Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Danielle Dickson—but everyone calls me Dan—and I’m 25.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Dan: Originally from Newcastle in the UK, but I currently live in North Yorkshire—but who know when that will change, I’m an army wife so I follow where they need him.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Dan: I always hate talking about myself, it feels like I’m speed dating HA! But I’ll start by saying I’m completely random and go off on tangents a lot, so I’ll apologise now. I’m a huge reader before a writer, books are my escapism since I don’t get to travel as much as I used to. I’ve lived all over the world and experienced many things, but I gave up living abroad to move back to the UK when I was 16 so that I could go to college where I studied Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, and Makeup Artistry. I’ve been a freelance makeup artist for seven years now which I do alongside my writing. As well as this, I’m also a mum to a 4—going on 14—year old little girl. She keeps me busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way, she’s like a mini version of me and I love that I can have conversations with her.
I have four novels out currently, with the fifth and sixth being written. Two are part of my Little Hollow series—One Moment and When I’m With You—one is a romantic comedy spin-off of Little Hollow—Betting On Love—and one is a co-authored book that is book 1 in the Broken Tracks series—Etching Our Way. Each one is on Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Dan: I’ve just released a co-authored book with my best friend Abigail Davies. It’s called Etching Our Way and it was an incredible experience writing it with her. I’m also working on book three and four of my Little Hollow series simultaneously—I don’t half make work for myself HA! I’ve just got back from a book signing and had the best time meeting all my readers and friends that I’ve talked to online for a while.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Dan: I’ve just had the first post I put up on Facebook about starting writing pop up about a week ago, so it’s been a year since I started writing properly. I wrote short stories when I was a lot younger, probably 13/14, so it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing of waking up and thinking “I’m going to write a book today” I’ve always loved to read and write and when I had a dream and woke up sobbing because the story hit me so hard, I knew I needed to write that story and immediately rolled out of bed and grabbed my notebook to make notes. I haven’t looked back since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Dan: From the moment I started writing I “considered” myself a writer, but it didn’t really hit me until I had a paperback of my romantic comedy “Betting On Love” in my hands. It was the first book I ordered in paperback even though it was my third release.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Dan: Like I said above, a dream inspired the plot of my debut book “One Moment” but if it wasn’t for Abigail spurring me on, I’m not sure I would’ve published it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Dan: “One Moment” is about that one moment that can change your life forever. The title seems obvious, but it took me a while to come up with it. Sometimes the best titles are staring you right in the face and you don’t even realise.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Dan: I write in first person and present tense, it’s a personal preference really. When I write I feel like I’m experiencing my writing, if that makes any sense at all, and writing in present tense helps me picture everything so much more clearly that it feels like I’m connected. I write different genres, but with my contemporary I try to add real life situations into them so they can sometimes be challenging in the way that I want to write them real and raw and I just hope I do them justice if it’s something I haven’t myself experienced.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Dan: “One Moment” was complete fiction bar the heroine’s best friend. She was kind of based on my younger self and I used my sarcasm to portray her how I wanted.
The second of the Little Hollow series “When I’m With You” is the best friends story and some of her dialogue came from my real life, but like One Moment, the storyline was purely fiction.
My romantic comedy “Betting On Love” is a little more true to life. The heroine is me in a nutshell, she’s sarcastic, witty, a little insecure, and a total prank queen 😉 it was SO much fun to write because it was like writing how I would react to the what was going on in the book. The pranks in it were 100% tried and tested, the dialogue was things that I’d say, but again, the plot was made up.
Etching Our Way, the plot was made up, but some of the upsetting scenes in there were based upon real life, either me or Abigail, or someone else we know, have been through, we researched a lot for this book and I think it paid off. We also took inspiration from our own children for the two little people in it..
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Dan: I don’t travel, but I do have to do some extensive research sometimes for the things that are written. If you looked through my google history, you’d probably lock me up for everything I had to look up for books one and two of Little Hollow.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Dan: “One Moment” was designed by Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs.
“When I’m With You” was designed by Marisa Shor of Cover Me Darling.
