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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Audio Book Lovin' Presents: Interview with Dannika Dark & Giveaway

Hi Dannika! Kelly and I are extremely excited to have you be a part of our Audio Book Lovin’ Series! For those who are joining us for the first time and may not know, I’m a HUGE Dannika fan and her narrator Nicole Poole has done a phenomenal job with both the Mageri Series and the Seven Series!  So having both be part of this series is completely awesome! Dannika, welcome! 

Dannika: Thank you! I’m honored you invited me back as a guest. It’s great to be part of an event that puts the spotlight on the fabulous world of audio books.

Viviana: Dannika, what do you love/like about audio books?

Dannika: They are portable magic? One thing I love about audio is how it brings a story to life in a unique way, so a reader can read a book and listen to the same book and have a completely different experience. They’re not only great for those who have difficulty reading, but also wonderful for those who are always on the go and can’t read while driving, working, or shuffling the kids to school. For me, I stare at words on a screen all day and into the night. So when I want to give my eyes a rest, I can pop in an audiobook, lie in the dark, and get whisked away.

Viviana: I totally agree with you in that audio books can bring a story to life! As someone who is very busy, audio books provide that opportunity to still do what I love and that's "read" even if it's via a different method. Speaking of different, share with us about the beginning of your venture into Audiobooks. What made you decide to take a chance on this platform and go that route?

Dannika: Audio books were something I was always interested in doing, but it can be an expensive investment for a self-published author with all the up-front costs. An ebook can cost thousands to publish, but each audio book can cost twice that. When I received an inquiry from Tantor about acquiring audio rights to the Mageri series, I felt good about our positive conversations and decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did. There are many loyal listeners of audio books who were introduced to my world, and my existing readers now have the opportunity to experience their favorite stories again in a new way. Seven Years also became a 2016 Audie Awards Finalist (big honor!).

Viviana: Yes! Congratulations on the nomination and being a finalist!! I was so happy for you and Nicole!! I'm also glad you decided to give it a shot! What involvement do you have in getting your novels turned into audiobooks? 

Dannika: Tantor has been fabulous about taking the reins and doing all the hard stuff! They design the audiobook covers and handle all the production that goes behind making an audiobook. This allows me to focus on writing the next book.

Viviana: What was the process like, to find the perfect narrator for your books? 

Dannika: It varies for every author based on whether or not they self-publish audio or go through a publisher. In the beginning, I was given a list of available narrators they felt would be a good fit. I took my time listening to every single book sample by each narrator, and it wasn’t an easy choice. Every narrator brings a different style to the table. What made Nicole stand out was her ability to perform through the voices and make each one unique. I also have a lot of male characters, so that’s not an easy task for anyone. She’s fantastic with accents, and the first time I heard her do Simon, I was like, “Nailed it!”

Viviana: OMG! Nicole totally rocks it! LOVE her as a narrator and she does do a phenomenal job with the different voices and tones with each character! However, her Simon... WOW! LOVE IT! I mean, when she sent me that audio clip last year and Simon was included total fangirl moment for me. Sorry... focused now..... Was going into the audio platform as scary as it was publishing your work in written form? If not, how did it differ?

Dannika: It’s always terrifying. Audio books were unfamiliar territory, so I wasn’t sure how they would do. Even if the ebook does well, will the audio listeners have the same reaction? Does the story translate well in spoken form? I go into ostrich mode with each release, no matter the format.

Viviana: Were you apprehensive about putting your "babies" in the arms of someone who could potentially change them, or change the way you always heard them in your head?

Dannika: There is a level of control you have to give up whenever your work is retold in a different medium. It’s no different for those whose books are translated to TV or film. I did provide my narrator with information on word pronunciations, accents, and character traits as a starting guide since I was privy to details that unravel in later books that she wouldn’t be aware of otherwise. Sometimes characters begin as villainous (Lorenzo: Seven Years) but turn out to be a hero later on, so you want to communicate important details that could impact how a character is portrayed through voice. I could probably send my narrator clips from youtube and say, “Make him sound like THIS guy”, but to be honest, Nicole “gets” my characters in a book without any direction.

Viviana: I'm glad you have provided Nicole with the information. Its important for things like name pronunciation to be correct and sometimes those names are not as simple as "John" for example. It can totally mess up the experience. With that in mind, has Nicole's performance changed the way you see or hear your characters?

Dannika: I’m so used to hearing their voices in my head that I don’t think “that” voice will ever go away. Her performance has enhanced the experience.

