Author Dani Pettrey discusses Silenced

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m very excited about Dani Petrrey’s newest release, Silenced. Earlier this month, I read Submerged, the first in her Alaskan Courage series, and shared my thoughts about how much I unexpectedly loved it! And today she is here to talk a little bit about her new book, so please join me in welcoming her!

Hi Dani and welcome to Bookshelves and Windows! Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today. I’m excited to learn more about you and share it with my readers. And I can’t wait to read your new book!

Thanks so much for having me, Cassie. I’m thrilled to be here.

1. The high energy activities that your characters experience in your books are exciting and fun to read. These characters have active lifestyles–scuba diving and rock climbing, just to name a couple of adventures that we get to read about in your books. Have you ever experienced these activities yourself? And if not, what would you like to experience most from the things you’ve written about?

I have experienced quite a few of the activities I write about. I took scuba diving lessons, but found I enjoy snorkeling much better. I really love indoor rock climbing as well as hiking, kayaking, white-water rafting, and skiing. The one activity I haven’t experienced that I really would love to attempt is learning to fly like Kayden. I think it would be amazing!

2. One of my absolute favorite things about your books is the characterization and growth your characters experience. You manage to have several characters who are each so distinct and alive. How do you write characters with such unique voices? Does this come easily to you, or is it something you work hard to accomplish in your books?

I see my stories playing out like a movie in my head as I write them. I see the characters interacting and their conversations just flow. Not that I don’t ever stall while writing. I experience my fair share of blocks, but it’s never really related to the characters. They develop on their own as I write the first draft and continue to come alive from there. I honestly attribute it all to God.

3. Silenced is your fourth novel. How do you think you have grown from the time your first novel, Submerged, was published and now? How has your writing style changed?

I don’t think my writing style has changed any, but I do hope that my writing craft has improved. I hope that the stories continue to get stronger and to flow easier. I’ve grown as a person a lot since my debut novel. So much has happened in writing and in life, it’s crazy to think it’s only been two years since Submerged released.

4. What was the most rewarding aspect of writing Silenced? What challenges did you face while writing this story?

The most rewarding aspect was finally getting to tell Jake and Kayden’s story. It’s been building since Submerged and they were ready. I faced a number of the normal challenges. My husband says I write Tangled-style—hopefully a good number of you have seen the movie so you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s the scene where Rapunzel first tastes freedom and she goes back and forth between ‘Best day ever’ and ‘I’m a despicable human being.’ Well, a friend sent me a writer’s version of it that sits on my desk. It has ten images with sayings like ‘This story is so awesome’ to ‘I’m a horrible author and I’m going to quit.’ I pretty much hit both extremes during my writing process—more often the latter. Writing Silenced was no different. I still struggled with doubts, hit story walls, ran behind my ever encroaching deadline, but it’s all just part of the process.

5. What do you hope readers will take away after reading Silenced? What message do you want readers to be impacted by in your book?

I think Jake encapsulates it best in this line of dialogue:


Book Summary:

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna’s route leads her to a face-to-face encounter with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation again-–but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger.

But the truth is far worse than either of them imagine.

Are you interested in reading Silenced? Read an excerpt here!

10 thoughts on “Author Dani Pettrey discusses Silenced

  1. What a fun interview! Thank you so much, Cassie and Dani. I loved your discussion of characters, especially– and I agree, Cassie. Dani has such a way of making them “each so distinct and alive.” Hope you’re both having a great week! ~Amanda


    1. I love them too! I have Shattered on the top of my TBR pile right now, and I am itching to read it and return to this awesome family! I’m playing catch up 🙂


  2. Cassie,
    Such a great interview. And I agree with Rissi, you SO have to love the McKennas, and especially their author 🙂 The characters are awesome because they’re a reflection of Dani’s heart. One of the reasons I love reading her books– it’s like the chance to spend a few hours hanging out with her. Thank you for helping us support Dani and her books. You rock!
    Cheering you on,


    1. Thanks, Kelli! The characters truly are “a reflection of Dani’s heart”, as you said. I love that– such a beautiful way to look at what Dani has written and achieved with her series this far… 🙂


  3. Cassie,
    Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I really enjoyed your interview questions! Appreciate you 🙂


    1. You’re welcome, Dani! I’ve loved being able to help spread the word about your books. Thank you for spending some time in my corner of the internet! 🙂


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