Interview with MG Christian author Dana Rongione

Today’s guest author is Dana Rongione. She’s wrapping up a virtual book tour with Virtual Book Tour Cafe today for her new MG novel The Delaware Detectives.

There’s a chance to win an e-copy of the novel. Details after the interview.
Welcome, Dana. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
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. two children’s books, a healthy
living handbook 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 DanaRongione.com.

Please tell us about your current release.
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 70s. 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.
What inspired you to write this book?
I first began writing The Delaware Detectives as an
assignment for a course I took through The Institute of Children’s Literature.
Through the course, I had learned to write about what I know and what I’m
passionate about. As a mystery lover and elementary school teacher, I could
think of no better story for me to write. Based on some true life experiences, The
Delaware Detectives
was born. Sad to say, that was six years ago. Yes, it took
me six years to finish and publish the story, but now that’s it’s finished, I
can’t wait to begin the next one.
Nice segue. What exciting story are you working on next?
I currently have several works in various stages of
completion. I have three new devotional/Christian
living titles that I hope to have completed within the next few months. Additionally, I have two children’s picture
books that are in the process of being illustrated and one young adult book
that is in the editing/revision stage. And, as if that weren’t enough, I’m in the planning stage for the next
book in The Delaware Detectives series.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
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!”
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like?  If not, what do you do other than
write and how do you find time to write?
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.
In my spare time. . . sorry, I had to stop laughing. . .like
there’s any “spare time” around here. Anyway, when I’m not writing, I keep myself busy with church functions
and obligations (I serve as church pianist, sing special music, teach the
ladies’ Sunday School class, etc.), teaching (I teach at a local Bible
college), hiking, reading, and the million other things that come into my life
during any given week.  I also strive to
set aside uninterrupted time to spend with my husband, like our weekly
“date night”.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Music! I must have
music playing when I write. I can’t
write when it’s quiet. If I don’t
have  music, I at least need nature
sounds like a babbling brook, singing birds and the like. Road noise doesn’t work. Voices are distracting. But soft music helps me get in touch with my
creative side and allows my brain to relax and focus on the matter at hand.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Throughout my childhood, I longed to be a teacher. I played “classroom” nearly every
day after school.  (I had the smartest
dolls and stuffed animals in the neighborhood!) My mom was a teacher, and I longed to be just like her, except I wanted
to teach young children instead of high school. 
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes, I have a few things. First, I want to thank everyone for following my tour. Second, I want to let everyone know that The
Delaware Detectives
is currently available in paperback ($7.95) and Kindle
(only $2.99) and will, Lord willing, be available in all other e-book formats
by the middle of the summer. Lastly, I
want to let you know where you can find me online:
Blogs:   A Word Fitly
Spoken: Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.
            Song of the Day:  http://ChristianSongoftheDay.blogspot.com
Twitter: @DRongione
Thanks, Dana. And, Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment and your e-mail address if you’d like to be in the running to win a Kindle copy of The Delaware Detectives. Feel free to leave a comment without your e-mail, too! Today is the last day of Dana’s tour!



6 thoughts on “Interview with MG Christian author Dana Rongione

  1. Lisa Haselton says:

    Always a pleasure to meet a new author. And I haven't had many middle grade writers here, so it's a treat. 🙂

  2. Dana Rongione says:

    Thank you, Susan. That's so sweet of you to say, and I can honestly reply, the feeling is mutual. You're quite a gem yourself!

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