“Betting On love” was designed by Eleanor Lloyd-Jones of Schmidt’s Author Services.
“Etching Our Way” was designed by Emily Wittig of Emily Wittig Designs & Photography.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Dan: There’s a couple of messages in every one of my books, but there’s one main one in each.
“One Moment” conveys that you shouldn’t bottle up your feelings and wish they’d go away, you should deal with things head on and talk to people if you need to. You may feel like you’re the only one going through something, but talking helps, and everyone has problems.
“When I’m With You” ultimately teaches you that you shouldn’t settle and try to conform to fit someone else’s ideals. Be you and that’s good enough.
“Betting On love” is about having fun, staying young, and not necessarily forgiveness, but about not letting things weigh you down and rule your life.
“Etching Our Way” is the hardest to pinpoint one main lesson, but the undercurrent of it all is that if you feel like you’re drowning, there’s people that love you that can and want to help with whatever it is you’re struggling with. It’s also about not letting people rule your life and dictating what you should/shouldn’t do.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Dan: I’ve been reading a lot of new authors lately, not necessarily new to writing, but new to me. I read “Crash Burn Sting” by Alora Kate and it blew me away so I will be reading all of her works immediately. I’ve also enjoyed books from T.J. Spade, Kendall Ryan, Missy Johnson, and Laurelin Paige—all were fantastic reads.
My favourite writer is hard to pinpoint because my “go-to’s” are all different genres and have different writing styles, but I have a few “one-clicks.” Cecelia Ahern, C.M. Owens, Colleen Hoover, Abigail Davies, Yolanda Olson, Addison Jane—just to name a few. They all spin their tales in a way that sucks you into their work and spits you out at the end so you sit there thinking “what did I just read,” but in a good way. They’re all incredible in their respective genres!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Dan: My best friend—who actually started out as a colleague and at the point of starting to encourage me, we’d only known each other for a day; if that—Abigail Davies. She’s an author herself and like I said in an earlier question, I’m not sure I would’ve published without her guidance and support. She’s amazing and someone I always go to if I need a kick up the backside.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Dan: Absolutely, it’s my aim to keep putting my stories out into the world. Whether people like them or not, I know I’ll have told my characters stories and that’s an amazing feeling for me.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Dan: Absolutely not, “Etching Our Way” is the story it was meant to be all along. It started off as something else entirely and I wouldn’t go back on ANY of the changes we made. Me and Abi love the story we wrote and we poured our heart and soul into it, so much so that I wouldn’t change it in the slightest, and neither would she.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Dan: I did. I learnt that I’m getting better as a writer and I’m know more grammar and sentence structure than I knew a year ago. Being a writer is a learning curve and I’m so happy to be learning as I go along and honing my craft.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Dan: Eeek, loaded question! I’ll do Etching Our Way since we’re talking about it. I think I’d like Matt Bomer to play our hero, Tristan, and maybe Emma Stone to play our heroine, Harmony. Matt Bomer has that moody/mysterious thing going on and Emma plays a free spirit amazingly well, I think they’d both do our characters justice.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Dan: Oh, wow, I have a lot of advice I wish I was told at the start, like to be prepared to dig deep to publish a book. Covers, formatting, editors, proofreaders, teasers, and advertising cost a lot as an Indie author, but it’s completely worth it to invest in yourself. Which brings me onto the point of that I advise you get yourself a professional editor, or at the very least someone that is amazing at grammar and catching things that don’t sound right. Readers seem to pick up these mistakes, and if there’s a ton of mistakes in your book, then it can show in their review and it’s not worth it. Get it edited.
I’ll also advise you to start a reading group from the start, even if you only had three people in there, it’s worth it. I only started one two months ago and it was the best thing that I’ve done, it’s amazing being able to interact with your readers and they start to become your friends. There’s nothing better for me than talking to my readers/friends!
