Friday, December 28, 2012

Welcome Back, Danita!

We had some technical difficulties the first time Danita Cahill came to visit, so today, I'm reposting her interview for those of you who missed it.

Please join me in welcoming Danita!


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.


Go about your lives as usual. Use common sense. Be aware of your surroundings.

Easy for the Roseland Police Chief to say. Not so easy for the community to do. Not when residents of their Oregon coastal town keep vanishing. Who – or what – is snatching citizens? Is it aliens? A serial killer? Or a feral pack of 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 in paperback or for Kindle


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?


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


  1. Welcome Back, Danita.
    Love your photojournalism blog. Very nice pictures.
    Good luck with MIST !!


    1. Thanks so much. Angi! Thank you for checking it out

  2. Thanks Angi! Appreciate you checking it out.

  3. Hi Danita! Great book and fun interview! The scariest book I ever read was a book by Ruth Rendell that I couldn't finish. She got so deep into the serial killers head is scared the beejeezes out of me and I stopped reading and haven't read another by her since.

    1. Hey Paty, thanks for swinging by. Tbat book sounds like one I might like.

  4. Thanks so much for having me back again, Maureen!