1. What fairy tale is your favorite?
Dina – I think I’ve always loved Cinderella the best. The girl who is rescued from poverty by the handsome prince. The dress, the carriage, the ball, the fairy Godmother. But as I’ve gotten older, I see it through different eyes. We live in a day when a young women can stand on her own feet and rescue herself. In the today’s world, that sort of rescuing mindset can lead to a controlling or even abusive relationship. Yeah, I know, I’m a party pooper, but this is just too important to ignore. I think a woman should be strong on her own before she enters marriage. My Valiant Hearts Series features strong young women, who might want marriage, but who will be fine either way. And don’t be surprised if they rescue their guys from time to time. Now, my favorite fairy tale is the Ever After version of Cinderella in which Cinderella saves herself.
Charity – ohhhh! I do LOVE Ever After. Cinderella was always my favorite too.
— Ok, Dina totally stole that point by getting all smart and political and … smart.
Charity 0 / Dina 1
2. If you could choose any other profession, what would you like to do?
Dina – Sometimes I wish I had gone into medicine. In high school I hated the smell of formaldehyde and often got sick in science class, so I never seriously considered medicine. But I’m very enthralled by the human body and all the resources God has put in nature to heal. I think I would have enjoyed being a doctor or even a nurse midwife or chiropractor. My sister is a physician’s assistant and her husband is a doctor, so at least I get to talk medicine with them. Someday I hope to write books with a midwife and an herbalist as heroines.
Charity – OMGosh. You have to stop showing off! lol (: I always pictured myself in a corporate job, unmarried and no children. God knew better. Married, have children and I stay home and homeschool them (:
— Smarty Pants
Charity 0 / Dina 2
3. As a VA Beach resident, do you find yourself vacationing there, or do you go to the Outer Banks instead?
Dina – As I’m sure you can imagine, we do a lot of “staycations.” In addition to the beach, we have Busch Gardens, Water Country, and Colonial Williamsburg nearby. If we actually go away, my kids love to head to the mountains for hiking, caving, rafting, and assorted other adventure sports. Or else we hit major amusement parks in other areas.
Charity – I guess our answers are a lot the same (living in the same area). We really do have it all here. Our extended family does a week at Duck, NC (a quaint little town) every year. Mostly, we do the things you named: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, the beaches and amusement parks. (and trips to Ikea as often as I can!!)
Charity 1 / Dina 3
4. Scariest moment in your life (or one of them).
Dina – Oh, that’s easy. I was stuck in Lebanon in 2006 (with my husband and three kids) when Israel and Hezbollah started fighting. We were so close to the Hezbollah camp that the house was shaking and we could see smoke. After some prayer, the family decided to hightail it to the far side of Beirut, even though the trip itself was pretty scary. Once there we were able to chill until the U.S. started sending refugee ships a week later.
Charity – OMGOSH! Are you kidding me right now?! That is CRAZY! One of my scariest moments was when my oldest son was about 11 and he wasn’t feeling well. I was on the board of our MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and had to be at the meeting. So, I set our alarm on the house and got him all set up. Halfway through the meeting, I get a call from the alarm company saying that someone had come in our home and my son was beeping in, so when I answered his call, he was hiding under the table freaking out. He said he could hear footsteps in the bedrooms and then all the sudden, he hung up. I was like 15 minutes away and somehow, God gave me a real peace. I called him back because I didn’t know what else to do. He didn’t answer for a few times, but I kept trying. Finally he answered and said to stop calling because it wast too loud. I said, get up and RUN STRAIGHT OUT THE FRONT DOOR and go to our neighbors house. Don’t stop for anything!! So, he did. The phone starts ringing again and it was the alarm company telling me that someone else was in the house now. There were two breaches. I called the police and they met me at my house.
When I finally got home, I realized that I had set the alarm to away. When my son woke up, he got out of bed and triggered the alarm. The footsteps were all in his head. When he ran out the front door, it triggered the alarm again.
— You definitely take the cake on this one though. Your scare was FOR REAL and not a mess up on your part. ha ha
Charity 1 / Dina 4
5. Best prank you played on someone?
Dina – That would go all the way back to childhood. When I was about 8 and my brother was about 5, he was driving me nuts on April Fool’s Day. He kept saying ridiculous things and then, “April Fools!” Part of the appeal for him was that he was so scrupulously honest the other 364 days of the year. Finally I got so sick of it, when he pulled his next joke I turned to him with an utterly appalled look on my face. “You lied,” I said. “I can’t believe you just lied.” And of course he was like, “No, I didn’t. It’s April Fool’s Day.” Then I said something like, “April Fool’s Day ended at 4:00. It’s 4:02,” or whatever it was. LOL. Then he had a meltdown and cried, and I got in trouble. But you know, sometimes it’s just worth it.
Charity – ha ha. That is awesome. Definitely worth it. I have two I can’t decide between. When I was in college, I really hated the dean (I wasn’t so mature…) so I broke into his office one night after he went home and I put all his furniture in the elevator. Set it up in there all nice like an office….. That didn’t go over so well. But, “sometimes it’s just worth it”.
