Dora Hiers in the HOT SEAT

Dora Hiers edges her way forward towards the flames. She may be nervous, but she’s determined she will survive no matter how badly she gets burnt. Very brave is Dora. Very brave. But will bravery help her handle the HOT SEAT?

Gday, Dora!

Let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write, Dora?

Inspirational romance. What I like to call heart racing, God-gracing romance.

Tell us about your latest book in 25 words or less.

I just typed “The End” on Journey’s Embrace. Hmmm…how about this?

When a flight medic’s life hangs by her fingertips, can a wounded U.S. Deputy Marshal overcome his fears to save her and embrace love?

[CJ: Oooh, I hope the answer is yes!]

Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?

Reading. What else do writers do to relax? In the summer, my hubby enjoys cranking up the smoker for family gatherings, guaranteeing a crowd around the table. I swear my youngest son catches a whiff of the finger-licking ribs two hours away.

Dora's Grandkids

When the temperature cools, you’ll catch me flicking the fireplace switch on and kicking back under a blanket to cheer for the Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Just about any time of the year, we’re game for a quick jaunt to the mountains. And nothing beats spending time with our grandkids! See those cuties!

[CJ: Awww, very cute. And I agree, reading is an awesome way to relax.]

Tell us a little about your writing process.

As organized as I am in everything else, it pains me to confess that I’m a pantser. But, honestly, I’ve tried outlining. Can you picture me staring at a blank screen until my eyeballs pop? So, I try not to let it bother me and just accept that I’m a pantser. My goal is to give birth to great characters and hook a reader into an opening scene, and let the story flow organically from there. 

[CJ: Gasp! You’re a pantser?! If I’d known that before I agreed to interview you, things would’ve been different… ;-)]

Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?

God, first. Next, my husband. He’s my best friend, my encourager, and my biggest promoter!

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?

Hmm…Self-discipline. Forcing my rump to sit in the chair and write and not be distracted by overflowing laundry baskets, the grass that’s about six inches too high, personal phone calls, you name it. When you work from home, it’s tough to overlook household tasks and particularly difficult to say “no” to personal requests. But, one thing I can’t say no to: watching a sick grandchild.

[CJ: And nor should do. No matter how important writing is, family comes first.]

OK, Cally. It’s been really nice chatting with you. I’ve seen your HOT SEAT questions before, and I don’t think I’m quite ready for…

[CJ: Nice try, but you’re not getting out of it that easily!]

Time for the HOT SEAT questions!

Hot Seat

*Insert scary music here*

If someone important in your life told you that you had to stop writing or never see them again, what would you do?  

Ah. That’s not so bad. <Swiping a hand across my glistening forehead>

I’d give it up.

Whoa! I can hear your collective gasp all the way to North Carolina.

[CJ: I didn’t realise I was that loud. But I’m keen for you to elaborate! :)]

I wasn’t born with a pen in my hand like some writers. My urge to write came later in life, when my youngest son started middle school and didn’t want me hanging out at school with him anymore. LOL. I knew I needed something more to fill my days. An avid inspirational romance reader, God planted a story idea that pinged around in my head for a few months until I finally confessed my desire to write to my husband. With his enthusiastic support, I started pounding out the story.

My hubby’s the one, besides me, most vested in my writing. If he asked me to give up writing, he would have a good reason for doing so. And I’d honor that request. Because I love him, and writing takes a back seat to the needs of my family.

But I’d miss it, something fierce. No doubt about that.  

[CJ: Okay, now I understand. Well said.]

Finish this sentence from your character Chelsea’s perspective.

Something from my past that I’ve had trouble getting over is…  my husband’s murder.

[CJ: Oh dear. Yes, that would be hard to get over.]

I’m an ordinary woman with dreams budding in my heart and grief choking me from my past. But it’s time to move on, and that’s what I hoped to do by opening Journey’s End, a shelter for troubled teens, in honor of my late husband.

Did you catch that? Hoped? Because I didn’t expect my first arrival, Jake, to be the son of my husband’s murderer, scared and running for his life. Or to call in the marshals office because Jake wants to testify against his father. And who shows up? Trey Colten. The guy in charge of the undercover operation that killed my husband. Trey claims his job is to protect me. Ha! God definitely has a sense of humor!

If Trey thinks I’m going to sit around and twiddle my thumbs waiting for Jake’s father to show up, he’s mistaken. I don’t need his protection. And although I may be ready for another relationship, especially with a guy who helps with the dishes and feeds my animals, it won’t be with another law enforcement officer.

