DL Koontz, on Writing “Crossing into the Mystic”

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 | Comments Off on DL Koontz, on Writing “Crossing into the Mystic”

DL Koontz, on Writing “Crossing into the Mystic”

Wandering Wednesdays

Today my guest is DL Koontz, author of Crossing into the Mystic. I know you will enjoy getting to know her!


Debra, welcome! Tell us a little bit about Crossing into the Mystic. I understand it is not your typical Civil War romance.

 A young woman escapes a volatile aunt in Boston after inheriting an estate in mountainous West Virginia in hopes of finding peace; instead, she encounters the ghost of a Civil War soldier in her home with whom she communicates and, in the hope of communicating with her dead family, agrees to resolve his murder. Problem is, after a discussion with a pastor, she begins to wonder if she’s dealing with ghosts or demons in disguise. You have to read the book to find out. :o)


It’s a romantic, historical and paranormal suspense, all rolled into one. The first book in a trilogy. It pushes the edge for Christian fiction Crossing into the Mysticbecause my character talks to the dead….the book of Isaiah warns us against that. But, I’m a firm believer in C.S. Lewis’ quote: “We must attack the enemy’s line of communication.  What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects–with their Christianity latent.”


I’m not writing for the choir or the pastor or the lady in the first row; I’m writing for the guy or gal standing outside the church, peaking in through the window and wondering what this God thing is all about.


How did God lay this book on your heart to write?

I always knew I was supposed to write fiction, to tell stories. I come from a long line of fablers from the Appalachian mountains in Pennsylvania.


Years ago, I had non-fiction books published, but on September 11, 2001, God closed that door.  On that day, I left writing, but it never left me. Years later, and after much prayer, I lived smack-dab in the heart of Civil War country in the Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia area. When I’d step onto the Antietam Battlefield, for example, I could feel something…something reverent.  Simultaneously, several instances of ghosts – via TV and people I knew – were brought to my attention.


I began to do the research: According to Gallup polls, nine of out ten Americans believe in God, yet a Harris poll says that fifty-one percent believe in ghosts.  And, nearly one in five Americans claims to have encountered an apparition/ghost.  So clearly we have an overlap there. I wanted to explore that notion – What does a Christian do when they “feel” a presence or “see” something they don’t understand? All this came together. One morning I literally woke up with the story in my head and began to write again. It was like “coming home.”


Tell us about your day…when you write. Do you have a method or routine? 

I’m a morning person. Up at 5 a.m. That’s when I write because that’s when I’m sharpest and most creative. Unfortunately, that’s also when I need to exercise because if I don’t do it then, it doesn’t happen the rest of the day.  So I try to do those both before breakfast and starting my “real” job. Needless to say, it’s a struggle every day.


What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

 That evil can be enticing, charming, deceiving, appealing, cunning. Placing our faith in God is the only answer.


When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Writing/breathing, it’s all the same to me. (Or, it’s a disease.  I’m still not sure which…..)


Long answer: Officially – Fifth grade, after my teacher, Mrs. Flamm, dubbed my poem, Wild Horses as “brilliant,” and gave me an award.  Heady stuff for a pudgy, gawky, insecure farm kid.  Unofficially, I used to climb onto my mother’s lap at age 3 and beg her to read to me. I think even then I knew I wanted to create magical worlds for others the same way those books did for me.


Do you have a passion for a specific mission?

This question always both intrigues and intimidates me. Doesn’t every writer think his/her mission IS their writing? I work full time, write, exercise, instruct, have responsibility for family in three states, and a 400-acre farm here with more than 50 cattle, two dogs and a cat. Is there time for anything else?


Having said that, I used to be in a mode of doing one good deed, silently each day.  I was taught not to draw attention to good deeds. But, in the past two years, things changed: my mother died and that rocked my world, and I remarried and moved to Georgia, so I’m just now finally starting to get caught up with myself, and I think I will get involved in helping others, in some way, with grief. I learned a lot when my mom died. Somewhere along the way, she had morphed into my best friend. So, when she died unexpectedly, my world was doubly slammed – loss of mother and friend. I learned a lot about grief from that.


But, if I could design my own little mission, it would somehow involve bringing more laughter into the world. We are the only creatures to which God gave laughter. That must be for a reason. He must intend for us to use it often, don’t’ you think? I’m still pondering this laughter idea because, with my move to the deep South, I’m learning that even humor is regional.  For example, up North, sarcasm is an art form; here in the South, it can be an insult.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Just write! Do not edit yourself as you write. Just get it written. You can always go back and improve it later.  And once you think you’re done, set it aside for a few weeks or even months. You’ll be amazed, when you come back to it, how many things you’ll see to change.


About the author:

DL KoontzD. L. Koontz (aka Debra Koontz Roberson) was born in Pennsylvania, but with her husband Joe, now splits her time between mountainous West Virginia and their cattle ranch in coastal plains Georgia. She has one son, Matthew, and one step-daughter, Megan. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors), and is a former journalist, business owner, and college instructor. She has been writing since she penned an award-winning poem in fifth grade. In an earlier career, she wrote non-fiction books, but that work came to a screeching halt on September 11, 2001, whereupon she gave up writing. Turns out, it never gave up on her, so a couple years ago, she listened to her heart and began writing The Crossings Trilogy. Her first novel is Crossing Into the Mystic. She writes about what she knows: muddled lives, nail-biting unknowns and eternal hope. Find her at: www.dlkoontz.com.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Did you enjoy this?

If so, please help spread the happiness! Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: