RTD: Welcome to Romancing the Darkside Dannika! I’m really excited to have you here today and can’t wait to talk to you about your book Sterling and the Mageri Series so let’s get right to it…
DD: Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to be here!
RTD: Name 3 things that would surprise your readers about you.
DD: That’s an interesting question. I’m always open on my blog or Facebook page, so I’m going to think about the readers who don’t know me. 1.) I spend 8-9 hours a day working in a cubicle for a large company. However, part of my job includes writing training documentation. I’m always finding a way to write. 2.) I’ve never submitted a novel to a publisher or agent. I did early on with poetry, but I made the decision with my novels that I wanted to be an Indie. I’m an independent girl, and this was an exciting place to be. 3.) I can change the spark plugs and oil in my own car. ☺
RTD: What was your inspiration for writing Sterling? Did you think it would turn into a series while writing the first book?
DD: The inspiration came from a Vampire novel I wrote and trashed. I loved some key elements, but the story was awful. Vampire novels are great, but I really wanted to do something fresh. A specific character needled his way into my head from that series and I decided to start over with Sterling. I think when I got halfway through I knew this was going to be a completed novel. It wasn’t until I reached the end and there was more that needed to be told that I knew it was going to be a series. I don’t arc my series, but I do have a small road map in my head of the particular book I’m writing. I don’t know where the road may lead, but part of the journey is discovering the characters and what story they want to share. Usually when I’m ¾ of the way in, I know if it’s going to be a series.
RTD: What was your favorite chapter or scene to write in the series so far and why?
DD: Favorite scene to write in the series – good question! I’m a huge fan of first meetings – when two character are introduced for the first time. There’s an electrical charge in the air of uncertainty. I’m going to say my favorite scene to write was in Twist, when Logan (our kidnapper) pulls the car over and pins Silver (Zoë) to a tree. We know very little about this man except that he’s dangerous. I have that scene so visualized in my head. The smell of the mossy earth, the damp air chilled against Silver’s skin, the fear of what this man’s intentions are, and the intensity of his personality. Her heart is racing, afraid of what could happen to her if she doesn’t escape the situation. There were so many layers of emotions going on through that scene that I really enjoyed writing it--and think back to it above all other scenes.
RTD: Your heroine Zoë has definitely been through an ordeal in a short amount of time. Describe her using just one sentence.
DD: Zoë is a survivor, struggling to accept her new identity and find her place in the world.
RTD: Sterling has not one but three Alpha males…who was the easiest personality to develop in your opinion?
RTD: Do you find it challenging to develop a balance between the dark world of urban fantasy and humor in your books?
DD: It was pretty easy with the personality of the protagonist. Real life has balance, and we often find ourselves laughing in very difficult situations. I think you need those breaks, and it helps keep the overall tone from becoming too serious or dark that the reader feels that they took a beating by the time they’re done reading. The interesting part about this is, I had a lot of remarks about how funny the book was. I never wrote with that intention, but I think that it’s refreshing when we have those laugh-out-loud moments while reading a series. That’s when I know that I’m really connecting with a character or scene.
RTD: Where do you feel most comfortable writing?
DD: I’m uncertain if this question is literal. I think my comfort zone is in Urban Fantasy Romance, but I’ve also written Paranormal Romance, with a twist. (of course!). I also feel the most comfortable writing on my sofa. ☺
RTD: Are you a fan of any book series in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres featuring mages/witches? If so, which one(s)?
DD: I love Urban Fantasy, but the interesting part about this is—I’ve never read a series revolving around a Mage. Usually when I’m in the bookstore, the books about Mages have the long robes, magical sticks, and are geared more towards male readers. It’s not to say there aren’t some out there—I just haven’t read them and may not be aware of them all. I did start one of Anne Rice’s witch series many years ago, but aside from that, I don’t have any series in my book collection with either character. Maybe that’s why it made it so much fun to write. A Mage felt like a stereotyped character and I wanted to do a different spin on what a Mage was, and interpret them as very sexy. Not in the physical sense (although we do have some lookers!)—but the idea of what they can do, and how they remain hidden in our world. A few readers mentioned it was a refreshing break from reading so many Vampire novels, and there’s no “sorcery” involved that reads like so many other books out there surrounding this character type. My goal was to make a Mage so damn interesting, that I’d rather bump into one on the street than a Vampire.
