Today’s guest is the awesome Erin Danzer! I asked her a few questions, and she was happy to share her answers!
1. How/why did you first start writing, and what made you decide to seek publishing?
Like most writers I know, I first started writing when I was a kid. My entire grade was assigned to write and illustrate a short story for a Young Authors competition and that first book sparked a love of the written word that’s stayed with me and only gotten stronger as the years go by. As for being published, when I was sixteen I made the decision to be a published author when I grew up. But between college, moving several times, and having two kids, that dream took a back burner to everything else happening in my life. By December of 2010, I realized I needed to make a change in my life. I was letting life pass me by at this point. So I made the New year’s resolution to be published by the end of the year. In October 2011, I was picked up by Otherworld Publications for my book, Into the Spiral. In June 2012, I was told Otherworld was closing its doors at the end of the year, but Lynn suggested I look into Hydra Publications, whose chief editor she was friends with. I signed with Hydra that same month and have been happy ever since!
2. Who are your idols/mentors (writing or non-writing)?
I would have to say my writing mentors include Cassandra Clare, James Patterson, and J.K. Rowling (among many others). I love all three’s style of writing and the things they do for their readers (and to get kids to read, in Mr. Patterson’s case). All three are what motivated me to get back on the writing horse. As for non-writing mentors, I have to say my parents. Growing up, they instilled in me a belief that I can do and be whatever I want to be. They have always believed in me and supported me. I find their support crucial to my journey.
3. Where do you get your ideas? Have you ever had an idea make a 180 in the middle of pursuing it?
My ideas come from everywhere, from dreams I have to characters that just pop into my head to things that happen to me at work. Ideas are literally everywhere; you just have to keep your eyes open and be ready for them. I cannot say that I’ve ever had an idea or story do a 180 on me, but I have had plenty of characters surprise me and take the story somewhere I wasn’t expecting. It’s always fun to follow along for the ride.
4. Tell me about your latest book.
I’m actually going to tell you about three books. My published book is Into the Spiral, a YA SciFi/Romance about a 15-year-old girl who finds out it’s her destiny to save not only her own planet, but also an entire galaxy of planets she never knew existed. That one is available now from Hydra Publications.
I have a NA Urban Fantasy that’s ready for a serious editor and then possibly publication by the end of the year (self publishing anyway). It’s about a 18-year-old girl who goes off to college and finds herself the target of vampires and werewolves, things that aren’t supposed to exist. She learns that her parents were a witch and a Hunter and that she is to follow in their footsteps… hopefully, not to their graves!
And recently, I began writing a novel where the MC is a ghost who is pursued by vampires and also falls in love with one of the band members of the band she’s “touring” with. It’s been a lot of fun to delve into that world!
5. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get their work into the world?
If you are self publishing… once you feel that you have a great novel, have someone else edit it. Editing is key. After it’s edited, find a cover artist and have a beautiful cover made. Both of these things will cost money, but are completely worth it! If you want to go the tradition route, keep putting yourself out there, querying agents and publishers, but don’t be afraid to reevaluate your novel if you keep getting rejected. I had to do this and it paid off. Just keep trying and keep believing in yourself. Surround yourself with people of like mind. The most frustrating part of this job is to have someone around you who doesn’t believe you will make it. And be ready to work hard, whether you are published or you publish yourself. Get into social media long before your book comes out. Make friends and connections early. Do you research; learn everything you can about the publishing world and whichever aspect you are headed towards. It’s always changing! (and now I’ll get down off my soapbox. LOL)
Thank you for having me, Etta! 🙂