The other one was a couple years ago. My son had a friend over for the night. So, my husband and I decided to prank them. We turned the shower on and shut the bathroom door so it looked like my hubby was in there. I sat on the couch and turned the tv on like nothing was happening. My husband went outside and started scratching on the window to the room they were in (about to go to bed). They come RACING OUT saying that they think someone is at the window and they assume it’s us. But then they notice that the shower’s on and I am sitting in the living room. So, I tell them it’s probably the wind. They go back in and this time he starts really messing with the window so that it sounds like he’s trying to open it. They charge out to the living room and are freaking out. I said, no way, let’s go check. So, went in with him and we looked out the window and my husband made sure they saw him running away. They were screaming like little girls. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. We finally told them because we were laughing soo hard.
— I think I win that one!
Charity 2 / Dina 4
6. Do you have any great holiday traditions? (any holiday)
Dina – We have a big blow out “Girls Christmas Weekend” for all the females on my mom’s side of the family every year. It involves shopping, eating out, Christmas lights, presents, and card tournaments. The winner of the tournament gets a tiara and an engraved gift. Meanwhile the loser has to wear the “Looser” sash, an old ugly pair of grandma pajamas, a rain cap, and leopard socks on their hands. Then they have to do the “loser march” down the street…to music…while twirling an umbrella. We laugh until we fall out of chairs and can hardly breathe. These are all ridiculous traditions that have been added over the years, many of them involve silly things my grandmother did during her lifetime.
Charity – Ok, wow. I have nothing that can even compete with that. ha!!!! I want to be your borrowed sister!!! We always have a 99 days until Christmas Party. That’s a lot of fun. We watch Elf,do small gifts and put up a some Christmas decorations (even a little tree).
— There’s no way my 99 days party compares!!
Charity 2 / Dina 5
7. Most embarrassing movie that you like? (embarrassing because you would feel weird if any knew and now they will)
Dina – I love “10 Things I Hate About You,” which is a true teeny bopper romance flick. I can watch that again and again and never get tired of it. Can I defend my choice by mentioning it is somewhat of a parody of Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare? And…it has a very strong and spunky heroine!
Charity – No need to defend yourself!! I love dystopian movies like I love my children. ha ha. I also love the Twilight movies.
— Ahh, it’s all good. No winner here.
8. Go to recipe that everyone raves over.
Dina – Hmm…I try to pretend that I can’t cook most of the time. So revealing a recipe here would be a bad move. If people think you can cook, then they expect you to do it. I actually don’t mind cooking for my family, but cooking for parties, etc… totally stresses me out. Beyond that, I’m not a recipe person. I like to play and experiment with food.
So I’m going to turn this around on you with something I like that relates to my book. Dauntless includes a fun acrobatic twist, so when’s the last time you did a cartwheel? Or at least a roll? I’m 44, and I did a few last year. In fact, I’m getting up to do one now so I can say I did one this year.
Yep, a little messy since I didn’t stretch first, but it worked.
Charity – Oh my goodness. I am totally peeing my pants. Girl. If I tried to do a cartwheel, I would be in the hospital. FOREVER. no, seriously. I can’t even RUN to the end of our street and we live on the corner.
— Now, that was embarrassing…
Charity 2 / Dina 6
9. Favorite era of History?
Dina – That would be the medieval period. I just find it so fun. Knights, ladies, castles. Of course the reality is that most people were peasants, but I’ve spent a lot of time studying this era, and I completely fell in love with it. Perhaps my favorite part is the medieval saints. The church in general was pretty corrupt at this time, but there were hidden pockets of devout monks and nuns, and I adore their poetry and writings. They had true vibrant, intimate relationships with Christ that blow me away.
Charity – Well, some of those guys definitely had some good stuff to say. In fact, this is a direct quote from Martin Luther, “I am of a different mind ten times in the course of a day. But I resist the devil, and often it is with a fart that I chase him away. When he tempts me with silly sins I say, “Devil, yesterday I broke wind too. Have you written it down on your list?”. So, you know….I get what you are saying. (:
— I win.
Charity 3 / Dina 6
10. Weirdest thing a fan has ever said or done? Hopefully nothing like in the movie Misery! 8-/
That scared me just typing it!!!
Dina – One time I got an unusual email from a fan. She had just read my book and was poking around on my website and somehow noticed that I wear a tiny crystal nose stud. I have no idea how she even saw it. But it turned out she really wanted one and had all this religious angst about getting one, and so she sent me a list of about 50 questions concerning nose piercings. I’m thinking, “Great, so this is what I’m going to be famous for? The nose ring expert?” But I thought it was really funny, so I answered them all, and she did end up getting one. I think I spied a hoop in some bloggers nose recently…
Charity – Oh my! ha ha. That’s amazing. And yes, when I see bloggers, or authors, with nose rings, it totally gets on my nerves…
— too funny
Charity 3 / Dina 7
11. How is God being brought the most glory in your life?
Dina – I guess the two main areas are my books and my children. I certainly pour a lot of myself into my writing, and I really hope it will touch hearts. A major theme throughout my books is intimacy with Christ. In Dauntless, this is seen best in the character Allen, and he will be the hero in book 2, Chivarlous. Also, through the Valiant Hearts Series, I truly hope to empower young women to think outside of the box and develop into all that God has destined for them to be.
But, my kids are all pretty awesome too! I’m not a clingy, controlling parent who has tried to mold their personalities and beliefs to my preferences. For me parenting has been an amazing journey of meeting these super cool people that God has placed in my life and guiding them as they discover who God has called them to be. My three kids are ages 12-20, and each is so unique and wonderful in their own ways. They are all serving God and doing great in school and in life in general. I can’t wait to see where their stories will take them.