Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I’ve WON 11 writing awards. Four of which are for Tunney’s Curse that doesn’t come out until August 1st. It’s an amazing gift to be awarded writing awards on a book that hasn’t made it to the mass market as of yet.
How did you get into writing?
I was a news anchor and journalist. Writing has been my lifelong profession. To trace it to its root, I started making up stories when I was a small child. When I learned to write, I began writing them down and stapling them together to form a “book.” Writing is something I like to say is innate for me—as if it was breathed into me at birth. When I was in high school, I had an English teacher that pushed me to write more, be better, to focus. She submitted one of my pieces to a contest called Wings of Freedom. It won and was displayed in the White House and then the later in the halls of Congress. It inspired me to keep writing. I selected journalism in college so that I could write daily. I’ve spent nearly every day since writing in one way or another. I knew early on that being an author was ultimately where I would finish my professional career. I’m truly lucky to be living that dream.
What are your top 3 books of all time?
Hands down the best books of all times are: The Scarlet Letter, Gone With The Wind, and The Great Gatsby.
Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?
A dear friend snapped a photograph of an old Royal typewriter, seated in a beautiful tan and maroon case, which her family had been gifted. Knowing my affinity for antiques, especially those that deal with writing and literary works, she sent me a text one early Sunday morning with the words, “Look at what David’s father gave us.”
I hadn’t yet made my way out of bed as it was still very early. Hearing the familiar chime of my phone, I wondered who was texting me at that time. As the photo came through, with it came the idea for the first book. I sprang from bed and began outlining. Unbeknownst to her, that single photo became my muse. In honor of this gift, I named the main character after her daughter, Elizabeth. The rest of the series has honestly taken on a life of its own. I write as it comes and once I start, it’s impossible to get the characters to stop finding their through my fingertips.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Four months. Once I start writing I cannot turn off the characters. I write quickly and love that process.
Have you got any writing rituals?
I have gotten accustomed to writing wherever I am. I’ve lucky to be able to travel with my writing career. So I’ve written much of the third book in The Whizbang series on various planes. While I’m home I always write in my office. It’s a separate space in my home that belongs to me, and me alone.
I’m an early riser. I write 7 days a week starting at 5 a.m. I generally can whip out a chapter by 10 a.m.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
It’s nearly everything! With stores closing and readers turning to mostly digital purchasing whether for a bound book or an e-Book, it’s important to reach the readers. Readers can’t find your work unless you expose it to them. Marketing and social media is nearly the only way!
Do you read your book reviews?
It depends, honestly. I used to read every single review. I learned early on that everyone’s taste is different. What one may love someone else may not. Being a reader is subjective to taste and life experience. I keep that in mind while reading the reviews I do read. Otherwise, I usually stay clear of them altogether. Good or bad, it doesn’t change that I love what I do.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Write every single day. It’s that simple. Great writing comes from exercising the writing muscle, so to speak. There is not a magical formula to award-winning writing. It’s truthfully like anything else in life–practice makes progress.
What are you reading now?
Eek! Nothing. I’m in the middle of writing the third book in The Whizbang series. I do not read while writing. It becomes too messy.
What’s your next step?
Keep writing! I’m working on my series. I have a stack of finished manuscripts to address thereafter. I’m going to keep writing, promoting, and striving for the top.
Follow Danielle on Twitter @AuthorDanielleV
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