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Monday, June 25, 2018

Audiobook Lovin 2018 Presents: Dannika Dark Interview

I totally love today's guest! She is immensely talented and a gifted story teller. Please welcome Author Dannika Dark to Audiobook Lovin!

Hi Dannika, thank you very much for joining us for Audiobook Lovin’!! We love having you as our guest!!  

Thanks for having me! I am always excited to be a part of Audiobook Lovin’.

For those that may not know you, why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became an author?

I am a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Seven Years was an Audie Awards finalist. All my books take place in the same universe, so there are some twisty little crossovers. But I write them in such a way that it doesn’t matter which series you begin with. 

How I became an author involves connecting dots throughout my life. I wrote some stories as a kid, then poetry and song lyrics. I even wrote movie reviews (unpaid) in the early days of the internet. I knew I liked writing, but I hadn’t yet found my passion. I worked in a corporate environment and wrote procedural and training manuals, but in 2010, I decided to revisit my love for creative writing. The urban fantasy genre had sparked my imagination all over again, and by 2011, I published my first novel.

Dannika, you know I LOVE your books! Just when I think I have a favorite, another book is released and BAM, I’m in love all over again!! I began reading your books and then they came out in audio and now I’m a listener of your books! What made you decide to turn your books into audiobooks? 

Thank you so much! I was initially on the fence about publishing audiobooks. I’d never listened to any, and I didn’t know how many people were buying this format. Tantor approached, and we had discussions before I decided this would be a fun avenue to explore. Little did I know just how awesome the audiobook world was, and many of my “book” readers have converted to both formats because the experience is so different. Additionally, it’s great knowing that I can share my world with those who are visually impaired.

As of today, ALL 21 of your books (all three series) have been narrated by the phenomenal Nicole Poole! Were you involved in casting Nicole initially for “Sterling” the first book in the Mageri Series? 

Isn’t she amazing? Tantor provided me with a list of suggestions, and I also had a list of my own after cruising around on Audible and listening to other books in my genre. I didn’t know what audiobook readers looked for in a narrator. I spent hours listening to every single book sample from a long list of narrators so I could get a sense of their style and versatility. Every narrator brings something different to the table, so it was a tough job to pass over so many talented people. In the end, I loved Nicole’s ability to pull me into the story. I had a lot of male characters in that series, and she did a phenomenal job at making each character distinct in their own way. 

Yes, she's amazing!! I LOVE Nicole's performance and her ability to bring your books to life!!! What do you love about Nicole’s performance of your books? 

Much of what I mentioned above. I feel like she really “gets” the characters she’s reading. Accents can also be a challenge for anyone. For instance, my Aussie accent sounds more like a Londoner with a cockney accent imitating a Scot. I can’t even imagine how tough it must be for her to flip-flop between Russian and Irish and remain consistent.

Many authors say that the characters speak to them…. Do characters from your other series (or different projects) speak to you when you are trying to concentrate on writing your current one? How do you handle/manage the interruptions? 

I don’t have characters from past series speaking to me, not while writing anyhow. Typically the characters in the series I’m working on are the loudest. I might take a break on the sofa to Netflix and hear the character having a conversation in my head, but it’s mostly them working through a scene that I’m either writing or revising. So then I have to get up and write it down. I try to avoid shiny things though, because they distract me from existing projects. But I do have a huge collection of notes for future projects.

If today, you could go back in time and say anything to your younger self (the Dannika who was, at the time, writing Sterling) what would it be?

When I was writing Sterling, I was in a bad place with work stress. Writing Sterling was a form of escape and tapped into my creative side that I’d ignored for many years. I would tell myself not to give up and to trust my instinct. Focus on the things that bring joy, and know that you have the power to write your own story.

Do you hide any personal tidbits in your books, that only people who know you personally would recognize? 

I don’t know if it’s possible to write and not include personal aspects of your life or your experiences. There are lots of things sprinkled in, but done in such a way that I don’t know that anyone in my personal life would say, “Ah-ha!”

What did you learn by writing the Seven Series, that you didn’t know when writing Mageri, and what did you learn while writing Crossbreed that you didn’t know when writing Seven?

The Seven series was drastically different from writing Mageri because of one main thing: each book was written in first person from a different protagonist’s POV. Sterling was the same voice through the entire series, so I knew Silver inside and out. With the Seven series, first person really required me to get in their head and know what they’re about. So it was tough to switch from April’s head space in “Six Months” to Izzy’s in “Five Weeks.” They were all very different women, especially Naya. I had a difficult time figuring out who this woman was beyond her sexy fa├žade as an exotic dancer. I needed to think like Naya so that I could write her dialogue and know how she would move and react. It was important not to accidentally create a caricature and not a character. Everything about them had to be natural and believable, so I could portray them as a real and relatable person. Each book introduces a new voice that also spills into the narrative.

As for what I learned while writing Crossbreed that I didn’t know when writing Seven: I love writing romance books more than I thought. While my urban fantasy books also have romance, the plots don’t revolve around it. I thought moving to Crossbreed would be a nice break, but I have to admit that I miss the emotional investment and even the challenge that a good paranormal romance brings.

What are you working on next? 

Blackout (Crossbreed 5) is coming in August, and I am working on the sixth installment of the Crossbreed series. I have a lot of readers asking me how many books are planned in this series, but I’m playing it by ear. The characters will let me know when the story has told itself.

Thank you Dannika for joining us today and being part of the Audiobook Lovin Series! Looking forward to your upcoming releases!!!

Thank you so much for inviting me! 

Below are the audiobook samples for the Crossbreed Series! BLACKOUT is scheduled for release on August 14, 2018 which is also the same date for the audiobook!! 

Available for purchase at Kindle | Amazon Paperback) Audible | iTunes | Nook | B&N | Kobo | Tantor

Available for purchase at Kindle | Amazon (Paperback) | Audible | iTunes | Nook | B&N | Kobo | Tantor

Available for purchase at Kindle | Amazon (Paperback) | Audible | iTunes | Nook | B&N | Kobo | Tantor

Available for purchase at iTunes | Tantor | Audible | Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N 

About The Author

Dannika Dark is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Urban Fantasy Romance and Paranormal Romance books. Her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide, and she is a 2016 Audie Awards finalist. 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 in her cave, she enjoys indie music, reading, Netflix, heaps of chocolate, and unleashing her dark side. 

You can find Dannika at 

Dannika's Giveaway!

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