Do your reading interests match my writing specialties? Take my match making quiz and find out.
So who is the Dina Sleiman tribe and who should probably just stay away from my books? Let me try to explain with this match making quiz.
Do you like only one category of fiction or a broad variety? If you are very faithful to a specific category like romance or suspense, you might feel that certain elements are lacking from my books or that the pacing is not quite what you expected. But if you a have broad interests, you will be delighted to find many of your favorite ingredients mixed together in a lovely potpourri throughout my books. My Valiant Hearts novels include a heaping helping of romance, a good bit of action, dashes of suspense and humor, and even coming of age elements--all set against a historical backdrop. But don't necessarily expect my heroes and heroines to meet in chapter one, or the suspense to kick off from the very first scene. Be ready for a new adventure.
Are you looking for fantasy or historical fiction? While I enjoy fantasy books for the most part, they include way too much plot and action for me, and really, I don't quite understand the genre. My Valiant Hearts books are historical. They are set in real times and real countries, although often fictional towns. They have elements that might appeal to fantasy readers, like medieval settings and adventure, but if you're specifically looking for fantasy books, that's not what I write. On the other hand, I have a fanciful imagination and my books are more focused on the story and fictional elements than the historical account itself. While I try to be as historically accurate as possible, I use history as a backdrop, not as a primary subject.
Do you like romance and happy endings? If you hate romance and roll your eyes at it and find it gaggy, don't waste your time on my books. Or if you want to shield your kids from romance for some reason, then pick a different author. While I don't consider myself a classic romance writer, I love romance, and I include it in all of my books. My Love in Three Quarter Time is absolutely a romance novel. And I'll let you in on a little secret, Dauntless was originally written as a romance novel and then expanded to bring in a more epic adventure feel. There is a good bit of romance at the heart of everything I write. If you want a book that's dark and depressing and will leave you filled with angst, don't bother with my books. They are full of hope, light, and redemption. I'll be the first to admit, I'm a happy ending girl.
Do you read for plot alone or do you enjoy the more relational and artistic elements of fiction? If you read mostly for plot and tend to skip over lovely descriptions, long conversations, and inner monologues, you might not like my books very much. In fact, you might feel a little lost, because that's where a lot of the good stuff happens. If thoughts of characters, inner journeys, and beautiful language make you tingle, then I am the author for you. If you care as much about what is going on inside a character and appreciate a dash of psychology, philosophy, and deep spirituality, then prepare to be thrilled.
Are you looking for religion or spirituality? When it comes to spiritual threads, I like to go deep. My books will challenge you to experience Christ on a very personal level. They are not just clean books about good morals. They examine hard questions and real life problems, and explore how a very active and present God can make Himself known to you in those places. If you want a squeaky clean, goody-goody book that is G-rated and more sanitized than the Bible itself, please look elsewhere. If you think that God gave us Jesus and the Bible and then left us to our own devices for the next 2000 years, no longer speaking to us or moving in miraculous ways, don't waste your time on my books. Unless of course you are interested in learning and growing and being challenged with new ideas. Then by all means, I welcome you to try them.
Are you willing to read a book geared toward older teen girls and young adult women? My new Valiant Hearts books should appeal to ages 12 through adult, but my goal has always been to write to older teens and younger women. I think you will find that all of my books resonate with that group. And I intend to keep them as my primary audience and focus my books towards their needs and interests. These books are not for elementary kids, and as I've mentioned, they do include romance and some grittier topics. I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, but I'm not going to apologize for tailoring my books to my target audience. And while I'm sure many boys and men could enjoy the Valiant Hearts series, they are more geared toward females.
Do you like heroines who are both strong and feminine? If you are looking for wilting maidens and damsels in distress saved by shining knights who swoop in on their giant horses, look elsewhere. The personalities of these Valiant Hearts heroines will vary from book to book, but some of them are pretty tough, and all of them are courageous and able and willing to rise to whatever challenges they might face. The guys aren't weak--these girls deserve strong men of good character--but the girls are pretty much their equals in every way. The theme of the series is "Be Strong and Courageous," and I stand by that theme. If female empowerment bugs you, if you would rather read about women staying home and quilting and cooking and being demure, you have been fairly warned. On the other hand, if you are looking for women trying to act like men and deny their God-given feminine traits, you won't find them in my books either. I want to show young women that they can be both strong and feminine at the same time.
So that's me and my writing. What do you think? Are we a match made in heaven??? Why or why not?