Danielle is the author of the TWIN FLAMES trilogy (Pulled, Pulled Back and Pulled Back Again) and her latest book, The ABC’s of Dee. I first read PULLED in February of 2013 and finished the next 2 not far behind. The storyline was definitely not something I had read before and I loved it. If you haven’t read it, check it out. PULLED is free (http://amzn.to/1OUr5LC).
I was so excited to get a chance to meet her at the North Shore Book signing where I got all 3 books of the TWIN FLAMES trilogy signed for my library!!!
Check out her answers to our 20 questions!!!
1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, actually. I didn’t write in school unless it was required. For me, it was all about the stage. I went to college for theatre. I was Broadway bound, baby! Then I had kids, and well, that changed. Haha. It was during the first three years with kids, that I really felt like I was losing my own identity. I was ‘Mom’ and nothing more. ‘Danielle’ became a non-priority. My creative itch was grumpy because I couldn’t just drop everything and do a play. Nursing a baby while rehearsing your blocking is probably frowned upon, so, my creative energy came out in a place where I could still safely be with my children: the page. My very first writing project was my first novel, PULLED. Probably should have started with a short story or something, right? Haha
2. Are you a full time writer? If so, what did you do in your “previous life?”
I wish. I work way too much. I’m divorced and have a chronic illness so I have to work primarily from home doing part time work. I’m ALWAYS scrambling to make ends meet. Not a day goes by when I don’t think: Maybe I should just give up on writing; there is so much work piling up that actually pays you. But, I force myself not to listen to that bully in my head and keep writing all the words, if only just for me.
3. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not.
4. Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
One story. I guess I’m a slow writer. I can’t do 8 books a year like some of my writer friends can. If I get something out in a year, it’s a miracle. If I was a full time writer I might be able to do more, but not that much more. I like to ponder too much. I like to let stories sit in my mind.
5. The PULLED series was something so different than anything I have ever read. How did you come up with the story?
Oh, wow, I’m SO glad you think it was different. That was a huge thing for me. I really wanted to write something fresh and that hadn’t been done a 100 times, so that is a huge complement to me! The idea for PULLED actually stemmed from an image I had one night. It may have been part of a dream, but all I remember is ONE frame of it. I had this image of two people, a guy and a girl, that were hovering in the rain, lightning all around them, and in front of my old theatre building from college. The two of them were staring at each other, kind of freaked out. From there I wondered what was this thing holding them together like that and what did my old theatre building have to do with it? Ironically, that particular moment is not even in the book but the feel of it definitely is.
6. Do you get emotionally attached to your characters? Do you find yourself laughing and crying along with them as you are writing?
I really do. I think that is the actress in me. When I write the dialogue, I actually say it out loud before print…well, I ACT it out, scene by scene to see if it works dramatically. I ask, would this play if it was on the stage. If it did, I keep it, if not, it gets the ax. And cry? Yep. Every darn edit, parts that make readers cry make me weep like a baby too. Every stinking time.
7. What are your biggest distractions?
Social Media. It’s huge. You get on to do your networking for a little bit, the next thing you know, you’ve wasted the day! I’ve had to get a planner and literally block out chunks of time now for writing where I turn off facebook and mute my phone. That and housework. You think, oh, I’ll just run the vacuum real quick, and next thing you know your knee deep in a Spring cleaning you never meant to do and your manuscript is just sitting there, shaking its head at you.
8. What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
Marketing. I am such a timid person that putting myself out there in a public way to get people to buy my work is horrifying. I hate it. I wish I had money to pay someone to do it for me! Haha! It’s worse than editing, which we all know is the writing Ring of Fire.
9. Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
I think it’s hard. I don’t think I’ve mastered it. It’s a work in progress. I’m trying to read more books written by men with a male POV, just so I can get a little bit better feel for how they think, but I’m not sure, as a woman, I’ll ever fully understand the male mind.
10. What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
Besides hanging with my kids, there really isn’t much time in my day to enjoy more. One day, one day, I won’t have to work this hard. One day…Then I will enjoy all the things.
