Dena Dyer is a professional author, speaker, entertainer, music and children’s theater instructor, and missionary. Her published works include Mothers of the Bible, The Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip to Love, The Groovy Chicks’ Road Trip to Peace, and most recently 25 Christmas Blessings (Barbour Books, September 2015).
As a member of the Fellowship of Christian Writers, the Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council, Dena has set about encouraging hurting and harried women to lean on Jesus — and take themselves less seriously.
Dena and her husband are parents to Jordan and Jackson and live in Granbury, Texas.
What started you on your writing journey?
When I was twelve, an uncle — an editor at a small newspaper, who was trying to find a publisher for a book he’d written — showed me how to use a Writer’s Market. I began submitting poems and other pieces of writing to teen magazines. My first acceptance came with an $8 check, which I still have. After that, I regularly submitted, collecting tons of rejections and many acceptances in a variety of magazines. In 1995, I received a BA in Writing/Music from Baylor University and in 1999, I began submitting book proposals to a variety of Christian publishers on several different themes. In 2004, I received my first book contract, Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms (Barbour).
In 2016, my eighth book, Love at First Fight: 52 Humorous Devotionals for Couples (Barbour) will be released. I wrote it with my husband, Carey, after twenty years of marriage (eighteen which we still talk about).
The Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Many times. Though I’ve been a Christian for many years, I still need reminding that His plans are always better than mine. I actually experienced a Divine Detour with my latest book, as you can read about.
Let’s talk about 25 Christmas Blessings: An Inspiring Countdown to Christmas (Barbour Books, September 2015). Please tell us about it.
The book has twenty-five short devotionals on different themes such as love, joy, thankfulness, light, and giving. Each meditation begins with a scripture and ends with a prayer and ten ways to serve others during the holidays. It’s meant to be read during the month of December — one devotional each day — in order to focus the reader’s heart on what Christmas is truly about.
What inspired it?
Well, I’d wanted to write a Christmas book for years. I even crafted a proposal and sent it to my agent, but he didn’t think he could sell it at the time. (Christmas books are expensive to produce with high returns for the publisher.) A month or two later, Barbour Books contacted me and asked me to write 25 Christmas Blessings on assignment. I love how God works![ctt title=”I still need reminding that His plans are always better than mine.” tweet=”I still need reminding that His plans are always better than mine. ~ @motherinferior2 @DivineDetour http://ctt.ec/WUxcR+” coverup=”WUxcR”]
A few fun questions in celebration of the holiday season…
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
One of my favorites is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. The minor key reflects the grief and confusion we feel when we look at the world around us, and the lyrics speak of the hope we have in Christ. I’m longing for the time when He makes all things new, and singing along with this beautiful hymn helps me express that.
What’s your favorite Christmas comfort food?
Sweet potato casserole — my mother in-law’s recipe.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition or memory?
My husband, sons, and I like to get in our PJ’s and drive around looking at Christmas lights. We drink hot chocolate and listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas Special soundtrack.
Which best describes your perfect Christmas tree: a lush blue spruce decorated with the latest couture; a shaggy cedar covered in homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn; a vintage aluminum tree with shiny glass bulbs; or a palm tree adorned with pink flamingos?
Shaggy cedar with homemade ornaments. Definitely.
I’m a dog lover. Will there be any “pet” stockings hanging from the mantle at your house this year?
Yes. We have a dog named Princess, and she’s very spoiled. I just came home from a writing workshop in Washington state, so I brought her some wild salmon.
Thanks, Dena! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you for hosting me. It’s an honor.
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For more information about Dena, visit her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
To purchase 25 Christmas Blessings, log on to:
Dena, I hope your book (a very creative sounding one!) blesses many.
Holiday blessings to both you and Kathy!
Thanks, Elaine! May you be blessed this holiday season.