Wednesday 11 July 2012


What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Our Blissful Bayou Beginnings. The origin story of a two hundred year old love/hate relationship.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
Most of my ideas come from the stories I make up in my head to entertain myself while trying to fall asleep. I’ve done this ever since I can remember. As a little girl sometimes I would go to bed early so I could spend some quality time with my sagas. I realized after a while that a lot of the same characters and plots and themes would arise (also that I was talking to myself in the car while working out dialogue). So I decided to put pen to paper, so to speak.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’ve got more than plans. I’m a little less than halfway done with the second book in this series. I have ideas for at least four more.

What genre would you place your books into?
I think my novella spans several genres. Paranormal for one, since it deals with immortals. Historical because it takes place two hundred years ago and I make a real effort for historical accuracy. I am hesitant to say romance since it’s not a stereotypical grocery story checkout line paperback by any means, but the focus of the series is on a romantic relationship. It’s also a bit of a dark comedy, but that is really more of my writing style in general than a genre I was trying to achieve.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
Paranormal? I love spooky things. Historical? I love history. Romance? Because I think that the portrayal of “true love” relationships in popular media is far from the truth. A real relationship isn’t all doe-eyed lovemaking- it’s a complicated affair between two imperfect beings. I wanted to write a relationship that I believe better reflects my experiences with “true love.”

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Ma Bichette (French for My Little Doe). The story is told from first-person perspective of her lover and I found it a very effective way of describing her. Through the narrator’s eyes you see her as he does-beautiful, clever, fiery, and a little bit crazy. It’s up to the reader to fill in the blanks of her personality and characteristics that he leaves out, and I think that’s a wonderful device. As the series progresses I will flesh out the other characters more, but in this volume she’s really the star.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I have two amazing friends who read and give me feedback during the active writing process, in addition to my mother, who is always there to read and give feedback as well. Without them I don’t think I would have the support and encouragement to continue to be an active writer. When the manuscript is finished I then read it outloud (in order to catch any errors and typos that may have slipped through) to my boyfriend.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
My boyfriend does the covers. Even though he’s not an avid reader of fiction, he always drops whatever he’s doing when I say “Baby, I need you to make me a cover/website/figure out what the hell is up with this formatting issue”. As for titles? Titles and summaries are hard. I’d rather write another book than come up with a title sometimes, but I usually just get frustrated and pick the first thing that comes to mind.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Names of major characters I usually mull over for a long time, but in the end I tend to pick something that sounds snappy or fits the character. I am influenced by my surroundings, of course and I’ve picked names from cognac and beer bottles, shopping bags and songs. I always look up the meanings attributed the name to make sure it’s an appropriate (or ironic) match. I’ve never written anything that doesn’t take place in the real world, and all my locations are real locations. I use Google Maps and Wikipedia to research the areas to some extent. I don’t know how people wrote before the easily accessible resources on the internet.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I tend to struggle with plots. I have no difficultly coming up with themes or characters or settings, but giving all these elements something to do is what I really have to think about. I’ve made mistakes  in the past by not having a clearly defined plot, so before I start something I always have at least a rough story arc in mind. Granted, that changes often, but to just have the rough arc really makes a difference in writing. I can ramble and without some firm parameters I can really go off the rails. Having my friends help me is very important in this regard, because they can say to me “Dani, that’s all nice and good, but get to the point! Something needs to happen!”

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Shogun by James Clavell. I really thought I would enjoy it. I loved Memoirs of Geisha and the Sano Ichiro mysteries by Laura Joh Rowland. I scoured used bookstores here in Holland for it in English and once I found it I eagerly dug in. I got two hundred pages into it and, I don’t know why, I just could not continue. It’s a shame too, I really wanted to like it.

Where can readers follow you?

Your web site?
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Your Goodreads author page?
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