Interview and Giveaway with Daniele Lanzarotta

Jen: We are excited to have Daniele Lanzarotta as our guest this week. Daniele, will you please share a short bio with us?

Daniele: Thanks for having me, Jen! I’m the author of paranormal YA novels, including the Imprinted Souls Series (Imprinted Souls, Bloodlust, and Divine Ashes) and Academy of the Fallen… in other words, it could be said that I’m the maker of Vamps and creator of Fallen Angels…. Yes, I spend my nights making up stuff and creating the people who do that stuff.

I live in VA Beach with my husband, daughter and two puppies. I have a bachelor in business and I’m weeks away from getting my MBA. Yes, writing started out as a hobby, but I just can’t even imagine doing anything else.

Jen: Tell us about Academy of the Fallen: Wide Awake and where is can be purchased.

Daniele: Wide Awake is the first in the Academy of the Fallen series. In Wide Awake you will meet Kayla, a 16-year-old girl who lives with her adoptive parents. She was given up for adoption when she was little, and that was with the purpose of keeping her away from the Academy and the beings that live there. But it was only a matter of time before Kayla started seeing some of those beings. You just can’t run away from who you are and you definitely can’t run away from what you can see.

The official release date for Wide Awake is on June 13th, where is will be available at http://www.danielelanzarotta.com/, Amazon, and iBooks. Wide Awake is already available for purchase on Kindle and Nook.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When were you first published? Tell us your call story.

Daniele: Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing. So I couldn’t even tell you for sure at what age I discovered writing…. early teens though.

I wrote Imprinted Souls in 2009. It was just a fun hobby, but I became really attached to the characters and it wasn’t long before I finished that first book. One day, I put a message on Facebook about finishing that project. Lucky me, the right person read that message. I ended up sending her a couple of chapters and from then on, things just started to happen, and happen fast!

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?

Daniele: *laughs * I think it took them a while to get used to it. My daughter loves that I’m an author. She goes around telling everyone! I don’t think my husband took me seriously at first, but he is very supportive. He was actually the first to read Academy of the Fallen: Wide Awake.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Daniele: I have so many motivations, but it really comes down to doing what I love. I get so attached to my characters, and from that point on… I can’t stop writing. The readers are also a major motivation. I love getting emails and Facebook messages with feedback or asking more about the characters, wanting more…

Jen: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Have you ever written yourself into a story?

Daniele: I really don’t write actual life events or myself into my stories at all, but I do see a few of my personality traits here and there.

Jen: How much influence does the editor have over the story or characters?

Daniele: My editor helps with my critical thinking process, especially when it comes to content consistency. As far as the story line and characters, that is all me.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Daniele: I almost don’t want to answer this one. *laughs * I can’t really choose one favorite character, but I see a lot of my personality in Nicholas from Imprinted Souls. Just to clarify… no, I’m not mouthy and I’m definitely not a player. I just share his sarcasm and his ability to speak whatever is on his mind.

Jen: What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?

Daniele: I’ve always said that reading inspires writing. Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine and Stephenie Meyer have been great influences. They have very strong characters that make you miss them when you are done reading. Their character development is just great! I also have to mention a few music artists. Music is crucial to my writing. That puts me on writing mode within seconds. Christina Perri and Fireflight got me through a lot of chapters!

Jen: What has been the highlight of your career to this point?

Daniele: I would say that having 4 titles released within one year was pretty awesome! I hope I can beat that next year!

Jen: What do you do in your free time?

Daniele: Mostly read, shop, play Black-Ops, and watch hockey.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Daniele: Right now I’m working on the fourth book in the Imprinted Souls Series… Blood Bound. As soon as that is done I will be working on the second Academy of the Fallen novel and the last in the Imprinted Souls Series.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Daniele: I got a bit of a social media addiction. You can find me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/danielelanzarotta), Twitter (@DaniLanzarotta), and blogger (http://danielelanzarotta.blogspot.com/).

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