Interview with Author Dani Hoots
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
Well, I am an author that resides outside Seattle, Washington with my husband and two cats. I have a B.S. in Anthropology and a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning from Arizona State University, where I am also enrolled in an online program for Novel Writing through the Piper Center at ASU. My hobbies include learning German and Swedish, playing the violin, volunteering for conservation organizations, and watching anime and reading manga. I also love working at conventions, such as Comic-con, where I get to meet my readers and other artists like me.
You have an impressive array of novellas and series. Could you tell us a bit about your books?
Yes. I have five series currently that are either finished or I’m in the middle of them, along with some free short stories that are available for download. They all range from science fiction, fantasy, to horror and romance.A Falling Starr Trilogy follows Angela Starr as she can’t remember who she is, and is taken to a new world and finds out that it is her home. She must figure out who exactly she was in this world and why there are so many people after her.
A World of Vampires Series follows different myths and legends throughout the world about vampires, and each novella has to do with a different character in a different place and time in history as they discover these creatures. My stories range from 1930’s Boston, following the Native American version of a vampire called a Hooh-Strah-Dooh, to 1700s Scotland with the Baobhan Sith, and the newest one to be released is set in 16th century Chile with the Peuchen legend.
The Sanshlian Series, which includes my first indie published novel The Quest, follows Arcadia Rieturf who was taken from her family and trained to be the Emperor’s Shadow. She becomes emotionless and ruthless, believing in everything her master, the emperor, does—that is, until she runs into her long lost brother who wants to find the legendary planet of Sanshli, which can be used to destroy the Pandronan Empire and bring back the New Republic that once ruled. Now Arcadia must choose between her loyalty and her family.
My Broken Heart Series is a collection of different romance stories of people who have had their heart broken. For this, I decided to do all types of “doomed to fail” relationships including a girl falling in love with her father’s intern, a graduate school teacher-student romance, boss-employee relationship, and so on. This series also includes two LGBT novellas that have not yet been released.
Lastly, I have a series called Damon Salvatore: Life After Lost that I published through Kindle Worlds. This is through The Vampire Diaries and follows Damon just after he runs off from Mystic Falls after he is turned into a vampire.
You are also working on a comic called Hel's Labyrinth. What’s the premise, and how does working on a comic differ from writing a book?
Hel’s Labyrinth follows a girl named Phoebe who unwillingly gets trapped into Niflhel, the Scandinavian underworld, with seven other circus attendees. There, they have to face Norse mythical beings that are trying to kill them and survive to the end of the labyrinth to face Hel herself, as she is the one behind it all and is trying to bring Ragnarok to end the world. To learn more about it and stay informed, please check out our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/antikcomics
Working on a comic is a lot of fun, especially when it is with a friend. Being a writer can be lonely a lot of time, so working on joint projects is definitely exciting. I found that the difference is when it comes to actually writing the story, as you don’t need to worry about describing things since that is what the art does. Mainly, all your focus is on dialogue and you have to make sure all the information is given only through dialogue. It is quite interesting, actually, to have to change your focus on how most information is given. As for marketing and all the pre- and post-production work, it is a lot like writing a novel.
You’ve also written a book (based on the Vampire Diaries) for Kindle Worlds. How was that experience?
It was a lot of fun since I got to be able to write about a character I absolutely love. There is definitely a lot we don’t know about Damon in The Vampire Diaries and it was fun to put together some of the pieces, even though it’s not canon. It was also helpful in developing a fan base and beginning my career as a writer.
You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?
I am not sure what would be my favorite, but if I had to pick, it would probably be urban and historic fantasy. I love doing research on different times in history, or different places throughout the world, and learn a lot by writing A World of Vampires Series, and a novel I am working on called The Chained. Science Fiction is a close second though, as I have great interest in space exploration and grew up reading Isaac Asimov and Star Wars books.
Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?
I try to write every day, even if it is just a little. I make myself a pot of herbal tea, get my cat to lie down next to me, blast some music that inspires me (ranging from folk to German metal), and go to work in my study. That is pretty much my every day. My ideas originate from many things, such as dreams, history books, or just interactions with people on the streets. I find inspiration in everything around me.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
I would have to say that a lot of the time being a writer can be very lonely. Sure there is a lot of people online to talk to, but actual physical interaction is a lot different. That is why I like working at conventions, meeting people, and joining clubs like German club, soccer, and volunteering places.
Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration?
My favorite authors include Isaac Asimov, Kevin J. Anderson, Timothy Zahn, and I get inspired by many animes and mangas, such as Sailor Moon, Fairy Tail, and Trigun. Isaac Asimov was a very scientific writer and it is very motivating how he was able to incorporate it in his writing. When I was young, I read a lot of Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson and those stories were what made get serious about writing, along with watching/reading Sailor Moon, Trigun, and many other Japanese anime and manga.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
My next project is going to be a young adult paranormal mystery. It is still in the works, but I know it will follow a young girl who is starting her freshman year at a boarding school outside of Leavenworth, Washington. She starts hearing a voice talking to her and strange things begin happening at the school where she has to solve the mystery of what happens. I’m very excited to start working on it soon and I hope to release the first one this fall.