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Interview with Danielle Bannister



 
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Zeddicus Zorander



Since Bloodletting is a writing site, we have lots of people here who are interested in writing their own stories. Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring authors?
YES! The absolute hardest part of writing is…are you ready? Sitting in the chair and actually writing! It sounds sooooooooooo easy, but it’s not! Even now, I find myself thinking, I could throw in a quick wash before I write, or take this one call. Oh look, the cat needs fresh water, and my, don’t those plants look dry, and before you know it, what little time you had set aside to write is gone! If you want to write, you have to WRITE. Sit your butt in the chair and just write. Even if it’s crap (and a lot of it will be—no, most of it will be at first) but you have to get the crap out before you can mine for the gold that’s hidden there.


Oh, and read. A LOT!



When did you start writing?
Not until about three years ago, actually. I was 34. I had my BA in theatre (sooooooooo helpful in the real world, ha!) I was a stay at home mom, and I had sort of ‘lost my identity.’ I had no creative outlets and just felt, sort of depressed about that. Then one day I had a dream and it wouldn’t leave me. After a few days of this dream pestering me, I sat down at my computer (which had only been for work at that point) and the next thing I knew, I had ten pages down. Writing for me began as a way to harness my creativity. It was only a few years later that I found the courage to publish it.



What made you decide to publish your book?
My friend and first reader of my work, Kari. I actually named a major character in all the Pulled books for her. She read my drafts and kept telling me that it was good, that other people needed to read it. I took her advice and gave it to others to read and when they agreed, I asked my friend and fellow Indie writer RJ Keller what she did to get published. She showed me the createspace ropes! We indies are all in this together and help each other out!



What motivates you to write?
Good question. Knowing there are people that are waiting for my work helps, for sure, but I think even if I didn’t have an audience, I’d still want to write, just for me. There is just something so magical in living someone else’s life on the page. I think that’s why I loved acting so much. I got to play other people. Now I get to tell those people what to do too!



Do you ever feel frustrated with your work?
Um, like all the time! Ha! Seriously though, writing is so intimate, so personal, even in fiction, that when things don’t flow the way you want them to, you take it personally. It’s like you’ve failed yourself somehow. It’s ridiculous, to be sure, but there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to articulate a scene you see so clearly in your mind!



What makes you keep writing when you get frustrated?
The fans. That may sound like a hokey answer, but honestly, if there weren’t people out there that I knew were waiting to read my stuff, I’d probably take a LOT longer getting my butt back in the chair. But because I do, I sit my arse down every darn day and see what sticks to the page.



How do you get over writer's block?
I work on something else. I still write, but I let whatever is blocking me sit. The reason I have a block is almost always because the book isn’t going where the characters want to take me, so I have to stop and wait for them to tell me where they want to go (this is usually in the middle of the night)! So while a block on one project is happening, I take that as a signal to work on something else. When the characters focus, so do I.



How do you handle negative reviews of your books?
It’s never easy reading a bad review because a huge part of you secretly agrees with what they say! Your inner critic is saying “See, I was right, you DO suck!” The hardest part is trying to ignore that inner voice, and accept that not everyone will like what you write, nor should they. That said, it doesn’t make bad reviews sting any less!



What do you enjoy, outside of writing?
The stage, of course! Second to writing, performing is a major love of mine, and my kiddos. They are a hoot!



What's something about you that most people don't know?
Aside from having THE worst memory in history, I suffer from a chronic illness, Ulcerative Colitis. It’s a real pain in the butt. Ha!



What is the chance of you including a platypire in one of your upcoming books?
Hahahahahahahaaha. Um, slim? Hahahahaha!



Have you ever had to rewrite portions of a book because the characters decided to be someone else than you intended?
YUPPERS! In Pulled, I tossed the first 8 chapters because I had written Seth as a nice guy. That’s when writer’s block set in. So did the re-writes. It was only when I started writing a short story that had an abusive boyfriend in it when the light bulb went off and the real Seth was born.



Where do you come up with the names for your stories?
Honestly, a baby book. The only names I researched were Etash and his gram. Everyone else came from the baby book. I hate coming up with names!



There are five races on Bloodletting: Angel, Slayer, Vampire, Witch, and Werewolf. Which would you pick?
Vampire! I’ve had a soft spot for them ever since Interview with a Vampire.