Always write a book that you’d want to read, don’t change your story up because a few people didn’t agree with the ending or don’t think something should’ve gone down the way it did in your book. I’ve known authors to read a few reviews stating that the reader didn’t like X and they’ve gone back into their book and either changed it or took it out!! That’s madness!! It’s your book, your story, write it your way. If people don’t like the story then that’s fine, not everyone will, and even people who love your other books may not like your most recent or they didn’t like the character in X book, and that’s fine too. People interpret books differently and react differently in certain situations, so what may not ring true or seem impossible to someone, may not to someone else. As long as you love the story you’ve put out there, that’s all that matters deep down.
I’ll leave you with one last piece of advice otherwise I’d take up pages HA! Just have fun writing, don’t ever let it become a chore or feel like you’re writing for anyone else than yourself. Writing is such an accomplishment, and you should be proud and love what you’ve written, don’t let the magic of finishing a book die off. Every time you release you should have butterflies in your stomach.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Dan: I love you all, but you already know that, I tell you enough on my reader group HA! I can’t thank you all enough for sticking by me and interacting, it makes it all worth it, especially when I get your special messages that make em feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I know I’m a big weirdo and I’m totally random, but I feel accepted by all of you, so for that I’m grateful.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Dan: I’ve just finished “Becoming A Vincent” by C.M. Owens and MY GOSH!!!! It was such a fantabulous book that EVERYONE needs to read it. It was bloody brilliant and hilariously funny. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, laugh your socks off read, then pick it up, it’s only .99 cents. I’m now going to move onto Confess by Colleen Hoover because I thought I’d read it, but apparently not :O bad CoHo!!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Dan: Not exactly, but I still have my childhood book of “We’re going on a bear hunt” that I read to my daughter all of the time. The first books I started reading by myself were Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, I was reading from a very early age.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Dan: I have a very witty/silly/sarcastic sense of humour, it’s also a little dirty at times so I can lower the tone with that, but it’s all good fun. I love to laugh, it’s my favourite thing to do and I love people that make me laugh. I like to pretend I’m hard, but I wear my heart on my sleeve, I cry a lot behind closed doors but I hate people seeing me cry unless they’re happy tears. I cry at songs, videos, films, books, letters, seeing people get hurt, sad stories… everything HA!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Dan: I’m going to cheat a little and say meet again. I would do anything to talk to my grandad again, he made his own stories up for me when I was a child and I can’t remember them properly and it’s frustrating. I’d love for him to tell me them all again so I can make them into books in his memory, he had a wild imagination and I can only remember bits and pieces, it makes me sad that I won’t get to do it.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Dan: I love makeup HA! I love to sit and practice different looks as I see it as an art. I also love walking and travelling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Dan: I’m currently binge watching Teen Wolf and can’t believe I’ve never watched it before, it’s amazing! Anything like that, Orange Is The New Black, iZombie, Games of Thrones, Pretty Little liars, I love. But I also love crime documentaries and watching prison programs. Saying all this, I don’t actually watch a lot of TV apart from the past few weeks. Movie wise, horrors and comedies are my favourites, but I do love adventures and soppy romances.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Dan: FOOD. I love it. HA! I’ll eat pretty much everything, bar peppers, I hate the taste of them. My favourite I think is Italian, I love pasta and pizza. My favourite colours are purple, black and khaki and my favourite music is everything! I love everything from Classical and Country, to Heavy metal.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Dan: Twiddle my thumbs? HA! No, I’d probably just work on my makeup business and have a lot more free time.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Dan: I don’t want to be buried, it creeps me out so I’ve never thought about it. But I think if I WERE to have one, it’d be something sarcastic.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Dan: I have a readers group that I post ALL of my teaser, excerpts, and special offers on before anywhere else. But be warned, I also post random things like stories of birds waking me up at 5 in the morning and pictures of puppies, but nobody seems to mind my randomness, so I’ll keep going HA! Here’s the link if you want to become a Vixen: https://www.facebook.com/groups/735761679920055/
One Moment: mybook.to/onemoment
When I’m With You: mybook.to/WIWY
Betting On Love: mybook.to/bettingonlove
Etching Our Way: mybook.to/EOW
***Amazon Author Link****
Thank you so much for having me on your blog!