This destined-to-be-a-Presidential-Fitness-Award-Winner-cutie still can pull in the awards. Only now she hangs awards on the wall for the books she writes instead of doing push ups and sit ups.(But she still looks as if she could do a back flip or push up--no problem for this petite beauty.)
Denise lives in a house full of guys, which I can totally relate to. And if her life isn't busy enough, she manages to play the drum set for worship services or maybe even the National American Christian Fiction Writers conference worship services.
She's quiet, beautiful and reserved, but her fiction shows an evidence of a personal strength and conviction and she tells true life, gritty and romantic stories that are worthy of the big screen. She also has a humor that we rarely get to see in public forums--but read on to see that her sense of humor is well intact, lurking in every corner of that gorgeous smile! Here's Denise as a kid:
For a while I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. Then I wanted to be an artist, but that whole "starving artist" thing was a turn off. I never had writing aspirations until I was married with kids. I wrote my first books during my boys' nap time, sometimes writing only a page or two a day. It was s-l-o-w going.
Fondest Memory :
I have a lot of fond memories with my grandma. My brother and sisters and I went to her house often. We spent hours sitting on the floor with her playing Trouble and Uno. My grandparents didn't have much, but they had a house full of love, and that's all that mattered. They lived close to my elementary school, and I remember faking sick a few times so I could go spend the day with them, which seemed ever so much more fun than sitting at a desk.
I won the Presidential Physical Fitness Award in the 5th and 6th grade. Remember those? I was going through my old things recently and came across those blue patches. My husband walked in the room and said, "You won the Presidential Physical Fitness Award?" His tone was a little insulting. Ahem.
Denise as a little girl
Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:
I was a wanna-be extrovert. Every year I'd start the school year thinking I'd be social and make lots of friends. And then study hall would roll around and there was that great book I was in the middle of and I just had to see what happened next. So I kept my two or three good friends. And my books.
Denise may still be quiet, but not with her music. She's a drummer!
My First Job:
I got my first job when I was 16. I worked behind a counter at Milton's Donut's in Ohio for $3.35 and hour. When I took the job I had no idea the it would entail having to wake up at 4:15 am! I am not now, nor have I ever been, a morning person. I still can't believe I worked there for a year and a half. And I never did get tired of donuts. :-)
(It's time to make the donuts, Denise! Wake up!)
Ice cream! (Boy, I'm bringing up food a lot.) We made family runs for ice cream. My mom had expensive taste when it came to sweets and always took us to the fancy ice cream shop. With Dad, we got rainbow sherbet at United Dairy Farmers. I was happy to get ice cream anywhere though.
Favorite Outfit as a Child:
Anything comfortable! I wasn't terribly fond of dressing up, so jeans and T-shirts were my favorite thing to wear, except when I was wearing sweat pants. Things haven't changed much. Luckily, my job allows me to work in my pajamas.
Favorite Childhood Movie:
I didn't even see my first movie until I was in the fourth grade! We saw "Candlestick" and "Return to Witch Mountain" and the "Knomemobile." Does anyone remember those?? I think "Candlesticks" may have starred Jodi Foster as a little girl. I guess I didn't really have a favorite movie, but I LOVED watching Little House on the Prairie on TV.
Favorite Childhood Book:
My mom took me to the library from the time I was very little. Once I was in school, I devoured all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and when I read them all, I started over. When I was in the sixth grade, I read Jane Eyre and found a new favorite, but I read anything I could get my hands on.
Favorite Childhood Activity:
When I was very young, I liked playing pretend. I'd pretend I was blind or had a broken leg and needed crutches. When I wasn't pretending that I had a disability, I loved to make up dances and do gymnastics. I taught myself how to do a back handspring by piling the couch cushions on the floor and jumping backward until I did it. It's a wonder I didn't break my neck.
Denise's latest book, just released in November:
When Sam's estranged step-father dies, she inherits his ocean-front cottage in Nantucket--not because he kindly bequeathed it to her, but because he neglected to ever create a will. Sam returns to the island she left 11 years ago with her daughter Caden to fix up the house and sell it, but she isn't counting on is the fact that Landon Reed still lives two doors down from her childhood home. As their long-dormant romance begins to bud again, Sam must face the fact that Landon still doesn't know why she really left the island. Will the secrets she's hidden all these years tear them apart? Or is Landon's love really as unconditional as he claims?
The second Nantucket book releases in April 2008. The title is The Convenient Groom and features Kate Lawrence, a relationship advice columnist, whose groom dumps her on her wedding day . She's currently at work on the third Nantucket book (Oct 2008) which is untitled so far.
Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist
Colorado Award of Excellence Finalist
Holt Medallion Award for Women’s Fiction
Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Winner
The Beacon 2nd Place
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist
Foreword Book of the Year Finalist by Foreword Magazine for Mending Places
National Readers Choice Finalist by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America for Mending Places
Award of Excellence Winner by Colorado Romance Writers of America for Mending Places
Desert Rose Golden Quill Finalist by Desert Rose Romance Writers of America for Mending Places
Beacon Award Finalist by First Coast Romance Writers for Mending Places
More than Magic – second - by Romance Writer’s Ink for Mending Places
Don't forget to check out her blog called Girls Write Out, where she is joined by her three writing friends:Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt and Kristin Billerbeck.(Links go to their Kid Interviews.) They talk about stuff that I like to talk about--from womb to tomb and all the interesting things in-between. Funny, poignant, thought-provoking and real life. That's what the girls write out about! (Oh, yeah--and chocolate!)