Viviana: If you could pick one person (male or female) to narrator your life, who would it be and why? 

Dannika: Morgan Freeman? I’m sure he could make my trips to the post office sound way more meaningful than they are.

Viviana: Hahahha Indeed! You recently concluded the SEVEN Series. RISK is releasing soon, which the audio is schedule for release on the same day as the eBook and Paperback (woohoo - happy dance). What’s next for you? 

Dannika: I’m SO excited for Risk and look forward to the release. As for what’s next on the horizon, I’m planning a new urban fantasy series that’s fresh and exciting. With each series I write, I want to give readers a new experience while still allowing them to remain in this world that they’ve come to know and love. A favorite Mageri character will star in one of the lead roles, but I think readers will fall in love with the unique blend of characters alongside him. This series will be filled with twists and secrets that unravel as the series continues. It’s still in development, so I’m not ready to share all the details just yet.

Viviana: CANNOT WAIT!! I've loved both the Mageri Series and The Seven Series for various different reasons. I totally trust you as an author! Speaking of RISK..... So I have to mention, your covers… they ROCK! From a marketing perspective, the SEVEN SERIES was brilliant. I’ve had a few clients and potential clients mention your covers in one way or another and now RISK! WOW! For those who may not know, you create/design your own covers. How much time do you spend on creating them? When you’re searching for images on the stock sites, are you searching for specific things (i.e. cover model for RISK only) or do you cast your net (so to speak) wider for future potential covers and what does that look like? 

Dannika: Thank you so much! From my experience, urban fantasy covers are more difficult conceptually and artistically than paranormal romance. PNR can be more simple and UF always has a lot going on visually. PNR also tends to have different models on each cover whereas UF often requires same model (or similar looking) on each cover, and that’s a big fat challenge for any artist. You don’t always want to use the same stock model in different poses, because chances are that those exact images will appear on other books. Good models with diverse poses are hard to come by.

I spend OODLES of time on them. I do not whip these babies up in an hour and call it a day. I usually have a bunch of mock-ups (anywhere from 10-60) and spend weeks narrowing down the models and layout before I begin the actual design. The first book of a series is also difficult because you have to nail down the branding. There’s rarely a perfect model who fits the character, and since I am the author and cover designer, I have the opportunity to mirror my characters as much as possible (You have no earthly idea the extremes I go to make sure someone has a dimple or freckle). Usually that requires “photoshopping”. I’ll add tattoos, scars, sometimes a different head on a body, hair, change the color of their shirt, add sideburns, more stubble, bigger lips, jewelry, etc. The only cover model I didn’t do anything to was the cover of Four Days.

I have many lightboxes on various stock sites, and I spend one day a week searching through images and saving all kinds of potential stock. Models with the right faces, the right poses, clothes, hair, objects, backgrounds, textures, jewelry, weapons, tattoos… you name it. It saves me the trouble of searching the entire site from scratch each time, and I can just focus on going through the saved images I like first.

Viviana: True! I know when I tell people I spend hours searching for stock images, they look at me as if I'm weird... they don't understand just how "big" the inventory of images is nor how particular one has to be! LOL Same for creating a cover! HOURS!!!! But enough about work stuff.... When you’re not writing or creating the covers… what do you do for fun? 

Dannika: You mean there’s downtime? I didn’t get the memo.  :) I just bought a 4K TV, so lately “fun” has been watching back-to-back episodes of Outlander or Game of Thrones.

Viviana: You and me both Love! Missed that memo! I've seen you posting on GoT and Outlander and being dying for you to catch up for us to chat!! Never one to give you a spoiler! So I've left you alone!! LOL Anything you’d wish to share with your readers? 

Dannika: Winter is coming.

Viviana:  ROTFLMAO! Hilarious! SMH, okay okay... you've definitely been watching GoT! For anyone who has not listened to an audiobook before, what would you tell them to try to convince them to listen?

Dannika: If you’re a voracious reader, audio books allow you to read in situations where you normally wouldn’t be able to, like while doing chores, working out, or driving to work. You can sit in a park and actually keep your eye on the kids while enjoying a book. There are also those with vision impairments who find audio to be a godsend. If you’re concerned the narrator won’t portray your favorite characters the way you “hear” them, then search for a book you’ve never read in a favorite genre. Audible and most sites allow you to listen to samples before you buy. Discover why audio books are growing in popularity among avid readers.

Viviana: Dannika, thank you for writing the great stories and sharing them with us! And thanks for hanging out with us! Can’t wait for RISK!! 

