I was a teacher for several years. After I retired, I decided to try writing professionally. I began writing Christian romance novels and short stories. I eventually broke out of my traditional genre and wrote a young adult Christian fantasy novel. This led me to write an entire fantasy series and a spin-off series.
Recently, I dusted off an old manuscript, rewrote it, and published it as an e-book. This book is a historical Christian romance novel, Taming the Wild Wind.
In my other life, I am a mother and a grandmother. I have four brilliant children (my two and the two they married) and two delightful grandsons. They keep me busy.
Is there a particular genre you enjoy reading/writing and why is it your favorite?
I enjoy reading fantasy, preferably anything with dragons. There are so many opportunities for creativity and imagination in fantasy writing, as well as chances to incorporate allegorical insights. As CS Lewis and others discovered, Christian themes work well in fantasy settings.
Can you tell us two or three things that most readers don’t know about you?
I live in a Hobbit hole (basement apartment).
I have a walk-thru closet (goes to the laundry room and beyond).
I love to sing, but I can never remember the words. So, a lot of my songs have nonsense syllables in them . Do-dum, de-dum, dah-dah-dum.
What five things do you love/like the most?
Since there are more than five members in my family, I will count them all as “one thing.”
It might seem obvious, but I love a good book. The right combination of humor, adventure, romance, character depth, and skillful writing are absolutely delightful.
I also love to craft. I find jewelry making, stamping, and knitting to be relaxing.
One of my favorite things is engage in fellowship with other Christians. I love to surround myself with people.
I find humor to be a necessary ingredient to my continuing sanity. I love to watch funny movies, read humorous books, search the Internet for comical jokes and pictures. On my Pinterest account, I have several boards full of pictures that make me laugh.
If you could meet one person (besides Jesus, because who doesn’t want to meet Him!), who would you choose?
I would love to meet Max Lucado. He is one of my favorite writers. His work is encouraging and hopeful.
What is your favorite Bible story?
I love the story of Gideon. It seems like Gideon kept trying to get out of leading the army, but God showed immense patience and kept His promise.
How do you choose your characters names?
I often create character names based on people I know.
Sometimes, especially with my fantasy novels, I will search through the phone book and pick different syllables to mix together.
If you weren’t an author, what would your dream job be?
A children’s librarian. I would love to find books for kids and encourage them to find joy in reading.
My family might argue that I am already a children’s librarian because I possess a library’s worth of picture books.
Do you have any books that are soon-to-be-released that we should keep an eye out for?
Right now I am in-between projects. I am waiting for my publisher’s approval to write another Christian fantasy novel. This one will be set in a new world.
When there is information available, it will be on my website, www.donitakpaul.com.
Please tell us about the featured book.
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Taming the Wild Wind is my first self-published e-book.
It takes place in the 1840s, in the American Indian Territory.
Ida Meade is a young lady from a proper Pittsburg family. She is chosen, with her fiancé, to start a school out west for Indian children. Ida travels to rugged Oklahoma, where she discovers the wild beauty of God’s creation. While waiting for her fiancé to join her, Ida falls in love with the Indian children and culture.
During her transition from sheltered socialite to independent missionary, Ida deals with ghost stories, fearful prejudices, and kidnappings, while learning about worship, faith, and love.
Can you please give us the first page?
“That house is haunted.”
Ida Meade nodded wearily at the pronouncement. She’d heard it a dozen times since checking into the hotel a week before. Her response remained the same, “I don’t believe in ghosts.”
“Haunted,” the brawny man grunted and hoisted a burlap bag of rice to his shoulder. “That’s what I said.” He carried his load to the waiting buggy.
Watching Lucas plod back and forth from the storeroom door to the surrey, Ida recalled some of the others in town who’d nervously couched their warnings with snickers.
“I don’t believe it myself,” the clerk at the front desk of the Granger Hotel had said. He tapped a stubby pencil on the polished check-in desk. He looked cautiously around the lobby before leaning closer to whisper, “But there’s been people seen things. Things that aren’t natural.”