Where in the World Did That Story Come From? with Dena Netherton

With the release of the second in The Hunted Series, we welcome back Dena Netherton to Thyme for Writers as she shares how she gets her ideas for her stories, her characters, and her settings!

When I tell people I’m a writer, many of them ask me, “How do you get your ideas for your stories?”

The first couple of times I was asked this, I had to think about it for a minute or two. Because ideas come from everywhere: shopping excursions, movies, books, the news, people-watching, travel.

Dena Netherton, Haven’s Hope, Haven’s Flight, The Hunted Series, ideas, books, writing, writer, Hunting Haven, settings, villains, romantic suspense, Norwegian, Scandinavian, Cascade Mountains, characters, Pacific Northwest, imagination
The Hunted Series by Dena Netherton

For example, one of my most awful bad guys, Dade Colton, in the Hunting Haven three-part series, came to my mind as a conglomerate of several villains from real life, and some from horror movies I’ve watched and found particularly scary. Dade’s creepy, toothy grin whenever he is threatening Haven is something I saw a horror movie villain do to his victims. Now, wouldn’t you expect a villain to snarl and frown whenever he’s doing something bad? The smile makes me shudder, because it shows Dade’s lack of conscience, and even enjoyment while terrorizing Haven.

How about book settings? What makes you decide where to place your story?
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Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered by Dena Netherton, author of Haven’s Flight

The ideas for the settings of my books come mostly from my travels. Some place sparks my imagination, either because of the town itself, its shops and museums and institutions. Sometimes, when I travel, I’ll see or overhear a fascinating person in a Starbucks or restaurant, or see him or her walking down the sidewalk, and it makes my brain begin to generate ideas. Or sometimes the scenery and the weather moves me and makes my brain begin to pop out scenarios.

But how did you come up with the idea for the Misty Mountain Retreat Center where Haven hides from Dade?

That idea came from real life. After I graduated from high school, I worked for a summer as a camp counselor at a Christian camp and retreat center in the California coastal redwood forests outside Santa Cruz. As a young woman, working with other young men and women, there was, inevitably, romantic drama. Those months in the mountains gave me fodder for stories later on.

A couple of years ago—and after I’d already written Haven’s Hope—I spent the week at a lovely Christian retreat in the Pacific Northwest, and found, to my surprise that the real-life place was incredibly similar to my fictional Misty Mountain Retreat.

What about the tall, handsome, and brilliant Dr. Petter Eriksen?

Haven’s romantic hero, Dr. Petter Eriksen, is a blend of several wonderful and godly men I have known in school and in my professional world. Making Petter Norwegian was purely a selfish decision. I’m proud of my Scandinavian heritage and wanted to pay tribute to my ancestors and their plucky resolve to immigrate in the early 20th century to America to build a better life for themselves and their children. Thank you, Oluv and Sigrid, my sweet, heart-working grandparents. I miss you!

Now that you know a bit about my process of writing, I hope you’ll read on to find out more about Haven’s Hope, which released on Feb. 6th, 2018.

Haven’s Hope: Feel the fear—Savor the romance
Dena Netherton, Haven’s Hope, Haven’s Flight, The Hunted Series, ideas, books, writing, writer, Hunting Haven, settings, villains, romantic suspense, Norwegian, Scandinavian, Cascade Mountains, characters, Pacific Northwest, imagination
Haven’s Hope by Dena Netherton

HAVEN’S HOPE gives one woman’s answer to the question…
Does God still love me even when bad things happen?
Is good really more powerful than evil?
How can I be freed from guilt?

Beautiful and talented Haven Ellingsen is about to discover that evil doesn’t take a holiday. Haven has escaped the man who relentlessly hunted her in the Cascade Mountains. But when an old friend form her dangerous past shows up unexpectedly to warn her that Dade Colton is determined to re-capture her, Haven makes the only safe decision: to go into hiding once more. But where? Who can she trust? If only she could tell someone about her tragic secret. But Dade’s threat to kill any one who helps her might put that person’s life in jeopardy, too.

Dr. Petter Eriksen saves lives every day at Mercy Hospital Emergency Department. Driven by guilt after the accidental death of his little sister, he can’t believe in a good God. But when a beautiful and mysterious young woman moves into the cabin on his uncle’s Christian Retreat, Petter wonders if her love and simple faith have the power to shatter the barrier he has erected around his heart. And can he save her from a madman?
Sometimes you hide; sometimes you stand and fight.

 

fear, writing, publishing, Haven’s Flight, conquer fear, trust, Hebrews, Saul, Moses, worry, overwhelmed, healing, trembling, faithfulness
Fear, A Foe To Be Conquered by Dena Netherton

About the author:
Dena Netherton has always loved the thrill of suspense-filled movies and books. One day it dawned on her, she could actually put down on paper her own action-packed stories and life-threatened characters that had been knocking around inside her head for decades.

When she’s not writing, Dena loves to play piano and guitar, read good books, spend time with people, and hike the Cascade Mountains.
Dena is active in her church as a worship leader, leader in Women’s Ministries, and director of a women’s prayer ministry. She also volunteers at a Crisis Pregnancy Clinic. Dena and her husband live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Find out more about Dena’s books through her website and newsletter: denanetherton.me.

