Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Author Interview and GIVEAWAY with Mikal Dawn!!!

Hi guys! V. Joy Palmer here! Since we are all friends here, you guys can call me Joy. ; ) And since we are all friends, one of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends, family, the teens I mentor, and everyone else at coffee shops/bookstores. Books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination, after all. So, consider this our virtual coffee shop. I’ll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today’s guest. ; )

Today, I am very excited for you guys to meet Mikal Dawn! I just started reading her debut novel, Count Me In. Loving it!!!

Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry, serves in her church’s library, runs her kids to all their sports, and drinks lots of coffee. By night, she talks to figments of her imagination as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mikal now lives in Nebraska with her husband, their three children, and one ferocious feline. Connect with Mikal on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.


Thank you so much for having me!!! I’m thrilled to be here! <3

Thank you, Mikal! I’m so excited to ask you a bunch of prying questions! LOL! First things first, would you order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in our virtual coffee shop? Something else altogether? This is possibly the most important question…

I don’t think you could have started off with an easier question. If anyone knows anything about me whatsoever, they know the answer to this one: COFFEE! (It is lifeblood.)

It is! It so is! On to our second most important question, if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?

Can this “anything” be calorie-free? And would I have to pay for it? Because I’m cheap, but I have expensive taste. Basically, my “anything” would be dessert. Specifically, the Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence (at The Fortress Resort and Spa in Sri Lanka)—and at $14,500 per dessert, I would definitely need someone to buy it for me…but it comes with an 80-carat aquamarine! I might also have to order a Cro at Dum Dum Donutterie in London. It’s cheap by comparison at only £1,500, but ohmygoodness, it sounds divine!!! And to top it all off, because who doesn’t need coffee, I would order the £15 cappucino at the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Yes. I did Google. LOL!

I love how you wholeheartedly embraced the anything part! LOL! I hope those desserts are made from chocolate from Heaven! *looks up the desserts in new web tab and drools* I need to distract myself from this beautiful, haunting dessert… Where is your favorite place to write? And why is that your favorite place?

I actually prefer writing at my desk, but I don’t have a proper desk chair right now, so that leaves me to my couch. I tend to write with my back against the arm and my legs stretched out in front of me with my computer on my lap. As I am right at this moment. It’s just comfortable. 😊 But the day is coming when I will get my chair!! And I can’t wait.

Actually, the day is coming when my oldest gets married. As soon as he moves out, his bedroom will become my writing office. I plan on buying a chaise that I can sit in to write…and maybe read, too. 😉

I’ve been “suggesting” to my husband that we should get a chaise for the last few months. I totally get it. 😊 Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies?

I refuse to answer this question on the grounds it might scare off readers!!! HA! But in all honesty, I probably have many! But I wouldn’t be able to tell you what’s odd but explained by my bookish, writer tendencies, and what’s odd just because. LOL! (My husband would just call me odd, period. No explanations whatsoever. But hey…he’s the one who asked me to marry him, so who’s the oddest?!) 

*snort* I’m inclined to agree with your logic. There’s no arguing with it. 😉 What inspired you to write Count Me In? 

A homework assignment. No, really! I was in an American Christian Fiction Writer’s course and the assignment was to write a sentence or two for different parts of a story (inciting incident, denouement, etc.). We were given a name and, I believe, an occupation. I wrote a few sentences to fulfill the assignment, had a couple of classmates email me saying they’d love to read it, and lo and behold! Count Me In was born.  

Such a fun story! I love how inspiration can strike in the most bizarre ways! What led you to write in this genre?

This is a pretty interesting question. I struggled quite a bit with writing inspirational romantic comedy. Not because I don’t love this genre—I do!—but because I had grand dreams of writing the stuff that would make readers cry, teach them deep lessons, and give them book hangovers. (Who doesn’t want to have a book hangover?!) Basically, the kind of story that will stay with a reader for a very long time, if not forever. So I fought. I started other stories and couldn’t finish them. I fought some more. And when the ACFW course happened, I met with some other authors at a coffee shop and told them how I was struggling. One, Jennifer Slattery—a fabulous author, if you haven’t read her novels!—punched me (she packs a hard punch for such a tiny woman!), and said (paraphrasing here) that readers need all kinds of books, from the deep, hard reads, to the light, funny escapes. She then went on to remind me that those who are in hard spots in life sometimes just need something to take their minds off what they’re going through. I felt such a sense of freedom at her words, like God was saying, “Yes! This is what I’ve been telling you, you stubborn child.”

I went on to write Count Me In, my first attempt at rom-com. 
I also write romantic comedy, so I really love the truth that God spoke to you. <3 SO TRUE! What message do you hope to convey to your readers?

Having said what I just did in the question above, there are takeaways in Count Me In. In that story, I want readers to examine how they think of fear and God and trusting the Lord. I struggle in that area in a big way, so writing the story was therapy for me. I have two characters who both have fears but approach it from different angles. But it all comes down to trusting the Lord. My prayer is that readers will be reminded that God is in every moment of their lives, that His perfect love casts out all fear. 


