Thursday, November 1, 2012

Introducing: Danita Cahill

Danita and I have been part of a tight-knit group of online writer friends since... Um... for a long time. At least 7 years and I'm so thrilled to have her here today.

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Maureen. It’s great fun to be here.


Danita Cahill is a freelance writer and photographer. She lives in the Pacific NW on a small farm with her husband, two sons and their animals – a horse, several cats and guinea pigs, a herd of alpacas, and two dogs – neither of which has red eyes. Danita stays busy taking photographs, writing, and trying to keep up with her young sons. She’s currently working on various newspaper and magazine assignments and her next book.


It’s Thanksgiving, but the Roseland community doesn’t feel particularly thankful. Not when citizens of their Oregon coastal town keep disappearing. Is it aliens? A serial killer? Or a pack of evil, red-eyed dogs? Detective Kevin McCoffey is determined to solve the case.

When young, widowed photographer, Dianne Harris and her infant daughter find themselves face to face with the killer, Kevin races to yank them to safety. But is he too late? With help from both the town’s fortuneteller and the ghost of Dianne’s dead grandmother, Kevin and Dianne battle their own demons and their shared past history as they rush to save Dianne’s baby from the killer’s grip.

Mist is available on Kindle
It will soon be available in paperback through Amazon, too.


MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite holiday?

DANITA:  I feel like I should say Thanksgiving since the bulk of Mist takes place the day before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day. But the story does extend through Christmas, which is actually my favorite holiday. I like the memories made with family at Christmas time. I like the sharing, the decorating, the baking, the good will – the whole shebang.

MAUREEN:  Where do you most like to read and how often?

DANITA:  I read every chance I get – at night in bed, while I eat lunch, before Zumba and while I’m waiting for my kids to get out of school. I try to keep up with multiple magazine and newspaper subscriptions and I’m usually reading at least two, sometimes as many as eight fiction and/or nonfiction books at a time. There’s never enough time to read everything I’d like to!

MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

DANITA:  I’m an eclectic reader. I like some of everything – mysteries, horror, romance, literary novels, thrillers and all sorts of nonfiction. Guess I got that from my mom. She had Stephen King and Dean Koontz on her bookshelves next to the inspirational romances and her quilting books.

MAUREEN:  What’s the first book you remember reading?

DANITA:  The first book I remember reading was a character-driven work of fiction involving a hero named Dick, a heroine named Jane and a dog named Spot. Ha! Oh, did I ever just date myself, or what?

MAUREEN:  Um, I remember Dick and Jane and Spot, too. :) Who was your favorite teacher in grade school? Why?

DANITA:  Mrs. Cowen, my fifth-grade teacher was one of my favorites. She understood my love of animals, especially horses – which is all I wanted to read about back then. When I won the class spelling bee, she gave me a horse statue that was hers when she was a horse-loving young girl. I still have it packed away around here somewhere.

MAUREEN:  Do you believe in ghosts?

DANITA:  Yes, I think I do believe in ghosts. Dianne Harris, the heroine of Mist is assisted by the ghost of her dead grandmother.

MAUREEN:  What’s next for you as an author?

DANITA:  You know how I told you I read several books at a time? Well, I’m consecutively working on several books, too. I’m within watermelon-seed-spitting distance of finishing a paranormal romance novella Daisies are True. I’m also working on a couple of memoirs: Confessions of a Country Girl, Inspirational Stories of Growing up Rural, and True Stories of Miracles, Visions and Other Amazing Things. I hope to release at least two of those books in 2013.

MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite hobby?

DANITA:  Do I have to pick just one? Ha! I love to read and write, of course. But I also like to hike in scenic places, taking photographs as I go. Maybe that’s not exactly hiking – more like rambling with a camera. I also enjoy gardening (I’m a master gardener), spending time with my family, and hanging out with my alpacas. They are such endearing animals, each one a character and each unique. I mean, just look at that face, would you? What’s not to love? This is Glory’s Hallelujah.

MAUREEN:  Cats or dogs?

DANITA:  I like both cats and dogs, for different reasons. Cats love you on their own terms. Dogs love you more than they love themselves. Unless they are evil, red-eyed dogs of course! Luckily, ours are both sweet, loveable dogs with warm, friendly, brown eyes. This is Maggie our yellow lab and Zip, our Border collie pup.

MAUREEN:  What sound or noise do you love?

DANITA:  My favorite sounds have got to be birds singing when the sun breaks through the clouds after a down pour (I live in Oregon. We have a lot of downpours) and my children’s laughter.

MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite kid joke?

DANITA:  Knock knock. Who’s there? Dwayne. Dwayne who? Dwayne the bathtub, I’m dwowning. I know, groan right? But it makes my kids laugh and you know how I love that sound.


MAUREEN:  MIST is a thriller. What really scares you?

DANITA:  Pure evil, which is what the red-eyed dogs in Mist are – or are they really dogs at all? The idea for the book came from a very frightening nightmare. The good thing is – and we all know this – love conquers evil.


What’s the scariest book you ever read and loved? What did you most love about it?


Danita has offered a $20 Starbucks gift card to one lucky commenter.


For a free, award-winning read, go to Danita’s website. To see samples of her photography, check out her photo blog. Want to read about miracles, visions and other amazing things? Visit Danita’s miracles blog
Follow on twitter . Danita loves to hear from readers. You can find her on Facebook – Danita Shattuck Cahill – or email her at

Please visit Danita on author Paty Jager’s blog on November 12 as her “Monday Mystery” guest.  



  1. Hi Danita and Maureen! The Shining by Stephen King. It was scary beyond my imagination. Ack!

  2. Danita, I believe in ghosts too! I have never encountered one but there seems to be a lot of evidence supporting their existence. Animals, like dogs have keener senses and they "see" something out there. The scariest book I've ever read was a non-fiction full of stories based on true hauntings. I remember reading about the Bell Witch who was scary and evil and that scared me but I liked it.


  3. Great interview! The scariest book I've read and loved is Danita's Mist. I wouldn't have read it if I didn't know her, because I don't do scary in anything! Books, Movies, or TV.

  4. Hi Danita, Maureen, and Barrie - The scariest story ever for me was "Psycho" (okay, so it's a movie) - and I still get in/out of showers as fast as I can - lol! Dick & Jane are more my speed (would have thought you were too young for that).

    1. Ha! You know what shower-related show scared me as a kid? An episode of Scooby-Doo. That's how much of a wimp I was as a kid.

  5. Thanks for your interview Danita and Maureen! Oooh, scariest book? The Amityville Horror. Whenever I wake up at 3:15 in the morning I freak out as that time was very significant in the book. Btw, I've read MIST and loved it! Can't wait to read more of your books, Danita.

  6. I enjoyed the interview. No favorite scary book.


  7. Alli, congratulations on the winning draw! And my apologies to everyone for not commenting sooner. For some weird reason I could only see a paragraph of this post when it came out. I couldn't see the comments at all. Anyway, Maureen did some sort of magic and now it shows up for me.