Monday, October 27, 2014


Happy Fall, Everyone!

I know I said that last time, but I am still, and hope to always be, fascinated with the beauty of Autumn. I ask myself how I can paint a picture of words to describe the colors, the weather, the starkness that heralds winter. Because, isn't that the job of a writer? To paint a picture with words? And sometimes, I have to wonder if Fall appeals to my dark side as trees and flowers turn skeletal and dark. Any of you got any great word pictures of Fall? We'd love to hear them! Leave a comment below.

This Week's Guest

Close to 2 years ago, I posted an interview on Dayna L Cheser's blog, and to this day, that site is my biggest referral site here to Dream Weaver Novels on Blogger. I messaged Dayna to say 'thanks' and we struck up a convo and I decided to introduce her to my readers. Fair warning! This interview is chock full of pics and links to great sites. So, here she is....


Dayna Leigh Cheser hails from a family of writers; her mother, a non-fiction writer, and her brothers, a newspaperman, and a copywriter. While she has many passions, her first love has always been books, which evolved into writing.  Much of her young life was spent in the town library, and her parents despaired her being an under-the-covers-at-night-with-a-flashlight reader.

A casual writer since childhood, it wasn’t until 2002 that she was driven to finally write a book. On a ‘graveyard shift’ shift for eighteen months, she had the time to write for several hours every night. The result was her first book. Today, with three books published and two more in the series due out soon, she’s busy all the time.

Hi Dayna!

Welcome to Dream Weaver Novels!

I’m so happy to be here, thanks for inviting me.

Tell us about your books.

I have 5 books – 3 are published and the other 2 are WIPs (that's Work In Progress).
Janelle’s Time, published in 2012, is the story of Janelle, a young woman in south-central New Hampshire in 1830, who loses her father in a logging accident, and gains a suitor in rapid succession.  It’s the story of their courtship and eventual marriage – but with a host of problems dogging them every step of the way.  From a devastating family secret, to kidnapping and murder attempts, to amnesia, and questioned parentage, it doesn’t look good for the survival of their relationship.(Warning: ‘hot’)

Moria’s Time, published in 2013, is the story of one of Richard and Janelle’s twin daughters, a child, the subject of a vision, will travel far, to a dangerous place and do amazing things.  In the end, she lives the vision, and finds a great love along the way. 

I also introduced 5 real-life historical characters.  Four of the 5 had to be in London at the same time to interact with Moria and her family. Moria’s twin, Adelle, shares the book as they shared their childhood.  As a child, Adelle was a real challenge to Richard and Janelle. 
Adelle’s Time, published in 2014, is the story of Moria’s twin from the time, as young adults, when their life’s paths diverged.  A horrible child, Adelle grew into herself when punished for misdeeds by working in a local orphanage. In time, she became as wonderful a person in her own right as her younger sister.  Married in a double wedding to their respective spouses, Moria and Adelle make an impact on the lives of many people, in very different ways.
Logan’s Time, not published yet, is a spinoff of Janelle’s Time.  In book 1, Logan crashes Richard and Janelle’s wedding with revenge on his mind for a perceived wrong, but ends up a husband himself. I don’t yet know how it ends.
Clarissa’s Time, not published yet, is the story of Logan’s oldest daughter, Clarissa, and Janelle’s oldest son, Damian Gerard, who marry in Scotland.  Damian Gerard, is an Army officer, stationed in Washington, DC.  Clarissa willingly gives up her Scots peerage and moves to America. As with Logan’s Time, I don’t yet know how it all ends.

Note: FREE CHAPTERS for all 5 books, including the two that haven’t been published yet, are available on my site.  Click on CHAPTERS and have a ball!

Who are your favorite authors/books?

The ones who have influenced my writing the most (and are my favorites) are Bertrice Small (any of her books, but especially the Skye O’Malley series), Lynn Kurland (time-travel romance), early Karen Marie Moning (time travel romance), Jean Auel (the concept of the alpha-female), and others.  I’ve read many, many other fine authors over the years - and a few duds. I’ll read almost anything...but I’m really not keen on horror.

