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Interview with Dawn Klinge, Author of Sorrento Girl

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

I met Dawn Klinge through an online blogger group where Christian writers support and encourage one another. I was drawn to her way with words and her giving heart. When I saw Dawn was debuting her first historical fiction, I immediately wanted a copy!

I was blessed to enjoy an advance copy and to be a part of the book launch for Sorrento Girl. You can read my review, plus many more glowing reviews, for Sorrento Girl here! I want to share this book with you, as well as the vibrant, talented, and faith-filled author who is Dawn Klinge!

Q. Welcome, and thanks for sharing a bit about yourself with us! Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? Who is in your family? When did you begin writing? 

Head shot of author Dawn Klinge
Dawn Klinge, Author of Sorrento Girl

Klinge: Hello! The other day I saw an ad for a coffee mug in my Instagram feed. It said, “I’m just a girl who loves books and dance.” Yes, that’s it, I thought...they’ve got me figured me out. Also, Jesus—I love Jesus—very much. 

I’m from the Pacific Northwest. I was born and raised in eastern Washington, but I’ve lived on the westside, in the Seattle area, for the last ten years now. If you’re not familiar with Washington state, then I’ll tell you, the east and west side are different in many ways. I feel like, culturally, I’m a mix of both sides.

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for going on twenty-four years now. We have two kids, a young-adult daughter, and a teenage son. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, but around 2007, I began writing regularly as a “mommy blogger.” That was a lot of fun, but I stopped when my kids got older and wanted more privacy. In 2015, I began writing more about living a life of faith, and I started a new blog called Above the Waves. More recently, I’ve been writing historical fiction. Sorrento Girl, set in 1930s Seattle, is my first novel. 

Q. What's in your mug, coffee or tea?

Klinge: Coffee

Q: What is your favorite writing snack or soundtrack?

Klinge: I don’t usually snack when I’m writing. It’s the only time I forget to eat. When I’m reading, however, I love to snack anything with chocolate. I can only listen to instrumental classical music if I’m trying to write.

Q. So, tell us a little bit about Sorrento Girl!

Klinge: It’s 1938, and Ann Brooks has big dreams of her new life as a Seattle College coed. She’s left the old-fashioned ways of her small country town behind to pursue higher education and a teaching career.

But not everyone is ready for change.

Society still preaches that a woman’s place is in the home. Some refuse to see Ann as an equal deserving of an education — let alone a career — and Ann's friends think school is simply a springboard to pursue a marriage of wealth and convenience.

When Ann meets Paul, an aspiring journalist with strong ideas of his own, she learns an unexpected lesson in courage and discovers what it really means to live her dreams. Will Ann give up everything she thought she wanted for love? Or can she have it all?

Q: There are moments of prayer and other demonstrations of faith in this book. Would you consider Sorrento Girl to be Christian Fiction or Historical Fiction, or both? How does your own faith express itself in your writing?

Klinge: I would consider Sorrento Girl to be Historical Fiction for the Christian book market. My own faith expresses itself throughout the book with those prayers you mentioned, and there’s a subtle theme of trusting God throughout the story, but it’s not a main idea for the plot. 

Q. What inspired you to write Sorrento Girl? 

Klinge: Hotel Sorrento inspired me. I wanted to learn more about this beautiful historic hotel. When I read about the first women admitted to Seattle College in the late 30s, and how they were called the Sorrento Girls because they were housed at nearby Hotel Sorrento, my imagination was sparked.

Q. What kinds of research did you do to prepare to accurately represent this era?

Klinge: I was able to access old school newspapers online. I stayed at the hotel, and I spent time walking the neighborhood and exploring the Seattle University campus, and I read every book I could get my hands on about life in Seattle during the 1930s. I loved researching this book!

Q. What is your favorite thing about 1930s-1940s historic Seattle?

Klinge: The music scene in Seattle has always been vibrant, but it was especially so in the 1930s and 40s. I loved learning about the history of Jazz on Jackson Street, the Black and Tan, and the amazing artists who played there. I listened to a lot of music from this period in the months I was writing. I did this to put me in the right frame of mind, and I developed a deeper appreciation for it. 

Q. Who are some of your favorite authors?

Klinge: Jan Karon, Francine Rivers, C.S. Lewis, and Jane Austen. There are so many more that I couldn’t possibly list them all!

Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for those who dream of writing a book?

Klinge: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Break the bigger goal of writing a book into smaller goals. It helped me to have daily word count goals. I also prayed before I began writing each day. If God has placed that desire in your heart to write a book, then listen to it! He will provide. 

Q. What is next for you?

Klinge: Sorrento Girl is the first book in what I’m calling the Historic Hotels series. I’m editing the second one, titled Palmer Girl. It takes place at the Palmer House in 1890s Chicago. It should be available in the fall of 2020. I’m researching/outlining the 3rd story: Biltmore Girl, 1960s, New York.

Thanks so much, Dawn, for chatting with us today!

You can get to know her better through her website:

Get your copy of Sorrento Girl today at any of these retailers!


About the Author
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Hey There!

I'm Katrina, and I'm a wife, mom, and a Christian Historical Fiction Author. 

I love words. I love digging into hard questions. I'm passionate about writing stories of faith.

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