[CJ: What an awesome premise. You’ve definitely caught my attention – and through a HOT SEAT question too. I’m impressed.]

Now finish the same sentence from your own perspective.

Something from my past that I’ve had trouble getting over is Ouch. Who likes digging painful things up?

[CJ: Me. That’s the purpose of the HOT SEAT. :D]

OK. OK.

Four years ago, we moved from Florida to North Carolina. My youngest son was in the International Baccalaureate Program in high school at the time. He’d debated for some time about getting out, so we weren’t too concerned that our new city didn’t offer the IB program.

Maybe we should have been more concerned. Our youngest son opted to finish high school in Florida. Moving across states is tough enough, but add leaving a son behind. Oy! I was miserable. Angry. Resentful. Like my heart literally ripped in half.

[CJ: :(]

After a few counselling sessions and much time in prayer, God helped me break free from those dark emotions and into the glorious sunshine. Since then, both our sons moved to North Carolina. Our youngest attends a college two hours away from us. And you know what? He loves North Carolina! How cool is that?

[CJ: Hooray for happy endings!]

Thanks so much for inviting me to the Hot Seat, Cally. I enjoyed visiting with you!

[CJ: You’re very welcome. :-)]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you’d like to hear more from Dora, check out her blog or website. Dora has been kind enough to offer a copy of Journey’s End to one lucky reader. First one to say they’d like a copy gets it, so shout out!

If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀

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17 Comments

Filed under Hot Seat, Writer interview, Writers, Writing

17 responses to “Dora Hiers in the HOT SEAT

  1. Thanks so much, Cally, for allowing me to visit today. I love READING your Hot Seat interviews, but I admit, it’s a tad more difficult on the receiving end. lol. I appreciate your hospitality!

  2. What a wonderful interview! I really enjoyed all of Dora’s answers, and I have to say, that one about giving up writing for a loved one was a toughy, but I think I would have answered the same as Dora even though I was born with a pen in my hand – for me, loved ones would have to take precedence no matter how hard it would be to stop writing… and maybe they’d change their mind after a while 🙂

    I would love to read Journey’s End if it’s an actual book – if it’s an e-book, I don’t have an e-reader… yet… 🙂

    • Great to see your interest has been sparked enough to get your hands on the book, Susanna! Looking forward to hearing what you think.

      The giving up writing is an extremely tough question – thank goodness we don’t have to face it in reality! 🙂

  3. Hey Susanna! Thanks for your kind words. Cally’s Hot Seat questions are always toughy’s.

    Yes, Journey’s End is an actual, page-turning book. 😉 And it’s available in e-book format for e-book lovers.

    Please email me at dora@dorahiers.com with your addy and I’ll get it right out to you! Nice to meet you, Susanna!

  4. Great interview. I especially love the response given to the hot seat question. I too would give up writing for something uber important. I’m glad we are not forced to make decisions like this.

    • Great to hear you enjoyed the interview, Michael. And yes, I too am glad we don’t have to face the ‘giving up writing’ question in reality. I’m still working out what my answer would be, but I guess it would depend on their reason why. It’s definitely a tough one!

  5. Why, thanks, Michael. Great to see you here. Thanks for all the work you did on the campaign! I don’t think my hubby would ever ask me to give up writing, but I learned a long time ago to “never say never.”

    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I completely agree with what you said about not writing–I’d miss the words, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    Great interview!

    • I’m glad you’re sure about your answer to that question, because I’m not (easier to be the one asking than the one being asked!). It would require a lot of soul searching for me to figure out my answer to that one. Thanks for visiting, Golden Eagle. 🙂

  7. It’s all a matter of priorities, right? Thanks, Golden Eagle. I appreciate you stopping by.

  8. Great interview. I was interested in her call to write later in life. I’ve had a similar experience …just saying

  9. Hi Claudiajustsaying. Thanks. Great name, btw.

    Mind sharing your experience? I’d love to hear it.

  10. I really enjoyed this interview. I’m trying to get my girls into an IB programme for next year so I pricked up my ears – but then got all sad when I read on. I’m so glad there was a happy ending 🙂

  11. Hey Sarah. We did find our happy ending, thank God.

    Our son considered the IB program wonderful. Excellent teachers. High-achieving students. Rigorous curriculum. He graduated with a year of college credits. It’s a lot of work, but what a sense of accomplishment. Go for it! Thanks for stopping by.

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