EXCERPTS

PULLED
Dragging my much-too-prompt feet toward the chairs, I plop down in the back row and pull out my tattered copy of Romeo & Juliet from my backpack to create the illusion of being 'otherwise engaged.' It's my favorite play, and not because of their ridiculous, unrealistic love affair. It's Shakespeare's use of poetic irony that is simply priceless: just when you find Mr. Right, death comes knocking. It's perfect. But then maybe, just maybe, I'm a little bitter and the subjects of love and death are still too raw for me. Maybe.

Opening to where I had dog-eared my page, I settle deeper into my chair. I’m just about to dive into Act Two, when he walks in.


PULLED BACK
The final drop of blood lands in the pink-tinged bathwater around me.

About time! I hiss at myself, annoyed that it took longer than normal for my blood to clot. Most days it only takes a couple minutes for the bleeding to stop, but today I had to carve the letter 'J.' Because of the curve, it's trickier to keep the blade still. The built up scar tissue doesn’t make it any easier.

As I wipe away the last traces of the blood from the tub, it dawns on me that I've been etching my name into my forearm for almost ten years. You'd think I'd be used to the pain at this point. Or, at the very least, that my body would refuse to bleed at all. But the fire burns each and every time. As it should. After


PULLED BACK AGAIN (this is the WIP)
I wait for her feet to shuffle across the kitchen, but they don’t come, so I yell again. Still, no answer. That’s not like her.

Dropping the cases, I fly up the stairs and scan the kitchen. She’s not in here. Spying my inhaler, on the counter, I grab it and take a quick puff before I jog into the kitchen. It’s empty.

“Ma!” I shout again. “Jada?”

The only answer I get is from movement upstairs. Fast as lighting, I run up the stairs searching for both of them. The hairs on my arms rise up. My heart stops. Where are they?

Swallowing hard, I start creeping towards the room I heard the noise. It’s Janelle’s room. I think I’m going to be sick. Clenching my fists I kick open the door.

“Tobias Daniel Garret!” my mother shots! She’s rocking in the chair, holding Janelle, who is now, of course, crying. “What are you trying to do? Scare us both to death?”

My heart returns to its normal rhythm. “Ma. What are you doing here? I thought Jada was putting her down?”

Mom’s eyes drop to the floor as she tries to calm Janelle down.

Jada.

“Ma… where is Jada?”

She shifts Janelle to her other hip. “No try and calm down, Jada is a big girl and can take care of herself.”

“Ma.” I warn. “Where is she?” I can feel the muscles in my back tense.

Janelle continues to wail; probably terrified by how I’m behaving, but I need to know where she is.

Ma rubs Janelle’s back which begins to soothe her. “She went to visit a friend.”

A friend. Bull ****. One look at my mom and know what Jada’s done. She’s gone to see Hawk.

For those of you who like to win FREE STUFF:
http://bloodlettingrpg.blogspot.com/2013/04/danielle-bannister-giveaway.html
April 08, 2013 12:40 am

Zeddicus Zorander

Check out Part Two here, where she goes more into her books:

http://onemorechapterreviews1.blogspot.com/2013/04/interview-with-danille-bannister.html
April 08, 2013 01:39 am

Zeph

Great interview.

April 08, 2013 01:56 am

Nix Valari

I love both Pulled and Pulled Back! Can't wait for the 3rd book to come out. April 08, 2013 01:57 am

Miah Michelle

I have not read these books just yet but thank you for the interview I am currently looking for a way to get them. 

April 08, 2013 07:55 am

Mikaela Ramirez

Gonna go look at the books and probably pick'em up. I'm intrigued! LOL Awesome interview! April 08, 2013 08:56 am

Necrilis

I love these interviews. April 08, 2013 03:02 pm

Jocelyn Levi

Awesome interview Zedd! I'm going to go check her books right now. 

April 09, 2013 10:20 am

Moon Fyre

Great interview. Can't wait to read her books. April 09, 2013 12:06 pm

Attila Khanz

 

writing is great, but it's hard to find time.

this is pretty cool interviews with people who have managed to find a way to balance life and writing.

April 10, 2013 11:03 am

Lenny Shultz

Writer's block has always been tricky for me. Thanks for the tip! April 10, 2013 01:09 pm

Fera Stillborn

Great work!! So easy to read!

April 10, 2013 10:18 pm

Mariah Locksley

Awesome books!

April 17, 2013 10:17 pm

EtaineNightBreed

Smashing interview!

April 17, 2013 10:20 pm
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