Design, releases November 11.
A respected agent lost my first manuscript and asked me to send it again—twice—over the course of a year. Then she dropped communication which discouraged me. I’m a “doer,” and I’m also kind of a control freak, so the thought of leaving my publication hopes in the hands of other people felt unsettling. At the same time, indie publishing was becoming a reputable avenue.
So, three years ago, my husband and I discussed self-publishing. What would that look like? What would it take to become an indie author? I was already freelance editing, so I had experience in running a small business. But to pay people to edit, proofread, and design covers? Spend money with no guarantee that we’d break even?
Then I knew without a doubt it was the path I was to take after my husband and I prayed about the decision and he felt complete peace about moving forward. At first I was shocked. He’s always so careful about budgets and making sure money is well-spent. But his confidence gave me what I needed to jump in. We agreed we had to view indie-publishing as something more than possible income—we had to embrace it as a ministry—a calling.
Debut Novel – Sarah’s Smile
Would you believe my hometown and the people who lived there in 1902 inspired the setting and some of the characters in Sarah’s Smile?
When you open the pages to Sarah’s Smile, you’ll find romance, heartbreak, secrets, scandal, and second chances.
Our heroine, Sarah McCall, is waiting to leave for the mission field when the man she once loved steps back into her life. Abandoned as a child by her mother and gambler father, she strives to overcome a tarnished history she didn’t create and a heartbreak she can’t forget.
Peter Caswell returns to his Wisconsin hometown a pastor, dedicated to his four-year-old daughter and new congregation. But no matter how hard he tries to move on with his life, he can’t forgive himself for his wife’s death.
When Sarah learns that Peter is returning to Riverton, the letter giving her departure date for Africa can’t come soon enough for her. They were best friends—she loved him and supported his dreams—but he married another and broke her heart. Although ten years have passed since he left Riverton, Peter hopes Sarah still cares enough to give him a second chance. But a charming newcomer pursues her affections—and Sarah’s childhood nemesis manipulates her way into Peter’s life.
And of course the question is . . . will Sarah and Peter find their way to forgiveness and each other, or will past mistakes make a life together impossible?
I started out writing a romance about a young woman who couldn’t wait to leave her small town and make a difference in the world. But I ended writing a story about forgiveness—the grace to forgive, the willingness to accept forgiveness from others, and the ability to forgive ourselves.
Advice for Writers From Dawn Kinzer
Some may choose traditional publishing. Some may choose indie-publishing. Others may want to live in both worlds as a hybrid. Regardless, there are decisions to make in terms of platform, marketing, website formats, blogs, social media, etc. etc. etc. So, whatever you choose . . . do what feels right for you.
Just as important . . . don’t forget to enjoy the journey. The friendships I’ve made with other writers have been and continue to be priceless.
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Thank you for stopping by to chat, Dawn. Your journey, complete with unexpected curves and uncertainties, encourages us to keep pressing on.
Readers, here’s where you can find Dawn Kinzer and her books:
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Lord, how marvelous are Your ways. They are beyond our understanding. We thank and praise You for never turning Your back on us and for molding our paths for Your purposes. Bless Dawn’s efforts for You. Thank you for Your faithfulness through all the seasons of our lives. ~ For Jesus’ sake