Danette, tell us where you were born and where do you live now?I was born in Alamosa, Colorado. I have an older sister and a younger brother so I guess that means I’m the middle child.I now live in Wellsville, Utah with my husband and four children. I’ve never cared for snow, ever. When I left Colorado I said I never wanted to live in an area with heavy snow again. Well let’s just say, I’ve learned to Never Say Never. I do love living in Cache Valley––except when it snows.No really, the area is beautiful and it’s a great place to raise a family.🙂 What makes you passionate writing about genealogy?That is a funny one for me, I don’t know much about genealogy unlike my mother who is a family history consultant. That is why my main character, Annaliese, is portrayed the way she is.She is more into Plant Research instead of Family Research. Her mother says, “A seed begets a seed,” to put it on her level but she’s not interested until she feels connected to the Holland area her family is from. I’ve heard of many individuals who have had amazing experiences in researching their family members. I do believe there’s a tangible feeling that comes from learning about family members if you get involved. Writing Coincidence has made me want to get more involved instead of leaving it all up to my mother to do. I now want my own amazing experiences.Really? How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?I’ve written a few novels and this one took me the longest, over three years. A big chunk of my time went to researching the Netherlands and World War II.In a way the novel has two main characters, Annaliese, who lives in the present, and her ancestor who lives in the past. If I had to compare it to a popular book I would compare it to Sarah’s Key written by Tatianna de Rosnay because it flips back and forth from the present to the past and it has World War II history.My husband’s grandfather was from Holland so in my research I decided to learn about some of the holiday traditions practiced there. We had our own version of a Holland Christmas when I was in the middle of writing this book. We’ve since added many of those traditions into our own family celebrations, such as placing our Holland slippers on the fireplace for candy and a note.(I was able to buy some soft slippers that look like the wooden Holland shoes for each child, and my husband and I used the real wooden shoes he had from Holland).How interesting. Who and what inspired you to write about genealogy?This one is funny too, I had a dear writer friend who suggested I write about a ghost. For me, I immediately thought of genealogy, probably because my motherbeen a family history consultant for years. The story unfolded in a magical, fun way. I’m still on a high from writing this novel.Exiting moment. What is the title of your book?Coincidence is the title of my novel. It was the first name that popped into my head and then the story unfolded from there.Curious. Could you give us a back cover blurb?The lamp tumbled to the floor.“No!”I threw my arms out to try to catch it, but I was too late.Glancing back at the mess on the floor, I noticed a strange doily was tucked inside the lip of the vase lid.I pulled it out gently. Ribbon, on a doily?The left corner was burned, and the thin ribbon was sewed on one side.I held the bumpy fabric in my hands. How odd. Why would anyone stuff this in the lid of a vase?Annaliese VanLuyk soon discovers there’s more than a hidden doily dating to World War II in this old Dutch house.It also contains a family mystery and she’s the only one who can solve it. Unfortunately this isn’t how her time in Netherlands is supposed to be spent.She’s here to be involved in the Plant Research Program at Wageningen University. With so much of her attention and energy being divided between her new friend, Nigel and solving this mystery, her stay in Holland could come to an end along with the career she’s always wanted.It sounds so cool. What genre does your book fall under?Coincidence is a World War II Historical-Genealogy Mystery.Love it. Do you have a favorite story you want to share?The ending turned out so fun. Like I said earlier, this novel took longer than I had planned. I wrote about 30,000 and then stopped writing to learnfoot zone therapy. After a year, I came back to it––I had to get it done. Only a few thousand words would come to me at a time and then I would run into an invisible wall.When I finally got in the grove of the story, I came to the point where I needed to tie the ancestor’s story in with my main character’s, but I was at a loss of what would happen nextso I left the computer to think about it for a while and then the end popped into my mind. I was like–why didn’t I think of that idea. I still love how it ended. No spoilers here!Ohhhhhh…What kind of impact do you expect your works to have in the reader’s interest in your book?As an writer my goal is to entertain and inspire. I hope that I did both of that in this book. I tried to portray how important it is to be connected and involved in each others lives.I truly believe we are our brother’s keeper. I hope we help lift and inspire those in our life with love and acceptance.Great impact plan. What else might pique the reader’s interest in your book?The love story in this book is richer than hot chocolate!!LOL. I trust you. Tell us more about you.I wasn’t interested in writing until later in my life, but thinking back to my childhood I named everything, so I guess it’s fitting that I now give names to characters in stories.The problem now is I have too many ideas and not enough time in the day. I’m a mother of four beautiful children, who are growing up much too fast.I’m married to the best guy in the world! We live in Northern Utah nestled in the mountain side.
I love to laugh, write, read, and go to the movies. I’m a foot zoner so I like to learn about holistic living.
I believe there are magical moments in life––and if there isn’t for a time that’s when you wish for magic.
Writing is magic. I get to discover the story just like a reader. As the magical elements fall into place in a story I’ve learned to recognize that’s really how life is; magical when you least expect it.So true…Where can we find your book?My novel was available November 20, 2014 through Amazon. You can also find me on Goodreads.Amazon link:
Tags: Coincidence, Dutch genealogy, Genealogy, Genealogy Mystery, Genealogy romance, historical, Historical Genealogy, Holland, inspire genealogy, mystery, Netherlands, Plant Research Program, World War II, World War II Genealogy