Monday, January 23, 2012

Dana Pratola Talks about The Covering

PUBLISHER: White Rose Publishing
Please answer at least twelve or more of the following questions.
Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?  I have been writing for most of my 47 years. I love Romance of all types –suspense, paranormal, historical, western, etc. But Romance has to be the main thread.

Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. THE COVERING is about Tessa, a Christian woman who is called by God to stand in the gap for a man she's never met. When she does meet Gunnar, she learns he's arrogant, unsaved and hostile. But he's also HOT, lol.  She can't understand why God would toss her together with a man like him, knowing she would be attracted, so she wonders if it's a trick of the enemy to make her stumble in her faith. Meanwhile, Gunnar is tormented by demonic visitations and looking for any way out. Killing himself might be the only way to end his miserable existence. But God has other plans.

What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book? Books were always so important in my home. My dad used to read to me every night and I learned to read very young so it just followed naturally for me to want to create them.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process? I’ve never been a great outliner. I do an overview, getting down most of the story in the order I want it but it feels less structured to me than an outline and therefore less scary, lol.

What comes first: the plot or the characters? Sometimes I get a story idea first, or most often a scene manifests out of nowhere, but the first thing is always “WHO do I put in that scene?”
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Saying good bye to the characters. I get “empty nest” syndrome, but at the same time it’s exciting knowing I did all I could to help them make their way in the world. The rest is up to God.
Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you? Ah, one of the dreaded questions. I took about 5 years to finish this book, for no other reason than that I’m a procrastinator. I would start working on it, then jump from one project to another getting nothing done in any of them. I also tend to edit as I write which is another form of procrastination and a big NO NO. Once I determined to finish it, it came together in a couple months. Research was minimal as far as bike building goes. Everything else is just ingrained =-D

Describe your writing space. I used my kitchen table for years but am currently alternating between there and my “office” -  my husband’s walk in closet. It’s cozy with a desk, artwork, etc., and had the virtue of being at the back of the house so there is less distraction. You can imagine trying to work in the kitchen of an Italian family right? Looking back it’s a miracle I finished a book at all =-)
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I read or watch old movies. Weather permitting my husband and I walk a lot in the woods.
What books or authors have influenced your writing? There are so many books I love that have made me feel I could write a book and make people happy too =-)  but as far as writing styles, Nora Roberts, and for some of the spiritual realm aspects, Frank Peretti, 

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?  The future looks bright. Who doesn’t want the convenience of reading a book on an e-reader? Or phone? But I don’t think print books will ever be out of style.

What is your marketing plan? Hmm. My marketing plan consists of hard work and prayer. I’m trying to find that balance between keeping my work on everyone’s mind and making people sick of me, LOL.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? Just do it. I know the slogan has been used before, but it’s true. Get the book down before you go back and polish. A great piece of advice I should take myself. But one piece of advice I do live by is to take suggestions from other writers, but NOT all suggestions.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?


 Tessa whirled away from him toward the door.

     His hand was on her arm in a second. “Where do you think you’re going?” he asked. The sudden awareness of how slim her arm was in his grasp caused him to loosen his hold.

     “I won’t stand here and argue with you,” she told him.

     “Then let’s not argue.”

     Slowly, he pulled her closer, watching the pulse jump in her neck. She didn’t resist when he lowered his mouth to hers.

     Gunnar could have sworn her bones liquefied as she melted against him, into him. This was risky. It should stop. She was like a drug, the feel of her an addiction, and he feared if he didn’t break it off now, there would be no going back. He drank in a few more seconds before levering her away.

     His own ragged breathing drowned out the sound of hers, but her mouth opened and closed, evidence that she too struggled to form a coherent sentence. Desire snapped in the air between them, and he turned away before it could draw him back.

     What was he thinking, kissing her that way? He wasn’t—that was the problem. He hadn’t recognized how close he was to flashpoint and had allowed emotion to rule. Normally the emotion was anger. It was familiar, safe, he knew how to direct it, what to expect in retaliation.

     But this…altogether different. In the short time he’d known Tessa, she had infiltrated his core needs, forcing him to reevaluate his objectives, making him
realize he still wanted things he’d long ago dismissed as impossible: a home, children, stability. Consequently, he feared things he hadn’t before: isolation, failure, dependence. It was too much, too soon.

