Welcome, InspyRomance readers! Today I have a special treat for you. I’m chatting with Delaina Netherland Smiley about her novel, One More Santa. It released last week so you might not have had a chance to read it next week, so be sure to put it on your TBR pile!
Let’s meet Delaina!
Toni: Thank you so much for joining me on InspyRomance. Before we dive into One More Santa, tell us a little about yourself?
Delaina: I’ve been a working mom for the past 23 years and writing was something that was always on the horizon. I never lost hope that someday there would be at least one book out there with my name on it. I’m not about to tell anyone to wait until their children are grown, but that’s how it played out for me. My children were in high school (one finishing junior high) when I began taking the time in the evenings and on weekends to focus on my stories. I still felt a sense of balance because I could take my laptop if I knew I’d have wait time, but otherwise they never felt like I wasn’t present for them when they needed me to be. I was able to focus on “all the things” more than I could have when they were younger.
Toni: Writing with kids can be difficult, so I can understand waiting. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Delaina: Fifth grade. I was blessed with wonderful English teachers from then on who were so excited about my writing. I’m very grateful.
Toni: English teachers can be such a blessing! What is your writing process like?
Delaina: It’s probably not as fancy as some writers. I usually tap out three or four chapters before I can begin to outline the rest. I write on the couch in the middle of my wild bunch, in my car, at fast-food restaurants, in church parking lots. I have a desk, but I do what I consider my best writing when I’m out and about.
Toni: Fun! What’s a normal writing day like for you?
Delaina: Random. That’s the first word that comes to mind. My world is usually in at least slight chaos when I decide to sit down and type. I’m grateful I’m able to zone in, but I may be in between other things or other conversations while I’m typing up a dialogue. So you may see some of my own responses in the mix of my stories.
Toni: Lol, I love that! Why should a reader choose your books if this is the first time they’ve heard of you?
Delaina: For the fun of it! It’s always good to try a new author and hear a different message. I have my favorites, but that never stops me from venturing into a new genre or a new writer’s space. I’m grateful for all the people who have given me a chance and I hope all the new readers are pleased and looking forward to more.
Toni: I love that answer! What message do you hope readers will get out of reading your story?
Delaina: That you don’t have to be so focused on just searching for love. God knows who your perfect match is going to be and when that perfect time will be for him/her to show up and work gently into the path you’re on. There’s no reason to drop what you’re doing and date people who aren’t even in the ballpark of where you’re going. Trust God. Keep doing your thing and know that your person is going to be planted perfectly. And if not, God has a different and still very perfect plan for you.
Toni: Oh there’s such wisdom in that! Now, what life verse would your main character choose and why?
Delaina: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Cassie is not a timid person. She’s excited about her life and all the things that are happening in it – her sports photography, her work with The Santa House, her time time with her family – especially her niece. She’s knows she can do all things.
Toni: Oh that used to be mine once upon a time. :) What would be the verse that fits your story and why?
Delaina: “For I know the plans I have for you – plans to keep you and not to harm you – plans to give you a hope and a future.” I’ve clung to that verse since I was very young. And it has kept me moving forward, completely satisfied that God was directing my steps the whole time. God is not surprised by anything – even my weaknesses. He had all of that in mind when He created my plan.
Toni: Perfect verse too! Who would you cast to play the characters in your book?
Delaina: Cassie would be played by Jen Lilley. Talent would be played by Marc Blucas
Toni: I love those guys! Sounds like someone’s a Hallmark watcher. :) Now, just for fun, do you like coffee or tea?
Delaina: Cold coffee/sweet tea = equal space in my heart.
Toni: Sweet tea is the best. What about chocolate or candy?
Delaina: I’m a milk-chocolate lover.
Toni: That’s pretty tasty. Beaches or mountains?
Delaina: If I’m with my family – the beach. If I’m with my husband – the mountains. Company is key.
Toni: It changes everything! What’s your favorite holiday?
Delaina: Christmas. Hands down.
Toni: It’s a wonderful time of year! Readers, be sure to ask any questions for Delaina in the comments! Now I’m sure you’re curious about her book, so I’ve posted the blurb below. You can click on the picture to be taken to Amazon.
Cassie McWilliams is completely committed to her work as a professional sports photographer, president of The Santa House Women’s Charity, and helping her family in their hometown diner, which leaves no time for romance—and that’s perfectly fine with Cassie. She has no interest in trying to squeeze dating into her busy schedule.
Officer Talent Marshall is a new recruit to the police force and the newest bachelor in town. All he wants to do is start over, away from the shadows of his past, but when he meets the beautiful and smart Cassie, his priorities suddenly change. And when he’s assigned to security detail for The Santa House, he’s one step closer to getting exactly what he wants.
As Christmas approaches, their attraction grows, but when Talent is called to help find a missing child, their relationship is threatened by raging waters, leaving Cassie to realize one very important thing: She doesn’t want one more Santa—a precious gift her late father gave her mother every year before he passed—she wants more chance with Talent.
Doesn’t that sound great? I love Christmas stories. Before I go, read Delaina’s bio and don’t forget to leave a comment below!
Delaina Netherland Smiley is an East Texas native, who lives in the country with her three fun teenagers/young adult children. She’s a business coach and trainer by day, a writer by night, and a hobby photographer whenever she gets the chance. Her favorite genre of books is, of course, romance (faith-based, military, contemporary and historical), but her music playlist is oddly eclectic (at least, according to her children). She loves to go fishing at the lake and she can’t get enough of watching her children excel in their own varied talents and ambitions. She also enjoys being an aunt and loves time spent with her tight-knit family, who serve up all the creative inspiration she could ever need.
Well, that was fun! Since I’m feeling the holiday spirit, I’ll give away a $5 Amazon giftcard to one lucky commenter. Drop a comment below by 11/19 11:59 pm EST and I’ll choose a random winner. Have an awesome weekend!