K. Dawn Byrd holds a masters degree in professional counseling from Liberty University. She made her publishing debut in 2010 with two romantic suspense novels. Her first young adult novel, Mistaken Identity, released in June.

You’ve had three books published in relatively quick succession. What was the catalyst to your first contract?

The catalyst to my first contract was when I read Michelle Sutton’s Danger at the Door and wrote her to tell her how much I loved the book. I shared that I was a writer and had just finished a romantic suspense book. She recommended that I pitch it to her publisher, Desert Breeze, and the rest is history.

Let’s talk about your new book, Mistaken Identity (Desert Breeze Publishing, June 15, 2011). Please tell us about it.

Here’s the cover blurb:

Eden Morgan makes a list of six goals to accomplish in order to have the best summer ever. Getting a boyfriend, which is perhaps the most important goal, becomes complicated when she and her best friend, Lexi, fall for the same guy. Since Lexi is popular, gorgeous, and always gets her guy, Eden thinks she doesn’t have a chance.

Channing Johnson is everything Eden’s ever dreamed of and she can’t believe he just moved in next door. When he starts showing interest in her, she’s overjoyed…until she sees him out on a date with Lexi. He says Lexi talked him into it to repay her for tutoring him. Lexi says they’re in love.

Eden doesn’t know who to believe and is forced to choose between her best friend and the guy of her dreams. Nothing is as it seems and no matter who she chooses, someone will get hurt.

I understand you have a new YA series in the works. What do you enjoy about writing Young Adult fiction?

Young adult fiction is so much fun! After writing Mistaken Identity, I was hooked. The young adult age is such a fun age, but also so challenging! I love the spark of first love, the first date, the first kiss and the innocence of youth. I love writing for the young adult market so much that I’ve signed a three-book contract for a mystery/romance series. The first book in the Zoe Mack mystery series will debut in January 2012.

How does your faith play into your work?

There’s always at least one Christian character in each story. In Mistaken Identity, it’s Eden. She has to decide if being ridiculed by her peers and being unable to do the things other teens do is worth living her life for Jesus.

Please tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something.

In Mistaken Identity, Eden has to learn to trust Channing when it looks like he’s doing something he’s not. Sometimes, life is stranger than fiction. I’ve learned that things don’t always look like they are and it’s good to investigate before jumping to any kind of conclusion.

A few fun questions…

When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?

My favorite comfort food is a few sour olives. I like them pimento stuffed, lemon stuffed, garlic stuffed, any stuffed (LOL) but my favorite is anchovy stuffed. They really get the juices flowing.

This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?

Oh, how I wish I had musical talent! I’m almost deaf in one ear and I think that’s why I never was good at piano even though I took lessons for a couple of years.

If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?

Probably a slow song because I’m pretty analytical. I think before I act most of the time. I’m pretty boring too. I’m not into drama and, like many writers, I’m an introvert and enjoy time alone. I have a few close friends that I share my life with, but I’m not a social butterfly at all.

In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?

I’m probably the strong, female lead. It seems like any time a family member needs anything including a listening ear or advice, they call me.

Please tell us about your dogs!

I have two hairless Chinese Cresteds, Zippy and Ponchee. These dogs are born almost totally hairless, with hair only on their head, feet, and tails. Zippy is a little black and white female with the markings of a skunk and she’s so cuddly and loving. Ponchee, my little brown male, has a personality like a cat. He’s very independent and wants loving only when he wants it, but he’s soooooo sweet!

Thanks, K. Dawn! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.

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For more information about K. Dawn, visit her website at www.kdawnbyrd.com.

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