Even in Paradise, there are delays due to unforeseen circumstances like electrical storms, flash floods, and power and cable outages. So on this stormy Tuesday morning, while the power is on, I am pleased to welcome author Dani Amore today for my MONDAYS ARE MURDER interview.
Laurie: You are a very prolific writer, with four novels and three short stories available on Kindle. How do you find time to write?
Dani: For me, it’s all about confidence. Because let’s face it, no matter how much you try not to think about it, every writer on some level believes that what they’re writing will be read. It’s quite a thing, really. A lot of hubris to think something you’re going to put down on paper, possibly someone will buy. So I need to write when I feel my most confident, which is always, without question, first thing in the morning after a good night’s sleep and a couple of big cups of dark coffee. It’s pretty tough to come up with excuses for a two-hour time period from, say, 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. What were you going to do? Cut the grass? Go to the opera?
Laurie: Well said. You’ve made a very good point about writing before the sun comes up. I think most authors will relate to this. Is writing your only occupation, or are you also employed outside the home?
Dani: I spent quite a few years in advertising, as both a copywriter and a creative director. I’m freelancing now, which sometimes includes stints at agencies. It just works out the best for me—there’s time to write fiction. And I’m not stuck in those three-hour meetings where I used to picture what a .357 Magnum hollowpoint could do to some gasbag.
Laurie: That’s pretty funny. Approximately how long does it take you to write a full length novel?
Dani: No easy answer for this one. I’m notorious for writing 100 pages of a first draft and stopping. Then working on something else. Then going back and throwing out those 100 pages and starting over. It’s a painful process. If I had to give a number, I’d say a year, from start to finish.
Laurie: Are your books and short stories also available as “real” books? What about other forms of e-books, such as Nook?
Dani: My Italian novel, To Find a Mountain, is going into print very soon. The rest of my work is available only in ebook form, but on a variety of platforms including Nook and iBooks.
Laurie: I understand your short story Take the Koi is the prequel to a new novel. Can you tell us a bit about this upcoming work?
Dani: Yes, the hero of that story is kind of a mysterious character called The Taker. He takes all kinds of things back: stolen objects, people, and quite often, he takes revenge. In his first full-length novel he’ll be asked to take a girl who’s been abducted by a drug dealer. It will be very, very messy.
Laurie: Are any of your works a series that feature the same protagonist?
Dani: Mary Cooper is the hero of my book Death by Sarcasm. She will star in the next installment of that series, Murder with Sarcastic Intent.
John Rockne is the protagonist in my novel Dead Wood. He will be back in Book Two, which is still unnamed. But he’s got some business to finish with an assassin called The Spook.
Laurie: Your stories have been described as both humorous and violent. How do you combine humor and violence into the same story and make it work?
Dani: Because I write crime fiction that can get pretty intense, my characters tend to fall back on dark humor as a self-preservation mechanism. For instance, Mary Cooper’s love affair with sarcasm is very much a way for her to deal with some things she’s not really ready to face just yet. I personally know a couple of homicide detectives, and they are constantly kidding around, even at the “worst” moments – if you know what I mean. You laugh or you lose your mind. I try to capture that dynamic.
Laurie: That makes sense. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Dani: Just to say thank you for having me on your site!
Laurie: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your work with us. I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming novels.