11. Do you have a favorite author or book?
I love books like THE GIVER or I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS. That style of writing. The deep thought put into it. I like books that make you think and take stock of your own live.
12. Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
Not yet, but I know it’s gonna come. There are too many authors out there for there not to be some crossover plot lines.
13. Have you ever had writer’s block?
Sure. But the moment I feel myself getting into one, I switch gears and I do a writing prompt. I just write something else for the afternoon or for the week if need be. Writer’s block for me isn’t that I can’t think of what to say, as much as my characters are still thinking about what they want to reveal to me. So until they are ready, I’ll work on other stuff. They’ll let me know when they are ready to be heard. On the flip side, sometimes I DO know what they want me to say, but I’m just not ready to write it. Sometimes there is a mental processing that needs to happen.
14. I was so excited to meet you at the North Shore book signing. What is it like to meet your fans?
It was so awesome to meet you too! I’m still floored by the fact that people have actually read my books and would attend a signing with other amazing authors and make a point to see me. I have one woman who has come to three separate signings of mine specifically to get each one of my books signed! That is just mind boggling to me. I’m still building a fan base so those interactions don’t happen often. More times than not, I’m explaining my books to people who have never heard of me and hoping they like my work. Haha. I actually get all teary eyed when people tell me they read and enjoyed my book. That’s just the whole point of writing. To touch people. To make them feel something they wouldn’t without reading your words. That’s why I write, hands down.
15. What does your writing workspace look like?
I have this massive wooden desk that was given to me by another author who was moving into a smaller space and couldn’t fit it in. It’s huge. It takes up half my living room, and I love it! It has two printers on it, my laptop (propped up higher with Harry Potter, books 4 and 7). I have a pen holder filled with fine point colored pens and highlighters (for organizing my calendar), my writing journal, and a cup of coffee.
16. Sharing your baby with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
It was really hard at first. Those reviews felt like confirmation of your deepest darkest thoughts about your lack of ability as a writer. I’ve stopped going to Goodreads altogether because of the unchecked reviews there. Too much drama. It’s taken time, but I’ve come to learn that I can’t please everyone. Those that don’t like my books will love someone else’s. As long as people are reading, I’m happy!
17. Did you visual any actors/actresses as your characters in any of the books of the PULLED series or The ABCs of Dee.
You mean, besides me? I would KILL to star in Dee. I really connected with her. We are kindred spirits, so totally casting myself on that one. I have my BA in theatre and can totally pull it off. Pick me, pick me! Hahaha. As for the Twin Flames Trilogy (PULLED, PULLED BACK & PULLED BACK AGAIN), I haven’t really given it much thought. I mean, I would LOVE to see it on the screen but I haven’t picked out actors. I’d have to see them doing the lines to know for sure that they could handle the intensity these books would require.
18. Can you tell us what you are working on next?
Well, I just published my snarky Rom-Com THE ABC’S OF DEE, so now I’m onto a book called ENIGMA. This book came from a co-written book that never got off the ground. After submitting the book to ‘The Big Six’ publishing houses our agent told us that fantasy (the genre we wrote it in) was no longer sellable but they really loved the voice of my male lead and wanted to hear his story, but without any fantasy. So, upon council from our agent, we decided to spilt the book and spin them in new directions. So the co-written book that was 90,000 words, done and ready to print, has become a book that I could only salvage 15,000 words of.
That’s how writing works sometimes, though. It was two years of work on a story no one will see, but in the end, I think our separate books will be stronger because of the work we did earlier. At least, that’s the hope. Haha.
19. What is in your purse right now?
Good Gravy, um… My wallet, my pink case with chapsticks, tissues, lotions etc) Tylenol, my checkbook, my keys, phone and MY PASSION PLANNER! I don’t go anywhere without it.
20. Which one of your books is your favorite and why?
PULLED was the first, and my baby, and it took me the longest to write because I didn’t have the confidence to put it out there, so that holds a special place as the first attempt at a writer, but THE ABC’S OF DEE was so much fun to write. I kept laughing and wondering, will others think my twisted sense of humor is funny, too? I sure hope so! Haha.