Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview with Victoria Danann

1. What inspired you to become an author?

          My father was a great orator. He loved books and loved words - how they can be put together to inspire, to persuade, or even used as weapons. After I had exhausted the Bobbsey Twins series and Child Craft, he bought me the set of Scribner classics which was a library of the best literature for young readers. These included Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, James Fenimore Cooper and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
          Out of all those stories, I was captivated by the two that featured a young female protagonist who was physically capable and intellectually superior. One of these was a fairy tale called "The Last Dragon". The other was one of the Arabian Nights.
          I wrote a lot of Bobbsey Twins novels as a preteen and wrote several pages of a paranormal romance in my mid-twenties, but put it down when it failed to impress my spouse. Now it's excruciatingly obvious that he is not the reader I'm trying to please. Duh.
          Anyway, all this is to say the answer to the question is two words: Kresley Cole. I discovered her books two years ago and remembered how I loved those proactive young women and their adventures. I then set a goal to try and carve out time for writing. Kresley - thank you. You're the best. 

2. Do you have a specific writing style?

          I've never had a class on writing so I don't know how to answer this question. I have picked up some of the inner circle writer's lingo from reviews because I had to look up what POV means. I can tell you that, three months after initial publication, my target audience are right brained, meaning women who want to become emotionally engaged by a story, leave reality behind for a few hours, and come to the end of the book wishing they could experience it all over again. If you nodded and laughed when, in the movie "Dead Poets' Society", the Robin Williams character told the class to tear out the page that attempted to graph poetry, high fives all around. In my opinion, if you're not a rebel, you're probably not a writer.

3. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

          Right up until release, the working title was Familiar Stranger  taken from the song, "Stranger" by Jefferson Starship. At the last minute I searched Amazon and discovered that there were several other books by that name. So I added the "My" to get a unique title.

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

          Yes and I use it in promotional material all the time. The message is that true love can find you when you least expect it, in the strangest places, even when you're far, far from home.

5. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

          We are all defined by our experiences. Certainly that includes writers. Characters and events in my books are a little like a house of mirrors. They may be based on something real, but expanded, elongated, distorted, or otherwise manipulated into what serves the story best. They may just as easily be based on an idea gleaned from another book or a movie. Once I digest media through my own filter, it's also a true life experience.   

6. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

          Kresley Cole. I have never interacted with her by any means. If I were she, I would think it strange to be considered a mentor by someone I didn't know existed. But there it is. As I say in my books - often - life is strange.

 7. What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

          The third book in The Order of the Black Swan series entitled "The Summoner's Tale" expected to release February 14, 2013.  

8. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

          I am locked in a life/death battle with time and, although I fight the good fight, I suspect I'm predestined to lose. If I had four clones, I would still not have enough time to pursue every interest or project I'd like.
          I still publish Seasons of the Witch  every year and oversee the operations at 7th House. The only way I could find time for writing was to back off music. My Classic Rock band broke up a few months ago. I can say I had the full rock and roll experience. I got to play Warrior Dash to 35,000 people and I got to play late night biker bars to fifteen people. It ended with slamming doors, lots of f u's, and "I wouldn't play with you again if you were the last bass player on earth!" type proclamations. Sigh.   
          So, rather than get with another band, I took that time and applied it to improving my guitar (my first instrument is keys). And started writing.

10. Who designed the cover of your latest book?

          I do the covers and the book trailers personally. It's not that I'm controlling. Okay. Well. Maybe it is.

11. Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

          The song that backs the book trailer for My Familiar Stranger is "At Last", the classic love song originally recorded by Etta James. The version on the book trailer is done by Alicia Brass who is lead singer for a popular Houston variety band that I manage and, I might add, she is better than the late, great Etta James.
          The song that backs the book trailer for The Witch's Dream is actually an integral part of the story. I found a real life (or close enough) Rammel Hawking who backs the book trailer with an acoustic version of the mystery song - used with his permission, of course. I plan to release the book trailer on October 1st, two weeks before the book in available for download.

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August 24 Interview 

August 25 Promo and reviews
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Aug 31 Guest blog and book 1 review
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Sept 5 Review
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Sept 6 guest blog (review both)
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Sept 10 Interview
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Sept 21 Interview
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Sept 24 Guest blog
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October 1 promo and reviews
Andi's Book Reviews 

October 5 Guest blog and review
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October 6 Guest blog

October 7 Guest blog (review book 1)
Oct 14 review book 2

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October 13 Review (both)
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October 31 Halloween Guest Post
Fang-tastic Books

My Familiar Stranger
By Victoria Danann

The Order of the Black Swan #1

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: April 21, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-933320-49-6

Number of pages: (estimated 370)
Word Count: 111,268

Purchase Links: Amazon  Smashwords

Book Description:

Minutes ahead of inevitable assassination, Elora Laiken is forcibly transported to an alternate dimension similar, but not identical, to her own. She is stranded. Alone. Far from home. A stranger in a "strangish" land.

Of course a girl could suffer worse problems than having gorgeous suitors. Perhaps more importantly, in the midst of an epidemic of vampire related abductions, can she stay alive long enough to choose between an honor debt, true love, or the breathlessness of single-minded passion?

My Familiar Stranger is a full length, stand alone, Paranormal Romance novel that also sets up the foundation for the Black Swan series. It is loved by fans of paranormal romance, fantasy romance, and urban fantasy.

Erotica quotient: A few steamy scenes. No menage. No BDSM.

Author Bio: 

For the past thirteen years, Victoria has illustrated and authored Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners.

Though works of fiction are a departure for her, she has had this series simmering on the back burner of her mind for years. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch, she plays rock music and manages one of Houston's premier R&B/Variety/Pop bands.

This series will include some of my actual experience in the paranormal with fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing "metaphysician", but most of the material is fantasy.