Yes. This. Love it. <3 Can you tell us a little about your next project?

I’ll admit that I’m struggling with writing at the moment. Up next is Story and Bo’s novel, and while I love the premise and characters, I’ve been having such a hard time writing it. So before I tell you about it, can I ask you all to pray for me, please? Writing is hard. Much harder than I ever thought, especially after a debut release and now having expectations. 😊

So, about Story and Bo. This is a very rough back cover copy! So rough, in fact, that I’m about to write it here for the first time. 😉 So here’s the (not final!) blurb for On the Edge:

A Cold Front Is Moving In…

Story Humphries has lived and loved the bohemian life. Never to stay in one place, her parents moved her around and touted the lifestyle as one of absolute freedom. Despite that, she found true love in figure skating, and no matter where they ended up, she always found a rink to fly across. Now, when she isn’t coaching, Story spends every minute practicing with her own coach with far-flung hopes of breaking back into competitive skating.

Bo Dixon has pushed and pushed to succeed, first as a left-wing in the NHL and then as a coach for his alma matter. But a coach’s job is never guaranteed and Bo goes back to Seattle, wishing he could take a slapshot to the face rather than see his ex-girlfriend again.

Story and Bo have a history off the ice. But with Bo’s unexpected return, it looks like they may have a future on the ice…whether they want it or not.

OHMYGOSH! There’s such a The Cutting Edge vibe. I love it!!! Count me in for this sequel! And yes, I did that on purpose. 😉 What is your favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?

Oh wow, there are so many!!! But I’ll narrow it down. Kind of. Ha!!

My first favorite is Hebrews 6:19a: “We have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…”

I also LOVE Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those both speak to me on a soul-deep level. The verse that inspires my writing, however, is Psalm 102:18: “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” With instructions like that, how could I not write?

LOVE Romans 8:38-39 and I’m always finding awesome, new life verses in Psalms. Your writing verse is epic!!! So what are you currently reading? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know. 😉

So. Many. Books. LOL!! Actually, I’m proud of myself: I only have two on the go right now! I’m re-reading Dead Reckoning by Ronie Kendig. It’s the first book of hers I ever read and the one that made me a perma-fan. The one I’m reading is actually her recently re-released version with some new scenes and other rewrites. It’s been a long while, so it’s like reading a brand-new book for me! I’m also reading Firstborn by Tosca Lee. This is The Progeny duology, and I ADORE IT. It isn’t normally my thing—the genre, the tense, and the point of view narrative—but the first book hooked me right from the first sentence, and this second book is no different. 😊

Oooo! I discovered Ronie Kendig this past year, and I have become a committed fan! And I’ve been jonesing to read Tosca Lee’s new books. *muffles squeal of bookish frustration*

Thank you so much for joining us today, Mikal! I know I’ve had a blast chatting with you!


Mikal has generously offered to giveaway 1 Kindle copy of her novel, Count Me In.

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life.  Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she's out of a job.


 Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly. 

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.
Buy it on Amazon!

Rules, Info, and Such ~

The author is giving away 1 Kindle copy of Count Me In. This giveaway is open worldwide, and it closes on August 30th, 2017, at 12:00 A.M. for all the night owls out there. 

May the odds be ever in your favor.

Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by my writerly, bookish friends! <3 See you next time!


V. Joy Palmer


Trixi said...

In High School English class my sophomore year, we were studying different types of poems. We then had to write one in that style. Well, I ended up writing about my grandma and her love for flower gardens. It was so good that my teacher read it out loud in class and posted it on the wall. After that, for a while anyway, it inspired me to write poetry :-) I found I really enjoyed it. It's been many years since I've written one, but I remember how fun it was.

Thank you for the book giveaway chance!

teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

Mikal Dawn said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandma. <3 And poetry! You know, that's how I started seriously writing--poetry in high school. I would write to encourage friends who were fighting or girls on my hall in college. I tried my hand again a few months ago, but um...yeah. No. I'm not a poet. LOL!

Thank you so much for stopping by, Trixi!!

V. Joy Palmer said...

That's a beautiful story and a wonderful way to honor your Grandma! <3 I've always enjoyed writing poetry, too...though I'm not sure I'm any good. LOL! Thank you for stopping by, Trixi!

Bhriv said...

...a homework assignment inspired's been 30 yrs since I've been in school. Too long ago for me to remember, buttttttt I've been inspired by plenty of Christian fiction BOOKS :) Hope that counts :) Great interview!!

V. Joy Palmer said...

That DEFINITELY counts! <3 <3 <3 Thank you for stopping by, Bhriv!

Mikal Dawn said...

Bhriv, a homework assignment! Exactly what inspired the story for Count Me In. :D Thank you so much for stopping by!!