Interview: Lillie Ammann, Author of Dream or Destiny

I’m pleased to be hosting Lillie Ammann on her blog book tour today. Lillie’s romantic mystery novel Dream or Destiny has recently been released. Welcome, Lillie. I’m looking forward to our visit, but I was fortunate to read Dream or Destiny months ago.

Lillie: Yes, when I put out a call on my blog for readers, you responded immediately. I really appreciate that, and I appreciate the valuable insights you shared that helped make the book stronger.

Misti: I know this isn’t your first book. Aspiring authors may be surprised to hear that you asked for input from other people on this manuscript even though you were already a published author.

Lillie: Most published authors I know get feedback from other people. That may be one secret of their success. Often as writers we’re so close to our own work, we can’t see the flaws. And other perspectives can help us develop richer characters and better plots. Every person who read the manuscript helped make Dream or Destiny a better book.

Misti: Your characters are Christians, but the book isn’t primarily a Christian book. Can you share with us how you decided not to write a book for the Christian market?

Lillie: I didn’t sit down and decide I wasn’t going to write specifically for Christian readers. I enjoy Christian fiction like your novel Help from Above. That story and others like it reinforce my faith, and I appreciate being able to enjoy a good story and deepen my faith at the same time. But I write the ideas that come to me –and I believe ideas are from the Holy Spirit.

I heard a sermon one time in which the priest said something that made an impression on me. I believe he was quoting C.S. Lewis, but I haven’t been able to find the quote so this is a paraphrase. He said what the world needs is not necessarily more Christian books but more books written from a Christian worldview. I take this to mean that, while it’s important to nourish the faith of believers, it’s also important to present a Christian worldview to people who would never pick up a book identified as Christian. I pray that readers will see my characters’ faith and be more open to hearing about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Misti: Why did you decide to write about psychic dreams and domestic violence?

Lillie: I saw a TV documentary about a woman who dreams about crimes and uses the information from her dreams to help the police solve the cases. I was impressed that she was able to provide evidence to bring murderers to justice. That idea stayed with me and after a few “what if?” questions, a heroine who dreams about a murder was born. I didn’t consciously plan to write about domestic violence, but as I wrote, abuse became an important part of the storyline. Although I didn’t set out to raise awareness of domestic violence, in retrospect I’m glad that’s what is happening.

Misti: Dream or Destiny has strong characters as well as suspense and a plot that twists and turns. Do you consider yourself a character-driven writer or a plot-driven writer?

Lillie: Very much character-driven. I had a general idea of the storyline. I knew it would be about a woman who dreamed about a murder and that the hero and heroine would team up to solve the crime and in the process fall in love. However, I didn’t know domestic violence would be part of the story, and I didn’t even know who the murderer was until he was revealed at the end of the book! I was very involved with Marilee and David and experienced their emotions as I wrote.

I’m planning two more books based on secondary characters in Dream or Destiny. I’ll focus on developing the characters first and the story will evolve as I write. I know some writers plot in great detail and write an extensive outline before they start a book, but it starts with character for me. Readers have to care about the characters before they care about what’s happening to those characters.

Misti: Thank you for visiting Life of a Writer, Lillie. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Lillie: I’m delighted to be here, and I’ll be happy to share anything readers are interested in hearing. Just leave a comment with your question. I’ll be back throughout the day to respond to comments. And one lucky commenter will win a copy of Dream or Destiny. Thank you for inviting me to Life of a Writer.

You’re most welcome, Lillie. It was a pleasure to host a regular reader, and I wish you the very best on the rest of your blog book tour. I must also add, your book certainly kept me guessing until the very end, which brings me to my next point for all my readers here at Life of a Writer…

If you enjoy reading romantic mysteries, then I encourage you to invest in a copy of Lillie’s Dream or Destiny today. I’m pretty sure you’ll be as I was and not be able to put the book down. I had to force myself to stop reading so I could get some sleep.

Don’t forget, Lillie’s giving away a copy of Dream or Destiny to one lucky commenter, so feel free to comment and ask her any questions you may like. The giveaway ends tomorrow, November 4 at 8:00AM (CST), and the winner will be announced here later that day.


Lillie Ammann is a freelance writer and editor who loves to work with self-publishing authors. She is on a blog book tour for her newly released romantic mystery novel, Dream or Destiny, her second novel and fourth published book. You can read reviews or a free excerpt as well as a tour schedule on her website. Lillie, who blogs at A Writer’s Words, An Editor’s Eye, lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband of more than 40 years.

About Dream or Destiny: Marilee Anderson dreams about a murder and wakes to find it really happened. She and David Nichols, the victim’s brother, become the prime suspects. Though they have their secrets and aren’t sure they can trust each other, Marilee and David team up to find the killer in this psychic suspense.


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