Exciting news. We have Dani Haviland with us today. She has just recently published her new novel.
Naked in the Winter Wind
Ha’Penny Jenny – A Novella
Exciting news, Dani is now in the final stages of presenting her new book on Amazon and elsewhere.
Aye, I am a Fairy.
So good to meet you. What a fantastic debut. Now for an exciting chat. I really enjoyed your newest books, the full length novel, ‘Naked in the Winter Wind
and the novella, Ha’penny Jenny.
Could you tell us a know more about you and your work – what makes your work tick for you. I started writing to, ahem, silence or at least organize, the voices in my head. The overwhelming idea I had to tame was what would happen to me if I ‘fell’ into a popular novel, in this case, one like the popular time travel series, ‘Outlander.’ I wouldn’t want to be in this old lady body, so a hearty dose of Fountain of Youth water was in order. There are a few other twists in the storyline, including a case of amnesia. I also wanted to write books that I’d like to read, lots of love and action, but also silly at times. I think I’ve accomplished that. I’ve been told in reviews that the books are unique in style and perspective and I find that flattering.
At what age did you realize you were a writer? I started writing my first novel when I was ten. My grandmother gave me great advice: write what you know, your experiences, your emotions. I’ve never time travelled, but there are many other ‘personal’ experiences in my stories. The Haviland method of time travel relies on a strong magnetic field. I actually experienced the upset tummy my characters felt when I visited The House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex, a high intensity magnetic field zone, in the Pacific Northwest.
Do you research for your stories? I love doing research! When I started writing ‘The Fairies Saga,’ I placed the first episode four years into the future. At that time, I couldn’t find solar-powered cell phones. I had, and still have, faith in the rapid rise of technology and figured that by 2012, they’d be available. They were. Before I published this story, ‘Naked in the Winter Wind,’ I went to Greensboro, North Carolina, the site where the story takes place. I was actually in the same places, at the same times, as my fictional characters. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have experienced the unusual weather—Superstorm Sandy, the crazy road system that bisected graveyards, and the ghosts that tickled my skin as I walked over the grounds at the Gilford Courthouse Museum. This past January, I also used my story writing as an excuse to travel to Sydney, Australia. ‘Fairies Down Under’ is about a time traveller on The First Fleet. I wanted to be at ‘Botany Bay’ at the same time of year as the first convicts, to sail on a tall ship (The James Craig), and see, smell, and touch the native flora and fauna.
Where did you do your research? Besides travelling to the location of my stories, I research on the internet and also have an extensive personal library. I probably own more books on The First Fleet than any other Alaskan, maybe even any other American!
Do you have a private space to write? My favourite spot to write is in the living room, seated in my recliner, my laptop wedged in between my two small dogs. We don’t have a problem until the cat decides he wants lap space, too. Hubba tends to lie on the edge of the keyboard, restricting my access. I don’t type very fast with only one hand—my other is needed to nudge him out of the way—but he usually tires of sharing space and soon finds another spot to nap.
How long do you write each day? I try to write at least two or three hours a day, more on the weekends. I’m hoping to retire from my ‘day job’ in a few months, so should have more time to spend writing, promoting, and eventually, creating audio books.
Do you write to music? I prefer silence. If I’m alone, that’s not a problem. If my husband decides he wants to watch a movie, I either watch it with him or put on headphones. I like soundtrack music, movie scores. My two favourites are ‘Inception’ and ‘The Legend of Hell’s Gate.’ I find cello music soothing. Edgar Meyer and Joshua Bell have created some great works, too, and they’re high on my short list of composers.
Do you get emotional writing – feel for your characters? Even live them? Absolutely! I become the person I am writing about, and am able to transfer his/her facial expressions and physical movements, or anything else, because I am so aligned with him/her.
What do you have with you when you write? Coffee, sweets, etc.? I usually only drink water and don’t like to eat at the keyboard. I do take breaks for eating and walking the dogs, though. Sometimes, while working, the words surge out, other times, they’re stifled. A few calories and fresh air usually help the flow return.
Can you share what you are presently writing or hope to write? ‘Aye, I am a Fairy’ is waiting for the proof copy to arrive. After a few ‘proofers’ and I go through it again, it will be up on Kindle, ready for purchase. It’s the follow up story of how the main character’s daughter, stuck in the 21st century, reconnects with her rejuvenated mother, who is back in 1781 North Carolina, and the good-looking man who helps her get there.
How many books have you published? ‘The Fairies Saga,’ series has really grown—there are four books in the series now, the fifth is due in a month or so, and I’m well into writing the sixth. I wrote them in order, but didn’t publish them that way. The first two and a half books were too rough to publish ‘way back then.’ By the time I got to ‘Dances Naked’ and ‘The Great Big Fairy,’ books three and four, I had hit my stride. I went through the earlier books, cleaned up the grammar, and in many places, replaced the term ‘cell phone’ with ‘smartphone.’ In 2009, smartphone wasn’t even a word, much less the multifunctional device it has become. The books can be read in any order, but many people insist on reading them in chronological order. The gap will be filled when ‘Aye, I am a Fairy’ is published next month.
Do you have aspirations to write in other genres as well? Right now, my fictional friends and family—the time travelling ‘fairies’—are my passion. There are so many of characters, and all have a story, or six, in them. That’s where the novellas come in. A few have already been written and are ready to be released when I feel the time is right. ‘Ha’penny Jenny’ was the first of those novellas. I call it book one and a half in the series. Jenny isn’t a time traveller, but others in her family are. Her personal story didn’t ‘fit’ in the action flow of the other books, but I thought it was good enough to share. And, because it is a novella, and the other stories are rather long, I thought it would also be a good way to introduce my style of writing to a new audience.
How does your family feel about the life of the writer as it can get kind of solitary at times? My youngest daughter just graduated from high school, got her own apartment, and is starting her training as a massage therapist/healer. That leaves just my husband, the critters, and myself at home. My husband loves that I have such a great devotion to writing. He can always tell if I haven’t had, or taken, the opportunity to write. He says I get grumpy. “Go write something,” he’ll tell me. And he’s right; I do feel better when I create. Of course, I think my five daughters have mixed feelings about it. Mom writing lusty novels…hmm. They’re proud of my success, but feel ‘awkward’ about reading some of the more intimate passages. My granddaughters are still too young to read the books, but are proud and brag, “My nana wrote those books.”
This has been so exciting. I am sure your books will be in great demand.
Coming Soon from Dani:
Aye, I am a Fairy
Estimated release, September 4, 2014.
Lord James Melbourne’s life is in upheaval. His pending divorce has already ruined his name, and it looks as if it will also leave him penniless. Taking nothing but the bundle of ancient letters and an old cigarette pack full of precious jewels entrusted to him by his absent grandfather, he heads to Heathrow Airport. Final destination: Greensboro, North Carolina. He’ll make a fresh start in America, buy the mill offered by the mysterious Bibb Stephens, and do his best to forget the past and the thieving Clotilde.
He’s greeted at the Greensboro Airport by two very different women, a poisoning, and a dilemma. Who are these women, and why are they in his life?
Bad guys, a fire bombing, a 230-year-old video on a solar-powered smartphone, and a few other surprises await the sharp, yet wary man with a great big secret. What will lovely Leah do when she finds out the truth about him?