by Terry Rogers
Dawn Dehel says that there were a combination of things that led her to write her novel book, Inferno, recently published by Exstasy Books. She began plotting and researching an idea that had been knocking around her head for a while and, in February, after a really bad day, she decided to abandon what she calls her “WIP,” or “Work in Progress,” so that she could lose herself in a story that was calling her.
“Inferno is the story of one woman’s journey to find out who she really is and what she really wants out of her life, not unlike the original work by Dante Alighieri,” Dehel said. “In fact, it is modeled after Dante’s work in structure and the challenges Rose, the main character, encounters. It isn’t necessary to know anything about Dante to read and enjoy the work, but the more a reader knows, the more she can appreciate the little details. Having said that, the book is not for everyone. In my house, the shorthand for the novel is “50 Shades of Hell.” That’s not quite accurate because Inferno is more complex than the other book, but it is in the same genre.”
The biggest challenge Dehel faced when writing the book was time. Keeping up with her day job and family responsibilities while finding time to write was difficult. Often, she would find that when she had time to write, those were the times that words did not come easily. Editing was another challenge she faced during the book writing process.
“I’m wordy,” Dehel said. “The first draft of Inferno was about 143,000 words, way too long. I had to decide what to get rid of and what to streamline. There’s a writer phrase “Kill your darlings,” which isn’t about bumping off characters, but eliminating the unnecessary in the text. It was a darling bloodbath. The final draft was just over 118,000 words, a difference of more than 20,000 words. Fortunately, I had insightful Beta readers, and I worked with a wonderful editor who guided me through the process.”
Dehel says that part of being a writer is rejection and that she has experienced plenty of it throughout her writing process. However, the fact that she now knows she is good enough to be published, the rejection letters should sting a little less.
“I have been writing since I was a little kid,” Dehel said. “In fact, I still have a part of a story I wrote when I was in second grade, and several other works from middle school and college. Most people know me as a teacher. I’ve been in the classroom for 24 years. My family has been amazingly supportive. I didn’t say much about the book until it had been accepted, but since they found out, they have been my biggest cheerleaders.” Dehel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and studied Creative Writing as part of her degree.
A short story Dehel wrote, Real Magic, will be published early this summer and she also has a “pile of manuscripts,” some of which have been rejected but that she plans to revise. Dehel has abandoned two others and is nearly finished with her newest novel. As she puts it “writing is fairly easy, the hard part is getting them published.”
Inferno is available as an e-book and can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as Exstasy books. The erotic novel is also available in paperback version at Amazon.
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