Dayna Dunbar is a native Oklahoman who currently makes her home in Santa Monica, CA. She grew up in Yukon, a tightly knit farming and grain-milling town in Oklahoma, where most folks were relatives or family friends. This small town experience and the people of her early life have influenced her writing deeply. Dunbar studied media communications at the College of Santa Fe. She started writing screenplays in 1994, worked as crew on Baz Luhrmans film William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet. This spurred her creativity and she moved to Venice Beach, California and wrote four screenplays in four years.
Dunbar then attended the University of Santa Monica and received her masters degree in spiritual psychology. As part of this program, she wrote her first novel, The Saints and Sinners of Okay County. Shortly after graduation, her novel was published and won the Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma Book of 2006. Her second novel, The Wings That Fly Us Home, is a sequel to Saints and Sinners.
From the author's website
Dayna Dunbar's website
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An interview with Dayna Dunbar
Question: There actually is a town called Okay, Oklahoma. Is Saints and
Sinners based on the place and its people? Did you grow up in Okay, or a
town like it? The novel has such authenticity to it that it seems you must have!
After I decided to name the town where the novel is set Okay, I looked on a map and saw there actually was a town called Okay in Oklahoma. I've never been to the real Okay, but the town where the novel takes place is based on my hometown of Yukon, a small town near Oklahoma City.
Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a writer after I read the wonderful children's book King of the Wind when I was in the third grade. It took me more than twenty-five years to believe I could write something that could be worthy of the authors who had always moved me so deeply. When I finally began to write screenplays, it simply was more painful to not write than to write something that might end up being horrible. I began to write for myself, and because of the undeniable urge within me to write....instead of thinking about who might read my work, approve of it, buy it, and all that. I stopped comparing myself to other writers (...
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