Buy links:

Amazon.com:
Haven’s Hope

Social media links:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/dena.netherton

Twitter: @denanetherton1

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/dena_netherton

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs with Donna Wichelman

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Donna Wichelman
Light Out of Darkness

Donna Wichelman is our guest today on Thyme for Writers. Donna holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication/Journalism and worked in community and employee relations for ten years. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications. She now writes novels and screenplays. She and her husband live in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs

By Donna Wichelman

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orgs
by Donna Wichelman

Before LASIK surgery at age forty, severe nearsightedness distorted my vision without corrective lenses. At Christmas, I saw an advantage to this condition when the tree went up with its strings of colorful bulbs. Without vision aids at night, the lights on the tree appeared as hazy orbs, blending together in a dazzling display of color. I could sit for long stretches of time mesmerized by the beauty.

Light Out of Darkness, writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Beyond the Fuzzy Orbs
by Donna Wichelman

Yet my distorted vision kept me from viewing more extraordinary things on and around the tree. With my glasses, I could see the ornaments friends and family had given us, reminding me of dear ones who’d touched my life. Some ornaments had been collected from travels my husband and I had done over the years, invoking sweet memories. The Christ child in the manager under the tree centered my focus on the truth of Christmas and the purpose for which we gathered around the tree. Letting go of my distorted vision and putting on my lenses showed me the beauty, wonder, and joy beyond the fuzzy orbs.

The first time an editor solicited a manuscript I had pitched, my heart soared. When the manuscript went to committee, I knew it would be accepted and become a best seller. Months later, I received a rejection letter in the mail with constructive notes and the acquisitions editor’s good wishes. I felt crushed. My mother fell ill with cancer soon after, and I never implemented the changes.

writing, publishing, editors, Christmas lights, fuzzy, manuscript, rejection, journey, joy, romantic suspense
Light Out of Darkness
by Donna Wichelman

The first rejection letter was not my last. Over twenty years of writing, I’ve sold several personal essays, a couple of short stories and a handful of devotionals. Two years ago, I self-published my Christian romantic suspense, Light Out of Darkness, and I will have the sequel out next spring. In spite of modest success, I’ve also experienced much rejection and have even thought about giving up this seemingly hopeless cause.

Yet a writer’s journey is a little like finding the wonder and joy beyond the distorted vision of my hazy orbs. It took a while, but eventually I was grateful for that first rejection. I realized the onus was on me to keep honing my craft, never to be complacent about my work, to accept constructive criticism and throw out the chaff.

I also learned that rejection doesn’t mean I’m unworthy. My value as a person isn’t dependent upon whether my work gets accepted. I am much more than my writing. As a person of faith, my worth comes from my position as a child of God.

Ultimately, I’ve grown to understand that my purpose for writing isn’t about the glory, notoriety or money. I write, because God has laid it on my heart to bring people along with me on this journey of joy, wonder and discovery. If I’ve touched one heart, if one morsel of truth gets passed along, if one person was encouraged, then I’ve done my job. My hope is that you, also, will find the beauty beyond the fuzzy orbs.

You may contact Donna or purchase her books with the links that follow:

Website: www.donnawichelman.com
Buy Link: Amazon
Social Media Links:
www.facebook.com/DonnaWichelmanAuthor
www.twitter.com/DonnaWichelman
www.donnawichelman.blogspot.com
www.linkedin.com/in/donna-wichelman

 

Thyme for Writers

Thyme for Writers is a new blog series for writers and book lovers. As many of you know, my website focuses on adding spice to your life, whether it be with nutrition and health tips, delicious recipes, or through Hidden Bloodlines, my romantic suspense novel and associated adventures in creating it and its sequel.

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Thyme for Writers
Adding Spice to Your

Most of us are writers in one form or another (whether by choice or necessity). The purpose of this series is to help you along the way with

  • tips,
  • direction,
  • encouragement,
  • inspiration,
  • the research and adventure behind some of your favorite works, or
  • just something interesting and fun to bring a smile to your face.

While I may be authoring some, my goal is to invite fascinating guests with different life experiences and areas of expertise.

The Author Toolbox
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
The Author Toolbox

My first guest will be Candee Fick, author of The Author Toolbox. She is the reason I am able to create and maintain my own website. As a genuine techno-idiot, I volunteered to be Candee’s beta test project. Our goal was to determine if it’s possible for someone like me to gain the skills necessary to build a website and how long it would take. Needless to say, Candee is a miracle worker. In fairly short order, I learned the skills necessary and have continued merrily on my way.

Candee is an incredible writer and teacher and painstakingly created a blog series meant to help writers in all stages get their work created and a website begun. She compiled and added to this series in The Author Toolbox. Keep in mind, the tools provided and skills taught aren’t just for writers of books. Many pursue different artistic careers and businesses, but in today’s business environment, websites and social media dominate the marketplace if you want to succeed. The days of the telephone book are over. The reality is that websites and social media require writing.

Where to Start
writers, authors, resources, toolbox, encouragement, fun, romantic suspense, journey, writer’s journey, adventure, tips, direction, research, joy, funny, inspiration, thyme, time
Candee Fick
author of
The Author Toolbox

There are thousands of writing guides and resources out there, but where should one begin? I have personally found that The Author Toolbox is the best first stop. Candee not only provides “how to…” information, but makes recommendations on easy to use resources to make life easier. On September 7 I am excited to have Candee Fick as my first guest on Thyme for Writers. Stay tuned… .

If you have something to share and you’d like to be a guest, please email me at karen@KarenVanDenHeuvel.com.