DA Kentner writes the column THE READERS' WRITERS for the (Freeport) Journal-Standard and GateHouse News Service. My alter ego KevaD lives under a stairway of dreams where he writes stories and grumbles about everything. Click the pic to visit KevaD's blog.
Drop me a line at dakentner@yahoo.com

I invite you to read my award-winning short story posted on Calliope Magazine's web site.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Award Winning Author Dana Marton

With over 1.5 million books sold and the recipient of awards such as the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, Reviewers Choice, and Best Harlequin Intrigue, Dana Marton has established herself as one of today's preeminent writers of romance.


Her stories revolve around nail-biting plots, nail-tough heroes, and heroines who melt iron hearts.

Dana epitomizes the modern-day woman balancing career (she spends around 8hrs a day writing), family, home and aspirations. In her precious little free time she gardens, scours flea markets for bargains, tries to keep up with Peanut the Destroyer, her exuberant beagle, and occasionally finds time to knit and paint.

It is when Dana sits down to write that this "every woman" transforms into the extraordinary. From her mind and fingertips emerge exotic tales of ancient Egypt, treasure-laden caverns, spies next door, intrigue, suspense, danger, and above all… love.

Nearly two dozen of Dana's novels have been published by Harlequin, and there are more on the way. From "Shadow Soldier" to "Sheik Seduction" to her latest "The Spy Who Saved Christmas," Dana continues to mesmerize fans around the world. Her work has been published in seven languages in eleven countries.

There seems to be no bottom to Ms Marton's well of writing and story-telling abilities.

And with tens of thousands of readers eagerly awaiting her every offering, we can only hope to enjoy many more years of Dana Marton novels. http://www.danamarton.com/

Q) You are one of the "overnight" success stories – it only took you 13 years to be published. There had to be a time when you considered giving up. What pushed you to continue until your work finally found a home at Harlequin?

A) The ideas in my head just won't quit. It's easier to write them down than to get them to keep quiet. Honestly, after starting that first manuscript, I don't think I had a choice. Some doors cannot be closed once they are open. Writing has many rewards that have nothing to do with the work being published. Even if nobody would ever publish another book of mine, I'd still keep writing. It's an amazing learning experience and a journey of self-discovery, a creative act that builds my soul. I'm not sure how entertaining my books are to readers, but writing them is enormously entertaining for me! It's the most fun I ever had at work.

Q) There's a rumor you read your first Harlequin Romance novel… at work… and decided then and there Harlequin was your dream publisher. Any truth to that story?

A) Well, that depends on whether my ex-employer is reading this.... Okay, seriously, yes, pretty true. I was a part-time receptionist who watched the phones at a company, working 2nd shift. I shared a desk with the 1st shift receptionist who was a voracious reader of Harlequin novels and used to leave books by the dozen in the drawer. Thank God, since I had no money those days and could have never afforded all those books. In my defense, 2nd shift was really slow. Rarely did anyone call. It was either sit there and stare at the wall or sit there and read. I could never resist a stack of books. Especially not books that combined amazing stories of romance and adventure. I was hooked from the first.

Q) Writing and editing sucks time away like a vacuum cleaner in a bowl of dust. How do you juggle your career, home and family? And, how supportive is your family of your writing?

A) Writing is my priority. I write before I do anything. My family is amazingly supportive and they were supporting way before I ever sold anything. At one point my husband even offered to sell his car to improve our finances so I could stay home and write full-time for a while. We came close to having to do that, but I ended up selling my first book a few months later. Since I've been writing for a living, everyone chips in during deadline time. Dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, you name it. All the credit for my books should go to my family.

Q) You personally seem to be attracted to sheiks and desert locales. What do you find so enticing in those settings?

A) Actually, my favorites are international intrigue and survival action/adventure stories. The sheik and prince angle tends to come from my editor. I love exploring other cultures and I do travel widely, despite my fear of flying. It's fun to see other countries and see how other people think, notice all the small and large differences in lifestyles, etc. I think cultural diversity is a huge treasure and an asset to this world. I never understood racism.

Q) What would be the perfect morning of the perfect day for Dana Marton?

A) The first day of a new story is the most amazing thing. The possibilities are wide open. There's a sense of anticipation. The present is still unopened. And I get to do that next Monday! I'm starting a new book, LAST SPY STANDING, that's set in South America. It'll be a Sep. 2011 release. I can't wait to get started. As I go on with a story, options become more and more limited. Plot questions asked at the beginning must be answered at the end. Characters need to act in character, etc. But at the beginning, there are no restrictions yet. I could come up with the wildest opening sentence and make it work. The beginning of the story always has a sense of limitlessness for me.

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