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Weaving Faith Into Fiction

THE BACK BURNER
Denise was raised in a Christian home in Ohio.  “I was practically raised in the church nursery!” she says. Her family attended church regularly.  When she was 5, Denise’s mom led her to the Lord by her bedside.  Denise met her husband at church when she was 17.  They eventually got married and moved to Indiana.  They immediately found a local church and got involved.   Eventually they were part of a local church plant where her husband still sings on the worship team, and Denise played drums for 10 years.  

In 1996 her grandfather died.  She remembers her grandfather as a man who would do whatever God called him to do.  “He was a man who lived his life without regrets,” says Denise.  As she sat next to her grandfather’s bedside, she knew he wasn’t going to be on this earth much longer.  Denise thought about how she had always wanted to start a novel.  In college, she felt the urge to write but had 2 young boys at the time.  “I knew it wasn’t the right season.  I was too busy.  I decided to put it on the back burner,” says Denise. After her grandfather died, Denise felt the Lord whispered in her ear that it was time to take the writing off the back burner.  “A couple weeks after my grandfather died, I started writing.”  With 2 young kids in the house, Denise had no free time so she wrote while her kids took naps. “That’s all I could do.  I offered what little time I had,” she says.  Her first novel was published 2 years later (Stranger’s Bride). “I continued to devote that nap time to my writing.  I think about the fishes and the loaves in the Bible and how God took that little offering and made the provision abundant.  It was more than enough.  That’s how I feel like what God’s done with my career,” she says.

THE HALLMARK CHANNEL
Her publisher, Thomas Nelson, is active in pitching books to producers.  “I felt very blessed when one of mine were chosen to be made into a Hallmark movie,” she says.  She visited the set during production but noted that the author has little control over the production.  “That’s why you have to trust the production company,” says Denise.  Recently, she went to Vancouver for the taping of a second novel, December Bride, which is scheduled to be a part of Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas movies this year.     

Denise weaves her faith into every romantic love story she writes.  “A Christian is the best person to write a Christian novel because the best love story is the one between God and man,” she says.  Every book has a hero who often has God-like qualities.  “I never intended to write that way.  A lot of readers have pointed that out to me over the years,” she says. Denise feels that her novels are successful because when people are reading a novel versus a self-help book, their emotions are involved.  “You start feeling emotions and it opens you up to new ideas and change,” says Denise.

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Guest Info

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Credits

Author of more than 20 romance novels

The Convenient Groom and December Bride are made for television movies, The Hallmark Channel

Husband: married 27 years

3 sons

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