Please welcome author Dayana Knight to The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers Blog.
Dayana juggles a family, a full time job, and another full time career as a writer.
She will answer some questions for us and gives us insight into her writing.
We all want to know about you Dayana.

Interview: Mary Ricksen


How long did it take you to get published and how did it happen?

Hmm… well once I got the nerve up to seriously submit my first novel, it had been about 2 ½ years since I’d finished the draft. I took the manuscript down, dusted it off, and began the submission process at this point and can honestly wallpaper my office with all the rejection letters I collected. It was exactly 3 years when a small epress finally gave my book a chance. I had been editing for the house for a couple of years and they weren’t a romance per se pub house but one day I mentioned my novel to the production editor and she asked to have a look. With great trepidation I sent it to her. After I spent a very nervous week or so she emailed me and asked my why I was hiding this novel. She loved it! Thus, my first contract and one giant step in the writing process. I’d made that transition into actually getting a project out there. You can well imagine what a boost to one’s confidence that can be.
What made you write about shape-shifters, specifically wolves?

I am an animal lover, canines to be specific. We always had dogs when I was growing up and I’ve had two of my own. Wolves are beautiful and very social animals. We, humans, could take some lessons from wolves on socialization. Wolves mate for life, care for the young and old and function as a pack unit. They are wonderful animals.

The supernatural aspect of my writing is just something that I’ve always loved. Paranormal is fun because the sky’s the limit. I can build my own world with my own rules. Sure, research is always a must to keep things as close to believable as I can but I have so much more freedom and I get to use my very vivid imagination, as well.
Are a plotter or do you just let it come?

No, I am not a plotter. I don’t do outlines or goal writing or plotline mapping. I have never been one who could sit down and force the craft. I just write what comes to me. I can spend days writing or spend weeks without writing. When the ideas flow I’m on my way. Usually at some point the characters take over and we’re off and running.


Tell us a bit about what you like to personally read?

I like to read J R Ward, Black Dagger Series, Laurell K. Hamilton, Katie McAllister, Kim Harrison, and Diana Gabaldon. Mostly paranormal. But I do like crime suspense as well. Authors like Linda Howard, and Kathy Reichs, etc.

Do you find yourself using personal experiences in your stories?

Absolutely. There are bits and pieces of me and my life in everything I write. For instance, the idea for Curse of the Marhime came from a real life experience. I had stopped off at a grocery store one night after work and was approached by a woman who claimed to be a ‘seer’ or psychic. She told me she had information I needed to know. Although she freaked me out, I never pursued it thought Pita Sedgwick, my heroine does.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve written in some capacity since the age of eleven, whether it be journals, diaries, poetry, stories. I’ve always written. I had a poem published in my Sixth grade yearbook and even wrote a romance novel in a spiral notebook at a very young age. I’d truly love to see that little story now but have no idea what ever happened to it.

I didn’t begin to take the craft seriously until the year 2000 though when I’d had some tragic loss in my life. It helped me work through my grief.



Tell us a little about the next book in this series?

Book two of the Roma Wolf Tales is still in the works. It will take place between Romania and Montana here in the US and have lots more of the secondary characters stepping forward. Predominantly, Tomas and Pita’s father, Stephan. I won’t divulge more than this right now as I am still in the drafting stage and as we all know things change constantly in the early stages of writing. I have, however, sold a companion story titled Bestial Cravings to the Wild Rose Press that will release June 2009. This introduces the American pack leader and his soulmate/Lupa.

Do you find that promoting swallows up a lot of your time, time you could spend writing?

Absolutely, but it is a necessary interruption. Marketing is very important to an author’s career. I learned first hand from my first novel, Dancing on the Edge. I have since pulled the novel from the publishing house and plan to re-release it with a more romance oriented house. Dancing sold well at first but dropped off to nothing soon after for two reasons. My lack of experience at the promotion/marketing and the fact that the publishing house I’d signed with wasn’t a known romance publisher, nor are they to this day. Lesson well learned is to be discriminative in selecting who you sign with. Don’t sign because you are afraid you’ll not have another offer. Since then I have learned so much. I have grown as a writer and in the marketing venue as well.


If you could give aspiring writers advice what would you say to them?

I would pretty much say what most authors say. Don’t give up. It took me a good five years or more from my first inkling at writing a novel to completion and publication. No one ever said anything you want in life is easy. At least nothing I ever wanted to accomplish was easy. It takes dedication, discipline, and perseverance. If you are a quitter writing is not for you. There are many obstacles but I feel the most rewarding thing for me is the fact that I did accomplish my dream. Now I want to keep it going.

I may never be a Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, or JD Rowling but I did get past the hardest part. I didn’t do this to make lots of money. If that is why anyone decides to write, my suggestion would be to rethink it because the odds of you becoming one of the jet set from publishing one or two books is highly unlikely but to have people read your stories and love them, to me that is what its all about.

Hey, don’t get me wrong. If somehow I turned into a JD Rowling or Stephanie Meyer I would be one happy camper but that is not why I write.

I will close by saying, keep writing, be selective, and by all means never give up. Only you can make your dreams come true.

Thank you so much for having me here today.

Dayana Knight
Paranormal Romance and Erotic Author
www.dayanaknight.blogspot.com
www.romawolftales.com
Email:
gothscribegirl@aol.com

Available books: Curse of the Marhime(Available now, The Wild Rose Press) Eternal Obsession (Release December 12, 2008, The Wild Rose Press), Bestial Cravings (Release June 2009, The Wild Rose Press)


15 comments

  1. M.Flagg // November 29, 2008 at 8:05 AM  

    Great post, Dayana! I was completely taken up in "Curse of the Marhime". The twists and turns were wonderfully plotted. I can't wait to see what's in store for Pita. This is one page-turner that should be on everyone's "must read" list!
    Wishing you many, many sales on all three books. Your love of writing shows in your advice to new authors as well.
    Mickey

  2. Mona Risk // November 29, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

    Welcome to the Pink Fuzzy Slippers, Dayana. I love reading those struggle and success stories.
    Never give up is the key to success. I love your bookcovers by the way. I am going to check the stories. What better Christmas gift than a book.

  3. Susan Macatee // November 29, 2008 at 10:04 AM  

    Great interview, Dayana! And what great advice for aspiring writers.

  4. Helen Hardt // November 29, 2008 at 10:51 AM  

    Hi Dayana! How fun to hear about your journey. I was very interested to read that you wrote a romance in a spiral notebook when you were young. I did too! I started it when I was in the 8th grade, and I actually typed it up on an old IBM Selectric. I still have the ms, though it will never see the light of day, LOL.

    Helen

  5. Mary Marvella // November 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM  

    Excellent interview, Mary. Great questions.

    Thanks for visiting with us, Dayana. Your books sound intriguing.

  6. Beth Trissel // November 29, 2008 at 5:05 PM  

    I agree with the others, Dayana. Great interview and advice for writers. Intriguing books. Thanks for visiting the Fuzzies.

  7. Dayana // November 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM  

    Hey! Hi, everyone!

    Thanks for dropping in today and Mary, thank you for inviting me here:) I really enjoyed talking to you.

    Thank you for the wonderful plug on Curse, Mickey! I just scarfed another 4 1/2 skull review at Ruthie's Reviews the other day! It is so exciting to know that people actually are enjoying my story.

    Mona, thank you! I love my covers. They are exactly as I pictured them:) Even down to the character images that I imagined in my mind when writing the stories. If you do read them please be sure to let me know what you think.

    Thanks for dropping in Susan! Point is, we all basically climb the same mountain to becoming published, so if I can help someone else along the way and make their struggle just a wee bit easier than I've done my pay it forward.

    Yes, Helen, LOL. I wish I could find that story now. I even drew a couple arm in arm, thumbs looped through the others belt loop walking away from the proverbial camera. It was a pretty good drawing too. Anyway, it's interesting that we parallel in that way. Thank you for sharing that with me.

    Mary and Beth, thank you both so much for your comments. I am honored to be invited here. You guys have created a wonderful blog here and have become a well-known haunt for many.

    Bless you all and have a wonderful Holiday Season.

    Dayana~

  8. Traci // November 29, 2008 at 8:22 PM  

    Hi Dayana - we have a lot in common, and I am so happy that you've found success. Your covers rock, too, which always helps, lol

  9. Catherine Bybee // November 29, 2008 at 9:06 PM  

    Awesome interview, Dayana.
    Dusting off a manuscript is sometimes the best thing we can do. Great advice to other writers out there as well.

  10. Allison Chase // November 29, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

    Like you, I'm not naturally a plotter, but I've had to learn to be more of one lately to keep up with deadlines. You offer some great advice, Dayana. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Nancy J. Cohen // November 30, 2008 at 5:46 AM  

    Best of luck with your books, Dayana. And your advice is well timed in this current economic climate. We write because we love to spin stories out of our imaginations, not for fame or fortune.

  12. Dayana // November 30, 2008 at 9:47 AM  

    Hey, Traci, Allison, Catherine, and Nancy! Thanks so much for dropping in. Its great to see you all here.

    Believe me, I still struggle with the written word every day, LOL It is not an easy feat to be 'discovered' or a great success in this business--which God knows I'm not. I don't know that I ever will be but getting one's foot in the door is a good thing, LOL There are so many wonderful authors out there. However, the great thing is that we are a society that binds together to support each other. How fantastic is that? My main reason for having gotten as far as I have in my dreams of writing is the amazing support system I have found in all of you and so many others along the way.

    So my shining words of advice to all would be never give up the opportunity to help a newbie. It is how we all got here, isn't it???

    Best,

    Dayana~

  13. Nightingale // November 30, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

    I think you're a wonderful juggler as well as a great writer. Love your books. Somehow never pictured you juggling. Those full time careers can really screw up your writing time.

  14. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 30, 2008 at 10:10 PM  

    Dayana great interview and I love your covers! Hearing your story and advice gives us still climbing the mountain the courage to continue on the trek!

    The Scarlet Pumpernickel

  15. Arkansas Cyndi // December 1, 2008 at 5:33 PM  

    Great interview! Sorry I'm late. I've been in a turkey coma for days.

    I like your advise to the aspiring writer. You are so right.

    Good luck with your sales.