Monday, May 9, 2011

"A Dream Unfolding" by Karen Baney

Clash of The Titles

Meet Former Clash of the Titles Competitor Karen Baney,
guest post by Amanda Flower

Karen Baney is software engineer, who spends her evenings and weekends writing Christian fiction. A Dream Unfolding is her debut novel.

Clash of the Titles featured Karen during our Best Hook week. Karen’s first page left our readers wondering what will happen next!

In A Dream Unfolding, the promise of a new life and a chance to start over…
Hannah Anderson had the life she always wanted, married to the man of her dreams. When her husband’s brother gets in trouble with the law, the town turns against them, shattering her perfect life. Now they are left with only one choice—to head west to the Arizona Territory in the hopes of creating a new life. Will the journey be worth the cost?

Will Colter, after burying his father, is forced to leave the ranch he has called home for nearly thirty years. The journey is dangerous, challenging him and his men. Will he find the new life he was hoping for?

Or, is there a new dream quietly unfolding before their eyes?

We posed a few more questions to Karen, which she was kind enough to answer.

Have you learned anything new about God's character through this book?
The process of writing A Dream Unfolding was a new challenge for me. I had to depend on God most of the time and I learned (or maybe re-learned) that he really does care about the smallest details of my life. If I was struggling to make a character real, I prayed that His message would come through the story. If I lose my confidence that my writing is good, I ask him to help me see my work as he sees it. If I stress out about slow sales, I ask him to get the book into the hands of those he wants to read it. With each prayer, I’m reminded of why I write—to share God’s character through inspirational stories that will touch the lives of others.

Who is your favorite character you've created and why?
I love Will Colter. Even though he’s a cowboy with a bit of a tough image, he still faced insecurities. He loved God because he knew what he had been saved from. He’s a great leader, but very humble.

Where do your best ideas come from?
Some of my best ideas have been inspired by research. When I first started the research for A Dream Unfolding, I did not plan to write about the actual journey to Arizona. After all, that would involve a ton of research and it was my first book—talk about intimidating. Then I came across letters written by Jonathan Richmond. He was one of the original members of the governor’s party as they traveled west to the Arizona Territory. I was so excited by the wonderful details included in his letters that I had to write about it. Thus, Hannah and Drew’s thread of the story was born. And yes, it was a ton of research, but well worth it.

Share something about the book that you think readers would like to know.
I started writing the book in the middle at the climax. It was the first scene that came to my mind and I felt it was inspired by God, so I had to get it down on paper. Even after dozens (felt like hundreds) of revisions that scene remained fairly unchanged.

After that scene, I wrote the book to the end. Then I had to start at the beginning. That was a huge challenge—one I probably won’t do again—because I had to make sure that everything in the beginning fit with the context of where the story was going. It all worked out in the end, but I definitely caused myself more work for the beginning half of the book.

Thank you so much for stopping by Karen. We enjoyed having you on Clash of the Titles and look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

A Heart Renewed, the second novel in the Prescott Pioneers Series was just released in ebook in April. Be sure to check it out!

You can visit Karen at her website at You can also follow her on Twitter at and Facebook.

Amanda Flower, an Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Her debut mystery, Maid of Murder, is an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel and the first in a series featuring amateur sleuth India Hayes. Like her main character, Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime and on the Clash of the Titles staff. Her next mystery, Murder in a Basket, will be released in January 2012. Visit her online at


  1. Since I live in Arizona, I enjoy reading books about Arizona Territory. Please include me in the giveaway


  2. Please enter me! I'm a subscriber and a folower via gfc.

    Dancealert at aol dot com

  3. Please enter me in the drawing. :)

  4. Would like to read your book. I love this time period. I must, my current WIP is set on one of the first cattle drives from Texas to the California goldfields in 1849.

  5. Sounds like a great book. Enter me in the contest. Thanks.

    Rachelle (USA, FL)

    rysalia s-anything@yah oo[dot]com

  6. would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  7. Karen is an inspiration! She is consistent to draw and depend upon God's help. That is a great example. To do so much research for her first book that she is encouraging me to research the times around a certain period I'm writing about and have come to a stall. Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I win!

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  8. Karen Baner's debut novel sounds so fabulous!
    Thanks for the interesting interview with this
    Merci, Cindi

  9. I would like to be entered in this contest please!! =)

    Tvaleros18 @ gmail [dot] com

    Thank you!!

  10. I will admit that I haven't read anything by any of the 4 authors featured this time but all the books sound great and I would love to win one!!! margie at mijares dot net