In our darkness, I discovered emotion so profound I hungered for it. Begged for him to give me everything he could. The one thing I didn’t count on was my heart getting in the way. I did kneel. I did care. And then I fell. What will he do when he sees my tormented pieces?
Will the tormented pieces change his view of her? To guide our delvings through the tormented darkness, I’ve been joined by author Dani René, author of ‘Kneel’. Dani, when you are asked to describe the central focus of Kneel, what do you say?
There’s a central focus on Nate and Eva who are thrown together by chance. Their journey is tumultuous and at times you’ll hate to love Nate and find strength in Eva. I wanted to portray the raw emotion between the two.
Raw emotion is always a great bet on creating a very powerful read. Looking back, where do feel that this raw emotion, and indeed the book itself started?
It actually started as an idea to do a series based on the seven deadly sins. Hence the title of the series, Sins of Seven. Nate was the driving force behind the story and was always in the back of my mind. His character came to me and didn’t let go until I’d typed the end.
It sounds like Nate had a strong hold on your mind while you were writing. Do you feel that when you are writing you have your characters, like Nate at the central focus of your mind? Or do you think of someone else as you write?
Depends on the book and the storyline. No one person in particular.
As you aren’t always focusing on a single person or group of people, I’m curious to find out a little bit more about how you worked on developing a robust plot for ‘Kneel’. Did you draw on events from your own life?
Some. But that I’ll leave up to the characters to convey.
Other than the obvious events of the book, were there any other ideas that you hoped to share with readers through this book?
I want to show that submission takes strength and that two people can overcome hardship to eventually find love. No matter how broken you are, you’ll find your missing piece.
Where did you feel you found the greatest rewards from sharing love, to finding missing pieces and eventually creating this book?
The feedback and reviews. I loved how people came to love Nate, even though he is difficult to love at times.
Everyone is difficult to love at times, but I’m glad to hear that this hasn’t deterred your readers from your work. Where do you feel that you have had your greatest learnings from publishing Nate’s journey?
To take chances in my writing, to not focus on what I should write, but what I want to write.
And what do you want to write? What’s currently in the works in your writing pipeline?
I’m working on multiple manuscripts. The third book of the Sins of Seven series, along with a few other secret projects.
We obviously can’t blow all of your secrets today, but instead, can you share a little of your journey as an author starting with letting us know why you write?
If I don’t write I get anxious. I need to get words out. Also, the characters shout at me when I don’t let them speak.
Do your characters shout plans at you as well, so that you at least know what direction you’re all going?
I don’t plan at all. I basically sit down and type. I allow the characters to tell me where they want to go.
How does editing unfold once you’ve followed the characters where they’ve wanted you to go?
I do a read through and make notes on what I want to change and edit, and then once those have been implemented, I send it off to the editor for a professional edit.
Once professional editing has been done, publishing is usually the next step. Have you taken any steps around publishing to tie each new project into your author brand? Do you feel that an author brand is important?
I would say that building a brand is important. Ensuring my logo, website, and biography is set up and also making sure that I remain professional on all social media. This is a business, and you need to make sure that you portray a friendly attitude, always be open to criticism even the bad. It helps you grow. The one thing I’ve found is incredible for building a readership is to interact with readers and bloggers. Don’t be shy. You need to put yourself out there.
Looking back, do you feel that your brand and your voice has evolved as you’ve kept working at it and putting yourself out there?
Oh yes! If I read my debut now I cringe, but it’s a good way to gauge progress. The more you write, the better you get.
What is your writing target to make sure you’re actively working towards ‘more’?
I basically aim to get two thousand words a day, if not, a minimum of 500. But I write every single day. I tend to lounge on my sofa while writing.
Finally, a writing position I agree with! As much as I admire the writers who can sit in a solid chair all day long your plan to lounge on the sofa sounds much more relaxing and achievable! Other than pulling up a sofa and typing away, is there any other advice you can give to other writers who have been inspired by the progress you’ve found in your journey?
Write. Every. Day. Build your online presence early on. Never self-edit a book, hire a professional. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Be you. Write your words.
Write your words, such simple advice, but so effective. Before I let you return to work on those secret projects, let’s see if we can play with a few words and see if we can show a little more of you to the readers with a set of simple and not so simple silly questions, starting with what is your zodiac sign?
What is your favourite word?
I like that word. Sounds like a great word to use at a barbeque. Since you have great creative skills if you invented a monster what would it look like and what would you call it?
A Grumpersaurus. (I called my husband that once LOL) It would be a super awesome dinosaur.
*Laughs* I would have loved to have seen the look on your husband’s face when you called him that! Stick that face on a dinosaur and I think you’d have a fantastic new monster. Keeping us in the monster vein, what happens if Batman gets bitten by a vampire?
Aren’t bats vampires anyway? LOL!
You know I think you’re right! Are you left or right-handed?
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
A lion and a tiger. That would make for a beautiful cat hybrid.
Aren’t crosses between lion and tiger called ligers and tigons? It’s a little hard to tell what they look like since the invention of Photoshop, but I’d love to see either in person. Oh, here’s a great question, why is lemon juice made with artificial flavour and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
Haha, dang you caught me there. No idea!
Yes! I’m sorry I’m basking in the glow of stumping you, but I haven’t completely stumped an author in a while, and it’s nice to prove to readers that authors are just human :). But I’m sure you’ll restore the aura of authors with our next question, why isn’t there mouse-flavoured cat food?
Actually, cats don’t really eat mice, they kill them for fun. (I know, I have two cats)
Ewww. And this is why I don’t have cats. On the subject of possible death for fun, what happens when you get scared half to death twice?
If you’re a cat, you lose one life. For a human, it depends if it happens at the same time. Then you’d be dead. Haha!
*Laughs* You just got to make sure those scary events are well spaced and you’re fine. Here’s a question that may also induce fear, if nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan?
They glue it down, don’t they? Hahaha
I’m not sure, but it sounds like a good method of getting it to stick to me. If you’re in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
They’ll cut through the light with shadows ;)
Ahh, our return to the shadows! With a dark romance author on board, it wasn’t going to be too long until we returned to the shadows ;). Since we’re almost at the end of our dip into the darkness today, can you share your favourite line from Kneel, to entice some of those more reluctant readers to wade back into the darkness themselves after we’re gone.
My greed brought me you, and my addiction won’t let you leave.
Well, I hope your writing addiction continues and you are able to continue bringing the darker side of romance to your eagerly awaiting audience.
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Kneel ( ASIN: B075JR3K9C )‘.
Want to find out more about Dani René? Connect here!