Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kids Read - The Delaware Detectives by Dana Rongione - Tour Pit Stop

Today we are pleased to introduce you to Author Dana Rongione. Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Dana, we're so glad you stopped in.

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

Dana: I am a full-time Christian author and speaker residing in Greenville, SC. On a typical day, I juggle writing, reading, marketing, teaching (part-time), housework, errands, exercise, dog-walking, and trying to find time to spend with my husband. On the rare occasions I get away from the house, I love to hike with my husband, Jason, and our two dogs, Tippy and Mitchell.

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

Dana: The Delaware Detectives is a novel intended for readers in the age range of 8-14 years, though that's not to say readers of other ages won't enjoy it. In fact, one of the most enthusiastic responses I've received about the book was from a lady nearing her 70's. The story is about a brother and sister who discover a cryptic clue while visiting their grandfather for the summer. That discovery leads them on a hunt to try to uncover a secret fortune that may or may not truly exist. The book is filled with mysterious elements, comical characters and valuable morals.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?

Dana: As a child, my brother, sister and I often explored our grandfather's attic. It was full of unique and mysterious items that always brought about hours of fun and make believe. When it came time to write my first children's novel, I could think of no better place to start.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Dana: I've dabbled in writing all my life, but I don't think I seriously considered myself a writer until I left my teaching job to write full time. Even after that, it took a couple of years before I could say, "I'm a writer" without getting a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now that I have several publications, it's easy to say, "Yes, I'm a writer, and I'm proud of it!"

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?

Dana: Practice and a lot of editing. Sometimes, in order to give the story the proper flow, I had to cut out other elements, which is difficult to do. I worked so hard to craft the perfect paragraph that it just seems inhumane to cut it. But just as in gardening, it's often necessary to prune in order to produce the desired result. It also helps to have a really good idea of where the story is headed before beginning to write.

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

Dana: Oh, yes. Writer's block and I are good buddies. Well, at least, it seems to think so. I've spent a lot of time just staring at my computer screen, antagonized beyond belief by that blank page and blinking cursor. But I've found the thing that works best for me in times like these is to walk away and do something else, especially read. It's amazing how reading something totally unrelated will strike a chord and ignite a spark of inspiration. Then once I begin writing, the words just flow.

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

Dana: Despite my young age (wink, wink), I have a lot of back and shoulder problems. Because of this, I can't spend long periods of time sitting at my desk. So my writing process usually involves writing for thirty minutes to an hour then getting away from my desk and doing something else for a while, whether it be doing the dishes, walking the dogs, reading a book, sweeping the floors, etc. Most of these things work as a good time for me to think about what I've just written and what I want to write next. Then I'll go back to my desk, write for another thirty minutes to an hour and then get up again to do something more physical. At first, I was afraid all the ups and downs would prove to be time-consuming and distracting, but I've actually discovered the opposite to be true. By taking breaks before my body grows tired, I'm able to get more writing done in any given day. Additionally, the time away from my desk gives my mind the time it needs to rehearse and compose what needs to be said when I get back to my writing. It's strange, but it works for me. As far as "must-haves", the only things I really "need" when writing is plenty of water and soft music playing in the background.

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?

Dana: I'd love to see my writing career and influence expand to where my work is more well-known and available in more places (bookstores, offices, etc.). I have no desire to be famous for the sake of fame or even money. But rather, I feel I have an important message to share, and I'd love to have the opportunity to get that message to as many people as possible.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

Dana: More than anything, I hope readers walk away from my books with a renewed sense of hope and encouragement.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

Dana: "You don't have to be famous to be successful; you need only be faithful." When I'm discouraged by lack of sales or my lack of reach to readers, this quote reminds me that I'm not a failure. As long as I'm doing what the Lord told me to do, I'm a success. I feel called to write, and if I'm doing that faithfully, that's all that's required for me to be successful.

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

Dana: Never compare yourself to another writer. It only serves to discourage you. Instead, focus on what kind of writer you desire to be and do everything in your power to reach that goal.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

Dana: I have several projects in the works at present. I'm writing the last chapters of a new Christian living book and compiling blog posts into two new devotional books. Additionally, my newest children's book is currently being illustrated and is scheduled to be published when the illustrations are completed. Beyond that, there are plans for a sequel to The Delaware Detectives.

BK: Where can readers find you?

Dana: I can be found at all of the following:
Twitter: @DRongione

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

What do the following have in common: a muntjac deer, a toilet, and a hairless cat? They are three key factors in uncovering a treasure that may or may not exist. But for Abby and Jamie Patterson, these items are essential ingredients to fulfilling their grandfather's greatest desire. Is the fortune real, or are the siblings following a path to nowhere as set down by an eccentric old woman? The quest is on, and time is running out.

Excerpt : An inside look of the book can be viewed on the Amazon sales page:

Hi! My name is Dana Rongione. (Yes, I know that's a mouthful.) I live in Greenville, SC with my husband, Jason, and my two dogs, Tippy and Mitch.

Having been a Christian for nearly 28 years, I know what it is like to experience both joy in the journey and weariness in well-doing. Currently self-employed as a writer and speaker, I struggle (like many other Christians) to balance the demands of work, family, church, health, chores, etc.

I enjoy all types of writing, but my true joy lies in writing devotionals that will encourage and uplift the weak and weary Christian. This blog, A Word Fitly Spoken, is currently read in over 15 different countries, allowing me the opportunity to spread the message of hope and joy throughout the world. I also have another blog, Song of the Day, that offers the truth of the Word in song.

I currently have three published devotionals and numerous articles in magazines and e-zines across the country. I am available to speak at local ladies' meetings or writers' workshops. You can find out more about me and my ministry by visiting my website at

On tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe', you can view her entire tour HERE or follow along below.

June 15 - Guest Blogging with Cindy Vine
June 19 - Interviewed at Unnecessary Musings
June 21 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
June 26 - Interviewed at Hardcover Feedback
June 28 -  Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed learning more about Dana! She's definitely been an encouragement in my life.

Dana Rongione said...

Thank you so much, Isabel. How sweet!