Y’all!!! My Wonder Twin (DubT) is in the house!!! YAY!!!
Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry, serves in her church’s library, runs her kids to all their sports, and drinks lots of coffee. By night, she talks to figments of her imagination as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.
Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mikal now lives in Nebraska with her husband, Mark, their three children, and one ferocious feline.
Her debut novel (squeeeeal!) Count Me In released on May 16th.
Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she’s out of a job.
Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.
It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.
That cover?!?! As Mikal herself would say, “I die.”
My DubT! Welcome to the blog, sweet friend! I’m so excited and honored to have you here!
Mikal: Thank you soverymuch for having me, my beautiful DubT!!! I’m suuuuper honored and excited to be here!!
I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Mikal: Neither. Because strawberries.
Carrie: oooo good answer! (Though apples are good too lol)
Mikal: Wiiiiiinter. Because I can’t stand heat. And I love snow. Because being cold is so much easier to manage than being too hot. You can wrap yourself up in blankets and cozy clothes, but if you’re too hot? You can run into legal problems if you try to cool off.
Carrie: DubT, this is one of the many reasons I love you 😀
Mikal: Cats! (Sorry, Zuzu.) Have you seen my cat? I’ll give you a photo. Leo Tolstoy is a Siberian breed. They’re hypoallergenic and think they’re humans in a dog’s body. For real. Best. Cat. Ever.
Carrie: Zuzu thinks that … perhaps … cats that think they are humans that think they are dogs would be okay. Maybe.
Mikal: Oh, DubT. It’s like you don’t even know me. COFFEE. Because I make some mean latté Yes, including the Kit Kat latté found in Count Me In.
Carrie: I actually thought about filling in these above four answers ahead of time – before I sent them to you. Because. Yeah. I could have guessed what you’d say for each one, thankyouverymuch. Except perhaps for the strawberry one. 😀
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Mikal: I’ve always wanted to answer this question! Time travel!!!!! Because wouldn’t being able to research a book in person be the bomb??? And hey…even if I wanted to research something on the other side of the world that happened two minutes ago, that still counts as time travel!
Oh sorry…I’ve been away for a few minutes, daydreaming about everything I could see and everyone I could meet. Oh, what bliss!
Wait…is this for a superpower I’m supposed to currently have?! Apparently attention to detail is not one of my superpowers. ? But for real…I would probably say coffee is my superpower. Not only does it fuel me, but again, I make a mean latté. (Betcha you’re all wanting one right now.)
Carrie: haha!!! What about hot chocolate? How are your hot chocolate skills? Because I kinda hate coffee. Now, go back in time a couple of minutes ago – before I answered that question – and tell me you love me anyway 😀
Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
Mikal: NOT a fair question, DubT!!!! Okay, with no explanations (you’ll have to read them to understand), here they are, in no particular order:
- Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
- Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales book
- Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh
- Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig
- Count Me In by…well, me. Because it’s my first published book. So don’t hate on me for including it. LOL!
Carrie: I love so many of these!!! And OF COURSE you should cherish your debut novel!
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Mikal: I can’t actually remember the character’s name, just the story itself. I loved this book as a child, and have it in my Amazon cart to buy for my own kiddos. Footprints in the Snow by W.G. Vandehulst (Paideia Press, Canada, October 1979).
Which books are ‘on your nightstand’?
Mikal: Probably too many! HA!! Right now I’m reading a yet-to-be-published third book in The Girl Next Door series by Amy Leigh Simpson. IT. IS. FAAAAB, you guys. This is Sal’s story, if you’re familiar with the series. If you aren’t familiar with it, get thyself to an online retailer (or Barnes & Noble…I’m pretty sure they’re in store there, but don’t quote me on it) and buy it!!! SO. GOOD.
I’m also reading The Vexing by Tamara Leigh (do you notice a trend here? hmmm…) and A Secret Courage by Tricia Goyer.
Carrie: Yay! Some of my fave people on your nightstand. Well… you know what I mean lol.
Tell me some good books you’ve read lately!
Mikal: Buying Love by Toni Shiloh was great!! And All of You by Sarah Monzon was her BEST YET. (And she just won the Selah award for contemporary romance for Finders Keepers, the first in that series!) I also just read The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson that’s releasing June 1st, I believe. It isn’t my typical genre, but I was SO engaged and immersed!! Such a great book! And lastly, Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger that releases on May 31st!! Do NOT miss that book!!!
Carrie: Oooo… I’ve been curious about The Girl Who Could See. I’m so glad you loved it. And CONGRATS (again) to my sweet friend Sarah Monzon on her Selah win!!! I also loved Buying Love AND I can’t wait to read Teresa’s book!
If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?
Mikal: Listen, DubT. You can’t do that to me. That just isn’t fair. So I refuse to answer this. Unless you’ll change the rules for me and allow me to bring books by only five AUTHORS. 😉 Of course you’ll do that for me. I’m your DubT!!!! <3 (By the way, this includes any future works. Because I’m making up the rules now. LOL!)
- Tamara Leigh
- Sarah Monzon
- Jennifer Rodewald
- Ronie Kendig
- Ted Dekker
Carrie: Of course I’ll change the rules for you! Case in point, I ‘allowed’ you to answer alllll the questions that are usually in the ‘pick one’ section of the interview questions 😉 And … I really need to read a Ted Dekker book one of these days. I wholeheartedly agree with the other 4 – I wonder if we could share. Like, I’ll pick 5 and you have your 5 and then we can share each other’s? I like this idea.
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Mikal: I always go to the Christian section first. I’ll read general market books, but I have to know they’re clean before I’ll pick them up. Anyway, there are so many incredible Christian fiction books, and the authors just keep getting better and better. I’ll never be able to read them all, but I’m gonna do my best!
Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Mikal: Because our house is a full one, my desk is out in the open. I wish I had a picture to share with you! But it’s a gorgeous, BIG L-shaped desk set up behind our sofa in the living room. I wear ear plugs when I write. LOL! I also sit in the corner of our sofa with my legs stretched out and write there, too. But I neeeeeeed utter silence. I get distracted too easily. So I typically write at home unless it’s a completely full house, in which case I take my laptop and earplugs and head to the coffee shop.
Carrie: I’m sure it’s such a sacrifice for you to head to the coffee shop 😉
If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Mikal: Ah, you could sneak a peek. It wouldn’t bother me any!! So my purse would first and foremost tell you that I’m relatively simple. I moved from a very small purse to a big one a couple of months ago because my bigger purse was a birthday gift two precious friends, Becky and Rebecca, in Virginia bought for me, and I’ve been missing them. So I say it would tell you I’m simple because all it holds is my wallet, some lip gloss, my author business cards, and keys. That’s it.
Okay, that’s not entirely it. After church yesterday, I stuffed the sermon notes in my purse. The sermon was on a subject that is actually the theme in the book I’m currently writing (Story and Bo’s story). I had some beautiful inspiration from that sermon, hit with a lot of truths, and can’t wait to incorporate it into the story. ❤
Carrie: What?!? No books?!? DubT…. I’m a little disappointed, I gotta say. (But the sermon notes thing makes up for it lol)
Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks? Any snacks/beverages that are a must when you sit down to write?
Mikal: Um, coffee. And strawberry Australian licorice. And chocolate. That is all.
As for quirks…just the earplugs. And utter silence. Most authors I know listen to music as they write to inspire them. Not me. I just can’t do it.
Carrie: Strawberry Australian licorice? I have never heard of such. Looking up …. ohhhh ok! yes.
If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Mikal: CRAZY. They would say I’m crazy. And mean, maybe. Especially Allegra. Mwahahaha!!! I had too much fun putting her into situations that were not to her liking. Except Tyler. That situation was to her liking. Eventually.
Carrie: I’m sure Tyler makes the other stuff a distant memory for Allegra 🙂
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Mikal: If I told you, I might draw attention to myself from the governmental authorities. Soooo… I plead the Fifth. (Let’s just say I have other manuscripts that are not romantic comedies!)
Carrie: HAHA!! I love this answer!
In your debut novel, Count Me In, Tyler is outdoorsy and Allegra… isn’t. Which character do you relate to the most?
Carrie: I totally know the answer to this one already. But I couldn’t resist 😉
Mikal: BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Allegra.
I have a wannabe thrill-seeker side to me. Since becoming a parent, however, I just can’t seem to bring myself to try things that might cause me bodily harm. And pain. I don’t like pain. It hurts.
Carrie: It is safe to say that I have no thrill-seeker side AT ALL. lol.
The Kit-Kat latte from Count Me In is inspiring a lot of people to head for a coffee shop. How did you discover this deliciousness?
Mikal: Oh. My. Goodness. I don’t think you realize just how many people message me asking about this. It’s hilarious!! I should seriously sell the recipe. I’d be rich.
I stumbled across it at a games library/coffee shop here in town. It’s a fun shop where you pay a nominal fee and can sit there all day (if you want) and play board games from over 1,500 in a library, all while drinking coffee (which you pay for separately). It’s such a fun, cool atmosphere. The first time we walked in, we were hooked—it was full to the brim of university students playing board games and having fun with one another with no electronics in sight! No phones, no laptops, nothing! People were looking at each other. So yeah. We were hooked. But I digress. They offered the Kit Kat Latté there as a special drink for a little while. I finagled the recipe out of them. ? There’s also a coffee shop in Nebraska (and Colorado) that makes them. They’re super good, but mine are my favorite.
Carrie: So I know you’ve been trying to get me to move to Nebraska. The games library/coffee shop may have just convinced me!
What do you most want readers to take away from Count Me In?
Mikal: When I first started writing Count Me In I honestly didn’t have a theme in mind. I actually fought God on writing romantic comedy because I wanted to write the deep, emotional, beautiful prose that would leave readers with a book hangover. But He directed me otherwise, and I’m happy He did. The theme of trusting God and moving out of your comfort zone just happened. I’ll be honest and tell you I didn’t even notice the theme that emerged until my editor sent back my first round of edits. (Yeah…remember that attention to detail statement above? Truth.)
Besides some laughs and smiles, I really want readers to walk away examining how they trust God to catch them when they step out of their comfort zones. The original title of this book was Catch Me (which went over like a lead balloon with readers in a contest and was therefore renamed to the much more appropriate and catchy Count Me In). The original title encapsulates my prayer to the Lord: please catch me. And He does. Every time.
Carrie: (whispers) I liked “Catch Me” too 😉 And He so does. I love Him. And you. 🙂
My beautiful (inside & out) and superfun DubT, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Mikal: Thank you so much for having me, my DubT (my Wonder Twin, or WT…DubT for short, in case you all were wondering!).
I’m super excited to be writing Story and Bo’s story next!! I mean, what could go wrong between a figure skater and a hockey player, right? ? I don’t have a release date yet, but I do have a deadline set with my editor, so I hope you’ll be able to read what, exactly, happened between them to cause such friction in Count Me In.
Carrie: YAY! I can’t wait!!
Mikal Dawn is offering a Kindle copy of Count Me In to one of my readers! Open Internationally, except for prohibited by law. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What’s your fave “special recipe” hot beverage? (Mine is the Caramel Apple Spice cider from Starbucks)