Interview & Contest: Dani Harper

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Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Dani Harper to Romancing the Book.  Dani, will you share a short bio with us?
Dani:  Dani Harper is a newspaper editor turned paranormal author. There isn’t anything she likes better than exploring the supernatural – unless it’s writing sizzling and suspenseful romance. Of course, all of her stories have at least one foot in the netherworld!

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Dani: This story was a total surprise to me. I didn’t plan to write it. In fact, not only was I in the middle of writing another novel, I was working in the Seattle Airport during a long layover. Out of nowhere, the hero and heroine of First Bite started talking in my head! They would NOT be quiet, so I gave up working on my planned project, had another round of Starbucks, and started typing Travis and Neva’s story instead. I had the first chapter finished before I got home to Alaska!

Geneva “Neva” Ross doesn’t want to die. But now that she’s been turned into a werewolf against her will, she’ll do anything to protect her family and friends…even if that means taking her own life.

After he sees Neva leap from the high ledge, Travis Williamson—a Changeling with a dark past—uses his powers to save her life. He feels a connection to the strong-willed woman whose eyes flash that familiar Changeling green. While Neva is hospitalized, Travis risks everything to kidnap her, knowing the approaching full moon will put everyone in jeopardy.

Bickering constantly to hide their growing attraction, Travis and Neva run from the authorities…and from Neva’s sinister sire, Meredith de la Ronde. Meredith delights in creating new shape-shifters and compelling them to do her dark bidding; Now Neva must join Meredith’s murderous wolf pack…or die.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Dani: My hubby says I have the world’s biggest collection of sticky notes and steno pads. And I tend to leave a trail of them wherever I go. If I can’t get to my laptop, I’ll scribble ideas on anything – napkins, receipts, the margins of a brochure, whatever comes to hand. Including my hand. The toughest to deal with are the middle of the night ideas and inspirations that sometimes come to me while driving. My supportive hubby got me a pair of handheld recorders – one for my nightstand and one for the car. Unfortunately, they’re often not where they’re supposed to be because I’ve dragged them off to my office to transcribe the recordings!  Sigh…

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write?  Is there one you’ll probably stay away from?  Why?
Dani: I read a lot of urban fantasy as well as paranormal romance, and I think it might be a natural progression for me to move into the UF genre one day. I’d love to try out Steam Punk Paranormal!

And believe it or not, I’d like to dabble in horror at least once, perhaps something post-apocalyptic. After all, I grew up reading Stephen King, and he’s still my hero!

The only things I’d stay away from are things that don’t pique my interest – political thrillers, spy novels, that kind of thing. Otherwise, I’m game!

Jen: How do you come up with characters’ names?
Dani:  Characters are interesting creatures – when they pop up in my head, it’s like meeting a real person. I can hear their voice, see what they look like and in most cases, they already have a name!  Usually, I’ll do a little research and make sure the name suits the time and place, but it’s usually right. (Yeah, this is the same brain that can’t remember where the car keys are. Weird, huh?)

Some characters are pretty much complete on arrival – they have very definite personalities – like the hero, Travis Williamson, in First Bite. Boy, I did NOT have to guess what he thought about anything! With other characters, it might take a little while to get to know their personalities. But names? Almost never an issue.

Jen: Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?
Dani:  The one and only thing that I celebrate is typing THE END when I finish writing a story. That’s the big WOO HOO moment for me. One of my all-time favorite movie characters is romance writer Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone (and omigosh, that movie is OLD now!). She celebrated that moment by feeding her cat a can of real tuna. I have likewise observed the tradition of feeding my pug a can of tuna ever since I finished my very first story. After all, my pugs have always been critical to my creative process … well, they think so.

Then it’s CHOCOLATE TIME! (for me, not the pug)

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Dani:  Wow – there’s never enough of that for anyone, is there? I have other creative interests like painting and drawing, but writing has pretty much taken over my life at this time. If I do have time to spare, I usually spend it gardening. I love to plant things – flowers, trees, vegetables, you name it. Seed catalogs are like garden porn for me!

And I enjoy having the grandkids over – my hubby and I have collected several big plastic castles, tons of knights and dragons and catapults, and we have epic battles in our living room with the kids. It’s AWESOME!

I like to be outside as much as possible, so I enjoy caring for our nine chickens too (Yup, we named them all – Mabel is my favorite hen, but don’t tell the others). One of the nicest things to do at the end of a long day is sit outside on the porch with my hubby, hold hands, and watch the stars.

Jen:  What’s next for you?
Dani:  I have the second installment in my Grim Series coming out in the new year: STORM BOUND. And right now I’m working on Book Two in the Dark Wolf Series, TIES THAT BIND.

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4 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Dani Harper

  1. Nancy Goldberg Levine says:

    Enjoyed getting to know you. l have post lt notes and notebooks all around. And l get ldeas at the worst times like when l’m working.

  2. Thank you to Romancing The Book for inviting me to share your blog today. I enjoyed the interview, and I’m grateful for the chance to talk about writing, and also present my newest release.

    Hi Nancy – thanks for the comment. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a “sticky note habit”, LOL. I don’t know what the solution is for the “bad timing” aspect of inspiration — I guess I’ll just be glad I get ideas at all!

  3. i do tend to write on anything that fall under my hand so i got fan of little notebook i can stash in my purse ( and nearly everywhere where i tend to need them^^;;) small enough to be carried without thinking about it but big enough if i get in a writing mood after all i can have gift idea for my friends anywheren, see something i must add to wishlist or simply an idea igf i decide to write again so i do undestand and your hubby did try to help ^^

    i would be curious your steampunk paranormal if you even come to write it ^^

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