Monday, July 22, 2013

Interview: Dani Hart

Author Interview of the Week

This week's interview is with Dani Hart, upcoming Indie author of The Life of ARIE series.

All Rights Reserved to Dani Hart

What made you want to be an author?
Wow, ok this is a deeply loaded question, whether you realize it or not. LOL!  I have always been an avid reader and writer.  I was a bit on the bossy side growing up, so to say the least not always well liked.  I spent a lot of days in a quiet corner on the playground to read.  Although I was lonely it really helped to escape into a book even at a very young age.  As I write this, I am picturing myself probably around 9 or 10 years old.  Being kind of an outsider I spent a lot of time writing in diaries.  I remember coming across one when I did my first real move and it was dated 1987.  I was 10.  I am cursing myself now because I put all my old diaries, poetries, and journals together in a duffel bag and haven’t been able to find them since *sad face*.  So I guess I have always been an author, just never published.  Although I think I had a few poems published in grade school, but now I don’t remember. LOL.  Not only have characters always lived in my head, but emotions rule me almost to a fault.  I am highly sensitive and empathetic, but also have a mean streak when you rub me or my kids the wrong way.  Again, ruled by emotions!  I believe it makes me a better writer though.

Who has inspired you the most?
Inspiration has come in so many forms for me.  I have felt most inspired in extremely dark emotional times, but also in the most beautiful settings.  Inspiration hasn’t really come from a person for me, but definitely support and encouragement has.  

Can you tell us about some of your earlier days of writing?
Not to repeat what I mentioned about my extremely early days of writing above, I will flash forward to college.  My first complete project was a short play I wrote and performed in at the junior college.  It was a ton of fun and inspired me to seek a theatre and writing degree at USC.  My major was theatre, but I also took classes in the film writing program.  I was able to complete a screenplay during my time there and was offered the opportunity to go into the graduate writing program.  I was pretty burnt out with school, so I opted to enter the industry after graduation instead.  My focus during that time was acting, but I was still writing and I was hired to write a screenplay for a company, which I proudly completed and was paid for.  Unfortunately several years later, after seeing the many sides of the industry including the dark side, I decided to walk away and never look back.  During the time after that I still wrote, but never really completed anything again.  I was pretty turned off by things I had come across and just plain discouraged.  It was just easier to turn away and forget.  Again, I am ruled by my emotions and it was a little too much for me at the time.

How has your life considerably changed since you've been published?
I am not published yet, so thank you for taking the time on an indie author!!! But even now, things have changed so much since I have decided to go full throttle ahead with my writing.  I have two young children and I am completing a Math credential this year so between writing, reviewing for a blog, and making new friends all over the author/blogger/reader world it has been all kinds of awesome crazy! I realize most writers are hoping to quit their jobs and live off of writing, which would be amazing, but with two young children and a husband in a highly dangerous profession as a firefighter I am a realist too.  I am really enjoying myself and I am so thankful for all the amazing support from complete strangers.  This is a world I can definitely see myself planting roots in!

What sparked the idea for The Life of ARIE?
I have always had this female character in mind that discovers she’s more than just an average person who has all sorts of fantastical adventures full of love and heartbreak.  The rest just kind of came organically through writing sessions.  It’s more than I could have imagined by just thinking.  Writing really takes your mind on an amazing ride and as long as you strap yourself in and go along with it, amazing things can transpire. 

How do you think a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in writing has helped shape your career?
Well, just to be super clear, it’s an unofficial minor since I was a couple credits short for the minor to be written on my diploma.  I met an amazing professor in the writing department at USC, Joseph Janeti, who encouraged and inspired me and took my mind to places I didn’t know it could go.  I am not sure my writing would be at the level it is at if I hadn’t have had the honor of being in his classes.  As far as the theatre degree, it has helped me tremendously to get into the heads of my characters and feel what they feel in different situations.  It brings my characters alive on the page so that the readers can truly feel and see them.  It’s really a blessing to have some experience in that craft if you’re a writer.  I would recommend that all writers take a few acting classes at some point. 

What has been the best experience so far on your journey as an author?
Besides the writing itself, all the awesome fans that include bloggers, readers, and authors.  You guys rock and are truly what keeps me motivated to write, so thank you!!!

Can you give us some insight on any upcoming projects?
Definitely book 2 in The Life of Arie Series and I have already started notes on a NA romance called A Firefighter’s Flame.  The latter is a coming of age stand-alone love story that everyone can relate to about life, love, heartbreak, and death.  It brings you on an amazing ride, but will definitely break your heart.  I am a sucker for some sort of HEA, so you won’t be left feeling broken, I promise!  I am hoping to have that out late Spring 2014 to early Summer.

What advice can you give to any upcoming authors?
I don’t know if I can since I am an upcoming author myself, but the one thing I will never forget that I was taught by my amazing writing professor is never stop writing.  Even if you are stuck in a moment don’t stop.  Write about something else even if it’s about the crappy day you just had.  Your mind works in amazing ways and if you keep on writing it will help work you through the writer’s block moments.  Also, any craft needs practice, so read up on different techniques, etc. to keep learning more about your craft.  Here is a list of amazing books I read while at USC and still reference:

The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
Becoming a Writer by Dorthea Brande
The Thirty Six Dramatic Situations by Georges Polti
Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Under the Grammar Hammer by Douglas Cazort

Thank you so much for having me and being my first official author interview!  And thank you to all the fans, no matter what your label is, for being so supportive!  xo

Thanks so much, Dani for interviewing with us! Don't forget to follow her on her outlets listed below!

Don't forget to head over to A Thousand Lives Reviews' Facebook page for the cover reveal of Reality today!

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