Woman with local ties is published

Carol Edwards Denekas

Carol Edwards Denekas

By Marcie Klomp

It’s not just a silly e-quote a person sees on Facebook. Dreams really can come true. Just ask Carol (Edwards) Denekas. She realized at a young age that she enjoyed writing, and now she is a published author!

Denekas, the daughter of Anna Mae and the late Dale Edwards, grew up around Bonair and graduated from Crestwood High School in 1987 and from Luther College in 1991 with a BA in English.

From third through sixth grades she attended Lime Springs-Chester Elementary. She stated, “What I remember about the elementary school is the large gym and playing dodge ball for P.E. One time I was the only one left on my team, and Todd Swancutt was the only one left on his team. I was not athletically inclined and probably had survived by hiding behind others. Anyway, everyone thought Todd’s team was going to win, and he threw it super hard (He was a strong kid!), but to everyone’s amazement, I caught it and we won. I remember the ball burning my arms as I was knocked on my butt and slid across the gym floor. My eyes were probably closed the whole time. Remember those red rubber balls…they used to really hurt when they hit you. The glory days!!”

Pain must be the author’s trigger to remember things. Another memory from elementary school happened at recess. “I also remember the bars we used to twirl around on at recess as a contest to see who could go around the most. I won in fourth grade, I think it was. The insides of my elbows and the back of my knees were so raw.”

Well, the little girl grew up. Now she’s married with three girls of her own and a miniature Schnauzer. That’s a lot smaller household than having 14 kids like her folks!

Becoming an author has been a long journey. She wrote her first romantic historical novel at age 11 and sent her first manuscript off to a publisher in the early 1990s. Denekas was not ready to share her book with the world . . . yet. She got it back and safely locked it away until the time was right.

She continued to write for herself and lived her life. She has worked in the fields of education, fund development, membership (sales) and program development.

“Long hours of travel and work got to me after a while, and I decided to slow down and reinvent myself.” She quit her job with the local Girl Scout office out of Dubuque and for six months slept and then started to renovate the 1918 American Four Square house the family purchased in Dyersville.

Funny how things work out. “After we moved to Dyersville, a local writer approached the public library asking if they knew anyone who could help them edit their manuscript. The library called me and asked if I would work with her. So I met my writing buddy, Pat, and helped her with her novel, and then Pat firmly but gently made me get my manuscript out and helped me edit mine.”

Now the time was right. “The book I originally submitted 20 some years ago is long gone in many edits and plot inventions.” Denekas had changed as a person, and the novel changed with her. It was not as graphic as it had first been and was now able to be published by Tate Publishing, a Christian publisher.

“I would describe my novel as edgy Christian fiction. A portion of Christian fiction portrays Christians as perfect with no woes. Not very accurate in my opinion. I like that the genre has opened up to allow that it’s not that bad things don’t ever happen to Christians, but it’s more how you handle the tough times because you are a Christian,” the writer explained.

Her book is titled Rescuing Love, and locals may see just a smidgeon of this area in the background. “ I did use the blacktop road leading from Cresco to Lime Springs as a loose model for the place that Daniel settles. The house he buys is based on a few older homes in the area spliced together.” She is quick to say all her characters are totally made up.

Each author has another author who inspired or at least sparked an interest in writing. For Denekas, that author was Kathleen Norris (1880-1966), who wrote fiction to promote values including the sanctity of marriage, the nobility of motherhood and the importance of service to others.

She also enjoys the books and movies of Nicholas Sparks. “When Rescuing Love was accepted by Tate Publishing, they said that it reminded them of Nicholas Sparks material. I was very flattered. Readers will have to decide if this is accurate.”

Denekas’ future goals include continuing to write. “I figure in three years I can have maybe four books out in the market. Once I have that many then I will want to travel more to promote and will need to be free from other obligations. So, it’s my loose business plan. Although I am finding that promoting takes a lot of time, so we’ll see what happens.”

One of those promotions is bringing Denekas home. She will be having a book signing at Lime Springs Library on March 29 from 4-5 p.m. Look for more on this as the time nears. To learn more about Denekas and the next book she is writing, tentatively titled Samantha, check her out at http://www.caroldenekas.com/ or follow her on Facebook at Carol Denekas Author.

Rescuing Love goes on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble March 25. She will have them for sale when she does her book signing on March 29 in Lime Springs.

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