When our little group first started working on the relaunch of the blog Brandilyn asked us if we wanted to contact any authors to interview. The very first author I thought of was Dani Alexander. When I read Shattered Glass a few years ago I was so impressed by this funny, entertaining and altogether awesome book that I sent a fan letter to Dani, and he graciously wrote back to me. So I have been fangirl #1 ever since.
Dani – Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me! I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say how exciting it is to have you stop by and give us an update about how you are doing, and your plans for 2014.
Thank you so much for inviting me. This is exciting for me too. Book chat!–only gaming matches my interest as much as books. (And then I want to write about games. I play Far Cry 3 and I keep putting the main character and the main villain together in dirtybadwrong ways. Don’t judge me.)
Q1: So, 2013 had some tough moments and you are probably looking forward to 2014 being a freakin’ great year – do you mind telling me a bit about life events this past year?
As a writer, I’ve always had these crazy characters in my head. Especially Cai. For a year now, medical stuff has just consumed that part of me. The characters got quieter and quieter, and then, finally, silent. Most people want the voices out of their heads, I wanted mine back. They’re starting to speak again and I’m feeling like I’m me again because of it. Cai is very demanding. He was the first one to start banging around in my head. He’s demanding I finish editing his story (and also to write more sex scenes, because, obv, I’ve created a pervert.)
Honestly, I thought the success would make it easier to write. It hasn’t. It’s made it tougher. Heh. I feel like I want to have the perfect book for everyone. I’m terrified to disappoint anyone. It’s a process I’m working past, with the help my my friends and husband. I suppose that’s weird—to have success be a block rather than a boon. I look at writers like Kaje Harper and Josh Lanyon (esp them because they’re so prolific—HOW? HOW do they do that?) and they keep getting better. I want to ask them if they’ve ever had this crippling fear like I have.
As for the hardest part of SG? Scrapping the first 75k was probably the most difficult and the best choice I’ve ever made in writing. The decision leading up to that took about six weeks of my tears in a bowl of Cheetos.
Q3: What inspired you to write the story?
I was running out of things to read! And I was in the middle of reading so many WIPs—ICoS (by Sonny & Ais) and Muffin/Matthew (by Mahsa) and Starfighter Comic (by HamletMachine) specifically were ones I’d be checking EVERY day for. Which is just silly because no one could write and polish a story every day (except maybe Kaje and Josh and Amy Lane. I think they could. I might hate them a little for that >8() Frustration was peaking and I just wanted to read something that encompassed all the genres I loved: Slash/mystery/romance/cops/police procedural–plotty stuff with humor. Couldn’t find anything so, I decided to write it. Oddly, SG was supposed to be about Cai. He’d been a character in my head for 2 years (in various forms). Spoiler coming SPOILER ALERT: Then this image came in my head of Peter where he’s in a warehouse, tied to a chair, and gets shot in the head and killed by the partner of my not-created-yet MC (who turned into Austin). In that few seconds of images, I was bombarded with what the MC and the victim had together because of the MC’s grief. That was the beginning idea of SG (or the idea for the ending, I should say). I started writing it. After reading most of the book, the hubby, knowing I had started with that premise, said, “if you kill him, I will never read another book of yours.”
Here’s the irony of that story and why it relates to your question: I started reading and writing slash because I got sick of the Dead Homo Trope. You know that one? Where every gay couple ends with a death. >8( It’s so rampant in Hollywood that the gays must end in tragedy. But things worked out in the end and I learned my lesson. =D. Maybe.
*evil grin while hiding bullet hole in Cai*
KIDDING. ONLY KIDDING
(It’s really Riley).
Q4: I have read that you choose to self-publish because you like to have control or your story and covers – have you ever second-guessed that decision?
No way. Not because I wouldn’t love for it to be at a publishing house (it woulda been cool), but because the experience is invaluable. Man is self-pubbing hard, though.