RTD: What book is currently on your nightstand?
DD: I’m currently finishing out a Midnight Breed novella, “A Taste of Midnight”. Usually I can read a novella in a couple of hours, but I’ve been sidetracked this week with a book cover release for Impulse. My latest purchase was “Immortal Coil” by an indie author. Writing takes up so much time that it’s difficult to fit in an entire series into my schedule, except during my breaks, which usually come right after a book release.
RTD: Without giving away any spoilers…can you give us a little sneak peek into the next book in the Mageri Series?
DD: Impulse is the continuing story of Silver, a former human who was made into a Mage. We’ll find out some revealing information about some of the characters, and there’s a new bad guy lurking around. I love for my readers to be completely surprised, so until the book is published, I usually give away nothing. ;-) Teasers are great, but I’m a fan of a total surprise.
Just for fun:
Favorite movie/TV witch/wizard? Ulrich from “Dragonslayer” (1981??) Very much the cliché image of a Mage/sorcerer as I mentioned before, but I loved that movie when I was a kid
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only pick one person, who would you want for company? I’d love to pick a few celebrities, but most of them are married…lol Perhaps Simon Hunt, character from The Mageri Series. He would make the time go by easily, and might strategize a way off of the island. I’m not a nature girl. Put me on that island with a Greek God and I’ll still want off so I can enjoy air-conditioning and ice cream.
What’s your current guilty pleasure? Chef Ramsey’s TV shows.
Morning person or night owl? Shall I put on my ears and hoot for you? ;-)
Summer or Winter? Winter, definitely winter! I live in one of the hottest states and I relish the days when the ground is covered with ice and the air is biting cold.
RTD: Dannika, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions and congratulations on The Mageri Series!
DD: Thanks again for having me here; I had a lot of fun!
The Mageri Series
By Dannika Dark
By Dannika Dark
Unconscious and covered in blood, Zoë is found by a man named Adam. She undergoes a physical transformation, and strange new abilities begin to surface. Without hesitation, he takes her under his wing and an unexpected friendship forms between the two. Unable to return to her former life, Zoë feels lost.
Serendipity leads her to Justus. He is handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. Justus gives her the truth she has longed to hear--that she is a Mage. He offers her answers and protection, as a young Mage cannot survive on their own. Forced to trust him, she must come to terms with accepting her new life and identity.
When her immortal freedom is threatened by the one man who has a right to claim her, Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.
Their chance meeting leads her close to discovering the identity of the nameless Mage who once stole her light and discovered the unique power she possesses. That knowledge poses an unimaginable threat to Silver, fueling her search to find out who he is, before he finds her first.
Lives are at stake. Truths are revealed. And an unexpected passion ignites.
About the Author
Down in Texas, there's a woman who drinks copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously closed to her laptop. Yeah, I know. I've got a drinking problem. Hi, I'm Danni.
When I'm not writing (which is all the time), I'm listening to obscure music, watching movies, reading, discovering new ways to humiliate myself bowling, and burning up my laptop battery on the internet. I live with a cat who thinks she is a dog, or a goat (she eats plastic, so I'm not sure which).
Some people count sheep when they have insomnia. My entire life, since I was little, I made up stories in my head. If could bore myself to sleep, then mission accomplished. The problem is, I'd get so wrapped up in my 'head stories' that I didn't fall asleep. Then the next night I would start over and change it up a little to make it more exciting. It never dawned on me until much later that maybe I should pen those down. So I created short stories, and then went on to writing poetry.
Lots and lots of poetry. It's almost embarrassing that I have an entire box loaded with spiral notebooks filled with furious, heartfelt, and blushing words. Apparently, I had a lot to say.
Another one of my hobbies is digital art. I designed all my book covers.
I am finally doing what I have always wanted to: giving my characters a pulse through publishing. I write adult urban fantasy romance, but I don't like labels. I let the story tell itself, and color outside the lines. I am not a YA author, but I think its pretty great that there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal. These are the future readers!
Dannika is giving away an ecopy of Sterling to one lucky winner!