Dannika: Thank you so much for having me! It’s been a blast. :)

Okay folks!!! Time for you to check out the awesomeness that are Dannika's books and the phenomenal  job Nicole Poole does as the narrator! Below is information about RISK her upcoming release and the SEVEN SERIES!! You'll also find more information about Dannika and where you can find her! You definitely want to sign up for her newsletter as she does a great job of providing her readers with unique content and sneak peaks!
Oh Yeah... Giveaways.... there is some of that too... 

(A Mageri World Novel)
By Dannika Dark

Simon Hunt is a masterful Mage when it comes to knives, solving puzzles, and women. But when a Mageri Councilman asks for a personal favor, his skills are put to the test. He reluctantly accepts the impossible job of training a young Learner who is beyond anyone’s help. She’s beautiful, cunning, and disabled. If he succeeds, he’ll receive a hefty paycheck. But if he fails, more is at stake than merely his reputation.

A compelling tale about two lost souls with dark secrets and the unique connection they share. Simon is her last hope… and perhaps she is his.

What happens when a game of chance becomes a fight for survival?

Pre-order Available at 


Release Date
August 16, 2016


Seven Years

It's been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident. On the anniversary of his death, her brother's best friend shows up unexpectedly - a man she hasn't seen since the funeral. He is no longer the boy Lexi once knew, but a dangerous-looking man with tattoos and dark secrets. He broke her trust and abandoned her family, yet what he reveals makes it impossible to stay angry. Lexi has been secretly infatuated with Austin since childhood, so finding out he's a Shifter just makes him sexier. Dammit.

Austin Cole has returned to the city where he grew up, and just in time. He's lived a hard life these past seven years, and the shadows of his past are threatening to destroy Lexi's family. It's time that she learned the truth about her brother, but there is a shocking twist that Austin never saw coming. Now he must protect her family when her mother and sister wind up in mortal danger. Will Lexi learn to accept the truth about who he is, and can Austin salvage a relationship from the ruins of their past?

2016 Audie Awards finalist

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor 

Six Month
Seven Series #2

April Frost is a compassionate young woman with a steady job and ambitious goals. But the harder she runs away from her past, the more it threatens to destroy her. When three strangers enter her life, April is forced to face her demons and it's a battle she may not win.

Private investigators in the Breed world are men who take risks, and Reno Cole is no exception. As a Shifter, he's expected to control his inner animal. But lately his wolf has been venturing dangerously close to the city, and he's about to discover why. When Reno is reintroduced to a family friend, the attraction is immediate. April captivates him with her secretive eyes and resilient spirit. She's also in trouble, and despite the fact she's a human, Reno can't turn his back on her.

April is caught between two worlds: One that threatens to bury her dreams and another that could fulfill them. Can she trust the wolf at her door and find the courage to overcome her demons?

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor

Five Weeks
Seven Series #3

Destiny will find you.

Izzy has always loved the freedom and adventure of life on the road, but she’s recently decided to settle down—as much as a rogue wolf can. When her boyfriend gets her a job working at a hot Shifter bar, she runs into the last person on earth she expected to see again.

Jericho isn’t the famous rock star he once was, though he still plays in a local band and loves to party. Beautiful women come and go, but music is his only passion—until a sassy redhead named Isabelle Monroe shows up unexpectedly.

Fate reunites two former friends living with one foot in the present and the other in the past. But will they have a future when one of them is forced to choose between life and death? Old habits die hard, and sometimes the toughest addictions to shake are the ones that control our hearts.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor 

Four Days
Seven Series #4

Ivy believes every life must have balance, and during the past year, she's found harmony living with the Weston pack. When an evil spirit from her past threatens her wolf, it sets off a chain reaction of events that alters the course of her destiny.

Lorenzo Church is a powerful, wealthy Packmaster who rules his pack through intimidation and order. He has vowed to never love a woman because love can destroy an empire. But chaos is fast approaching in the form of a Shifter named Ivy--a Native American, like him, who has invaded his dreams since the moment they met. She is spirited, wise, and unattainable.

In an unexpected turn of events, Ivy must choose whether or not to let go of the one person she has always loved. Lorenzo discovers the root of her courage but will never win her as his mate unless he learns to listen to his heart.
Destiny will find you

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor 

Three Hours
Seven Series #5

Naya James is a confident woman who also happens to be an exotic dancer. She doesn’t care if people judge her, just so long as they don’t disrespect her. Life has been good, but when two dancers from her club are kidnapped, Naya risks everything to uncover the truth.