Q5: I am pretty good about reading your blog and I know you have a lot of dedicated fans. I also have to say that you are one of the most gracious and approachable authors I have ever encountered – what is the most interesting thing a fan has asked of you?
That has to be the best thing anyone has ever said about me! Thanks for reading, btw. I’ll try to have some more topics coming up in the next few months.
The most interesting thing a reader ever asked? Nothing. Hey, maybe someone will ask me something weird now? (go on, ask me weird stuff!) Do other authors get asked weird stuff? How come I don’t get weird stuff? I’m approachable dammit! Approach me with weird stuff!
Q6: Do you have any strange writing habits – like wearing bunny slippers while you write or something?
Hah! I do wear bunny slippers! I also have conversations aloud at the dog park while our beagle runs around. I need to hear dialogue. I carry a tablet (pc—because in my youth a tablet meant a legal pad +P) and a keyboard with me EVERYWHERE as well as 2 notebooks and a pen. When I say everywhere, I mean to bed, to the doctor, to the grocery store EVERYWHERE.
Q7: Now the question everyone (and by everyone I mean Marc) wants to know – when can we hope to see the next installment in the series Not So Innocent?
I hope by September. Maybe earlier? Maybe later. I’m writing again. That’s all I can promise. It’s a daily thing, which is more than I can say for the last year. I just can’t make hard date predictions (mostly I want to avoid people wanting to play stabbity with my eyeball, but I also don’t want to disappoint anyone). I’ll tell you what I said to the hubby the other day: “I’m gonna have this book ready by May”. WARNING: Don’t run off with the idea it’s gonna be out in MAY! LOL And while I may plan it that way, I also have to depend on betas and editors time being available. What that means is, May is what I want to have it done by. That’s what I’m shooting for. (oh, ending on a preposition. Sara (my grammar corrector) is gonna go apoplectic when she reads this)
Q8: And tell us about Shatterproof – do you have a timeline for that story’s publication yet?
Shatterproof’s timeline is definitely not set. I’m very wary about setting expectations because a) I don’t want to rush a book to meet a deadline and have it be crap and b) Darryl is so pissy all the time, I may write his book quicker than I think so I don’t have him kicking my skull in and making me as ornery as he is.
Q9: What books/authors inspire or influence you?
Sonny (Santino) Hassel and Aleksandr Voinov. They write the kind of characters I like. Jesse Hajicek has great characters too in one specific story that I’d say inspires me: https://www.fictionpress.com/s/2708106/1/Just-Drive-the-Car. I like bad guys, but ones with purpose. I like killers and psychopaths and assassins and vigilantes (oh yes, my boxers disintegrate for vigilantes)–characters who are not just flawed, but REALLY devious and not ‘pretty’. While he’s nothing like the hard edged characters that Sonny and Aleks write, Austin is inspired by their characters. He’s so deeply, deeply flawed with his superficiality and his narcissism and stereotyping and womanizing, misogyny, immaturity, inability to express his real emotions…you name it. They made me unafraid to make my characters be unpretty.
Q10: Where can readers find you on the web?
Too many places? I am all the places.
Except Google+ because no one is there. Why is no one there? =(
Pinterest (my cover whoring place)
Finally – is there anything you would like to say/add to the above?
I want to say something cheesy and heartfelt but every time I want to say something meaningful and cheesy, my brain turns into Austinland. Then I start with dick jokes and sexual innuendo. So, I’ll leave with this: Thank you! To all y’all For reading and for keeping the faith. (PS: I said hard three times. And ‘came’. SAID ‘came’ not that I…gonna stop writing now.)
Thank you so much Dani for spending some time to update us on how you are doing and what’s in store for 2014 – we are all very excited to see you back in action.
Because we are so excited that Dani stopped by to give us an update we wanted to celebrate by giving away one $15 Omni eBook Bucks from AllRomance.com. Just leave a comment between now and Feb 8 at 11:59 and you will be entered into a chance to win. Contest ends 2/9/14. Must be 18 years old, etc.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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