What was one of the most surprising/important things you learned while writing your books?

Even as a child, I dreamed of being a published author, but I never knew that it wasn’t just sitting down and writing a book.  There’s so much more to the process.  My decision to actually write was many years in the making.  Then, I wrote a book and shelved it – for many more years.  It wasn’t until I retired that I got serious about being a published writer. 

What was a surprise was that the actual writing is almost a minor part of it.  There’s all the research (which I enjoy), there’s working with the editor (which I also enjoy – go figure!), there’s the publishing (which in my case is assisted self-publishing), and, last but not least, there’s the dreaded marketing – doing whatever I can to get the word out – on a retiree’s limited income. As a hearing-impaired introvert, this part of publishing is difficult for me.

I know you use a pen name, why did you chose to use it? And how did you decide what name to use? 

I’m asked this question often.  In my case, it’s not a vanity or privacy thing.  My real name – Julie Jordan – is also the name of the main character in the Broadway play, Carousel.  That means the potential for a trademark/copyright lawsuit would always be hanging over my head, if not with the current owners, then possibly with heirs down the road, so I proactively decided to use a pen name.  Before I made the final decision, I googled my choice -  ‘Dayna Leigh Cheser’ - and came up with nothing, which is exactly what I wanted!  Now, if someone googles my name to test it for herself, however unlikely, she’ll opt for another name.

The name itself is simply a pair of common names – Dana and Lee – with alternate spellings – Dayna Leigh.  The Cheser was the result of several hours on the US Census Bureau website, looking for a name near the beginning of the alphabet, short and simple, and not heavily used.
My goodness! You put a lot of work into deciding your pen name. I just used my nickname (Su, without an 'E', because why would you add an 'E' when there isn't one in Susan?) and my maiden name. My husband and I aren't attached to his last's an adopted name. So he writes under his former/birth name, Goodwin. And I write under my maiden name, Williams. Any suggestions for beginning writers?

Two things come to mind. 

1) Patience.  Writing a book takes time.  Some writers can crank out multiple books per year but to do it right (and still have a life away from writing), it will take the better part of a year – or maybe even longer – to publish a book. 
A notable extreme is Author Jean Auel (The Clan of the Cave Bear series).  Her
 6 books took her 30 years or so to produce because of her research.   She went on archeological digs in Eastern Europe and France, and spent months living the way Ayla lived.  The result is a wonderful, fictional study on life in Europe in prehistoric times.  Oh dear! I may have to read these, now!

Few writers can produce a quality book by sitting down before lunch to write it and publishing it before bedtime!  Patience is a virtue in life, but especially in the life of a writer. 

I completely agree. I believe if an indie author wants to birth a book into the world, they should go through the full gestation and labor process before they do.

2) After editing, set the completed book aside for a while.  Then, after a couple of weeks or more, use a reading program (I use TextAloud) where the computer reads the book to you.  Listen carefully to the book.  I guarantee you will make lots of corrections and changes.  You can read it to yourself, but after about 75,000 words, your voice will give out!

I read that advice in Elizabeth Lyon's Manuscript Makeover,, at least I think it was her book. At any rate, it's an AWESOME book for editing. A writer can learn a lot by simply recording their manuscript aloud and listening to it. If it sounds jerky and uncomfortable to listen to, it's going to read that way too.
So, what's your next big thing?

After a 4-month hiatus (my husband and I moved from Naples to Lake Placid, FL, and then I had to catch up), I’m now back to work on book 4 of my series – Logan’s Time.  This is the story of Logan Conor, the Scots Duke of Muileach, which starts 30 years before Janelle’s Time (book 1).  It’s a spinoff, rather than a sequel.  I’d worked on this book sporadically over the past 3 years, but there are a lot of changes and improvements I want to incorporate so it will take a while to complete.  I’m hoping to publish in the spring of 2015. After that, book 5, Clarissa’s Time, will finish the series.
It’s going to be hard to say good-bye to this cast of characters many of whom entered my life over 10 years ago.  I expect I’ll feel a big loss for a while. So. I’ll get busy on my next project.

