1--What is the title of your latest release?
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Misery mixed with a splash of Stockholm Syndrome
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
The story decided for me. When I started writing The Cage, I couldn’t decide if it was an adorable meet-cute or something more sinister. It could have gone either way. Once Amanda got in the elevator, however, I knew where the story was going to unfold. I write sweet, sexy, or suspenseful stuff. I never know what I’m going to be writing until the characters tell me. This one landed on suspense with some sexy tossed in for fun. Nothing sweet about this one!
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
She’d probably find me boring, honestly. Ha. Yet there would be some things we could bond over. We’d both know a thing or two about making things work in a tough situation but that’s about where our similarities would end.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Feisty, stubborn, cunning
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
To never go apartment hunting on my own! But more seriously, trust where your characters take you. Even if it’s a path you’ve never gone down before. They are almost always right.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I write in drafts, so the first draft is my Magic Draft. Nothing can go wrong in this draft. It’s all gold. It’s mostly dialogue, honestly. I have a theater background, so I need to know what the characters are saying to each other. Very little editing happens in the Magic Draft. I need to know where the story is going before I can edit it. I m a very linear writer so things need to be written in order. The second draft, I mine through the crap to find what can be salvaged and polished. I’ll add in the descriptions of locations, etc. in that draft. Then subsequent drafts are tweaks to the story, killing repetitive words, and phrases. The last draft I have my computer read out loud for me so I can hear things I might not catch with my eyes. My editor will get it around draft five or six.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
Oh, I’m a salty snack kind of woman, so show me the chips!
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I write from my recliner with a lapboard to hold my laptop. How boring! I have a journal beside me with character notes, a rough outline, and hand-drawn chicken scratches of the spaces I’m having my characters move in. I have a desk but I use it primarily for the day. I try to keep those spaces separate.
10--Who is an author you admire?
Any author who can put themselves in the chair and write every day. Regardless of the genre they write. It’s hard work this author thing. It takes a great amount of focus, discipline, and belief in yourself to keep writing words people might never read. I admire authors who don’t give up even when people who think that they know better tell them that they should.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
This will sound cheesy, but The Twilight Saga sent me down the path of authorship. If I hadn’t been lulled back into reading by those books I never would have been inspired to write my own books. I certainly wouldn’t have over twenty novels out I have out today. Reading that series and discovering the joy in the escapism of a good story changed the outcome of my life. Corny as it may sound I will always be a fan of her work for where it took me. #TeamCullen.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
I started as an Indie so blatant stubbornness is what got me to hit publish. I was sick of waiting on publishers and I knew a friend who had done it on her own. With her help, I figured out how to self-publish. This was back in 2009 when indie publishing was NOT popular. I made a lot of mistakes in those early years, but I don’t regret a thing. The only way to learn is to at first fail.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Despite what The Cage might tell you, I’m a romance junkie. I’ll read just about anything so long as there is some thread somewhere that has a romance. That’s why The Cage has romance too. It’s in my DNA!
14--What’s your favorite movie?
The Princess Bride (swoon! Still waiting for my Westley!)
15--What is your favorite season?
Fall. Hands down. I live in Maine. There are so few nice days thanks to six months of winter. Spring is nothing but black flies, and Summer, while brief, is brutal with humidity. But Fall is when the bugs die so I can enjoy being outside without nature trying to kill me.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
A nice big cheesecake.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
Normal People. I love character-driven stories and that one was epic. Both the book and the TV series.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Italian. Show me the carbs! Is there anything better than pasta, cheese, and bread? I think not.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Is it lame to say I write? It’s true, though. I work a full-time job, I’m a single mom of two, and have a chronic illness, so when there is free time, I tend to spend it writing/editing/planning. Books and movies are a close second.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I’m currently working on the sequel to The Cage and numerous other projects that are still in the contract phase. I try to put out 4-5 releases a year though, so I’m always working on something even if it’s not releasing for a few years. I tend to work on several projects at once so something is always getting closer to release. I have the next three years of releases mapped out. Yeah, I’m a planner. Ha.
All she wanted was an apartment… Amanda Jackson was used to toxic men. It’s all she’d ever known. And this gorgeous blonde property manager, Connor Brooks, was a walking red flag. But she needed a place to stay, and this unit sounded amazing. She’d be crazy not to look at it. For Connor, finding a mark was easy. A simple ad in the classifieds. Once they were inside, it was too late to escape. They had no way out. One look at their frightened eyes on the monitor, that’s when the housebreaking could begin. The second Connor closed the door, Amanda understood her situation. She was trapped and defenseless. Or was she? She has one card to play: make her captor fall for her before it was too late. All she wanted was an apartment. What she got was The Cage.
Romance Suspense | Thriller | Fantasy Dark [City Owl Press, On Sale: August 22, 2023, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781648983597 / eISBN: 9781648983603]
Danielle Bannister a.k.a. Dani Bannister is a romance author of more than twenty novels. She lives with her two children in Midcoast Maine along with her precious peppermint mocha creamer. She holds a BA in Theatre and her Masters in Literary Education. When she's not on the stage, or on the page, you'll find her curled up with a good book. As one does.
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