As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"


Talking with Author DeAnn Huff



Personal with DeAnn Huff:


If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’m a sun addict. I love being warm. I even love that feeling in the middle of the summer when you come from a frigid air conditioned building and get into that solar oven on wheels. The warmth unthaws you and toasts you, and I love it—until I start to sweat. So if I could live anywhere, it would have to be warm. Hawaii. Caribbean. Arizona.
So, you're saying you don't dream of moving to Dracula's castle but just visit as in the pic?
Why move?

What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing ... something you do for fun, but are good at?
My husband and I are Carpenters … No, silly, not a singing duo. We build custom, hardwood doors. But we can’t build on “Rainy Days and Mondays” because the humidity’s too high. We love working together. I tell him, “I Can’t Smile Without You,” and I “Long To Be Close To You.” We’ve build over 50 doors together, but “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

Questions about your writing:
Why did you begin writing?
My oldest daughter came home from a weeknight Relief Society class determined to start on her “Bucket List.” She’d decided that she wanted to write a book someday. So she called me for ideas. I laughed because I loved to write, but I thought I had no imagination; I’d never been able to come up with story ideas. Well, after a half hour on the phone brainstorming plots, she had ideas for a book she wanted to write … and so did I. But she had a baby, and I didn’t—so I won. Five months later, my first novel, Master of Emotion, was finished.

When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?
My next book, Dictator of Disaster, is still a few months away from completion. Dictator of Disaster is Book 3 in the Master of Emotion series (following Supreme Chancellor of Stupidity—Book 2.) Each book in the series tells the story of a group of sensory enhanced teenagers from a different male character’s point of view. Here’s the two sentence summary of Dictator of Disaster: Touch can be a sensitive tool or a lethal weapon. JONAS, a sensory enhanced kid with anger issues, tries to save his kidnapped sister by himself, rather than relying on the twins and the others like them.

About Your latest book:
How did you come up with your premise for Once Upon a Tour?
What do kind of thank you gift do you give a mother who takes you on an all-expense-paid tour of Eastern Europe? You write a novel for her, of course. My LDS Romance, Once Upon a Tour, mirrors the locations in Eastern Europe that I toured in May, 2010 with my mom. Romania … Hungary … Austria … Czech Republic … Germany … Lichtenstein … Switzerland. So I finally have some stamps in my passport. Maybe now she’ll take me with her to Spain.

For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?
Creepy castles, exotic sights, and flirty foreign men—it’s no wonder ALINA, a starry-eyed Mormon girl, is in love for the third time in three weeks. When a guided tour of Eastern Europe repeatedly reveals her naïve choices, she must decide whether her love is real or only imagined.

Alina knows that she sees the world through fairy tale-colored glasses—after all, she writes sappy romances and collects old fairy tales. But why stifle her overactive imagination when there’s romance all around? With every new castle, Alina envisions herself in historical romances where she’s chased by delicious vampires, roguish robbers, and conspiring counts—right into the arms of intrepid heroes. But in her short stories, as well as her real life, her romances don’t end well.

Once Upon a Tour follows Alina as she first meets DANIEL, a cute Swiss frequent-flyer, and then ALEX, an amorous Romanian tour guide, who pursues her around his country, romancing her at every step. Trying to watch out for her, the young, over-protective tour company owner, ERIC, keeps getting in the way – irritating her, annoying her, but finally rescuing her.

Luckily, God has a plan for her; only He knows which romance that began Once Upon a Tour will finally survive.

I wasn't sure which one of these guys I wanted her to end up with, but you made the right choice in the end. Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us?
Margie, the minor character in the novel who loves romance novels, is patterned after my mom. She always wants the kissing scenes to be good.

I liked Margie. those ladies remeinded me of myself around my older children. Do you have a link where we can access the book discussion questions?
Not yet, but here’s a question for you: In the novel, Alina justifies her poor choices by saying, “Alex will be gone tomorrow. I’ll never see him again.” What excuses have you made to justify a bad decision?

The easy answer is one that I made as an adult more than once -- We'll be moving soon so it won't matter. Problem is, the children picked up on that sort of answer a little too well. It's tough to correct your mistake in the second generation. Let's change the subject. How did you decide on the setting?
Traveling through Europe, every castle was straight out of a romance novel. I couldn’t help but make up stories about the places and people I saw.

Is there a message in Once Upon a Tour you want readers to grasp... I mean other than the awesome castles?
I love teenagers, but too often I see them walking the line between safe and sorry, thinking that they’ll never get pushed over and fall. In reality, the only safe place is far away from the line.

I think you read a few chapters from my old journal. I walked that line and fell into the fire getting burned in the process. Not good.
What is the purchase link?
It’s easy to find through my website www.dogdenhuff.com , or go straight to
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=d+ogden+huff, or
Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/164325

Can you tell us what review of your story meant the most to you and why.
Penny Freeman, editor-in-chief of Xchyler Publishing, said this:

“All of the above illustrates why I truly enjoy reading Ms. Huff. Her only overtly LDS work, Once Upon A Tour is, hands down, my favorite of the three I have read. The premise is a simple one—Mormon girl strikes out on her own in search of romance and finds herself in way above her head in a secular, instant-gratification world—but Ms. Huff manages to employ her fresh approach and insightful characters to flesh out the tale and make it her own.
“She peppers her story with what feels like firsthand experience in touring Eastern Europe—Romania, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland—and manages to make her locales integral to the plot. She also intersperses Alina's fanciful prose in the story, which serves well when the character's little stories and overactive imagination get her into plenty of trouble. When life begins to reflect art, Alina struggles to differentiate the two.”

Penny’s insights meant the most to me because she didn’t just pat my back. In other parts of her review she also made me think about whether or not I’d crossed some lines of my own. I made a few changes to my manuscript after her review.
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