We had the good fortune of connecting with D’Ann Mateer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi D’Ann, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas, in a family that valued education. Both my parents were trained as teachers and my maternal grandparents both held Master’s Degrees! With all of that focus, I was introduced to reading early. I devoured books from the moment I could read. And once I realized people wrote the stories I was reading, I wanted to do that, too.

Through the years I had many people encourage me to pursue my writing, including teachers, college professors, my parents, and friends. However, I didn’t begin to seriously pursue publication of my writing (although that was always the dream) until I was in my early thirties. It still took another ten years to see my first novel in print.

I think two things in my background and upbringing allowed me to keep going through all those years. First, my long-held love of reading and writing. And second, but most importantly, my faith. Only a belief in God working in and through me gave me the patience and perseverance to continue working until those stories were ready for publication.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Becoming a published author is not an easy thing! It took me ten years of focused work–learning the craft of fiction and making time to practice it. An innate ability can only take you so far in any endeavor. There is always work and learning involved. And oftentimes an outlay of money for that learning.

I wrote and revised four complete novels before the one that was my debut published novel. With each work, I learned more about storytelling and writing as well as practiced pitching my work to editors and agents at conferences. One of the biggest things I learned is that no matter your pursuit, whether an art or a business, you must remain teachable. You must be willing to listen to the advice of those ahead of you and grow from it. While I am very proud of the novels I’ve written thus far, I never want to quit striving to learn more and be better.

In any artistic endeavor, there is that added obstacle that no matter how “good” the product is, there will always be people who don’t find it to their taste. It takes thick skin to hear that kind of criticism and keep going. And it takes the wisdom of time to know the difference between thick skin and stubborn adherence to your own opinion!

I love fusing history and fiction. I do this for a couple of reasons. First, there is such a lack of knowledge of history in our world–whether it’s big-picture history or lesser-known local history. I want to keep the past before us. But in each story I also want the reader to leave the story with some kind of bolstered hope.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in DFW! Over the course of a week, I’d definitely cover the entire metroplex!

In Dallas, we’d visit the Arboretum, the Sixth Floor Museum, the George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU, the Perot Museum, and take in a live theater performance at one of the many great venues in Dallas and its suburbs. We’d eat at the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus, Black’s BBQ in Deep Ellum, Cindi’s New York Delicatessen, and Princi Italia at Royal and Preston.

In Ft. Worth, we’d head to the stockyards, of course. Take in a rodeo and Billy Bob’s. We’d wander the downtown arts district and visit the Botanical Garden and the Ft. Worth Zoo. Favorite restaurants would include HG Supply Company, Panther City BBQ, and Joe T. Garcia’s. We’d also make sure to see all the great art at the Kimball and Amon Carter art museums.

Yes, that would all probably take longer than a week, but there is so much to see and do!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people and organizations deserve a shoutout, but I’ll limit it to a few!

My 20-year critique partners and friends, Mary DeMuth and Leslie Wilson, have been essential to my growth as a writer.

American Christian Fiction Writers taught me so much about writing and gave me access to editors and agents as well as sponsored the contest which resulted in my first publication.

My parents, my husband, and my kids have been so supportive of the time I’ve put into my work.

Website: www.dmateer.com

Instagram: @dmateerauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DMateer

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