Wheeler is the black sheep of the family, evident from his extensive tattoo collection to his dark personality. Nothing like his twin brother, Ben, who can do no wrong. Wheeler’s pack loyalty is put to the test when Austin orders him to act as a bodyguard for a woman he’s despised for years—one who presses his buttons every chance she gets.

A dark secret unravels, uniting two enemies and threatening to fracture the brotherhood of the pack. A tortured soul, a violent past, a fiery romance, and a shocking twist that will leave you breathless.

Destiny will find you

Purchase at Amazon | Audible Tantor 

Two Minutes
Seven Series #6

After years of living abroad, Maizy returns home to the only family she’s ever known—a pack of wolves. When she confronts her childhood watchdog to see where they stand, his resentment leaves her uncertain about where she really belongs.

Behind Denver’s charming smile is a tragic past—one that’s made his wolf savage and unpredictable. Only Maizy has been able to tame that darkness, and when they’re reunited after many years apart, he no longer sees a child he once protected. She’s captivating and intelligent—a woman with the world at her fingertips and two suitors offering more than he ever could.

Torn between two worlds, Maizy must choose how her fairy tale ends. Tragedy, murder, passion, and imprisonment all collide with a heart-stopping twist.

Destiny will find you.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor


This is a full-length novel
After seven hundred years, Prince has acquired everything a Packmaster could desire. But when he meets the enchanting Nadia Kozlov, he realizes there’s one thing he doesn’t have: answers. Prince owes his life to a man he hasn’t seen in centuries, and Nadia holds the key to his whereabouts, because that man is her father.

Destinies collide when Nadia’s sister shows up unexpectedly. Katarina is a skilled bounty hunter, hot on the trail of a nefarious outlaw who turns out to be Prince’s old nemesis. Prince teams up with Nadia’s sister to track down the Mage, but the real game of cat and mouse is already underway as sparks fly between Prince and the cunning bounty hunter.

The only trouble? Nadia wants him too.

In the Seven series timeline, this full-length novel is 6.5. However, Charming can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone. 

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor

One Second 


Love. Family. Brotherhood.

Lexi has faced personal struggles, but nothing has prepared her for the most perilous battle of her life. Shifters are on the brink of war as Northerners target Colorado in an attempt to infiltrate the borders. Texas winds up on the hit list, and the Weston pack prepares to fight for their land… and for their lives.

Austin’s courage is put to the test when rogues want to seize his land and slaughter his pack. But that’s not all he’s facing as two shocking revelations turn their lives upside down. His love for Lexi is unwavering, but their future is uncertain.

Will the local packs set aside their differences to fight together, or will this be the end of peace among Shifters? Stand witness to the epic conclusion of the Seven series.

Destiny will find you.

Purchase at Amazon | Audible | Tantor

Visit Dannika Dark's Site to listen to clips from the MAGERI SERIES

About The Author

Dannika Dark is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Urban Fantasy Romance and Paranormal Romance. Her books have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide, and she is a 2016 Audie Awards finalist. Dannika was born on a military base in the U.S. and spent her youth traveling abroad. She developed an interest writing poetry and song lyrics early on, eventually gravitating toward a job that involved writing procedural training documentation. In her spare time, she wrote novels before she decided to pursue a career in publishing.

In addition to writing about supernatural worlds, Dannika is passionate about graphic design and creates all her own covers and series art. When not writing, she enjoys indie music, movies, reading, Tex-Mex, strawberry daiquiris, heaps of chocolate, and unleashing her dark side.

All of her published books to date are written in the same universe and contain material suitable for adults only.

"For me, writing is all about blending genres to break out of the confines of predictability, but it's what I love to do."

You can find Dannika at 


  1. Of course I have read the series, Dannika is one of my go to authors. She could write the phone book and I would buy it!

  2. Awesome interview! Dannika is always so eloquent in her answers, I love reading her insights into writing in general, but most of all I enjoy getting a glimpse of her work process. Thanks for hosting Viv! you too are amazing in your own right, and this interview was top notch!! 100% awesome!

    1. Thanks Nina!!!! I'm so happy you enjoyed it!!

  3. Great interview! Always interesting to get a little glimpse behind the curtain...

  4. I love your interviews, Viviana! I've not read any books by this author, but these books sound to be great reads! AND, Viviana, you have a great track records at great book recommendations... :-)

    1. Lindalou, THANK YOU!!!! These are truly awesome! Both series!!!

  5. I haven't read any of the books in this series. The audio books sound great, and I'd love to listen to them!

  6. I haven't read this series, but the audio clips sound great.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com