Doris, tell us about yourself.
Doris H. Dancy is an accomplished and award winning educator, writer, speaker, playwright, novelist, and member of the Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She received her BA Degree in English and Spanish Education at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and her MA Degree in English Education from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Dancy has been a Teacher of English, High School English Department Chairperson, English Teacher Specialist, and Supervisor of English K-12 for Hampton City Public Schools.
After retirement, Dancy started her own writing consulting business, Pen To Paper Writing Consulting, LLC, which provides a consulting and editing service for school district staff development and other freelance writers. During her career, her awards have been numerous, but three that she is most proud of are The Virginia Outstanding Teacher of English, the National Award for Building Successful Readers, and Outstanding State Administrator.
In 2013, Mrs. Dancy devoted a year to penning her first novel, Jagged Edges, a Christian Romance and has recently received The International Finalist Book Award. She has now completed the sequel to this Redemptive Love Series, and Shattered Pieces was released in November 2014. She is presently a book reviewer for PEN’Ashe Digital Magazine, the co-host of the Words of Hope Radio Show, and was selected to participate in the Annual Williamsburg Book Festival.
Mrs. Dancy has been the pianist for Grafton Baptist Church – Harris Grove since 1980. There she has played for the Grafton Baptist Youth Choir, The Young Adult Choir and presently she is the pianist for The Inspirational Choir. Additionally, she has substituted for the St. Paul A.M.E. Church Mass Choir when asked. Christian music is a major part of Mrs. Dancy’s life and has been since her youth.
Doris is a member of St. Paul A.M.E. Church where she is actively involved in the Mass Choir, a member of the Steward Board, a Class Leader, and Director of Christian Education where she has concentrated on the youth of the church by developing a puppet ministry and The Young Believers in Christ Ministry. She is also the Founder and Director of the St. Paul Praise Dancers, and this organization was founded in 2001. This very active group has danced for many churches and youth activities on a variety of occasions since their inception.
Mrs. Dancy is married to Mr. Willie Dancy, Jr. and they have two daughters, Monica Dancy-Hayes and Tara D. Abaya. There are two sons – in – law, Christopher Abaya and Marc Hayes. Doris has three beautiful granddaughters: Cadence 11, Tali 9, and Zoey 4.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Christ is the center of my life, and I communicate with Him throughout my day. The Lord’s Word is active in me therefore, there is no thought of finding time. He is there with me constantly, helping , advising, and being the constant friend that He promised to be. I study His Word on a consistent basis and that keeps me in tune with my purpose, my mission, and the plans He has designed for me.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
Since my background is that of an English teacher, there are many that I consider favorites, but if I must choose a few I would say Langston Hughes and a Collection of his poems, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Ken Follett, Maya Angelou, Nicolas Sparks, and Jodi Picoult’s The Pact. Recently, I have become a fan of the works of Alretha Thomas’ In the Nick of Nine, Tumika Cain’s Seasons of Chance and Paulette Harper’s, Separate Lives.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
I cannot remember a time when I was not a writer, but I knew practically nothing of publishing. I went to a writing workshop with a friend who had published eight books, and she taught me everything that I know about it now. Since I am a Christian and was writing in that vein, she directed me to St. Paul Press and they accepted both of my novels. I think it always a wise thing to connect with someone who has experience in something that you want to learn. That is what I did. Right now, I am trying to learn all I can about marketing. I’ll admit that my learning process in this area is quite slow. I need help.
Tell us about your current book?
Shattered Pieces is the journey of Zackary Tyler Belford. Most people who have known Zack for any length of time see nothing more for him than a path leading to destruction. Not even his handsome face, a Harvard Law Degree, or limitless wealth can bypass the shattered heart and broken soul of the man-child still held captive by the abuse, accusations, and mistreatment he experienced as a child. Breaking hearts and taking numbers is his MO… a dangerous game of cat and mouse that could very well be his demise. As his life spirals out of control, Zack desperately seeks something to grab…to cling to…as he struggles hopelessly to avoid an inevitable fall…but the question is will he find what he needs in time?
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
As a teacher, I have met and loved many different personalities. Some have come from broken homes where betrayal was a constant force, and I saw up close the result of these 12th graders, many of whom were attempting to give up on life. …children born before parents were ready. I think it is so very important to develop effective relationships in every aspect of ones life. When I wrote Jagged Edges, I wanted the reader to see the devastation of betrayal and how important it is to be honest in a relationship of any kind. I wanted them to see that when people give their heart, it is the most important thing they have to give. It is NOT a toy with which to play. When I wrote the sequel to this Redemptive Love Series, I wrote Shattered Piece to exemplify the difficult of giving love and finding love when one has been abused and given little chance at love. So many in our society fall into this category, and, as a result, live devastat ing lives no matter the social class. I want young adults to know their partners BEFORE they have the children that they are not ready to love and care for seriously. The effects of their carelessness is catastrophic.
What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?
In both Jagged Edges and Shattered Pieces, there are many life lessons, but I guess some of the most important show that those who are hurt can find forgiveness in their heart, not for the perpetrator, but for themselves in order that they can be able to move forward in their own lives. Additionally, I want my readers to see that even when life throws awful curves, there is hope…there can be a transformation. Those who have not been loved sufficiently can find love. They do not have to remain lost. There is a way out.
What’s next for you?
I am thinking through my next novel, and I would also like to put together a book of the many poems that I have written over time.
Please tell us where we can connect with you online .