Dan Dembiczak is a Seattle native who began writing stories as soon as he could spell. He earned a BA in creative writing from the University of Washington and has worked extensively in local theater as a playwright, actor, director, and producer. Eight of his plays were produced in Seattle, including the popular four-part Capitol Hill High series, and a number of his articles and short stories have appeared in publications in Seattle and Los Angeles.
Dembiczak has traveled extensively to the Hawaiian islands, particularly the Big Island, where he was married in 2008, and considers Hawai'i his second home. He primarily resides in Seattle with his husband, dog, and chickens, and is currently working on his second novel.
The idea for writing Imperfect Paradise first came to me on a morning jog on the beach in Kauai in 2005. It was my very first trip to any of the Hawaiian Islands; I was immediately in love with the verdant surroundings. At the time I was heavily involved in writing plays so I started to nurture the basic story in that framework. But as the years went on and I kept coming back to the story, I realized the story was one of a very interior nature. I wanted to tell the story of a woman unraveling amidst beauty. The inspiration began with taking the women’s self-discovery stories of the late 1800s and putting them in modern times. I was most interested in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, a book that spoke to me at an early age and the power of the story has stuck with me for a long time. In those stories, the woman was always seeking to escape – and unfortunately the only escape route meant her own demise. I wanted to explore a more positive option, but equally delve into the messiness of figuring out one’s true path. It wasn’t until 2010 that I finally sat down and began writing in earnest. But because the character had been marinating in my mind for so long, the actual writing went fairly quickly. What I hope most to convey to readers of Imperfect Paradise is the reminder that it’s never too late to start living an authentic life.
For thirty-two-year-old Sarah Chizeck, marriage was not an option, but an expectation. She was raised to believe that a woman’s main focus is to get married and start a family, and she put everything else on hold to accomplish this goal.
So when she finally marries her boyfriend of five years, Sarah and her family are ecstatic. But underneath Sarah’s smiles, something else is lurking.
Sarah’s career and personal interests were not all she put on hold to pursue marriage. She also put her feelings on the backburner and buried her emotions. But when she reluctantly goes to Hawai’i for her honeymoon, these things come to the surface, and she is both pleased and alarmed by the sensory experiences she encounters.
Terrified by her attraction to a handsome young concierge, Sarah is forced to confront her new feelings, as well as what she previously ignored, and she ultimately comes to shocking revelations about her upbringing, marriage, and future.
Imperfect Paradise tells the compelling story of Sarah’s internal awakening and delivers a powerful message about hope, happiness, and finding your place in the world. A classic romance with a contemporary twist, it is sure to appeal to fans of modern, liberating fiction.
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