Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Interview with Danyelle Leafty: Author of of WIND AND WINTER

I met Danyelle through Facebook. I created a writer's of children's books group and her husband, Jadean, posted her newest book review there. 

I liked it so much I reached out to him to ask her for an interview. Yes, sometimes it gets complicated. But it worked out! 

Thanks Danyelle & Jadean! You both rock.

Below are the questions I asked her:

1.     You do not use an outline when writing a book. Do you know the ending? Or do you let your characters take you on a journey?

It depends. Sometimes I know how the story will end before I start writing the book. Most of the time I just have a vague feeling that all will end happily. Details as to how things end tend to flesh out as I go. But, yes, the characters are definitely in charge of the journey.

2.     How do you know when a book is finished and ready to be published?

Externally: when I find myself tinkering with unimportant prepositions and such. 

Internally: by honestly evaluating whether or not this is the very best I can do for this story at this stage of my writerly development. I have been known to delay releasing projects because sometimes the honest answer is no.

3.     What time do you get up and what do you eat for breakfast?

As late as possible. :D My stomach is fairly persnickety, so breakfast foods depend on what I can stomach. As of now, about all I’m up for in the morning is hash browns.

4.     What's the funniest/oddest thing anyone has ever said about your books/writing?

My oldest (he was about five or so at the time) asked why I hadn’t written any of my story in English. >.< In my defense, he was reading chapter books at the time and not upper MG. :D

5.     Is there anything on your writing desk that is a MUST have before you can write? 

Me. :p Seriously, though, all I need to write is my laptop, my characters, and myself.

6.     Please share 3 words of advice for the newbie writer: 

Live, Laugh, Write.

7.     Where do you go to get a great cup of Joe/Tea in your town? 

I’m fairly boring and drink mostly water. It keeps my book fund healthier that way. :p

8.     Many of your books involve fairy tales. Why fairy tales? What draws you to them?

I love fairy tales because they have the power to be devastatingly beautiful and true. 

Children know better than anyone in the world that dragons exist, things are not always what they seem, that knights and heroic maidens are needed now more than ever, and that doing good is not always easy and life is not always fair.

Fairy tales give us something higher to reach for while, at the same time, reaching deep down inside of each of us and pulling out what it means to be human. 

Also, I think in metaphors, and this works well with fairy tales.

9.     What do your children think about your writing? Any of them characters in your books?

My children want to be writers when they grow up, and know that writing is very important—to their mother and in life.

While no one character encompasses any of my children completely, there are bits and pieces of them in many of my books—particularly in BITTEN.

10. Who is your biggest cheerleader?

My Beloved Spouse Creature.

11. What has been the best way for you to get the word out about your books?

I haven’t really been focusing all that much on marketing my books yet. For now, I’m working on building up a decent backlist, although I will be doing more marketing-wise with my next release.

12. When do you come up with new ideas? Morning? Afternoon? Night? And why do you think that is?

I haven’t really noticed a specific time. Mostly, I get mugged by new characters when I’m not doing anything in particular. That’s how all stories start for me. 

The idea usually comes after the character has sufficiently captured my attention. I do know that I edit better during the day and write better during the night. I think that’s because editing requires left brain skills while writing uses my right brain a little more.

13. Share with us the best teachers or writer's courses you have had or taken.

I’d have to say Dave Farland’s (Wolverton) seminar on editing. It probably sounds weird, but his editing class made my writing grow much better and faster than it ever had before. I also learned a lot about the business side of writing too.

14. If Hollywood said they wanted to produce one of your books as a movie, which one would it be and why?

I would hope that BITTEN: A NOVEL OF FAERIE would be the one they chose. 

It’s the only book I’ve written so far that has a somewhat contemporary setting. It’s also the book that has the most me in it, if that makes sense. Plus, I’d love to see how they handled the firebird.

15. Who would play the lead roles?

Full confession: I’m a bibliophile with four kids that have the combined energy power of a tribe of caffeinated gerbils. So I don’t get to see many movies, and don’t really know many names. >.<

Whoever they chose to play Cherrie would need to be able to convey quiet intensity while at the same time being able to handle a spunky faerie (Thorn) who will pretty much do anything to save her world.

16. What one thing do you wish you knew when you were starting out as a newbie writer?

That it’s all right to fail. 

I think a lot of us put such an emphasis on getting things right and as close to perfect as possible, that we sometimes forget the value in making mistakes. And that mistakes can be corrected.

17. How can my blog readers help you to become an even bigger success?

Just keeping reading awesome books and sharing them with their friends. 

I was a reader long before I ever started writing, and as the industry’s changing, I appreciate—now more than ever—learning about new books. 

I write for kids, and I firmly believe that if we can light that reading spark when they’re young, then we all win. J

18. What is your blog about?

My blog is currently a wasteland thanks to a couple of viruses—I’m looking at you, Flu—and Life™. It has mostly been a place where I talk about writing and share books I enjoy. I’ll hopefully be relaunching it in the next couple of months.

19. What one word best describes you?


(Nice word - I just may have to steal that one!)

20. Any big news?

I’m excited to be launching the first book in a brand new series on the 20th of May. 

I’ve always thought it was kind of unfair that the ugly stepsisters tend to get the short end of the stick, so when Bettony (Ugly Stepsister Extraordinaire) came to me with her story, I jumped on it.
Bettony’s story will be the opening salvo in the creation of The Secret Stepsister Society, because even ugly stepsisters deserve a chance at having a happily ever after.
You can learn more about that here~ 

~Collector of dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers~

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