Author Interview: Found in Prague by: Dana Newman

Today on Out of Control Characters we interview Dana Newman, author of the romance Found in Prague. This is a delightful love story, a tale about a couple from very different countries meeting and finding their attraction too much to ignore. I had the very good luck to read this book, and I'm as in love as Katica and Michal.

KCS:      Please tell us about your latest book.

DN: Found in Prague is a sweet, romantic fiction that will leave you sighing aloud as American college freshmen, Katica Coleman, traverses across the Atlantic Ocean to Prague in the heart of Europe to find herself, meet her long-lost relatives, and experience all the giddy waves of excitement and dizzying stomach butterflies that are the essential elements of first-time young love. Leave your body in your bedroom/living room/kitchen and allow your mind to be transported into the red-roofed, black-spired city of enchantment. Follow Katica as she meanders through the winding cobblestone streets, snow-covered castles and aromatic crepe cafés, losing and finding herself again and again.

KCS:      How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

 DN: Found in Prague is absolutely chock full of both my personality and life experiences. While I would not go so far as to say that Katica is me, because I did take many artistic liberties with her personality and mannerisms, there are certainly similarities between us. And, once again, while Found in Prague, is definitely not my true travel story, I did use many events from my own explorations and adventures living in Europe to write the book. Insider scoop: the terrifying toilet scene in the creepy hotel did really happen to me!

KCS:      What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

 DN: About a thirty minute walk from my apartment in one direction is a gorgeous, Gothic-style downtown area, and about twenty minutes in the other direction is a Baroque palace with sprawling green grounds, wooded trails to get lost in, a moat of sorts, and numerous bronze statues. When I need to recharge, I simply zone out and go for a stroll in either direction.

KCS:      Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?

DN: Definitely! I’m currently working on a book that is written in a very different style and genre than Found in Prague. More poignant, my next book will be a candid and moving yet light-hearted coming of age-type novel aimed at everyone who has ever felt lost in life. Written in the first person, I will use some of my own experiences within the story, however, as with Found in Prague, I will add pizazz, stretch the truth, and outright make stuff up as I deem fit. This book is shaping up to be “PG-17,” but still something I could allow my mom to read. Probably. Maybe not my dad, though.

KCS:      Fill in the blank favorites -

 DN: Dessert: Rich, moist flourless chocolate cake with fresh strawberries and either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Peanut butter could be substituted for the strawberries if not in season.

City: Prague, of course!

Season: Summer

Type of hero: The sexy bad-boy who outwardly acts as though he doesn’t want to help people and couldn’t care less, but is actually a soft, loveable teddy bear on the inside and ends up risking his life to save the world at the end.

Type of heroine: Answers to nobody, takes no crap, was destined to save humanity--knows it and is proud to do it; uses her sheer sexiness and seduction skills to outsmart men and her ability to whoop ass whenever necessary.

KCS:     Where do you see yourself in five years?

DN: The fantasy or the more pragmatic reality? You can decide which option is which...

Option 1) Living on a quiet, serene island in a simple yet elegant bungalow (with all the modern amenities, of course) just a five minute walk from the ocean front with my goldendoodle dog (who does not yet exist in my life) and my husband (check, have him). I’d spend my days writing while the sea air breezes through the house, and perhaps in the evening I’d bartend at the shack next door for a little extra cash.

Option 2) Writing more and working at my “real job” less. Within five years I’d like to have published at least two more books. By then, I hope to have flexible enough work hours that I can get the aforementioned goldendoodle doggie and spend my mornings and evenings walking her with my husband and tossing the frisbee in the park, which is of course conveniently right down the street from our home.

KCS:      What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?

 DN: Let’s start with the easiest part of writing for me: coming up with ideas. Scattered all over my apartment are torn scraps of paper of different sizes and shapes, all brimming with concepts, plots, character names and scenarios for the next, self-acclaimed “Most Amazing Book in the World.” Only problem is, I’d have to live to 150 to turn them all into books or even short stories! And since my goal is to live to 125, I must concede that it simply won’t be possible...

 Now we come to the hardest part: Writing the first ten chapters. I write the first draft from beginning to end, and the first ten chapters are make or break for the book. I don’t do outlines, which means that during this period in the book’s creation, I’m still working out the characters, the plot and the storyline, trying to figure out whether the original angle is actually a viable one or not, and if not, can I go in a different direction with it or should I simply broom the whole thing. If the book idea makes it through the first ten chapters, I consider myself officially in too deep to quit; I’ve already put so much time and effort into the work that I’m fully invested in seeing the project through to the end.

KCS:      What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

 DN: Being able to create something that is part me--my experiences, emotions, doubts, worries and personality--and part imagination and fantasy. I am not just present within my main character of this book, but in every character I’ve ever created. Even if they are nothing like me, my thoughts, experiences and emotions make up who they are, what they do and where they go. However, the beauty of writing fiction is that I am not bound by the things I’ve actually seen or by how the events truly played out in real life. I can weave parts of the truth into the fantasy I’ve created and then sprinkle a little fairy dust on top just for good measure.

KCS:      If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?

DN: Baking. Always a hobby of mine, baking is yet another outlet for the creative fantasies and boundless imagination that floats around my head.

KCS:   Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

DN: It’s NOT easy, but it IS doable. There are times when the project is going to feel too unimaginably big; times when you are going to seriously consider giving up; and probably even times when you will doubt your abilities as a writer. Don’t give in to any of those fears! Keep typing away, building your book one word at a time. If it’s too overwhelming to consider the project as a whole, focus on one chapter or even just one page at a time. One day you will wake up and realize that, seemingly overnight, each one of those words, pages and chapters you wrote have grown together to create the full work. And that will be a glorious day.

Just to whet your whistle, we're including a synopsis of Found in Prague:

After receiving an odd email during her first semester of college, Katica Coleman traverses fearlessly across the Atlantic Ocean to Prague in the heart of Europe looking for answers to her family's past but ends up finding so much more. Katica quickly learns that it's easy to fall in love while meandering through the winding cobblestone streets, snow-covered castles and aromatic crepe cafés of the magical country that is her family's homeland. But is the charming Czech boy with the intoxicating accent and cool, charismatic gait someone she should let herself get lost in? He always seems to come to her assistance at just the right moment, but can he really be trusted? Katica cannot help but wonder whether she should listen to her wary gut or give in to the giddy waves of excitement coursing through her body....

Here are the links where you can purchase Found in Prague:

Here is all you need to know about Dana Newman:

Dana Newman, like Katica Coleman, the main character in Found in Prague,
is a second generation Czech-American. Her childhood was filled with dinner table stories about dynamic adventures of life in another land during another time. After graduating from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida in 2008, she set off on her own adventure with Prague as the destination. To write this book, she has woven the vivid stories from her childhood into her own travel experiences and then sprinkled a little fairy dust on top.



Thank you for having me on your blog! You were a very wonderful host :D

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