Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Tuesday, we introduced you to Dani's latest romantic suspense release, Shattered, from Bethany House. Today we learn more about Dani the author.

1) Have you always wanted to be an author? If not, what made you decide to write, and how long have you been at it?

I have always loved daydreaming and making up stories. I dabbled with creative writing growing up, but set it aside. It wasn’t until after the birth of my youngest daughter and a bout with a serious illness that I really felt God stirring me to start writing again.

I started slowly. I spent a lot of time simply reading novels, seeing how they worked, and analyzing why I fell in love with certain characters and not others. I attended writing conferences, joined a writer’s group and devoted regular time to writing. I was also blessed with an amazing mentor who really shepherded me in the craft and writing life. I wrote for close to seven years from the very initial thought of ‘I think I’ll try and write a novel’ to receiving my first contract. 

2) Have you ever had a funny experience connected with being an author? For instance, has someone ever overheard you discussing the merits of one murder weapon over another or caught you shooting at a can of gasoline to see if you could make it explode?

Absolutely. I was flying back from an ACFW conference with a fellow romantic suspense writer and friend. We were brainstorming about the best way to keep someone captive in your home without your neighbors becoming suspicious. We carried on for well over an hour before we noticed people were staring at us, and then it hit. We laughed and tried to assure everyone it was okay—we were writers brainstorming stories. They smiled, but I don’t think they all bought it. I think several were expecting to see us on the news.

That's funny! I wish I could have have been there to see their reactions!

3) What do you love about being a writer, and what do you like the least?

I love so many aspects of being a writer—developing characters, creating story worlds, brainstorming with my editors, seeing the stories turn into books on the shelves, and most especially, connecting with readers. What I like least are deadlines, but it’s good I have them or I’d tinker forever. 

4) Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a combination?

I always say I’m a panster, but I’m starting to believe I’m a combination. I have a general premise in mind, an idea of where I want the story to end, and who my main characters are before I sit down, but I don’t fill out an outline or scene-by-scene cards. I don’t fill out character sketches or interviews. I just let the ideas rumble around in my head a bit, do some research, let the story percolate and then sit down and start writing.

I work the same way.

5) What do your kids think about your being a writer?

I think they really enjoy that I write, but at the same time, it’s got to be a little strange being a romantic suspense author’s kid. My oldest is an adult and my “baby” is only months away from becoming an adult so the following won’t sound quite as horrific, hopefully J It’s not unusual for a topic of conversation around our house to be about the best way to dispose of a body, or how decomposed a body would be after a certain amount of time. My girls also help with proofreading, brainstorming, and everything in between. I’m very blessed!

6) Do you like to listen to music when you write?

I would love to listen to music while I write, but I find it too distracting. I end up typing the lyrics.

I'm exactly the same way. Whether or not it has lyrics, I listen to music too actively for it to stay in the background. I also like what you said in your Tuesday post -- I had no idea you'd be talking about music earlier when I asked this question -- but it definitely sets the mood and evokes emotion.

7) Writing is a sedentary occupation. What do you do for exercise?

My favorite form of exercise is hiking, but any type of walk outdoors is great. We have an elliptical and stationary bike for rainy and especially cold days.

That's where you and I differ. I just plain doing get enough exercise.

8) Do you have any pets? Do you own them, or they you?

We have a Black Labrador who thinks he’s a lap dog, a miniature dachshund who thinks she’s a lion and a goldfish named Freddie. Our Lab, Jack, definitely owns me. He’s the sweetest thing ever.

Thank you, Dani, for visiting us on The Borrowed Book!

Readers, make sure to stop by tomorrow and participate in our drawing. One lucky person will win a copy of Dani's new release, Shattered.


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