Author Interview: Chelsea Dyreng

March 22, 2016

If you missed my review last week of The Cenote, then you might not know how much I loved this new book that I recently read.  I can already tell you it’s going to be one of my favorites of the year.  There is SO much we can learn from it.  I had recived a copy of the book in exchange for a review, and after reading and LOVING it, I reached out to Chelsea to see if she would be interested in doing an author interview.  I was so excited when she agreed!

So let’s get started!










Where did you come up with the story behind The Cenote?
Three ideas converged at once: I was thinking of a friend with a troubled marriage, just after I had read a magazine article about cenotes, and while I was thinking these two things I overheard my daughters upstairs who were playing a game where “some people can hear something but other people can’t.” All of those ideas came together in one moment and created a new, wonderful idea that I couldn’t get out of my head until I wrote it all down…which took five years. 🙂

Who is your favorite character, Sandpiper or Lark? Why?
My favorite character is Lark. He is not your typical “hunk.” But even though he lacks in the qualities one might initially look for in a spouse, his optimism, his thoughtfulness, and his self-deprecating humor ultimately win you over.
The descriptions of the location were so graphic and I’ve noticed on your website that you love to travel, have you traveled to South America and researched the location of this story? If so, tell us more about that trip and what it was like.

Yes, I traveled to Mexico, specifically to Merida in the Yucatan peninsula. I stayed with my aunt who lives there in the winter, and she took me and my sister around to the different ruins and cenotes. I think we saw four cenotes on the trip. Each cenote was very unique and beautiful in its own mysterious way. It was a wonderful trip, and I wrote down every thing I saw, heard, smelled and tasted.

You are also a busy mom! How did you find time to write?

Well, this is why it took five years to write The Cenote. 🙂 I am a mom and wife first and foremost. I always wanted to write books, though, and I told my grandma that someday when my kids are all in school I would write books. She frowned and very wisely told me, “If you wait that long you will lose all your inspiration!” I took her advice and she was so right! So much of what I write is inspired by my family. My house, my kids, my husband…it is like an idea factory around here. I’m pretty certain that when I finally have a quiet home with no kids I will stare at a blank computer screen and cry, since water in my Idea Well will have gone dry. 🙁  So I carve out time to write whenever I can. Mostly during nap times and preschool….and yes–don’t judge me–I do put my kid in front of the tv, too. When I am really dedicated I get up early and write in the morning and that is when I really make a lot of progress.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced you growing up?

 I have always loved reading books about Native Americans. My favorite was a very little-known book called “Ride the Laughing Wind” by Blaine Yorganson. It was based on the Anasazi Indians and was very inspiring to my young heart.
There are so many different t lessons we can learn from The Cenote. If you had to pick one, what lesson would you want your readers to take away from this book and why?

We can all be weak and we can all be strong.

You have another book coming out! Can you tell us more about it and when to expect it?

 Oh, you are going to love it. I love it!! It is a book I would have treasured if I had discovered it as a teenager. It is called The Last Messenger of Zitol and it is also a tale based in mesoamerica, but this one is about a young women who is kidnapped from her island and taken to a city where she is forced to choose between giving up her virtue so that she can stay alive, or keeping her virtue and being sacrificed. It is a nail-biter. 🙂 And it has a wonderfully romantic chapter called Two Cups of Chocolate. You are going to love it!


Thanks Chelsea!  I always love interviewing and getting to know more about authors of my favorite books.

If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you grab a copy of The Cenote by clicking below:

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  1. Reply

    Mary Ludwig

    Thanks for sharing this book Debbi! And thanks for posting this author interview! Do you mind if I pass this book on to someone else before it makes it’s way back to you? I REALLY loved it!

  2. Reply


    Hi Debbi and Chelsea! I loved reading this interview (I’ve already read the book!). Making time to write is hard, but what great advice your grandma gave you! I agree about the idea factory, I write about parenting and I think, if I didn’t have a two-year-old climbing on me I could write a lot more. But then, what would I write about? Thanks for sharing, I’m excited for your new book!

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