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donita paulDonita K. Paul is a retired teacher and award-winning author of several novels, including the DragonKeeper Chronicles.  When not writing, she is often engaged in mentoring writers of all ages.  Donita lives in Colorado.

Favorite Verse: First Timothy 1:12 (NASB)  “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service.”

 


 

 Our Interview with Donita K. Paul


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a grandma, and that is my most comfortable role. I taught younger children for years, and needed a fix of “kid” in my life in order to stay sane. There is something about dropping out of the adult rat race and seeing the world through a child’s eyes that can be calming. Of course, minor mishaps can be devastating to a three year old. But to an adult, the fuss is a tempest in a teapot, and then it crosses our minds that God’s perspective on the problems we face is similar. What looks like irreversible disaster in our eyes is small in the big scheme.
I like things to be quiet and peaceful, and then I get to the point where I want firecrackers, friends laughing, and sharing fun food like cake balls. When I write it has to be quiet so I can remember all the little things I thought up while washing dishes and folding clothes.

How did you come up with the concept for Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball?

This type of question is always hard for me. Basically a new story comes from a sudden image in my head of either a character or a setting. Then I watch the scene play out as the character unexpectedly comes across something unusual. Or a reasonable scene is disrupted by the entrance of a pothering character.

In this case, Cora walked down the snowy street in a city decked for Christmas. Her head was down, avoiding the cold wind and light snow. She had a piece of paper in her hand and as she concentrated on that, she walk right past garish displays of Christmas commercialism. She entered a street that immediately embodied a different type of Christmas cheer, and I followed her into the book shop.

Do you have a favorite character in Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball? Why?

The sisters. Not the Booterbaw sisters in the Costume Shop, but Simon’s sister Sandy who had a heart of generosity and service. She valued simple pleasure and applied what she’d learned from the Bible in a straightforward, no nonsense way.
And Cora’s sister Zee is the villain you love to hate. But she also brings to mind the depth of God’s love. Even Zee would be accepted by her Heavenly Father if she turned to Him. And Zee shows what Cora might have been like without God’s intervention in her life. Watching Zee destroy relationships creates a deep sadness. And it is good to recognize the sorrow of a fallen world and compare it to the inexpressible joy in God’s gift of His Son.

How much research did Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball take?

None, absolutely nothing. I don’t think I . . . fairy cakes! I looked up fairy cakes.

 

What is the most interesting fact that you learned while researching and writing Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball?

Fairy cakes can be just a cupcake with sprinkles, but more traditional fairy cakes are made of a very light cake, are smaller, and can be dusted with colored sugar or decorated with tiny bits of colorful fruit. Here is a recipe online: http://www.ivillage.co.uk/food/experts/coach/articles/0,,177274_673444,00.html

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
Staying on task. *Look, something shiny!* I have some health issues and those have a tendency to disrupt my productivity.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

Meeting the readers. I love to hear their stories about the love of reading, the way books change their outlook, and how they share lessons learned with friends, or just share the books.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

American Christian Fiction Writers

What new projects are on the horizon?

Actually, I don’t have anything written in concrete. I’d like to do a second Christmas Ball and a third. I have the titles and premise and just need the nudge to get started.

Also, my daughter and I wrote two picture books. The Dragon and the Turtle came out in August and the sequel, The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari, comes out in January. They are wonderful tales and spurred the creation of www.dragonandturtle.com . We have several more stories of the unlikely friends.

 

I have a couple of fantasy ideas swirling around in my head. I generally tell them to “shoo.” I have things to finish (the last book of the Chiril series) before I can wander off following another alluring idea.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball?

That God uses even the most disagreeable circumstance to give us a chance to be better. The satisfaction of choosing right might not have immediate rewards, but in the long run, we can feel the strength and freedom that choice gives us.

What was your favorite book as a child?

I really don’t remember. I remember a favorite teddy bear. My favorite books from reading to my children were Little Fur Family, Corgiville Fair, the E. Nesbit and Edward Eager books, and Ralph Moody’s Little Britches.
 
What is your greatest achievement?

You’ve got to be kidding. What kind of question is that? I can’t wait to get to Heaven and have Jesus tell me what it was. Anything I picked out would probably be selected for the wrong reason. I’d rather cherish all the little things that make each day enjoyable and leave “greatest” to someone else’s discernment.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Colorado has days on end of gorgeous weather, and we can see Pikes Peak from our home. Just sitting outside and soaking it in is refreshing.
 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to urge each reader to laugh at something they did today, or this week, or five minutes ago. The best stress reliever is humor. And I believe joyous laughter is another form of praise.

 

 Don't Miss!

The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari
The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari
Donita K. Paul & Evangeline Denmark
CBD Price: $9.99

The Dragons of Chiril: A Novel (previously titled The Vanishing Sculptor)
The Dragons of Chiril: A Novel (previously titled The Vanishing Sculptor)
Donita K. Paul
CBD Price: $10.99

The Dragon and the Turtle
The Dragon and the Turtle
Donita K. Paul & Evangeline Denmark
CBD Price: $9.49

Dragons of the Valley
Dragons of the Valley
Donita K. Paul
CBD Price: $10.99