     He hadn’t lied to her mother, he hardly knew her. Yet she had already influenced him in ways he couldn’t express. What would happen over time, six months maybe, when he became more attached and unable to let her go?

     When Tessa finally realized who and what he was?

     “We can’t do this,” he told her, looking back. Tessa stood frozen, catching her breath. “I won’t get us into a situation we’ll regret.”


     “You’re not ready for this.” The light of battle sparked to life in her eyes,
dissipating the haze of longing. “Neither am I.”

     “Because I’m a virgin,” she said, disgusted.

     “Yes.” He snapped the word out, but hearing the harshness of it, softened his tone. It wasn’t her fault he wanted her. Nor was he pushing her away because of her inexperience—at least not in the way she thought.

     “You’re innocent and I’m not. In any sense of the word.”

     Tessa crossed her arms. “So it’s your plan to keep turning me on and off like a light switch until when? Until you’re bored or decide to move back to your house?”

     “I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

     “You want me.”

     It was a simple statement. He couldn’t have said why it sounded like a threat. “I do. But it’s not going to happen.”

     “Because you say so,” she said with a nod. “Interesting. You didn’t want my mother to treat me like a child, but ten minutes later you’re doing it.”

     “This is different.”

     “Because you know what’s best? She thinks the same thing.”

     Well, what could he say to that?

      Tessa raised her chin and went to the door. “Please leave.”

     She’d given him his escape from the mess he’d created. But for how long? Until the next time they were in the same room together and the scent of her freshly scrubbed skin snared him? Or she walked past and sent him one of those long looks she probably
wasn’t even aware of? The ones that made his heart spasm and his brain misfire? He had no intention of going through this again.

     When she reached for the knob, he slapped a hand onto the painted wood of the door.

     “I asked you to leave.” Her voice was laced with nerves and heat.

     Patience ebbing, Gunnar hissed out a breath, took her by the arm and sat her on the bed.

     “What are—”

     “Sit there and shut up.”

     “Don’t tell me to shut up.”

     “Just…please.” Gunnar scraped a hand over the stubble on his head, then jammed his hands in his pockets.

     He didn’t intend for things to spin this way. When he came into the house, it was with the desire to grab a quick shower before meeting Max and David at McIntosh’s. Almost at once, he was being lured by the sound of women’s voices singing the praises of a guy named Carter in an overt attempt to interest someone.

     Entering the living room, seeing the look on Tessa’s face, it became clear she was the intended mark. She didn’t look interested, but it irritated him to think she might be. Then, to find the jerk’s card with his friendly little message…

     In hindsight, keeping her mother and friends here might have been the wiser course. If they were still here, he would be on his way to a friendly game of pool. But jealousy was a newly discovered muscle, and it grew and strengthened when flexed.

     He gazed out the window to where the clouds skidded away, revealing a sky of pale blue, in direct contrast to the gloomy gray of his heart. Below was a fenced in yard with thick grass, though browning, and a tall gnarled oak. The kind of yard he would have loved to play in as a kid.

     Instead, he’d kept himself occupied in dim hallways and dismal rooms where he’d been forced to wait quietly while his mother entertained her boyfriend of the hour one thin wall away. It was a world away from here. A world away from Tessa.

    He glanced at the fresh flowers on the table under the window, a reminder of the kind of woman Tessa was and the fact that she was far, far out of his league. He needed to stop dreaming about what he could never have and end this stupidity now before it got out of hand. And maybe the best way to do it was to force her to see the differences between them.


  1. Penny, thanks so much for having me!

  2. Sounds like an interesting premise for a romance. A man who's arrogant and hostile. It's a bit unusual.

    I like the idea because most people in romance books are too nice unless there's a murder involved. Good luck with your book.

  3. This book is such a treat to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Pick up a copy - you'll love it! Blessings, Dana!!!

  4. I loved Gunner. I could see him, almost feel the aura around him. Terrific job of presenting your story, Dana.

  5. Thanks ladies. As always, I appreciate the support <3

  6. Great interview, ladies. Nice meeting you, Penny. Dana, I enjoyed getting to know you more through this interview. Congrats on THE COVERING!

  7. Great story! I love this excerpt! All heat and it!