with Deanna Klingel


Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
I think that happened so many years ago, I don't remember. I have always enjoyed writing and always believed "someday" I would write seriously. Raising 7 children and moving every 2 years, I couldn't wrap myself up in it. But, now, I can. One day I got up, went to the computer and said "today is the day." I started writing Rebecca and Heart. That book went to the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2008 and 2009 and generated a lot of interest, but, in the end, it didn't get picked  up. This year it was acquired as an ebook on Storyrealm.com. Then I began Avery and Gunner. The first book went to Bologna in 2009 and a major publisher wanted it and wanted film rights, so that was pretty exciting. I did all the revisions they asked, learned a lot, and after about 18 months, they decided not to take it. I learned just this week that Avery and Gunner 1861-1865 is going to contract with Journey Forth Publishing in Greenville, SC.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite? Why?
Hmm. Honestly? Everything I write is fun. Otherwise, why bother. Everything is new, interesting, and I love research. That's probably why I enjoy historical fiction. But, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog, was a giggle and lots of fun. ( Released Sept. 2010). My children's books have all been fun. I love to write short stories and have won some contests, that's always fun. But, I guess, I'd have to say that I have the most fun learning quirky history.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
That's like asking which is the favorite child or which dog I love most. Avery is like my son. I know him. I admire him. I love him. I brought him into this world! Rebecca, a sweet autistic child of God; I'm so glad I got to meet her. She, too, is fiction. But my fiction characters tell me their stories. I don't fit them into mine.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My most difficult obstacle is not telling the historical base. I've learned that the best approach for me is to go ahead and tell it. Write it like a history book as clearly, factually, and succinctly as possible. When I'm happy with it, then I chop it up, rewrite it dialogue, put in the contractions, make it informal, and decide which character wants to say which part. This was a huge challenge for me when writing Bread Upon the Water. This is a true story of a boy who left Vietnam as a "boat person" because he wanted to be a priest. There is so much background that middle schoolers wouldn't know that's important to the story. It was a challenge to incorporate it into the story, when it could be a story all by itself. (That manuscript is looking for a home.) The Vietnamese are quiet people and they wouldn't have talked about these history making events. Tien, my character and true life friend, doesn't use contractions. His speech is very formal as all his family is. But, publishers would call that stilted and not realistic, difficult to read. Editors would change it, so I might as well start out that way, right? But, since I know the sound of Tien's voice, writing it a different way was difficult.
The characters in my new release are many. It's multi-charactered. That's because this book, Just for the Moment, isn't about a character, and it's really not about the dogs either. It's about moments. It's about those beautiful moments when the therapy dog reaches a human soul and makes a difference, even if it's just for that moment. I've loved all the people my dogs have touched, and some of them really are characters in a real sense. They are all interesting, real people.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Oh, dear. I think you should ask my husband. I know a lot of people think dancing with a dog is quirky. We belong to WCFO, World Canine Freestyle Organization. Freestyle is dog dancing. Hmm. That does sound a bit quirky doesn't it. Yeah, costumes,sequins, music, tadah.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
No. I schedule them as early in the morning as I can. I get it over with. I don't do well with dread hanging over me. Just do it and get on with life.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
A perfect day would look like the one I'm looking at today. It's an incredible morning here in the mountains. My desk is in the loft of our log house and the wall is a window. I can see the clear sky, the changing leaves, wildlife and birds. My dogs are curled at my feet. I'm getting ready to send Bread Upon the Waters to a couple more houses. My husband is walking down the driveway towards the house. Why's he coming home this morning? This is shaping up perfectly.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read all the time. I read lots of different things because I belong to two bookclubs. Last year I took college classes at Brevard College. I took YA/Lit and we read 9 novels. It was a wide range and a real stretch for me.( I'm called a nontraditional student. That means I'm older than the professor.) We read a graphic novel and a science fiction which I would never have read on my own. My favorite of those 9 was The Book Thief, least favorite was Looking for Alaska, which gagged me. I just finished reading Galway Bay. It's absolutely stunning, so well crafted. I rank it up there with Vanishing Point, another beautiful book. I've also recently enjoyed Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. My all-time favs always turn out to be historical fiction.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
That's funny. I don't really like food too much. If I didn't need it to live, I'd opt out of meals. But, when I was taking the Smoky Mountain Writers Class last spring, one of the women there said, with a perfectly straight face, that her advice to writers was this: "Whenever writers are feeling stress...either too much, or not enough...you should always, always, eat chocolate." I try to remember that.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
The spiritual themes I like to write about has mostly to do with the innate goodness of  people, the spirit that drives them. I like to write about people who find their strength in their faith. That would be Avery, and it would be Tien.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
Patience. Humility. Writing takes both. I think that's why the Lords' time for me to write is this late in my life. The early me was in a great hurry, on a tight schedule (for 12 people in the household!) and I couldn't have waited for a book to take five years. I think I would have taken critique hard and personal. It would have been discouraging. At this point in my life, I have nothing to prove, I'm very confidant, I love to learn new things, and I love to see my writing improve. Yes, I'd say patience and humility; He's been working on me for a lot of years getting me ready for this phase in my life.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog released in September. It's my first manuscript between covers and I'm very excited about it. Now I'm busy marketing and I'm enjoying that, too. Rebecca and Heart and Beth's Backyard Friends went live on September 8 on Storyrealm.com. Avery and Gunner are just going to contract, so I don't know the release date, probably 2012. I hope to find a home for Bread Upon the Water in the next months. I've got two children's stories out and about: Amanda's Magic, and Walker Hound of Park Avenue. Their day will come.
If you'd like to find Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog you can find it at Indie Book Stores and www.therapydogstories.com, www.Dogwise.com, and book chains.
Thank you, this has been fun. Deanna

Deanna Klingel is giving away a copy of Just For the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment by Monday, October 25th and check back on Tuesday, October 26th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on this post and once on yesterday's spotlight with Deanna. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.


  1. Anonymous7:52 PM

    I would love to read about the therapy dogs. I have fibromalgia and therapy dogs have helped a lot of people with it. I am looking forward to adopting a dog in the future.


  2. This sounds like a wonderful book! A book I would definitely enjoy reading because I am hoping to get a service dog to assist me. Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. This is definitely an appealing read to me. We own a 10 year old bull mastiff who is trained in family protection. He is the sweetest old man and lovable. Our other dog is still in some of her puppiness, but she is a wonderful blend of great pyranees and others. I have been recently physically immobilized that will remain a permanent situation. My babies seem to sense it, because they are always close at hand, along with our cat Homer who likes to be on my lap. LOL. I'd certainly like to read this book. I love pets and stories about animals. Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I do!

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  4. would love to read this story...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com


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