I'm curious, did you conceive of the story in Bespelled first as a fantasy concept, as a romance concept or was it always going to be both from the start?
Bespelled was conceived as a paranormal romance from the start. It was kind of weird but I got the idea in one go and started writing the outline. I’d been at the Romance Writers of Australia conference on the Gold Coast and started writing the outline on the way home, on the train, the airport lounge, the plane and when I got home, I had a 3000 word outline. It was one of the first stories I ever wrote an outline for. The idea came in one complete story so I had to capture it so I wouldn’t forget. The final story is pretty close to the original, only better.
I got the impression from Bespelled that there was a bigger world than we had got to see just in that story. Will there be more set in that world?
Yes, definitely a bigger world. I’d like to take my time exploring it. At the moment it’s a keyhole view of the world from those who exist along the periphery. I’ve drafted a prequel to Bespelled called Spirtbound, which is currently on submission with the editor. That’s Grace and Declan’s story. I have a sequel planned, which is slightly darker, I think. As I write the stories more characters and ideas come up. However, I think they’ll be definitely light and sexy paranormal romance.
You've also had work published as Donna Maree Hanson, such as Rayessa and the Space Pirates. What's the difference in the type of stories we can expect from the two names? (If I had to guess, I'd say adult content?)
Rayessa and the Space Pirates was published under my own name. It’s a SF love story, space adventure that has no sex in it, placing it pretty much in the young adult territory as well as adult. Other YA, fantasy and SF novels I have looking for a home will probably come out under that name. Dani K is definitely for the more adult content, paranormal romance and straight romance. Actually I have another series starting under Dani K with a new publisher, which is darker and sexier and coming out later in the year. Dani K has more work than Donna at the moment.
What's your usual writing set-up?
Mmm, do you mean do I write every day? That sort of thing? Well at the moment I’d have to say no. I’ve been on holidays for two months and recently started back at work (I did a bit during the holiday, including two weeks at a retreat). That transition has been very draining so I’ve done some minuscule amounts of revision. Currently I’m having a mini writing retreat which forces me to be productive and sit down and write. I finished a revision yesterday and I’m about to start on a blank page with something new. However, I have other things I should be revising. I finished a Masters in Creative Writing last year and I don’t know how I did it given I’m so tired in the evenings now. Then again, I’ve shifted to a new house too and that provides new distractions. Then there’s DVDs and books. Terrible things! They keep me from my main game. The other thing that has changed for me is that I’m working full time so I no longer have a writing day off. I’ll see how that goes for now and I may revert back. Unfortunately the money is good and having a new home means there’s lots to spend it on.
What are you working on now/next? Most of what we've seen so far has been on the shorter side, are there any novels in the works?
I have longer works looking for homes-fantasy mostly. I like the shorter length books, although I have a bad habit of jamming lots of plot into them regardless of the length. I like the buzz you get from writing shorter length books, that roller coaster ride. I have a couple of novels at the 80,000 to 90,000 word length and some that length in progress. The taste these days seems to be for shorter works, maybe that’s ebooks, maybe that’s cost, I’m not sure. I cut back a 173,000 word dark dystopian fantasy to 130,000 so I could submit it. As a result it’s rather fast paced now and has less enjoying the view in the narrative.
Currently, I’m working on another story in Bespelled’s world, but I also have other works in progress in the YA side of things and a few things on the to do list this year. My dream novel project would be a Scottish historical romance and a Regency romance. At present though these are dreams as I’m thoroughly caught up in fantasy worlds with witches, warlocks and other mysterious folk at the moment.
Thanks, Dani, for taking the time to answer my questions!
You can pick up a copy of Bespelled from your favourite ebook store. You can also check out Dani's website, Twitter or Facebook page.