Monday, 12 March 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now? 
My name is Dana Michelle Burnett.  I was born in New Albany, Indiana and now I live in the very small town of Lanesville Indiana.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? 
I think it was pretty obvious from the start that I would be either a writer or an actress.  As a child I was always making up stories and then acting them out.  I really can't remember ever wanting to be anything else.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"? 
I considered myself a "real writer" the first time I actually got paid for something I wrote.  I couldn't believe that people were willing to give me money for something I loved to do. 

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
 It seemed like it took forever, but when the ebook revolution took off, I jumped on the bandwagon too.  Once my first book was published, everything just seemed to snowball.  All of a sudden, all of those stories in my head just started spilling out.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
 I'm a stay at home mom to my beautiful daughter.  She is a little dancing diva which makes me a proud dance mom.  She is my biggest fan and I love going to her competitions where I can return the favor by cheering her on.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say? 
My novel is titled Spiritus.  I would describe it as a ghost haunting the teenage girl that he believes is his wife that killed him reincarnated.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish? 
I made the decision to self publish.  I spent years writing for literary and commercial magazines.  My fiction work always got noticed, but somehow never found an agent or publisher.  I've never looked back and look forward to self publishing many more books.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it? 
I try to have a book at least every six months, three months would be better, but doesn't happen that often.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others? 
Spiritus was the easiest to write, the story seemed to take on a mind of its own.  I would write all day and then stay up well into the night writing some more.  The sequel to Spiritus, Haunted, has proven to be more difficult.  It's darker than Spiritus and so many things take place behind the scenes that it's easy to get lost in all of that.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
I'm in the process of writing Haunted, which is the sequel to Spiritus.  It will be followed by the final book in the story Incarnate.  I also have a rough outline for another paranormal romance book, but it's in the very early stages so I'm not sure if it will be a single book or another series.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 
Haunted will follow Spiritus in the upcoming months.  After that will come Incarnate which will complete the series.

What genre would you place your books into? 
I consider Spiritus to be a paranormal romance.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
 Lanesville is close to Corydon Indiana where Spiritus is set and everytime I went to the grocery, I would drive through Corydon and see the old mansions and the Civil War battlefield.  It wasn't so much that I decided to write a paranormal romance, that's just what the story in my head turned out to be.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
 Spiritus is by far my favourite so far because it was so much fun.  With it, anything was possible.  I wasn't limited by reality.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite? 
I love Alastor!  He is just hot, sexy, and irresistable.  There is something about him and the way that he loves Becca so completely that just makes him stand out.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why? 
I would so be Becca and hook up with Alastor.  My previous novel, Two Out of Three has a great character in Sarah, but she's too self destructive.  My literary novel, Ghost Country, is based too closely on myself to really be that much of a stretch.  I would love to walk a mile in Becca's shoes.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write? 
I've been writing professionally since I was nineteen years old.  I got my start as a guest columnist for my local paper, The Tribune, out of New Albany Indiana.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration? 
The idea for Spiritus came from driving past the old mansions in Corydon.  Each time I would see them the story would progress a little more in my mind until I had the complete story mapped out in my head.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? 
My writing routine is a little odd.  First off, I don't write in order.  I also tend to write everything out long hand first in old fashioned spiral notebooks.  I also try to listen to music that matches whatever scene I happen to be writing.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know? 
My daughter listens to me talk to myself while I'm writing, so I get instant feedback there.  My mother is my primary reader and my harshest critic.  I also have a few friends that read the final edits. 

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
 I do a lot of giveaways on blogs and I always hope that the winners will do a review, but it doesn't always happen that way.  I'm working on building up my mailing list of readers that would like free copies in exchange for honest reviews.  It would really be nice when I do a launch to already have a few reviews lines up.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
 I'm a complete freak about my reviews.  I read each and every review.  I stress over every star and always worry that people will hate my book.  When I get the email from google alerts that my book is mentioned somewhere, I immediately get butterflies in my stomach.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
 I've had a few bad reviews, but I whine to my family about it and then go on.  It's impossible for everyone to love your book, but I still give myself permission to boohoo for a moment and then I just move on.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books? 
I've had some reviews that made me say ouch, but that's the nature of the business.  It would be totally unacceptable for me to ask a reviewer to change their review.  I would consider that not only ridiculous, but also career suicide.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
 As crazy as it sounds, my eight year old daughter helps me design most of my covers.  She has an eye for the visual details that I don't have.  She basically designed the Spiritus cover and did some really cool stuff on with some quotes from the novel on a mousepad.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? 
Spiritus spent most of its life as "Untitled Ghost Book" because every title I came up with sounded too hokey.  I was watching television and there was a priest talking in latin and there it was...Spiritus.  It was short, simple, and most people are aware that it means spirit.

How do you market/promote your books? 
I love visiting blogs and spreading the word, but I'm aqlso a nut for Twitter.  I could easily waste an entire day on Twitter without accomplishing anything.  I also utilize Facebook and Goodreads as much as possible.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback? 
I have to admit that I love ebooks.  I don't think I'll ever buy another paperback again.  I got the Kindle Fire for Christmas and I love it!

What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
 My favorite book is Gone With The Wind.  I love how it's not a predictable "happily ever after" sort of story and has a female lead that takes control of her own destiny.  I've read it so many times that the print has been rubbed off the pages around the edges.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
My favourite book to movie transfer has to be the Twilight Saga.  Most of the time I don't think that books transfer well, but in the case of Twilight I think they caught the look and feel portrayed in the novel.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
 I think print only has a few years left at the most.  Ebooks are just more convenient.  I have boxes of books everywhere, but with an ereader you can store hundreds of books without needing extra storage.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing? 
I wrote a blog post about why we should all get down on out knees and thank Stephenie Meyer for capturing the interest of our youth with her sparkling vampires.  Kids today are not encouraged to have imaginations and if it wasn't for Twilight and Harry Potter, they would all be vapid minded drones.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life? 
I always loved reading and almost got thrown out of school for reading Lolita.  I began writing stories in junior high and by high school had many short stories and novellas finished.
Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish? I tried to read Secret Life of Bees, but couldn't finish it.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't connect with the characters.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them? 
I discovered a fellow author that lives across the river from me.  Her name is Rose Pressey and her books are also paranormal romances and I'm really liking them.

What do you think about book trailers? 
I love book trailers.  I did one for my decorating book that was really simple and not that impressive, but people still seemed to like it when I had it on the site.  I did two trailers for Two Out of Three, a short one and a longer one, I love both of them.  I wanted to do one for Spiritus, but just couldn't get the right feel.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
  I would tell a new writer to have a killer collection of beta readers that can be cruel.  I would also suggest self publishing or at least finding an ebook publisher.  The days of print are quickly fading. 

Thankyoun Dana for taking the time to take part in this Interview.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview and Michelle is so sweet. I really enjoyed reading Spiritius