I like to keep interviews short, and add some fun at the end!
What are your hobbies?

Other than writing, I’m an avid reader.  I enjoy sewing (I just finished the curtains and dinette seat covers for a motor home we’re restoring and selling), other crafts, cooking … if it sounds like I’m a typical 50s or 60s housewife, that’s right!  

On the flip side, I’m the webmaster of a 36 page website,, which has been a challenge that I really have enjoyed.  On my website, which I created in September of 2012, after 2 years running ‘A Place for Writers’, visitors will find my blog, ‘Posts by Dayna’, plus, I now have 3 sets of questions for people to do their own author interviews.  When they hit submit, the interview comes to me via email and I create a blog post of it.  And, I have a brand new feature – “Reviews by Dayna".  I had avoided doing reviews because of nightmares about school book reports, but I’ve finally capitulated and have started doing reviews.

I also like hanging out on the computer – making friends on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere, and keeping in touch with friends and family on email.  I recently upgraded to an iPhone so I’m having fun learning the ins and outs of that, as well as reading on that and my Kindle. 
In short, I’m busier now than I ever was when I was working.  LOL

If you just won the multi-million dollar lottery, what's the first thing you would buy?

I’ve never had a lot of money, and I’ve read the horror stories about folks who win the lottery and, in a few short years, file for bankruptcy.  As a winner, I’d make sure we had enough to enjoy our retirement, and share some with our families, but the bulk of it would go into a foundation where we can help other people.  I’d like to encourage reading in some way, so I’d likely partner with publishers to provide books to schools and libraries for free, or maybe build libraries in poor countries and provide reading teachers.  Of course, it would depend on how much I won … and, of course, I’d have to actually buy lottery tickets in order to have a chance at winning. 

Tell us something weird or quirky about yourself. And what absolutely drives you nuts?

At the risk of starting a war on your site, I have to say that the politics in this country really gets to me.  I’m a firm believer that everyone should be involved in, and be informed about, what’s going on in our country politically.  Too many politicians are getting away with too much and it’s hurting the country and the people.  There are times when I just want to knock some heads (not that I ever would – that’s not me). 

It’s us – ‘We the People’ – who are the government, not the people in Congress.  The President and Congress are there because we put them there and they work for us!  They are supposed to do what we want, not what’s best for them, personally, or their buddies!
Too many people don’t know who their representatives are in the House or the Senate.  Too many people have no idea what’s going on in the country.  And, too many people don’t vote! 

Oh, sister! Shout it! 

Just for fun…I'm doing some research for my next book...a devolution zombie story. So, if you survived the zombie apocalypse, what one thing would you miss the most?

If the TV show, ‘TheWalking Dead’ is anything at all what life would be like after a zombie apocalypse, well, I can safely say I’d miss just about everything, including personal safety. I’d really not want to be someone’s lunch, and/or inflict any harm, thank you very much.

But, personally, what would I miss the most … one single thing?  Electricity. With that, so many things are possible – without it …

Thank you for visiting us here on Dream Weaver Novels.

You’re very welcome.  It’s been a lot of fun.

Links for Dayna Leigh Cheser 
The Historical Romance 'TIME Series'
Janelle's Time, Moria's Time, Adelle's Time,

Coming soon: Logan’s Time & Clarissa’s Time

Find my books at: Amazon -

Barnes & Noble -

Books-A-Million -

And many other fine book retailers

Thanks to the readers who stop by each week to meet new authors. I hope if you connect with one of them during an interview that you'll contact them and strike up a friendship. These interviews have found me some of my best friends and associates. At Dream Weaver Novels, we believe in supporting the indie author, so if that's you, and you'd like to do an interview here, leave a comment below, or contact me @ I look forward to hearing from you...maybe my new best friend!

OH!! Anyone out there doing NaNoWriMo in November??? I'm in this year! My zombie book needs some flesh...teeheehee! Connect with me so we can create a support group or something!

As Always...
Dare to Dream!

Cana - the newest critter @ our house


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